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Hospitality Club and Airbnb Partnership

Veit, the hospitality club founder, comes with a nice surprise: using Airbnb to generate money for himself.

Hospitality Club and Airbnb have partnered to support one another in our shared vision to bring people together. We are very excited about this partnership since it allows us as a community to further spread the idea of hospitality exchange and at the same time raise much-needed funds by doing something we love anyway – hosting!


11 Responses to “Hospitality Club and Airbnb Partnership”

  • Thanks for sharing Robino. In some ways, I’m actually impressed that HC beat CS to that punch! I dare say CS Inc and their VC dollars have some more elaborate profit generating scheme in mind. I’ll be interested to watch how this “partnership” develops.

  • We’ll hopefully get funds and new members for HC through this partnership. Thanks for the post, I don’t dare to hope for any objectivity here, so now turning this thread over to the haters and trolls :-)

  • Veit, good to know you read what’s posted here.

    People keep asking me if I know what the legal and tax structure of Hospitality Club is. Unfortunately I can’t find anything on your web site. Where can I find that information?

  • haha Viet finally sold out! Now if he does not make HC finances transparent could that get Airbnb into trouble with their finances?

  • Veit … well why don’t you come back on CS forum and copy/paste what you were saying about HC …
    Pretty pathetic…

  • “whenever you host an Airbnb traveler, the money they pay to Airbnb will go directly to HC as a donation, and you can continue to treat your guests as guests and not as paying customers.”

    That’s a contradiction – do you really believe people can’t see your bullshit for what it is, dickhead? We could also treat you (Veit) as honest, kind-hearted, and transparent, but that would also be denying reality. The “guests” are still paying customers, and they certainly won’t think of themselves as anything else.

    They might say, “oh, that’s nice, you’re donating the market-rate fee you require from me to someone else; who’s the deserving recipient? An orphanage? A homeless shelter, or food bank? The school softball team?

    “Uh, this dude named Veit…”

    So basically, Veit opened (sold out) his directory listing of users willing to host without exchanging money, to be exploited by AirBnB, to make their list of _paid_ crash-pads even larger.

    But the people who _do_ use AirBnB to make some money from their empty rooms/apartments, will now kindly decide to let (potentially) even more people stay in their place, but will then give the money they would’ve collected as a rental fee, to Veit.


    “Hospitality Club and Airbnb have partnered to support one another in our shared vision to bring people together.”

    Wrong. AirBnB is purely a profit making venture, web directory, and booking tool. Nothing more. No different than Orbitz or Travelocity for airplane seats. Veit is also solely interested in enriching himself, just like a business.

    There’s also the recent horror story of a young woman who rented her place via AirBnB, and the meth’-addicts who stayed there who destroyed everything in it and stole her personal property (including family heirlooms) and identity documents. AirBnB wasn’t going to do a damn thing about it, but then suddenly found some concern when she blogged about it. (The power of open publishing!)

    HospEx is not about making money, is about “hospitality exchange” without any money changing hands!

    Yeah Veit, when are you going to publish your financials? It would seem “never,” “your hospitality is my profit” and “the money’s all mine!” are your answers. Is that correct?

  • Just wrote a mail to the Finanzamt Dresden-Nord (tax agency responsible for the area HC is run from) and kindly asked if I can tax-deduct my donations done to the “non-profit” HC and if it is correct or tax fraud what Veit is trying there. Looking as much forward to their answer as Veit should look forward to their upcoming questions.

    It’s such a big big joke how he tries to sell out his users, letting them host paying customers and putting the money to his pocket, calling it “support”. Support for what?

    The 50 EUR/month server bill????

    AirBnB is paying 72 Euros for each customer you bring to them ( and I’m pretty sure that they agreed on even more, as the hosts that come from HC to AirBnB are experienced ones == value for the AirBnB Inc. PLUS the percentage he will get for each ‘hosting’ – rofl. How stupid can the users that use this be?

    R.I.P. HC + CS, long live BeWelcome.

  • Olaf Schade “R.I.P. HC + CS, long live BeWelcome.”

    maybe you meant BeVolunteer?

  • “Airbnb’s Lodging Gets Tested, Yielding a Mixed Bag”


    For any fan of disruptive consumer technologies, watching Airbnb’s rise has been all sorts of fun.

    Since its debut in 2008, the company, based in San Francisco, has booked more than two million nights of lodging all over the world. But it’s not a hotel. Instead, it allows people to rent out their entire home or apartment — or just a room or a bed — to others who find Marriott boring or want to see life in a new area as a local would.

    Today, Airbnb has about 100,000 listings in 19,000 cities and towns in 192 countries. The company takes a small cut from both host and guest and has a friendly-looking Web site connecting both parties.

    For hosts, Airbnb can be a great way to make extra money. Guests can rent family-size lodgings that hotels can’t offer, or they can sleep on a couch and use the savings to eat and drink more richly.

    But my hypothesis since the beginning has been that the best use for Airbnb is as a hotel replacement in cities like New York, where rates are generally absurd.

    So this week, I took an Airbnb lap of New York City, staying in five places in different neighborhoods to see how much I could save and what I’d have to put up with to achieve those savings.

    Along the way, I rented from three hosts who were probably breaking the law, encountered one who was tipsy, another in revealing pajamas and saw two bugs, only one of which was alive.

    I stayed in two one-room studios, one one-bedroom apartment, the second bedroom of a two-bedroom unit and behind a screen in a living room next to a window with an unobstructed view of Lower Manhattan.

    Here’s what I learned:

    FLAKINESS Airbnb’s nice-looking booking engine is only as good as the hosts standing behind it. And many don’t bother to keep the calendars on their listing pages up to date. That makes the site’s search-by-date function maddeningly misleading.

    For every reservation request for which I got a reply (hosts must decide whether or not to accept your booking; more on that later) for an open date, there was at least one other that yielded a reply telling me that the place was actually unavailable.

    Some people didn’t reply at all, and others did days later, which is a problem for anyone traveling soon.

    An Airbnb spokesman, Christopher Lukezic, said the company had a sort of flakiness algorithm that recognized and eventually punished such behavior, taking steps up to and including removal of listings.

    It took me a fair bit of work over many days to set up five nights of stays. What I didn’t realize is that many Airbnb users will send out several reservation requests at once; this is fine with the company, and it says its systems will not allow guests (or hosts) to double-book accidentally.

    When it comes to the financial transaction, the casualness ends. Airbnb charges you before you check in to deter no-shows. But the hosts don’t get the money until a day or so after your arrival, just in case the lodging is not as advertised.

    DISCRIMINATION Because hosts can reject guest bookings for any reason, you have no way of knowing whether there is truly no room at the inn or whether they find you untrustworthy.

    I was turned away by, among others, a teenager renting out his brother’s old room and a family with four children. Did they not like my picture? Or the fact that I was a man traveling alone?

    I did start the week with one positive review on my profile from a previous host, which should have helped some. Guests can review hosts, too. (I did not, by the way, mention my affiliation with The New York Times in my Airbnb user profile, and it didn’t come up in conversation during my stays. I did let my hosts all know about my plan to write this column after I checked out.)

    CANCELLATIONS Even after all that work, hosts can (and do) cancel confirmed reservations at the last minute. So can hotels if they are overbooked, but my hunch, given the number of reviews mentioning this, is that it happens at Airbnb more than it does at hotels.

    When it does, as it did to me in California several months ago, Airbnb tries to find you another place to stay and may compensate you with a voucher, too.

    Hosts can suffer if enough reviewers mention this problem. Airbnb can also penalize them by lowering where they show up in the site’s search results.

    SECURITY Over the summer, Airbnb badly bungled a situation where one of its hosts returned from a trip to find that her home had been ransacked. But potential guests may not feel 100 percent comfortable either.

    You may want to book only with hosts who have many positive reviews. That said, you may still find it hard to shake the feeling that there is a stranger in the apartment with you or one with a key somewhere else in town.

    CLEANLINESS The apartment where I stayed in Prospect Heights in Brooklyn smelled reassuringly of bleach. On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, there were a couple of bobby pins strewn on the floor.

    In Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan, there were long dark hairs on the toilet seat, but I was willing to let that go because the whole place had such a lovely scent.

    And yes, I checked for bedbugs. Nothing doing. But there was a small, live insect on the toilet seat of that Upper West Side studio in the middle of the night and a larger dead one on the floor next to the bed.

    COMFORT There are no brand standards on Airbnb, no heavenly bed or anything like it. I encountered both high thread counts and scratchy sheets.

    The best-looking place — that Battery Park City two-bedroom — had the least comfortable mattress. So there’s no predicting what you’ll experience, and reviews from previous guests may not help much.

    FEES Airbnb charges both the hosts and the guests, hitting the latter with a service fee of 6 to 12 percent of the room rate.

    The hosts, meanwhile, are free to take a security deposit and charge a cleaning fee, which I’ve never seen at a hotel before. I paid $50 one night and saw others as high as $100.

    NOISE Hotels have their peace-and-quiet challenges, and Airbnb is its own mystery on this front. On my New York tour, I slept through the night only once, on the 30th floor of a building with a fan blowing.

    Elsewhere, I was roused by scavengers ravaging the recycling bins, a relentless banging radiator, a giggling host and a profane order to shut a building’s door.

    THE LAW Airbnb’s name alludes to bed-and-breakfast establishments, which typically are subject to various regulations, as are innkeepers and hoteliers.

    In New York, there’s a new law that prohibits people in residential buildings with three or more units from renting out the entire apartment for short-term stays.

    Three of my five hosts appeared to be breaking that law. Airbnb also knows that a large number of its New York hosts (and others in areas with similar rules) are probably breaking it. Yet it continues to help them do so, even though it could root out those listings pretty easily, especially in big cities where the rules are quite clear.

    So why doesn’t the company do this? Mr. Lukezic, the company spokesman, fell silent when I asked. His outside public relations counsel intervened and asked me to send the question in writing. The next day, she sent me the following statement: “Airbnb is a marketplace that operates in over 19,000 cities worldwide. All users, when they agree to our terms of service, agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.”

    But what if someone were burned alive in a law-violating apartment, and one of the company’s executives had to explain to a jury why it continued to allow the listings to appear? You can imagine the beeline of plaintiffs’ lawyers eager to take on such cases.

    BOTTOM LINE In spite of all of this, I would return to four of the five places I stayed this week without much hesitation. Why? The savings are just so good. I spent a total of $922 on my five-night Airbnb binge, $724 less than the $1,646 that comparable (or worse) hotels nearby would have cost, according to Expedia.

    Then again, I’m an adventurous 6-foot-3, 215-pound man who doesn’t worry so much about safety. I also have an intense curiosity about out-of-the-ordinary consumer experiences and enjoy beating the system.

    That’s just me, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if a vast majority of the grown-up population ends up feeling very differently about all of this.

  • “An Airbnb Tour of New York City”

    “My roommate. This one was dead, unlike the smaller one I spotted on the toilet seat.”

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