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Themed Holiday Ideas dot com
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Dusty



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 339
Location: St Cernin de Labarde, Dordogne

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:40 pm    Post subject: Themed Holiday Ideas dot com Reply with quote

Just took a call from someone representing the above named company. They offer themed holidays and are looking for owners who can provide accommodation to their clients. They don't make any money out of the properties they advertise, but offer the accommodation as an additional service to their clients. The website isn't great but the person I spoke to appeared really genuine and enthusiastic but before I go ahead and stump up the money (which isn't a lot, they charge owners £55 for 2 years listing) I was wondering if anyone else has had any dealings with them and if so what your thoughts were.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7048
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't heard of them. I wouldn't pay any money to anyone ringing me up out the blue. The only sites I would advertise on are those that appear when I do a search on Google for my chosen keywords. That at least is a known punt.

If they come up for a search for you then go for it, otherwise I'd suggest you might well be throwing good money away.

Here's their whois search that might make you think twice. https://who.is/whois/themedholidayideas.com
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Dotty



Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 737
Location: Pyrenees Orientales, France

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They rang me a couple of months or so back and sounded really enthusiastic and helpful. As I was looking for a niche market or two and it wasn't TOO expensive I decided to gamble on it!
(You don't have to give them your card details, just pay via paypal).
After setting up the ad I had a couple or 3 strange 'enquiries' almost immediately which appeared to come from them - just weird links as I recall, not obvious phishing. I did a test enquiry myself via the enquiry form on the ad on the website and that came through with a completely different (and more professional looking)format! Nothing since then though.
As they claim that their business is to be able to organise the packages of activities etc separately for the clients I'm not totally convinced that they would have enough local knowledge for all the themes they promote.
Also, I was given the impression on the phone that they would only be taking on a very limited number of properties in the area, which was one they were expanding into, and to 'act quickly to let us know if you want to be one of that limited number', but in fact that's clearly quite a large 'limited number' based on how many subsequently appeared on the website!
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Dusty



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 339
Location: St Cernin de Labarde, Dordogne

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to both of you for your replies, you have confirmed my suspicions. Like you Dotty I thought the person who called me sounded enthusiastic and since it wasn't a lot of money thought it might be worth a punt, but I wasn't convinced by the website, hence my question here. I will drop them a note back saying I wont go forward with them and letting them know why.
Thanks again
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Casscat



Joined: 05 Jul 2014
Posts: 2664
Location: AndalucŪa

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems they've just joined up here so maybe they will justify themselves...
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themedholidayideas



Joined: 14 Apr 2015
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:23 pm    Post subject: Response from Themed Holiday Ideas to unfair remarks! Reply with quote

Themed Holiday Ideas has worked hard over the past few years to build up an impeccable reputation, selling themed holidays throughout Europe. We work with our associates who are well established and based locally in the destinations we promote, enabling us to offer a huge variety of themes in so many regions. We only decided to work with property owners due to the demand of our guests requesting us to recommend places for them to stay while taking part in the activities/themes that we organise. Since working with property owners, on the whole, it has become a fruitful collaboration for both parties. We only take the amount of properties we think we will need, and they are spread out on our website by being placed under a number of different themes. As with all forms of advertising, some holidays, or properties, sell better than others, and we strive hard to promote all our owners so that they achieve some kind of profit during the 2 years they are with us, be it big or small. We simply ask a small donation from owners towards our marketing costs for promoting their properties. When you consider that we promote them under a minimum of 3 different themes on our website, include them in all our advertising, their small token fee goes a very long way! It saddens me to read the comments on this forum of people showing such lack of faith in our service, when all we are doing is running an honest, reputable business and giving property owners like yourselves the chance to pick up some extra business. These sorts of forums are not helpful to businesses like Themed Holiday Ideas who are one of the decent ones offering a good service! I realise it is hard to tell the difference if you are approached by other companies, but you can not tar everyone with the same brush. We too have to choose where we advertise, some things work and some things don't, that's the risk everyone takes in advertising, and if I had to sit and write comments on forums about every advert we are thinking about taking out or have, I'd be here for a very long time. I hope my reply has helped those who are in doubt about Themed Holiday Ideas.

Sam Taylor
Marketing Manager
Themed Holiday Ideas
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Casscat



Joined: 05 Jul 2014
Posts: 2664
Location: AndalucŪa

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sam, and welcome to the forum. If you spend a little time on here and read your way through a few of the threads you will get a handle on how often owners are approached by scammers, spammers and purveyors of empty promises and then you can perhaps understand the cynicism. When someone cold calls you and asks you to put your hand in your pocket as an act of blind faith to advertise with an outfit you have never heard of before and can barely find on the internet I think it is inevitable that there will be hesitation. Who searches for a 'themed holiday' and if they do what sort of 'themes' are they seeking? How can a standard, non-themed cottage be considered to fit the bill? It would be helpful to you and your business if you had come here to explain what your USP is rather than simply express your disappointment that we have discussed your overtures in a less than ecstatic way. You mention activities and themes but make no attempt to explain what these are and how they can possibly benefit the people you are contacting. This could be an opportunity for you to showcase your wares but so far it has just been a bit of a pity party.
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3937
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Response from Themed Holiday Ideas to unfair remarks! Reply with quote

themedholidayideas wrote:
These sorts of forums are not helpful to businesses like Themed Holiday Ideas who are one of the decent ones offering a good service

This forum could be very helpful to a business like yours, if you get its users onside. But you have not really taken advantage of that opportunity.
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Paolo
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7048
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Response from Themed Holiday Ideas to unfair remarks! Reply with quote

themedholidayideas wrote:
I hope my reply has helped those who are in doubt about Themed Holiday Ideas.

