questionshave you ever used the priceline negotiator?

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I've used priceline before with great success but I've never used the "name your own price" feature. I would prefer to know the name of the hotel before I agree to anything. Most sites have these type features now but when the family is coming along I'm not sure I trust them to find a hotel that's not only cheap but also suitable (clean, family friendly).

no jingle singing for me :-/ sorry to disappoint

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I've used Priceline a couple of times and have tried the "Name your own price" as well. Never had any problems on the Priceline end (did have some trouble with cabs and a hotel once but that wasn't Priceline's fault) and have saved a few dollars. If you're not really picky about where you stay and know your travel plans aren't going to change (you pay upfront so changes aren't allowed), it's definitely worth giving it at try.

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Nope. I am generally my own negotiator. I'll find prices online for a few hotels I want to stay at, then call them and say "I saw a price online for $NNN a night, can you do better?" I've had pretty good success with this. Some things I'll do, which I'm sure you can find online as suggestions, but I've personally had good results with:

* I'll also ask if they have any promos/specials going on.
* I'll always call the hotel directly, never the 800 number if I can avoid it.
* Explain I'm on a limited budget (generally, true) and would love to stay at their hotel but I need it to be affordable.
* Speak to a manager if possible, since they have the most leeway I have found.
* Be personable, and friendly.
* Just ask if they can do better, or give you the king room for the price of the double.. stuff like that.

I'm not a AAA member,AARP or student.. but I know you can usually get discounts with those. Anyways, I've had good luck doing it myself, and it's always worth a try!

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I have looked into it, but I want a dual queen bed room, when I tried, you get what they want to give you. My ex coworker used it and liked it.

Yes for jingle, and for added bonus I saw William do the karate chop.

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I've used it a couple of times. I got a great deal on a high class hotel on Mission Bay in San Diego several years back. Other times it was just OK. Some thoughts on this:

1) Know the areas of a city. Priceline breaks cities up into regions, and figure out which are the nice ones and which aren't. Decide before you even submit a bid which are the "places I'd like to stay" and which are the "no way in hell" areas.

2) Don't be afraid to lowball. They give you a "suggested price", which is what they want to get. Remember once you make the offer you are committed to the purchase.

3) Don't put any areas/hotel ratings that you wouldn't be happy with. As you are committed to the bid, you don't want to get stuck with some NoTell Motel with hot and cold running roaches. Nothing less that 3 stars, please.

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My husband and I used it after studying the "how to beat priceline" strategies (which basically shows you how to get nearly infinite rebid opportunites). A general outline here: http://www.komonews.com/news/tech/7516117.html

We tried for a good 40 minutes with our rebids when trying to book a flight to London, but decided not to use it in the end. It wasn't a large enough savings to make us purchase the tickets sight unseen-- not knowing which airports we'd be connecting in (trying to avoid Philadelphia, especially) nor knowing how long our layovers could be (a lot of the flights we'd searched on other sites were 8+ hour layovers so we didn't really love that idea), we decided we'd rather pay the extra $100 to be able to choose exact flights, so we ended up going through Kayak instead. We were willing to take our chances if it was going to save us $200+, but no luck there.

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@jezebelseven: Why were you trying to avoid Philadelphia? I have only been to a few airports but Philly is the one I am always flying out of. It's a pain, but I just figured thats what you have to deal with in an airport. What makes Philly worse then most? Trust me, you will not offend me, I am just curious.

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Im pretty picky about hotels so I hate using priceline for that not willing to give up the no idea where I am staying factor. Though that KOMO article was really good I may try it that way. I do like it for rental cars a car is a car is a car ....

Though latley I can beat even my name your own price with costcotravel.com

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I've never used it. I have better luck pricewise with Kayak or Hotwire. YMMV

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I've done it.
Sometimes I've gotten some pretty good deals.
Many times, I've missed by fowl fece amounts- like $5 or $10.
Why can't they just say: you can have this for $x more?

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No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night......

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@coondogg97: Mostly just read some pretty bad reviews in terms of on-time flights for this particular route. I've never actually been through it personally. It was also the one we were looking to be stuck in for 8 hours, so rarely on time + 8 hour layover before an 8 hour flight = not a thrilling prospect.

I also just generally try to avoid Newark based purely on one of my worst experiences ever there.

This time we're flying out through Toronto Pearson and back through Dulles, first time ever doing Toronto.

We were hoping to get a non-stop from Cincinnati but found out that they no longer do CVG>LGW which was our go-to option.

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I've used it a couple different times. Once for airfare and a couple times for car rentals. Great for car rentals. I don't use it for Hotels because they place you in the area you want, not the hotel you want.

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@jezebelseven: Delta at CVG has cut many of their flights, but CVG is still the second most expensive airport in the country.

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I've had great luck with it for 3-star hotels or better. I've used it many times and have never seen them rate a hotel 3 stars that I wouldn't rate 4. Always perfect. That being the case, I've tried specifying 2-star or better, and it puts me in a dump. They apparently have a huge gap between 2 and 3 stars.

Follow the steps given in jezebelseven's post above to be sure to get multiple bids so that you can start ridiculously low, and you'll pretty much always get a great hotel deal.

For flights, though, I've had far better luck with Kayak. I'll usually find a flight in Kayak, and then check Southwest and Virgin just to be sure. After booking the flight, then I go to Priceline for the hotel.

IMPORTANT: When you look a flight then leave and come back to the same flight, you will OFTEN see the prices have gone up. They haven't really. The site just knows you're interested and so rips you off. Clear your cookies and it will go back down! (Or change to another browser.) Seriously.