Here are quotes taken from the Airbnb website pertaining to fees and commissions, and our opinion on what it means.
Guest Service Fee:
Many guests are unaware they are being charged a fee just to book a rental unit using Airbnb. This fee does not go to the rental owner/manager, it goes to Airbnb. If one had to guess at what the average rate is, given the information provided, I think it is reasonable to speculate it at 10%.
“To help cover the costs of running Airbnb, we charge guests a service fee every time a reservation is confirmed. The amount of this service fee varies and is based on a percentage of the reservation subtotal (before fees and taxes).”
“The exact amount of the service fee is displayed before guests confirm a booking. Guest service fees are typically 6-12% but can be higher or lower depending on the specifics of the reservation.”
Host Service Fee:
Not only does the guest pay a fee, but also, so does the host, the rental unit owner/manager. Here is what they say about the Airbnb Host Service Fee:
“To help cover the costs of processing guest payments, we charge hosts a service fee every time a reservation is completed. The amount of this service fee is calculated from the reservation subtotal (before fees and taxes).”.
They do not list a range for what this fee is, they simply say to visit your account transaction history, and check how much was actually taken out.
I did one booking using Airbnb, rented a room, and as a host, I was charged just over a 3% commission, it seems they rounded up to the nearest dollar.
A 3% fee is not bad, so why not just publish that they charge a 3% fee? We will speculate, that the more bookings a host gets using Airbnb, the more this fee will increase. Hosts are less likely to complain about higher fees the more they make. If anyone has information confirming or conflicting with this guess, please let us know?
Therefore, we will speculate this fee is averaged out to be around 5%. But wait, there’s more:
Certain cities, countries and regions will be charged VAT fee’s. Sometimes both the host and the guest are charged.
“Airbnb charges VAT on its service fees for customers from the Albania, European Union, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, and Switzerland. In Japan, JCT applies to the hosts and the guests. Airbnb is also required to collect VAT on its services fees from all users who contract with Airbnb China.”
We won’t speculate on this number, as it is too variable, and it does not appear that any of it goes towards Airbnb’s business. But my guess is, if they are charging a VAT fee, if it pertains to your country, then probably both the guest service and host service fee’s will go up to account for the extra transaction work.
We think a total fee of 15% per booking, paid by both guest and owner, is a pretty fair estimate of how much Airbnb charges. So essentially, if you book a 7 night stay at a rental costing $285 per night, you pay a total of $2000 for that stay… approximately $300 of that transaction will go to Airbnb.