In December 2015, Expedia bought HomeAway / VRBO for a reported $3.9 billion dollars. Its been just over a year now, and customers are growing in frustration according to a variety of sources, as they appear to be copying Airbnb’s commission model by applying guest and service fees.
Kim Bergstrom writes a great article explaining what is happening with VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb, FlipKey, TripAdvisor and Expedia Service Fees.
GeekWire also has an excellent article explaining how VRBO/HomeAway now stacks up and competes against Airbnb. An excerpt sums it up well:
One of the biggest changes is the introduction of a traveler’s fee — also referred to as a “service fee.” Travelers who book through the HomeAway checkout process are now charged a fee that averages between 4 percent and 9 percent of the rental amount, not exceeding $499, the company says. Airbnb charges a similar fee.