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AblazeRich2

Free Booking & Payment System for B&B

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Hi All,

Looking for a free booking and payment system for a Bed and Breakfast with multiple rooms at different prices. Anyone have any recommendations.

 

Also having trouble getting google maps to work. It is saying something about a Javascript console.... Any ideas?

Thanks all!

 

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You might be lucky and find a free one but most have a one off payment or subscription model.

I've tried loads of the booking plugins and they are all rubbish. Which is why I build my own these days. It's the payment part that is the difficult bit. Paypay is easy, stripe less so and worldpay is a complete pain.

Have you set up your google maps API correctly? And note that you now need to give Google your CC details if you want to continue to use the service. You get the first $200/month free, after that you have to pay.

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Thanks Browser Bugs, do they have a wordpress version?

I'm still searching for something cheaper. I told my client that I could find a free one.

I have heard you can connect some of the free booking systems up with WooCommerce, might that be a way around it? Anyone have any experience with that.

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There are booking extensions for woocommerce. For example: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-hotel-booking-woocommerce/

But there is nearly always a cost. Why is your client so averse to paying for anything? The cost will be recouped by the first few bookings.

The booking system Browser bugs suggested can be integrated with WordPress, you would just need to buy the developers version.

 

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told my client that I could find a free one, as some of them are ambiguously worded and I thought that some were free, they already haggled me down a bit on price, and I don't want them to say that the cost should be carried by me.

Anyway I thought I would let you know that I found a free one called Pinpoint Booking System, which has tons of great stuff like linking to the Air Bnb calendar, free paypal payment, but only one calendar on the free version. Still its only 50bucks to upgrade so I think this one is the main contender at the moment

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12 hours ago, AblazeRich2 said:

told my client that I could find a free one, as some of them are ambiguously worded and I thought that some were free, they already haggled me down a bit on price, and I don't want them to say that the cost should be carried by me.

Anyway I thought I would let you know that I found a free one called Pinpoint Booking System, which has tons of great stuff like linking to the Air Bnb calendar, free paypal payment, but only one calendar on the free version. Still its only 50bucks to upgrade so I think this one is the main contender at the moment

Damn I hate cheap ass clients. They will have to learn to live with one calendar or cough up the jaw dropping $50 lol.

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turned out that it isn't that Pinpoint Booking system isn't that great for our needs. Also the 50 bucks advertised within the plugin turned out to be closer to 200bucks if we wanted the life time version.... Otherwise its 70 per year

No real way to design the style of the calendar (apart from CSS) Which is fine, I guess.

Can only sync with Air Bnb and Google Calendar, NO ICAL integration! (very misleading advertising regarding this)

My client wants to be able to sync her booking system with multiple sites such as Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Expedia, etc. They mostly seem to use the ICAL .ics format. Surely there must be a half decent booking system out there that can just link these all up?

I thought of a work around of having them all link up with Air bnb and then have Air bnb link via Pinpoint to our booking system on our site, but talking to the technical support they say that wouldn't work (although not 100% he understands what I am saying as I think he is in Romania).

Does anyone have any experience in this here?

For example:

 if Expedia tells Air bnb that a room is booked and it then becomes blanked off on their calendar system, wouldn't that then be passed onto our website the next time Pinpoint synced up with Air Bnb?

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40 minutes ago, AblazeRich2 said:

I thought of a work around of having them all link up with Air bnb and then have Air bnb link via Pinpoint to our booking system on our site, but talking to the technical support they say that wouldn't work (although not 100% he understands what I am saying as I think he is in Romania).

Does anyone have any experience in this here?

For example:

 if Expedia tells Air bnb that a room is booked and it then becomes blanked off on their calendar system, wouldn't that then be passed onto our website the next time Pinpoint synced up with Air Bnb?

Not necessarily, the data might be synced one way, it depends on the integration they have setup. In most cases you need something to pull the data back down, as it won't automatically sync back up. For example, I could have a scheduled task that runs every 5 mins to pull new sign-up data from Mailchimp into a WP site. Unless I request the data from Mailchimp's API, it's not automatically going to run itself and sync up without being told to. If you think of how a server works in a basic sense, or HTTP in this case, you make a request, you get a response back, and the connection closes. Unless you have something making that request, or keeping the connection open, you won't get any data.

I don't say this often, but I'd honestly advise refunding and walking away. The problem is, this can be an expensive problem, and the client is relying on a free solution. Multiple integrations on anything is tricky, let alone bookings, and the maintenance of keeping them all in sync can be time consuming. You have to consider that for every system you integrate with (Tripadvisor, Expedia etc) every one is subject to API changes.

Third-party plugins don't solve problems like this. You're putting all of your chips on it working, if you're not able to debug it and fix it yourself, you're completely reliant on that developer keeping on top of it, and it's not uncommon for developers to just ditch their own product because they lose interest. If you have a plugin, that stopped being updated for a few months, and the Tripadvisor sync stopped working, how long would it be until it started affecting business?

I wish I had some answers, maybe someone will, but everything I can think of involves throwing money at it. I think they will have to opt for a manual process, build them something that can handle the calendar and payments, and every time they get an email from a third-party they just have to manually go in and update the other services and their own site. If they have so many bookings that this is troublesome, they need to look at investing more into solving the problem.

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Thanks Jack, 

I'm aware of having to swap the Ical link codes back and forth between air bnb and the pinpoint booking system. I assume it works that way between expedia, trip advisor etc too (with air bnb). It's just that Pinpoint can only sync with Air Bnb. I was hoping that if everything synced up well with Air bnb that info would be passed back to the website. But the customer care guy seemed to think it would only sync back sales made by Air bnb and not those days received to it from trip advisor etc.

The client knows she will have to pay something for it and has accepted that now.

We just need a decent solution. The original quote was just to sync with Air bnb, so I may have to point that out to her. But as always with these projects, things get added on as we go along. 

Edited by AblazeRich2

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Syncing is complicated. You usually need different scripts for each platform and it just increases the complexity and cost of the project.

She only has a BandB so isn’t dealing with thousands of bookings. It’s going to be far simpler for her to manually update the availability calendar. What you could do is build a plugin that lets her select a date and make a room unavailable. When a confirmation email arrives it would take a few seconds to access a webpage, select the date and confirm the booking. This way there would be not restrictions on where the booking is made, she could be listed on dozens of websites.

Edited by fisicx

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I did a trial a while back it's not as integrated as you think. It's an external service - they leave your site and go to the smoobu booking site.

But it does work and for €19/month it's not too expensive.

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