I was reading the Globe and Mail on the weekend, and saw a little blurb in the travel section about a website called Off & Away. It’s a hotel suite auction site, where you can bid on 5-star luxury hotel suites for ridiculous prices (bids start at $0.25). A recent package for a 2-night stay at a posh hotel in Chicago went for $100, and 3 nights in a gorgeous suite near Cancun went for $60. Insane!
I’ve been watching the site for a few days now, trying to figure out how it works, and trying to figure out what the catch is. The catch is this – if you want to bid on a hotel package, you have to “buy” bids. And bids cost about a dollar each. I’ve watched a few auctions, and the winner has used anywhere between 20-100 bids to get the deal. Not so bad if you’re the winner, but if you’re the runner-up, you basically lose that money. Of course, Off & Away says you can use your losing bids as a credit towards booking hotels with them, but I’m assuming those aren’t the cheap ones.
Update: You can now buy bids on Off and Away from Canada. You couldn’t previously. Thanks Hilary for the tip!