5 Things To Sell in Your Airbnb (That Guests Love)

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As short term rental hosts we’re always looking for ways to build our business, make more revenue and provide incredible hospitality experiences. One way we accomplish all three of these goals: selling items and services to guests. Think fresh flowers, a midweek cleaning, rentals… even phone chargers. Sell it, rent it, offer it as a pre-order… anything that is just too expensive to provide for free. Guests love the added amenities, we make a secondary income stream, and our extra-detailed 5-star reviews are glowing. Believe us when we say…. If you pre-stock your listing with Advil and Gatorade, guests will not only buy it, they’ll leave a review that says “you saved our lives”.

We know that upseling works, and works well. Why? Beyond being Hosts and Property Managers, we created the service that automates upselling to guests. And what started as a side-hustle has now become a booming business for us. We have close to 1,000 hosts upselling items and services – many of whom are making over $500 more per month, per listing

Your upsells and rentals, of course, need to be elevated, classy, and seen as a value-add. It’s not nickel and diming guests, it’s more about that “above and beyond” provisions like extra firewood at 1 am, that freezer full of snacks, the kayak rentals, or the ability to schedule a massage before they arrive. Hotels have long known that we’re selling “the experience and not just the room”. It’s time that the Short Term Rental industry hops on this train.

But what exactly should you sell in your listing? We’re here to give you the Airbnb-hack, Airbnb host-shop, VRBO-ready insider tips based on thousands of guest sales. 

1. Pre-arrival services: e.g. Mid-stay cleaning, birthday party decor, pre-stocked pantry, fresh flowers

Your guest generally has some “I just spent a lot of money” adrenaline right when they book. This means they are very open to purchasing helpful pre-scheduled services. These services are not only helpful, but they go a long way to making your guest look good. Imagine taking Mom away for the weekend and arriving to a nice bouquet right on the centerpiece? Yes please! Our top seller lately in this space: mid-stay cleaning (and not to toot our own horn but our technology also schedules this and notifies your cleaner). 

2. The items your guest forgot: Phone Charger, Sunblock, Toiletries

One of the saddest moments is when you get to your destination and look through your bags… only to find your <fill in the blank item you can’t live without> is nowhere in sight. But behold: you find out your host has a store that sells them! This also goes for items that guests often run out of or lose: extra beach towels, firewood, propane, chapstick, even drink mixers.

3. Anything to do with a hangover

You just never know who’s coming to your rental (although definitely make sure those house rules clearly say no parties if you’d like to avoid that) – oftentimes guests wake up and are in need of pain relief, hydration, protein bars, etc. So why not offer them a (hopefully) quick recovery? If you’ve been there… you know you’d pay $30 for Advil when you really need it!

4. Memories

Local products always sell. Coffee, tote bags, hats, soaps, etc. And anything with the name of your city or specifically the name of your rental always always sells. Guests are looking to take a memory home (after all, the word souvenir comes from the French “to remember”) and would rather have something really local over purchasing something last-minute at the airport. We have one host selling local college Christmas ornaments and she’s sold at least five so far… in the first two weeks of July. 

5. Rentals

We’ve seen not only the standard rentals like bikes and kayaks, but also margarita machines, a closet full of dress-up western wear (hello Instagram) and a full outdoor movie night setup. Get creative! Our tip for hosts: make sure your guest signs any insurance waivers before use.

Bonus points: Late check-out

Our guests ask for a late check out at our rental properties at least half of the time. And when we are able to sell it to them… they’re happy about it! About half of all sales on our platform are late check out or early check in (most Hosts charge about $50).

We’ve got tons of product ideas, and hopefully now you do too. Reach out and tell us what you’d like to sell! And check out our website for more info, videos on how to get started, and lots of ideas on what to sell. Starting your store takes under five minutes – and you can add your store to your guest book, automated messaging… and that’s it! Set it and forget it. Oh, and one more thing… the weirdest item we see selling all the time: yoga mats! Guess people feel pretty strongly about personal space while stretching. 

Use promo code AIRHOST for an instant $30 in your store after first sale.

About the Author Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Host Co, where hosts can make a digital store and effortlessly sell services, products and rentals to their guests. Annie is a STR Superhost and former Creative Director at Twitter and Facebook.