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mat24



Joined: 01 May 2017
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Free to book Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

What are people's experiences of using the freetobook service for taking direct bookings? Do many/any of you use their premium services too or is it possible for a small b&b with a couple of rooms to get by on the free service (along with booking.com etc listings) alone? Looking for a way for guests who stumble on my website to be able to book without both of us breaking the bank in fees.

Many thanks!
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 443
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I use ftb without add ons. It's a bit of a faff to set up but works well for guests booking...except as I don't pay for stripe integration it's a bit clunky having to email a wave invoice for the deposit afterwards. However this allows me to check/vet bookings before they pay anything so works ok for me.
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mat24



Joined: 01 May 2017
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jenster for the info. what would you say the pros and cons of a wave account are? Thanks very much!
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 443
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only con really is that it's an extra step and another system to add guests details to, and as I said not as seamless as payment being taken when they book. But it's really very easy to create and send an invoice, easy for the guest to pay and the money arrives in my bank account a week or so later from my stripe account. Plus as I said, it's handy to check the booking before requesting any money.
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SusanMay



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 73
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spend a little while a few months ago looking into freetobook. I found it a good option, particularly as it is free, but decided not to implement for now for a couple of reasons:

(1) I have a holiday cottage and it seemed better suited to booking rooms rather than cottages. I work on a weekly price and then charge %s for fewer days, rounding to the nearest £5. With freetobook you need to charge per day. You can then offer discounts for more days but it does get a bit complicated and you end up charging £546.32 or something! Also the guest has to select that they want 1 cottage which is rather unnecessary, again better suited to booking rooms.

(2) I decided I didnít want the ability for a guest to book instantly. I prefer a little contact by email and the ability to check over the booking as a request before confirming. This is possible with freetobook but meant it wasnít gaining much over having a contact page and an online booking form. I email people the opportunity to pay by bank transfer or card (using the Wave invoicing method). I realise this may put some guest off who want to just sort in all on online in one go but I can live with that.

As you have a B & B rather than a cottage my points above are probably not applicable for you anyway! If not I'd suggest give it a go, especially as it's free.
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mat24



Joined: 01 May 2017
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the advice susanmay. it seems like all of the reasons you avoid it are the reasons it interests me! how have you found using wave? there are a lot of options out there it seems!
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SusanMay



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 73
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought my negatives may be good for you!

I use Wave as an invoicing tool and it's fine. You set up an invoice template. On this you can put your details for a bank transfer, cheque etc. But it also gives the option to pay online using a card by clicking on a link. If you have decided to add a charge for this method of payment it will add this on for you. It uses Stripe for card payment so you need to sign up with them too but itís pretty painless and itís pay as you go.

If you are keen to take the payment instantly through freetobook Wave invoicing may not be the best choice for you. Freetobook has ďadd-oní services to use Fabpay or Stripe with their website but I didn't look into it.
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 443
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I.agree with Susan may that FTB is probably better suited to b+bs than holiday rentals - for this reason it might suit you very well.
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