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How To Sell My Hotel Reservation


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Wilma Napier



Are you unable to use a hotel reservation you made? Don’t worry, you have options. Selling your hotel reservation can help you recoup some or all of the money you spent on the booking. Whether your plans have changed or you no longer need the reservation, this guide will walk you through the process of selling your hotel reservation and maximizing your chances of a successful sale.


Travel plans can change for various reasons, such as unexpected events, schedule conflicts, or a change in destination. Instead of getting stuck with a non-refundable reservation, selling it to someone who can use it is a win-win situation. Not only will you recover some of the money you spent, but someone else will get the opportunity to stay at a great hotel.


Selling your hotel reservation can be done through various channels, including direct communication with the hotel, online reservation marketplaces, and social media platforms. Before diving into the process, it’s essential to research and understand the specific cancellation policies and terms set by the hotel. This information will help you navigate the process and know your options.


In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the steps involved in selling your hotel reservation. We will discuss how to research the hotel’s cancellation policy, contact the hotel directly, utilize online hotel reservation marketplaces, determine the price and listing details, promote your listing effectively, communicate with potential buyers, and finalize the sale. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of selling your reservation successfully and transferring ownership to the buyer seamlessly.


Keep in mind that every hotel and reservation may have unique terms and conditions, so it’s important to thoroughly review the details of your specific booking. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure that you are legally allowed to transfer your reservation to another individual, as some hotels may have restrictions on transferring bookings. Now, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of selling your hotel reservation and make the most of your unused booking.


Step 1: Research and Understand the Hotel’s Cancellation Policy

Before attempting to sell your hotel reservation, it’s essential to thoroughly research and understand the hotel’s cancellation policy. Each hotel has its own terms and conditions regarding cancellations, refunds, and reservation transfers. Familiarizing yourself with these policies will help you navigate the selling process more effectively.


Start by reviewing your reservation confirmation email or any documentation provided by the hotel. Look for information on cancellation deadlines, fees, and any restrictions on transferring the reservation. Some hotels may allow reservation transfers with no additional fees, while others may have strict limitations or charge a transfer fee.


If you’re unable to find the necessary information in your reservation confirmation, visit the hotel’s website or contact their customer service directly. Reach out to the hotel’s reservation department and inquire about their cancellation and transfer policies. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of any fees or restrictions associated with selling your reservation, as this will impact your pricing strategy and the attractiveness of your listing.


In addition to the hotel’s cancellation policies, be aware of any local laws or regulations that may affect your ability to sell your reservation. Some destinations or jurisdictions may have specific rules regarding the transfer of hotel bookings. Ensure that you are complying with any legal requirements to avoid any potential issues down the line.


Understanding the hotel’s cancellation policy will give you an idea of the potential demand for your reservation and help you set realistic expectations for the selling process. If the hotel has a flexible cancellation policy or allows transfers without fees, you may find it easier to sell your reservation. On the other hand, if the hotel has strict cancellation policies or charges hefty fees for transfers, you may need to adjust your selling approach accordingly.


By doing your due diligence and thoroughly researching the hotel’s cancellation policy, you can confidently move forward with the next steps of selling your reservation. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to make informed decisions regarding pricing, listing details, and the channels through which you’ll promote your reservation. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to selling your hotel reservation successfully.


Step 2: Contact the Hotel Directly

Once you have thoroughly researched the hotel’s cancellation policy, the next step in selling your hotel reservation is to contact the hotel directly. Direct communication with the hotel can provide valuable insights and options for transferring your reservation to another individual.


Start by locating the contact information for the hotel’s reservation or customer service department. You can typically find this information on the hotel’s website or in your reservation confirmation email. If you’re having trouble finding the contact details, a quick internet search with the hotel’s name and “reservation” or “customer service” should help you locate the correct department.


Reach out to the hotel either by phone or email, and explain your situation. Be polite and clearly state that you would like to sell your reservation due to changed plans or other circumstances. Inquire if the hotel allows reservation transfers and if there are any fees or restrictions associated with this process. Some hotels may have specific procedures in place for transferring reservations, while others may outright refuse to allow transfers.


