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I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde
Most of the time I like to stay in apartments while I’m traveling. I prefer having kitchen access and a washing machine. Sometimes I like having a flatmate or two, sometimes not. One thing is constant, though, I don’t like hotels. Usually.
I have found one exception. I keep finding myself drawn to luxury resorts. I think it corresponds to my recent choice to make sure I take real vacations. As someone who travels as part of her lifestyle, it’s easy to let “vacations” fall by the wayside. My current plan is to take a week off in months with an extra payday, which works out to four week long vacations a year.
While I’m not someone who looks for the cheapest option in any situation, I don’t like to spend tons of money when it’s not necessary. So, when I came across a Twitter ad from Sheradill, I was curious. At first looked a lot like those Earn Credits for Spending Time on the Internet sites that I used when I was much younger and quite broke, before I realized what a waste of time they really are.
I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure. ~Mae West
In the name of research (and rampant curiosity) I decided to sign up and poke around anyway. Turns out, Sheradill is a marketing vehicle for the Hip Hotels Group. They create “deals” at several of their properties, ranging from weekend, to short and long breaks, where you can get up to 90% off the list price. You can search by country, month, or length of stay.
Once you find a deal you like, you start earning credits. They have four types of credits: daily, per deal, once ever, and referral.
Daily: These are €5 each, and there are usually 4-5 per deal
Per Deal: Most of these have to do with Twitter, so you’ll need an account to use them, €10 each and 3 per deal. And once you’ve completed your stay, you can review the property for a €20 credit.
Once Ever: These are things like signing up for their newsletter and filling in your profile. These are €20 each. I was offered one in an exit intent pop up to get me to sign up. Only they’ve never given it to me, despite my emailing them.
Referral: For every referral who signs up, you get €20 (not part of the 130%)I don't like to spend tons of money when it's not necessary. So, when I came across a Sheradill,… Click To Tweet
What is life if not a gamble? ~F.E. Higgins
Now, this is where it gets a bit interesting. An additional maximum 30% of all credits goes into a community pot. So, you really get about 130% of credits you earn and 30% of credits other members earn. If you snag the deal, that is.
You see, they only offer a certain number of deals for each date/property combination. And once your credits are applied to a specific deal they are attached to that offer. No take backs.
Now, the strategy. If you choose a deal with a list price of €500, you’re shooting to get it down to €50. Let’s say that other members have added €380 to the pot, bringing the current price down to €120. That gives you €70 more to go. First use your daily credits. If there are four available at €5 each that takes care of €26 (remember the 130%). Next use your per deal credits, there are three available at €10 each, giving you another €39.
Here you have a choice. You can use one of your €20 credits to top it off. You can wait until the next day. You can just pay the additional €5. Personally, I’d choose from one of the last two. Hear me out. You can see how many people have been contributing to the deal, and if you look before you contribute, you can see when the last share was. Because if someone else buys the deal first, it’s gone. This can give you an idea of how in demand the deal is. If it’s in great demand, I’d pay the additional €5. If it’s not, I’d use just my daily credits and then wait until the following day to finish.
Pack your bags. Get ready. ~Jake Siewert
Have your credit card on hand if you think you’ll be making the purchase during your credit earning session, because Sheradill only gives you three minutes to finish the purchase once you click the buy button.
This sounds like a lot more work than it is. I’ve been earning credits for four deals, each day while I drink my morning tea. I’ve now purchased two of them, one that’s a €900 stay at a 5 star resort in Austria. I paid €90. A savings of €810 is a pretty good return for the time it takes me to drink a cup of tea.
Now, I’ve thrown a lot of math at you, so here’s a cheat sheet for using Sheradill:
- Add one day’s worth of daily credits to the rest of your non-referral credits and multiply by 1.3
- Multiply the total value of the deal by .9 and add that number to the number from step 1
- Check in every day and try to get your price down as close as you can to the number from step 2
- Don’t become emotionally attached to a deal If you do, then know your risk tolerance, because once it’s gone, it’s gone
Have you used Sheradill or another site like it? Tell us your story in the comments: