RoomerTravel and CancelOn.com are two buy and sell nonrefundable hotel room services. First lets dig into the concept of this hotel booking tool that is quite different than your direct hotel booking.
How many times have you had things come up and could not make any changes or cancel your hotel reservation loosing the deposit or the total stay amount? Roomer and Cancel On are here to help with this problem that has gotten worse as hotels are looking for more ways to add to their bottom line with cancellation fees. Not only that but some hotels such as Starwood charge you for a full stay if you have plans change and need to leave a day early. This new concept would help with that as well. We do not want to abandon a room we will no longer use but are still charged for.
With Roomer you can list your unused nonrefundable hotel rooms on their website for a discount of what you paid. People looking to get a deal last minute or on “canceled” reservations can browse the site looking for cut price hotel rooms that others no longer plan to stay in. The service provides name changes with the hotel and charges sellers up to 15% fee of the price they sell a room but there is no charge for listing a room.
While they claim to have cheap rooms they are offering it may work out best for the seller in the ability to sell hotel rooms that would otherwise go unused. The prices look more expensive than my AAA rate on Hilton.com or the MVP rate when I compared hotels and condos for rent in Pensacola Beach, Florida. It seems like they are using the regular search database you see on other hotel sites such as Kayak unless a room has been re-rented out so perhaps I am not showing any of those. The best way to use the site is to sort by discount then you can find some hot deals such as a Hilton in NYC Midtown for $90 a night but you have to book the days provided. Cancel On seemed to have less in their database but maybe used the same part of the time. I preferred Roomer Travel for the discounts on the homepage other than that the site may be worthless for trying to steal a deal.
Roomer doesn’t list any resort or fees but their cut of 15% is significant when you consider that sellers are already discounting their rooms. Although I found that some are over-pricing the rooms for SXSW and big weekends such as Memorial Day. You are better off booking with the hotel sites directly if they are the same price as Roomer or Cancel On because you want to earn your loyalty points. This would be a great way to try and earn elite status by booking rooms and reselling them. Although some hotels may not let that happen with the name change. You could also possibly sell free night certificates for high value rooms to earn some cash on the side but you could be taking a risk with that. Overall it’s something nice to have but until it works out to my advantage I will not spend much time with it.