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Priceline: Name your own price

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Jakarta, Indonesia
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Priceline: Name your own price

Hi All,

anyone here ever bid on Priceline's Name your own price for Seattle - SF? Thinking of flying instead of driving, there are four of us. To my rough calculation, gas money 'ld be $600-$700, so if I can bid for the same amount for air tickets, then flying 'ld be our choice.

Please advise.

Thank you

Thousand Oaks...
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for Israel
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1. Re: Priceline: Name your own price

Gas money should be about $175. If you do it in two days add a hotel room. Meals for all 4 should be added in too. Of course, one way rental car usage should be factored in.

If you fly you have an extra day of enjoying SF but would probably be paying more.

Hingham...
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2. Re: Priceline: Name your own price

The question was: "anyone here ever bid on Priceline's Name your own price"? I would welcome feedback on this seemingly too good to be true offer.

San Francisco
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3. Re: Priceline: Name your own price

Go to www.priceline.com and read. You can bid on hotel by location and stars but it's blind -- you don't know exactly what hotel it is. IF your bid is accepted you pay and then you find out the name of the hotel. Payment is upfront and non refundable. It's not exactly "name your price." You make a bid offer but the hotel does not have to accept it.

Priceline is only good for 1-2 people per room and you have no choice in bed configuration (2 queens, king, etc).

There are sites which help you to determine how much to bid and what hotel you'll likely get. www.betterbidding.com and www.biddingfortravel.com

Deals can be had when demand is low. Low ball bids aren't going to be accepted (in fact rooms won't even been on offer) during peak season when hotels are already booked up.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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4. Re: Priceline: Name your own price

I would not try the "name your own price" feature for airline tickets!

You may get very strange itineraries,(lots of stops) very short or very long waits for the next flight etc.

I have only used the bidding your own price feature for hotels.

It is not "too good to be true". It just means you can say a price but the hotel or airline does not have to accept that price and you may then have to say a higher one!

Bloomington, Indiana
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for Bloomington
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5. Re: Priceline: Name your own price

Regarding some "downsides" of Priceline and similar sites (i.e. while it's not too good to be true):

1. You don't know what you've got until it's too late. You give your credit card and pay/are booked before you know *exactly* what you've got. If it turns out you got a "bum deal," tough luck; you won't know it until it's too late.

2. For hotels, you're only guaranteed a room that will sleep two people. This isn't always an issue, but it can be for some.

3. Generally you won't get bargains if demand is high and they (bargains) occur more often as a last minute sort of thing. That is, a hotel realizes their occupancy rate is low for the next weekend, that's when they start putting up bargains on these sites (ditto for airlines). It's pretty rare to get any kind of deal when you're booking things week or months in advance. Hotels/airlines simply aren't motivated to offer deep discounts when they still have ample time to fill up.

4. The magnitude of the "deal" you get (if any) can vary widely. I've gotten rooms using Priceline/Hotwire for as low as about 30 cents on the dollar, but that is more of the exception than the rule. 60-75% discount is more the norm (at least for me).

5. You still may have other charges. Hey saved $50/night on your hotel, woo hooo! The bad news is that you got a hotel that charges for parking, you've got a car, and now may end up paying more than your savings in parking fees; you might have been able to find a hotel with either free parking or a parking package that would have ended up being cheaper and/or better bang for your buck. Similarly with airlines you may have booked on one that charges for luggage (as most do now days) and the overall cost might be higher than if you had gotten a more expensive fare with an airline that gives you a bag or two "for free."

Now don't get me wrong, I use Priceline & Hotwire fairly frequently, but you need to know that the "deal" comes with a fair amount of fine-print and/or has some potential pitfalls.

Hope this helps,

hlo

Hingham...
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6. Re: Priceline: Name your own price

My sincere thanks to you folks who provided feedback on my question. Information is powerful stuff!

7. Re: Priceline: Name your own price

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