Just when you thought no more clowns were going to emerge from that tiny car...
Yes, there are two new players in the overcrowded hotel booking space, each with a unique take on cost cutting.
The first, Tingo sounds like a brand of vibrator, but is actually a category of rebator (and that may be the dirtiest sentence I've ever used in this blog). It takes its model from AutoSlash, a car rental website that contacts travelers if the cost of their rental drops, allowing them to rebook at the lower rate. With Tingo, users search for hotels and gets an extensive list, including some hotels that carry a price guarantee. A booking is made, and if the price drops, the consumer gets money back. In fact, Tingo rebooks automatically and guarantees there will be no switch in room category. The customer gets a refund after their stay for any price drops.
Whether or not the actual guarantee works...well, its a wait and see. I'll try them in the coming months when I have a trip planned and see if I get any cash back (I certainly have in the past with AutoSlash.com).
Backbid.com, is just what it sounds like: a site that allows hotels (really hoteliers) to bid for your business.You make a reservation somewhere (and it has to be a refundable reservation for this to work), input it on Backbid, along with your dates, and then wait. Soon, other area hotels contact you, suggesting you abandon your initial choice and making that advice sweet with some serious discounts. In some cases, the new bids are hundreds of dollars cheaper than the original reservation.
Its an interesting concept, though I have to wonder why consumers even have to take the step of making the initial reservation. Why won't Backbid just let them input their dates and preferences and have hotels bid? My guess is that many would-be users will be turned off by this extra step.
As I said, these sites are brand-spanking new. If any of you have tried them, I'd love to hear how it turned out for you.