What Happens If You Are Not Satisfied With a Vacation Package?

Part of the nature of taking a vacation and in particular taking advantage of the discounts available on discounter vacation auction sites is that you are always taking a risk. In the case of bidding on a vacation package you will find that the actual name of your vacation hotel or condo is not revealed until you have been awarded the bid. So if you hate staying at the Holiday Inn but then find out that the vacation you bid on is at the Holiday Inn then there might not be that much you can do about it after the fact. This is the type of disappointment that you must be prepared to take if you decide to engage in online travel auction biddings or in purchasing vacation packages that are a bit vague with the details.


However, if you find yourself the victim of a real scam when it comes to bidding on a vacation on an auction site you are not without recourse. This would be the case if promised tickets did not show up in the mail or you were sent to a land where a hotel doesn’t exit or where your reservation has been sold to someone else.  You can also nail a seller if they do not deliver the goods in a timely fashion or deliver something less valuable then they advertised when they described the travel item in the first place.


However keep in mind that when it comes to going after a seller for false advertising it can be difficult to go after a seller who is selling a vacation or hotel booking with a minimum reserve bid that is already sixty percent or less of the vacation’s value in the first place.  It might be implied that you understand that something could be wrong with the item and that is why you are on an auction site offering discount travel in the first place!


However if you are really dissatisfied, you can go after the seller of a vacation if they fail to disclose all of the relevant information about the destination or the terms of the sale.


If you run into a problem try to work it out directly with the seller with the auction web site.  Some travel auction sites are more cooperative then others if you end up having problems. Know that some auction sites like eBay do not have a comprehensive intermediary program for people who encounter problems if they purchase a bad vacation and simply encourage bad feedback as being the best revenge.


You can always file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by calling toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or visiting the FTC’s web site.

How Do Online Travel Auctions Work?

Online travel auctions are basically online markets or bazaars. The only difference is that in the case the wares sold are actually travel vacation packages.


Just as is so in any auction (online or off) sellers of vacations can offer one item at a time or multiple lots of the same item (known as Dutch or English auctions) Depending on which site you are on the travel package must go to the highest common denominator.


On almost all travel auction sites the seller of the vacation package can set a minimum bid.  This is called the reserve price, which is the lowest price that the seller will accept for the deal. Some auction travel sites disclose the reserve-bidding price during the auction and others don’t.  How exactly some of these sites work is explained in more detail later on in this book.


The bidding for each travel auction both opens closes at a scheduled time. You’ll be alerted via e-mail if someone outbids you, and then it’s decision time. Don’t get carried away. Decide in advance on the maximum amount you’ll spend, and stick to it.  Getting swept away by the competitive spirit that is generated by online bidding has led many people to pay more than market value for what is supposed to be a discounted vacation package!


After the bidding closes it is automatically disclosed who the highest bidder is.  . In the case of sales of multiple lots, the participants with the highest bids at the close of the auction are obligated to buy the items.


On some travel sites if no one bids at or above the reserve price, the auction closes without a winner. If there is a reserve price for your bid that is less (for instance one dollar on a reserve bid of ten dollars) it usually not even accepted by the site’s software.


At the close of a successful auction, the buyer and seller communicate, usually by e-mail, to arrange for payment and information about your travel package. It is usually at this point that it is revealed exactly where you are going along with any caveats such as black out dates for travel, fees, taxes and site charges.


Most travel auction sites offer all types of different payment options including credit card, debit card, personal check, cashier’s check, money order, cash on delivery and escrow services.


However, not all sellers of vacation packages on auction sites accept all of the forms of payment just mentioned; payment methods are usually thoroughly explained in the FAQ, Help or fine print sections on the auction travel web site itself.