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Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Cozumel Mexico
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Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

Many automobile rental companies are willing to rent cars as much as 50% off their normal tarrif. If rental car companies are doing this (not advertised, just willing to deal) then you can probably deal for hotel rooms, vacation rentals ... well, just about everything but the price of "beer".

If you are wanting to vacation in Cozumel, do the same as if you were buying a blanket in the flea market... talk price!!!

Ft. Worth
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1. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

Why not beer?

Colorado Springs
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2. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

There are no bargains to be had in Cozumel. I've tried bargaining directly with the hotels, checking all of the bargain sites [expedia, hotel.com, orbitz, worryfree, etc etc]. Also been emailing directly to condo owners, hotels etc.

Even though their occupancy rates are at the lowest rates in many years, the prices are the highest tht i've ever paid. This goes for house rentals, hotel room, bed and breakfasts, everything. Nobody will budge an inch on price... believe me i've tried.

Condo and house owners would rather let the places sit empty than lower their price to get somebody in there. I don't get it.

I have yet to book 2 rooms for our 10 day trip coming up on 10/23 because a deal hasn't broken out yet.

I think the logic is that since they are broke, the need the best possible price.

Supply and demand means nothing I guess... oh well off to shop some more.

Airfare was the highest that i've paid in 20 trips as well.

Anybody want to rent out an empty 2 bedroom beach house condo or house in town ?

Cozumel, Mexico
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3. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

Jim is correct but, I belive, mostly it needs to be an in person situation to get the deep discount . I recently had friends come to Cozumel with no reservations since they knew of the low occupancy and they were able to get exceptional deals on hotels and car rentals. I believe its more likely with locally owned since the people at the large resorts are given little or no power to negotiate rates.

Low occupancy is the case in all the area with almost no place above 50 percent and Cozumel at 30 and Tulum at 20. Yet, if you look at websites or book through a tour operator, you see few exceptional deals. Many of the large resorts are choosing to lay off employees and shut down parts of the resort rather than give deep discounts.

Cozumel, Mexico
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4. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

I sympathize with MyPC8MyBrain, but hotels are in a better position give discounts than individual condo owners as they have to "keep the lights on" no matter what. You can probably do a better job calling the hotel directly vs. Expedia and the like.

(El Coz wisely shuts down an entire wing to save money. Airlines reduce the number of empty seats by dropping flights.)

For a condo owner, it's a math equation and some emotional ties to their property:

Let's say the rent rate for a week is $1400 for a summer week. A condo owner's typical expenses for a week will include:

Credit Card Fees at 3%: $52

Rental commission at 20-30%: $420

Electricity per week: $100 (Yes, the doors get left open when the AC is on.)

Bottled water for guest: $20

Maid Service: $120

Cleaning Supplies: $15

Phone: $8

Wear and Tear $20

Maintenance and Repairs: $20?

That's $775 dollars out the door before the guest even shows up. These disappear if they condo is empty.

Fixed costs the condo owner has no matter whether it is leased or not:

Condo fees-

Insurance-

Satellite-

Internet-

Local Property Maintenance Fee-

Accounting and Property Taxes-

Mortgage- if any. (While this is a biggie, there's no way that the rent rates generated cover the mortgage.)

There are a few condo rental companies that will offer last minute discounts. In the end, they "make" more money than the condo owner via fees and commissions. Their goal is to generate commissions without regard to how much it costs the owner to operate the place. Get them in, up-sell them something, get a commission, get them out. If the guest actually sees one of their local property managers vs. a card in the door, they are lucky. I know, I used to use one of "those guys". Never again. You can easily find them on Google.

The other side of this is concern as to how a guest will treat a condo owner's place. For many, their island condos are a second home and an eventual place to retire to. The owners really don't want to see their place torn up. Does a condo owner really want to rent to someone whose only goal is to see how cheap they can get it? I've seen it time and time again, that the less expensive a place is to rent the less regard as guest will have for it.

How do you tell which ones are probably the ones where you can get deal with? Look at their website for the following items as these are typically "throw aways" once they break:

Plastic furniture on the balcony- it may even say "Corona" on them.

Limited artwork on the walls or bought in the tourist areas.

Limited furniture or sparsely furnished.

What do the beds and bedding look like?

Particle board furniture. (doesn't last in the humidity)

Plain white ceiling fans.

One TV.

A small or no stereo vs. a home theater/DVD/CD.

Look at the kitchen and the appliances-are they brand names? Do they all match or is the coffee pot black and the blender white? Is the kitchen small?

If you see a preponderance of the above, those will be the owners that are more willing to discount their fees as it is "rental or investment property", not their personal home they are willing to share with a complete stranger.

You may also find a better deal on non-oceanfront property than oceanfront.

Google different variants of what you are looking for:

Cozumel Condominium

Cozumel Condo

Oceanfront Condominium Cozumel, and etc.

Good luck with your search. You may get lucky and find a deal!

Worldwide
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5. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

Robert, that's a fascinating insight that you've shared here, and I suspect that it is as you say -not a big enough deal for the large operators to do anything about it and the small operators (who clearly recognize the need and opportunity when approached in person) may not have the resources to reach out to those travelers who might be in the market - of only they knew more about it (and could lock in some bargains before they left home).

If I were living there, I would take this opportunity to develop a common forum on a web page through which the small operators could freely make their availilities known and reservable. If someone decides that they'd like to do that as a service to the small operators on Cozumel let me know and I will contribute the server space and bandwidth to support such a page.

Cozumel, Mexico
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6. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

Good idea, Mexitel--and thanks for the offer. I will mention it to others.

I believe it is the case, for the small operators. And many just operate more or less on a day to day basis--they wait to see who shows up and decide day by day whether or not to adjust rates. I know some, such as the Hotel Pepita, have a well established following and are not as much impacted as others. I dont recall ever seeing them adjust their rates--which are a bargain to begin with.

And, as I mentioned, the large foreign owned hotels are usually slow to react rate wise--or do the partial layoffs and shutdowns to compensate.

Cozumel, Mexico
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7. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

And good points about the condos, Mark. They come in many price ranges--and usually you get what you pay for. But I only go for the ones with the plastic Sol chairs--not a Cornona fan!

Rockport, Texas
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8. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

Excellent post Mark..

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

Mark, that's a very helpful post. Breaking down the cost like that proves that it isn't all gravy for the condo owner. Most people don't realize where the rental money goes, they just think the owner gets the majority of it.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Look for Bargains; there are many in Cozumel. -

Mark I wish more people would understand the concepts you laid out in your great post.

Brian