When a Guest makes a booking request, they are asked to pay a 10% deposit via PayPal or credit/debit card. This becomes our commission only on successful bookings. Why?
No hidden fees
We looked at how other sites charge their users and we decided to do all we can to avoid up-front costs to the Host and those annoying 'credit card fees' or 'booking charges' which ultimately add onto the price that you think you are going to pay.
Price of stay: £120
- NO Credit Card Fee £2.75
- NO Cleaning Fees £25
- NO Booking Charges £5
Total fee payable = £120
Total fee displayed:
Total fee paid:
Where does it go?
Here is how the 10% is distributed:
For every £10 in commission received, we pay:
- £2.00 VAT
- £0.60 payment processing fees
- £1.80 web development (maintenance and development)
- £2.20 support staff
- £1.90 everything else (Insurance, hosting, phone bills, tax - everything!)
Estimated costs per £10 commission = £8.50
Profit to TheatreDigsBooker = £1.50
As we reach our optimal number of Hosts and Guests, the cost per booking will go down but the reality is that to operate on the scale that is needed to actually be a solution for our customers, we need to pay professional web-developers the going rate, pay our support team to deal with all manner of questions and ensure our systems have the integrity required to reliably provide the service our thousands of customers depend on on a daily basis.
No Upfront Fees
We do not charge any registration fees for Hosts or Guests so there is no risk to either party.
No Full Payment Upfront
We also do not currently support full payment at the time of booking. Unlike most other commercial letting platforms who;
- charge the full amount upfront
- charge in excess of 10% commission
- charge cleaning and booking fees to the Guest
- operate seasonal and dynamic pricing to charge as much as the market will bear
Our aim is to keep costs as low as possible to benefit the majority of the theatre profession who often need to book up to a year's worth of accommodation when they only receive payment for that accommodation at the time they stay there.
Holiday bookings are entirely different in that paying in full for one week's holiday six months ahead is deemed normal. However, imagine trying to pay for several months' worth of accommodation in advance - especially before even being paid for it.
This is an unfortunate side-effect of the idiosyncratic theatre industry in the UK and until there is an complete change in the way the industry pays for their companies' accommodation, we have to try to make best of the situation as it is and make booking safe and manageable for all concerned.
To see how this differs from commercial platforms who operate dynamic and seasonal pricing, see How do we differ from AirBnB?
No Cancellation Fees
Not all bookings are accepted and some fall through. Whether it is the Guest or the Host that cancels the booking, we retain no part of the deposit paid. We pass it on and absorb the administrative costs incurred.
We do not penalise a Guest for having to cancel a booking. Instead we merely offer the 10% deposit to the Host by way of some compensation.
Similarly, we do not penalise the Host for having to cancel a booking.
We hope that cancellations that are not replaced with similar bookings are minimal and over the long-term, any loss is easily mitigated by the many successful bookings and knowledge that the Host and Guest community generally look after each other as best they can.
Share the Cost
Because all the fees are paid by the Host, some Hosts choose to increase their prices and share the cost of online booking with the Guest. Because theatre professionals are given such a limited budget for accommodation we ask our Hosts to maintain the lowest price they can manage in the knowledge that they are supporting the theatre industry and their local theatre.
We have worked very closely with existing theatre digs Hosts to ensure that we make it as easy as possible to 'go online' so they can be where the majority of their Guests search for accommodation. We are also working with theatres and touring companies to help revolutionise the old system. We have processed more than 2000 YEARS worth of successful bookings and regularly meet the accommodation requirements of more than 50% of the entire multi-night touring community. When combined with the increased ease with which to receive bookings, we believe our commission fees offer great value to all parties.
If you would like any more information on the commission process, please get in touch.