Priceline bidding is one of the best ways to score hotel deals. However, there are some tricks you need to learn to maximize your savings.
Previously, I wrote a post on the basics of Priceline bidding strategies. To help you see how it works in real life, I also documented every step of my bidding process in another post on how much to bid on Priceline.
But even with all those guides, the fact remains that Priceline bidding is pretty complicated, so I wasn’t surprised when I received this comment on one of my Priceline posts:
Sounds complex with all the safe zone stuff etc these days most people have more than one email address and I’m sure in the past I just changed the email address to restart the bidding process?
Wait, what is a safe zone? And why the need for all these tricks?
Priceline only allows you to make one bid every 24 hours, unless you make a significant change to your hotel criteria, eg. stay dates, star rating or location.
The safe zone method works by changing your search criteria on Priceline bit by bit, so you can bid multiple times in one 24-hour period, without you actually having to compromise on any of your criteria.
The safe zone bidding method is a way to take advantage of a loophole in the system, while still playing by Priceline’s rules.
So…is there an easier way to get extra bids on Priceline?
I know Priceline bidding is a lot of work. And I admit I’ve tried a few ways to cheat the system, like using different names and email addresses. I’m not sure if things used to be different, but as far as I know it’s not possible to make multiple bids by just changing the email address.
However, it may be possible to earn extra bids by making a few other changes.
Assuming a new identity on Priceline
Let’s say you’ve used up your bids for the day and you still want to make a few more bids. You’d have to make Priceline think you’re a different bidder. Because you’d basically have to assume a different identity, let’s call this the undercover method of Priceline bidding.
If you want Priceline to think you’re a different bidder, you’d have to change all the details that Priceline tracks. Here’s a list of those tracked details:
1. Email address
2. Credit card
3. Computer (by placing a cookie)
Additionally, Priceline may also track the following things:
4. Credit card billing address
5. IP address
Don’t worry about using the same name, by the way. Lots of people have common names.
To fool Priceline into thinking you’re a different bidder, you’d have to create a new Priceline account, using:
- A different email address (Detail #1)
- A different credit card (#2).
- You’d also have to clear your browser cache and cookies. I’ve heard that using a different browser or going on the Chrome Incognito / Safari Private mode could also work. (#3)
Some people say that even after doing all the above, Priceline still wouldn’t let them bid. Other things you can try:
- Use a different billing address for your second credit card (#4)
- Make the bid on a different device or Internet network. Use your smartphone data service or use the Wi-Fi at your local library or Starbucks (#5).
How does this compare to the safe zone method?
The safe zone method, complex as it is, has been the best Priceline bidding strategy for me and it has always worked really well. It does take a while to understand how it works, but it gives you many extra bids in return for your effort.
The undercover strategy, on the other hand, is a lot more straightforward. However, it’s not necessarily simpler or easier in practice.
Each time I change my identity, I only get one more chance to make a bid. To get multiple extra bids, I’d have to create multiple identities. Don’t forget that Priceline may (or may not) track your IP address, so you may (or may not) have to either use Internet at a different physical location or do some tech acrobatics.
In other words, I think the undercover strategy provides little return for the amount of work involved.
So this undercover Priceline bidding strategy is useless then?
The undercover strategy may be useful when used in conjunction with the safe zone method. If you run out of the extra bids that you get from the safe zone method, you can use your alternate account and start bidding again.
Priceline keeps their bidding process pretty opaque, which makes sense considering their business model. As much as I try to be thorough here, the information here is based not on official word from Priceline, but from the experiences of other travelers, so there’s some guesswork involved.
In other words, your experience may be different for some mysterious reason that only Priceline knows. Hope it works for you, though!