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Airbnb Intensifies Efforts to Eliminate Counterfeit Listings, Erasing 59,000 This Year

by Andrew Wright
8 comments
Airbnb Counterfeit Listings

Counterfeit listings have become a significant challenge for Airbnb, undermining consumer trust and compelling the company to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to counter fraudulent activities.

Airbnb has announced that it successfully eliminated 59,000 counterfeit listings while averting an additional 157,000 from being added to the platform this year.

According to a recent survey commissioned by the company, fake listings and excessive cleaning fees have been highlighted as primary concerns by its user base. Other issues include the high costs associated with renting.

The San Francisco-based firm revealed that following the implementation of consumer-centric sorting features that focus on all-inclusive pricing, over 260,000 listings have either reduced or eliminated their cleaning fees.

The alteration in the method of displaying prices aims to discourage hosts from advertising low initial costs while adding hidden fees later. However, it is worth noting that only approximately one-third of Airbnb renters have taken advantage of this feature.

In an interview, CEO Brian Chesky commented that there has been considerable feedback indicating that Airbnb’s affordability has declined. He added that the pricing adjustments are beginning to show positive effects and that additional strategies are under development.

Chesky also revealed that Airbnb is exploring technologies to enable more frequent price adjustments by hosts, similar to pricing models used by airlines and hotels. This approach would encourage hosts to lower rates during low-demand periods while also allowing them to increase rates during high-demand seasons.

To further combat the prevalence of fraudulent listings, Airbnb plans to initiate a verification process for all listings in its top five markets, which include the United States and the United Kingdom.

Chesky emphasized that while counterfeit listings impose refund and rebooking costs on the company, the greatest impact is on Airbnb’s reputation. He stated, “If users can’t rely on the authenticity of a booking, the alternative is opting for a traditional hotel stay.”

To improve listing verification, the company will utilize AI technologies. Hosts will be required to physically enter the property and open the Airbnb application. GPS will then confirm the correct address, and AI algorithms will be employed to compare real-time photos with the images presented in the listing.

Beginning in February, listings in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, and Australia that successfully complete the verification process will receive a “verified” icon. The company plans to extend this verification process to an additional 30 countries starting late next year.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Airbnb Counterfeit Listings

What measures has Airbnb taken to combat fake listings?

Airbnb has removed 59,000 counterfeit listings and prevented another 157,000 from being added to the platform this year. The company is also planning to initiate a verification process for all listings in its top five markets, which include the United States and the United Kingdom.

How is Airbnb using technology to verify listings?

Airbnb plans to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to help with the verification process. Hosts will be required to enter the property physically, open the Airbnb application, and allow GPS to confirm the location. AI will then compare real-time photographs with those presented in the online listing.

What changes has Airbnb made to its pricing model?

Airbnb has introduced consumer-centric sorting features focusing on all-inclusive pricing. As a result, over 260,000 listings have either reduced or eliminated their cleaning fees. Additionally, the company is exploring technologies that would allow hosts to adjust prices more frequently, akin to pricing models used by airlines and hotels.

What are the main concerns that Airbnb users have according to a recent survey?

The primary concerns highlighted by Airbnb users in a recent company-commissioned survey are fake listings and high cleaning fees. There is also a general desire among users for more affordable rental options.

How does Airbnb plan to address concerns related to its reputation?

The company is keen on tackling fraudulent listings as they not only impose refund and rebooking costs but also pose a significant risk to Airbnb’s reputation. CEO Brian Chesky emphasized that the authenticity of a booking is crucial, failing which users may opt for traditional hotel stays.

What are Airbnb’s future plans for listing verification?

Starting in February, listings in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, and Australia that pass the verification test will receive a “verified” icon. Airbnb plans to extend this verification process to an additional 30 countries starting late next year.

What percentage of Airbnb renters are using the new pricing display feature?

Approximately one-third of Airbnb renters are taking advantage of the new feature that focuses on all-inclusive pricing, designed to discourage hosts from advertising low initial costs while adding on hidden fees later.

More about Airbnb Counterfeit Listings

  • Airbnb’s Official Statement on Counterfeit Listings
  • Survey Results on Airbnb User Concerns
  • Artificial Intelligence in Fraud Prevention
  • Pricing Models in the Sharing Economy
  • Short-term Rental Regulations in the United States and United Kingdom
  • Airbnb’s Past and Future Verification Plans
  • Consumer Trust in the Sharing Economy

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8 comments

KevinD September 20, 2023 - 5:31 pm

The whole verification process sounds thorough. Curious to see if it actually helps cut down on scams.

Reply
Mike S. September 20, 2023 - 7:30 pm

Wow, 59k fake listings removed? That’s huge. I’ve always been a bit paranoid abt booking a place and it turning out to be a scam. Good to see Airbnb taking action.

Reply
Elaine_Q September 20, 2023 - 9:06 pm

verification in 30 more countries, that’s a good start. But what about the rest? There are more than 190 countries in the world.

Reply
ChrisP September 20, 2023 - 10:42 pm

Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. Airbnb better get this right if they wanna stay competitive.

Reply
Rob_T September 21, 2023 - 2:38 am

Honestly, those cleaning fees are a deal-breaker. Glad they’re doing something abt it but why’d it take a survey to figure that out?

Reply
TimR September 21, 2023 - 4:00 am

I get the whole focus on rep, but how bout making it cheaper again? Used to be a lot more affordable.

Reply
SaraM September 21, 2023 - 8:49 am

So only one-third are using the new pricing feature? Sounds like Airbnb needs to do a better job of letting people know it’s there.

Reply
JennyO September 21, 2023 - 12:37 pm

Interesting to see how they’re using AI for this. Tech really is changing how we trust ppl online, huh?

Reply

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