Posted by: morgansparadise | October 4, 2012

Getting Started with a New Business

The world of Internet marketing can be confusing even for a technology pro.  I’ve been in the computer business for over 20 years, so I understand the methods, but how does one put a value on the variety of sites that are out there?

Everyone says Trip Advisor is THE site on which to be listed.  But there’s also AirBnB and and a host of others.  The free listings are a no brainer, but how many marketing dollars should I throw at these various sites?

Trip Advisor is $400/yr and offers a free listing with no contact info, so we can be seen there, but not easily contacted.

AirBnB has a free listing available, but the site has an issue that won’t allow me to create a site in Panama because of a phone number problem:

It seems that the telephone country code won’t change for Panama.

Then there’s which offer packages from $75 to $438/yr.  Nothing free.

The only way to know which is best would be to try them all, but when the budget is tight one just can’t buy all of the most expensive options.

I guess I’ll try the inexpensive option on and the Trip Advisor site to start.  I’ll contact AirBnB to figure out what’s up with their sign up page.

Please let me know if you’ve used any of these sites and what you think of them.


The tech support folks at AirBnB were helpful and got the phone number issue resolved.  I then experienced an Address issue which their tech support informed me that they have a geolocator service to resolve; however that service isn’t available for free listings.  I’ll keep working with them, but I won’t spend any money with them until I’m convinced that they can meet my needs.

Final Update:

After another e-mail exchange with their tech support I was able to get the address entered.  Turns out to be an Internet Explorer issue according to them.  I tried Safari on my iPad and Chrome from my laptop to no avail, then mysteriously the problem was resolved and I got the AirBandB site to accept my address using IE after all.  So we now have an AirBandB listing.  Many thanks to Sam A. from AirBandB support.  Who diligently responded to my messages each step of the way.



  1. We use Airbnb and have gotten some traffic. Not cosidering the paid ones yet. Thank you for your post.

    • Thanks for your input Nili. I work in the technology world and I know that there will always be tech problems. The question is how will the vendor deal with the problem. So far AirBnB seems to provide a reasonable response, especially given the fact that I’m not (yet) a paying customer. I’ll post further updates once the issue is fully resolved.

  2. Darin & Karys,
    Was inquiring on your B&B and saw your posts here on marketing/airbnb:
    We have used Airbnb for our place in New Mexico – this was 8 months ago and we did the free listing. We got an inquiry and customers within 2 weeks also more inquiries but we ended up moving to our other property to fix up so put a hold on the listing. (Liked this feature)

    I liked the ease of signing up for the free listing, the customer support, and they were offering for a photographer to do the photos (we had our own up but added the professional ones too). Since we were new to the B&B thing I felt it was a warmup. I liked the free listing: you pay only when you get a customer (4% ?), and the customer pays (6%?) upon booking.
    I also liked the community “members environment they create with the secure communication for inquiries and that the customer is not charged ($ is not released to you) unless the first night goes with out a complaint. This ensures both parties are pleased with the business transaction.

    I use (as a traveler) Trip Advisor, airbnb, and B&B own sites direct. If you already come up on Trip Advisor (that’s where I found you), and have a site that when searched on … comes up – then I’m not sure I’d go for the paid yet. See how that goes.

    Coincidentally my husband and I are thinking if starting a business in
    Panama so we are doing a tour of Panama in Feb/March hope to see you…

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