Sam Taylor
Marketing Manager
Themed Holiday Ideas


In a nutshell, no. Sorry, but you are cold calling people and you expect them to fall over backwards to sign up, even if it is a small fee? Do you have any idea of just how many companies there are out there that ask for our hard earned marketing budget that must work really hard for itself??

We have a few members here who represent their sites and the successful ones don't get off on the wrong foot by telling all the other members here that we show a lack of faith. If we had a pound/euro/dollar for the number of companies out there who ask for our money and then never deliver the goods........ Rolling Eyes
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themedholidayideas



Joined: 14 Apr 2015
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasnít planning on writing any more on this forum as I felt I had covered everything yesterday, but Casscut, you have asked some very valid questions and I would like to take this opportunity to answer you. Themed Holiday Ideas arranges activity/themed holidays such as walking, cycling, bird watching, wine tasting tours, horse riding, photography work shops, arts & crafts, historical tours and much more. People taking part in the activities/themes we offer obviously need somewhere to stay. Now they could wade through hundreds and thousands of properties on the internet which is very time consuming trying to make sure they are in the right location to where we are running the themes, or they could simply look on our website at a small selection of ideal properties to choose from in the right locations. We also thought that owners would be delighted to have this opportunity. It is well known that activity holidays normally take place outside of the hot summer season, and our guests are a generation who are no longer governed by school holidays, so by us contacting owners in certain destinations and offering them a chance to join our website, this benefits the owner in a way that they can pick up some extra bookings in what would normally be a quiet period for them. We only contact owners that have properties that would be suitable accommodation for people taking a themed holiday, i.e. right location, comfortable and affordable. Each property is carefully considered and also needs the availability that our guests require.

And Nemo we donít expect people to fall over backwards to join us, and yes we are very much aware owners have to consider carefully where they spend their advertising budget. There is no signing up with us, owners are not locked into contracts. We simply give owners the opportunity to work with us, by picking up extra bookings. If they donít want to work with us, no problem, if they do, then great we will do our very best to promote them along side our themes. We are running a business, we have our own advertising fees to pay, and work hard to promote the properties as well as our themes, and as we make no money from the accommodation, taking a small fee to help keep the owners profile high, we find perfectly acceptable as do 99% of the property owners we speak to.

Thank you everyone on this forum for your interest in Themed Holiday Ideas, and while some of you will continue to argue against what I have said (you canít please everyone in life!) hopefully many of you will respect that we are just offering an honest service to both the general public who wish to take themed holidays and property owners who wish to have some more bookings sent their way!

Paolo, hopefully that has satisfied your request for us to take advantage of your forum, and thank you for your encouragement and support.

Sam Taylor
Themed Holiday Ideas
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7048
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck to you then Sam. We hope to hear from some successful owners for whom your niche market has worked. Smile
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1370
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam, having looked at your site I do think that 'themed holiday ideas' is a good concept, and that there is bound to be people wanting to take a holiday based on one of those many listed themes. However, looking at your home page, I personally start to wonder whether yours site is 100% what it claims, or if this is in fact something of a cover for yet another holiday home listing site.

I would expect to see the home page full of photos of people enjoying the particular themes you are offering along with the countries/places where it is happening, and not those prominent advertisements for the rental properties they might choose for their accommodation.

Where they will be staying - rented cottage, spa, hotel or whatever - is very important but it is still secondary and should only be dealt with when clicking for more information.
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Shaun



Joined: 15 Jan 2016
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also took a cold call from this company.
The bait was "do you have vacancies in April?"
Naturally we do and would like to fill these.
A bit of sales pitch about what the site is then a final, almost afterthought, we have to charge a little for our costs.
Only a relatively small charge and at that point with the possible benefits of a niche market taking up some slack periods I was in favour.
On researching though I couldn't find any trace of a positive review of satisfied customers or any visible track record. Whois wasn't very helpful other than there seemed to be possibly a high number of changes.
I received an email with further detail and this concentrated a bit more on the charging.
Then I got a follow-up call.
I said that I was not really interested as I couldn't see any track-record. The caller mentioned another incoming call and hung up on me. No follow up apology or email. Not a great way of dealing with a client but if poor chance of a sale then why waste any time on me Smile
I conclude that this is indeed a scam whereas they may have some clients and a business they are primarily another, albeit niche, property lettings site.
The business model seems to be phone/internet based - spend an hour selling a slot and copying text from a site with an income of 50-60 pounds for that hours work.
No contractual follow-up or on-going cost and possibly a further bite in two years time or if other units added.

It is a good idea but doesn't appeal if no established track-record.
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brendan



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 673

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had some contact with this company a few years ago. They never followed through. If they canīt be ar*ed nor can I!
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jim22



Joined: 29 Jan 2016
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:28 pm    Post subject: Booking From Themed Holiday Ideas Reply with quote

I registered with Themed Holiday Ideas just before Christmas. They approached me in much the same way as people on this forum are saying, checking availability with me first and explaining that they need accommodation for guests while they arranged different activities. I was a bit sceptical but I was quite impressed with the website and the idea, so went for it as it was only £58 for 3 adverts and free Facebook advertising on their Facebook Holiday Club page. They put my property under 3 themes for the Poitou Charente area in France where my property is. I am relieved and very happy to have received a number of enquiries, one of which has now resulted into a paid booking, so I have made my money back and a profit, even if nothing else comes from it. I donít know how many bookings they provide owners with in general, but SHAUN, I can tell you it is not a scam. If they create the adverts, put them up on the website, and some people, like myself, get bookings from it, then it is most definitely not a scam. I think itís a gamble, yes, but then again so is all advertising. I listed my property with Chez Nous 2 years ago and got nothing back after paying a lot more than £58! Iím sure there are owners on Chez Nous that get bookings but I wasnít one of them. What works for one property owner doesnít always work for others.
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