Firstly, go to www.priceline.com
On the "Hotels" tab, type in the city you are going to. In the example below, I've used Paris. As you will see - once you start typing the city, it will bring up a drop-down menu to select the city you are looking for.
Enter your dates and how many rooms and select "Search Hotels".
You will then be taken to a page which shows that the search is processing that looks something like this:
Once the search results are in, select the "Name Your Own Price" tab and you will see a page like the one below:
You will then need to select the area(s) of the city that you are interested in (by clicking in the tick-box). In this example, I have selected the first area shown, being Montparnasse. As you can see below:
Having done that, we see that there are no 5* properties available via Name Your Own Price - this is because the 5* option is greyed out and unable to be selected as you can see in the image above:
That being so, I will select 4* which means that it will only match my price with inventory matching
both the area of Montparnasse and being a 4* hotel. NOTE: if I were to select a 3* hotel it would look at both 3 and 4 * properties for a match. It will always look for a higher rated hotel but never for a lower rated one than you have selected.
I will then enter the price that I am bidding (note that this is not the total price that I would pay if I were successful as there are Priceline fees that are added on top. These will be shown on the following screen once I proceed and confirm the correctness of the details of the request). Here, I have gone for the extremely unrealistic US$40 per night.
Note that there is even a warning in red that the bid has very low chance of being successful - don't worry about this - even when you can be near the mark of the right bidding range you can see this. Don't let it deter you or make you bid higher than you intended to start out.
Once the desired price and the traveller's name have been entered, click on "Preview Offer" to see what the total cost would be if the offer is accepted:
On the same page, you are also able to choose whether you would like travel insurance and are asked to initial that you understand the T&Cs:
Once you have done that you will be asked to provide credit card details. "We're Ready To Get Your Hotel Room" and the request for payment information does not mean that your offer has been accepted. Priceline takes the credit card details before checking your offer against its inventory so that it can charge you immediately if you are successful:
Once you have done that and clicked on "Book Now" you will see a screen that looks something like this:
If your offer is rejected, as this one was (I changed it to $10 per night to be absolutely sure it would be so I didn't get charged but so that I could show you the process), you will see a screen like this:
If your bid is accepted you will see a screen and receive an email to the email address you provided to Priceline with the confirmation of both your successful bid and the name and address of your hotel.
So that's a quick run-down of how to use Priceline. There are more tips and tricks to it, which I will provide to you in another post.
Have any of you used Priceline Name Your Own Price? Have you had any success? What sorts of deals did you get?