Question: I recently was quoting a trip and found the price on Expedia $50 less than I could find with any of our preferred suppliers. I was very bummed to lose the booking, but someone suggested that I try to “price-match”. How does that work?Most travel tour operators/wholesalers have policies in place that allow them to price-match a booking when you (or your client) are finding the EXACT SAME TRIP for less money on a competitor’s website or booking engine. Policies vary by supplier, but generally the following requirements must be met:
- Everything must be EXACTLY the same, “Apples-to-Apples” on the trip inclusion details: The same dates, flights, resorts, room category, type of transfer, rental car size, etc.
- Most companies require you to have a dated screenshot of the competitor’s offer in order to be considered for a price-match.
- Most suppliers will not alter your commission level when price-matching, but there are some who might lower (or “cap”) your commission on a price match, especially if it is a big difference with an online Travel Agency booking engine. Some won’t price-match OTA’s (like Expedia, Travelocity, etc) at all.
- Each supplier has their own procedures in place to facilitate price-matching, but it usually involves making the booking and then emailing the competitive screen shot to a special email address for consideration. Some price-match on the spot and others may need a few hours or a day to process. When in doubt, contact the supplier’s reservation center for details on how to accurately start the price-match protocol.
So, like most things in life, it never hurts to ask! The worst that can happen is that the supplier you are wanting to book with cannot honor the request…but price-matching is an important tool that might help you hang on to those client bookings that are extremely price-sensitive. Give it a try!