Holiday bidding is a thing and the perfect place to snag an affordable travel deal. Picture: Henry Marsh/Pexels
Holiday bidding is a thing and the perfect place to snag an affordable travel deal. Picture: Henry Marsh/Pexels

Now you can bid on your SA holidays at a fraction of the cost of what it’s worth

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published May 14, 2021

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Car and house bids have been around for ages, but now travellers can also bid on their holidays.

Mike Richardson started Bid on Travel, a Facebook page with 8K members, in October 2020.

With the travel sector facing severe strains due to the pandemic, he came up with an idea to entice travellers with affordable holidays. Enter the world of holiday bids.

Every week, Bid on Travel host four to five bids featuring some prestigious South African establishments. There are also deals on holidays in some African countries open to South African travellers.

Richardson told IOL Travel that demand for the holiday bids grew overnight, with people bagging deals for affordable rates –if they bid correctly.

The rules are simple. If someone wants to bid, they will comment on the relevant post in line with the opening bid (reserve price) and bid-increment requirement.

Travellers will also have to ensure that they've read all the T&Cs before they start their bid. If you win the bid, the admin will contact you with payment information. You will have 24 hours to pay for your holiday.

"There is an excitement of catching real travel bargains and it showcases the travel options available in South Africa and neighbouring countries,“ Richardson said.

"We've seen many lodges offer deals to attract the domestic market following the aftermath of Covid-19 and the loss of their international clientele due to the travel restrictions.

"With the weak travel environment in mind, we devised a financial system where we utilise distressed inventory to generate awareness and exposure. With subsequent auctions, it offers a chance at revenue for these travel establishments."

He said there had been 100 individual lots since October last year.

"People have a clear appetite for these travels deals.

“There have been very few defaulters and very few winning bids that have generated unacceptable returns for the lodges.

"Travellers have really struck gold with some deals.

“For example, an exclusive wilderness hiking trail in a reserve bordering the Kruger National Park, valued at R15 000 for two people, sold for R3 200.

"Another luxury safari experience in the Hoedspruit area, valued under R20k, sold for a low R4 200.

"While travellers are getting unbelievable deals, we found that the final winning bids average between 40 to 60% of the public rate (package value), which bodes well for these businesses.“

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