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  1. Sandy O'Sullivan

    Thanks Terence, I’m currently planning out a six months in the UK trip for next year, and this is really helpful. So hear you on the photos… I always just assume that they are better than the property, so if it looks worse, chances are I’m not going to stay. I stayed at a fantastic place that I got through Tripadvisor that had terrible photos, but it still looked pretty okay… so I still booked it. And when I got there, I wondered why they charged so little (2200 pounds a month for a very flash property in Islington), and I am sure it’s cos they have inadequate photos. They weren’t even terrible photos, they just didn’t accurately document, and for some reason they decided black and white would be better (which I read as avoiding the ugly colours that are there, or that they think it makes it look a little classier… it doesn’t).

    So thanks again, I’ll give these guys as well as Home Away a shot when I get to doing the bookings come January (for August-December)

    1. Terence Carter

      Hi Sandy, don’t forget VRBO as well. We’ve used them a lot in the past too.
      I think it’s worthwhile for property owners at the top end to get a photographer in
      to do the photos even if it’s a student photog interested in architecture/interiors
      who will do it for their portfolio. We’ve stayed in some that made me want to be
      an architecture/interiors photographer!
      I think it will pay off if your property looks more inviting than others in the same
      price range and region.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Nicholas

    I think it’s worth mentioning that wimdu has copied airbnb right down to the graphics (or is it the other way around). I see very little if any difference between the two. I have my apt. listed on airbnb and have rented places through them around the world and have been very satisfied. For both owners and renters, the money being handled by them is great – this was always a problem for us with VRBO as we are in Mexico, and had to either ask for huge wads of cash or deal with foreign checks that take forever to clear. And taking a deposit was difficult. But these new companies deposit the dough right into my peso account, so I don’t have to deal with or even touch it. Great. And yes, more info about the owners…some of them are agents for people’s investment properties and it would be nice to know this. I just listed with wimdu, so we’ll see how it goes…

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Nicholas – thanks for your comments! Much appreciated.

      Airbnb is on our list of local travel sites we want to review, however, we haven’t used it yet. No idea which came first – there seems to have been a proliferation of similar sites in the last year or so (which is why we decided to start this series) and all have a very similar look and feel and use of language, so we will be analysing that. And I will try to find out who was ‘inspired’ by who ;)

      We’ll be taking another look at Airbnb soon, but from memory the Wimdu design was a lot simpler, whereas Airbnb was heavy on big images and went below the fold. Airbnb also updated its look fairly recently I think. To be honest, I don’t think many of them look as good as they could or should. We have a couple of favourites, but will save those comments for future reviews.

      Do let us know how you find Wimdu, and Wimdu compared to Airbnb from a property owner’s perspective.

  3. Ian Slattery

    I used it recently to book an apartment in Amsterdam and they were TERRIBLE. Obviously the quality of individual apartments isn’t entirely their fault as they are just a host website for people to list their places to rent.

    But where they do take full blame in my case is that they refused and compensation despite the place i was staying in getting flooded because the roof leaked so badly. The reason? You have to complain within 24 hours of arriving and, as it didn’t rain in the first 24 hours, i had nothing to complain about until the second day when i woke up with water all over my belongings!

    Can’t recommend at all.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Ian – thanks for your feedback! Wimdu actually claims to send inspectors in to look at all their apartments – which is what sets them apart from HomeAway, VRBO, etc, which is one of the things we liked about them – so if the apartment you rented wasn’t as good as the representation depicted on the site, then that’s a problem.

      That’s also a shame to hear they didn’t refund your money, considering what happened. I can certainly understand why you wouldn’t use them. I hate Asia Rooms and Expedia for similar reasons – both cancelled bookings on us due to over-booking of a hotel in one case, and a flight in another case – and in both cases they refused to refund the money. Prior to that, Expedia lost a couple of our bookings or never communicated them to the hotels (not sure why I ever gave them a third chance). I’ll never recommend Asia Rooms or Expedia, so I totally hear where you’re coming from.

      Thanks for dropping by with your feedback!

  4. Jody

    Wimdu doesn’t send inspectors out AT ALL. They’ve tweeked their wording now to say verified by phone. And I’m a professional host on AirBnB just now giving Wimdu a chance and so far it’s terrible. I got the strangest phone call that I could barely make out, from someone with almost zero English and just as I thought it was some call centre scam I figure out it was my verification phone call. Basically they said – do you have room for rent? I said, yes, and that was it.

    I now have my first guests from Wimdu and so far no sign of payment – they promise PayPal transfer within 24 hours but the customer service I’m getting it rotten. I’ve heard pretty bad things about the site but wanted to try, but this will probably be the first and last booking I take – especially if I end up not getting paid.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Jody

      Thank you so much for you feedback. That’s great to know, although terrible for you. I do hope you get paid; please let us know.

      I’ve emailed Wimdu to ask for comment. If we hear from them, we’ll add a para on the experience of yourself and Ian, above, and their response.

      We’ll also be reviewing AirBnB and a few other rental sites further down the track, so would love your feedback then too. We mainly hear from travellers here, so it’s also valuable to get the homeowners side.

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