During your conversation or correspondence, take note of any important details or instructions provided by the hotel. They may require specific documentation, authorization forms, or may even handle the reservation transfer themselves. It’s crucial to follow their instructions and provide any necessary information promptly to ensure a smooth transfer process.


If the hotel permits reservation transfers and you’ve obtained the required information and procedures, you can proceed with finding a buyer for your reservation. However, if the hotel doesn’t allow transfers or imposes significant fees, you may need to explore other options, such as online hotel reservation marketplaces.


Keep in mind that contacting the hotel directly is the most straightforward way to sell your reservation. Additionally, it allows you to establish a clear line of communication with the hotel in case any issues arise during the transfer process. While not all hotels may accommodate reservation transfers, it’s worth exploring this option before considering alternative methods.


Remember, maintaining a respectful and professional tone while communicating with the hotel is essential. Hotel staff are more likely to assist you if you approach the situation politely and explain your circumstances clearly. By establishing good communication with the hotel, you increase your chances of navigating the reservation transfer process successfully.


Step 3: Utilize Online Hotel Reservation Marketplaces

If contacting the hotel directly doesn’t yield favorable results or if the hotel doesn’t allow reservation transfers, another option to sell your hotel reservation is to utilize online hotel reservation marketplaces. These platforms provide a marketplace where individuals can buy and sell hotel reservations, offering a wider reach and higher chances of finding a buyer.


There are numerous online hotel reservation marketplaces available, each with its own features and user base. Some popular options include TransferTravel, Roomer, Cancelon, and SpareFare. Before listing your reservation on any platform, it’s recommended to research their terms and fees to ensure they align with your needs and expectations.


To list your reservation on an online marketplace, start by creating an account on the platform of your choice. Provide the necessary details about your reservation, including the hotel name, dates of stay, room type, and any other relevant information. Be as detailed and accurate as possible to attract potential buyers.


Additionally, consider including enticing details about the hotel’s amenities, location, and any perks or benefits that come with the reservation. Highlighting the value and unique aspects of your reservation can make it more appealing to potential buyers.


When setting the price for your reservation, be realistic and competitive. Research similar listings on the platform to get a sense of the market value and adjust your price accordingly. Keep in mind that buyers are looking to save money, so offering a reasonable discount compared to the hotel’s standard rates can make your listing more appealing.


Once your listing is live, actively promote it through your social media channels or other relevant online communities. Sharing your listing with friends, family, or travel groups can help spread the word and increase the chances of finding a buyer. Don’t forget to include attractive photos of the hotel, if possible, to further entice potential buyers.


When a potential buyer shows interest in your reservation, respond promptly and provide any additional information they request. Be transparent about the transfer process and any fees or requirements set by the hotel. This level of openness will build trust with potential buyers and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.


Once you have negotiated the terms with a buyer, it’s important to coordinate with the online marketplace and the hotel to facilitate the transfer. Follow any instructions provided by the platform and ensure that all necessary documentation is completed accurately and submitted on time.


Utilizing online hotel reservation marketplaces can significantly widen your pool of potential buyers and increase the chances of selling your reservation. These platforms provide a convenient and secure way for buyers and sellers to connect and complete the transfer process. By leveraging these marketplaces, you can increase your chances of finding a buyer and successfully selling your hotel reservation.


Step 4: Determine the Price and Listing Details

One of the most critical factors in selling your hotel reservation successfully is determining the right price and providing accurate listing details. Pricing your reservation competitively and providing comprehensive information will increase its appeal and attract potential buyers. Here are some steps to help you in this process.


Start by researching the average rates for similar hotel rooms during your travel dates. Websites like Booking.com, Expedia, and Hotels.com can provide insight into the typical pricing for the specific hotel and room type. Take into consideration any additional amenities, perks, or special features that your reservation may offer compared to others.


Once you have a general idea of the market rates, you can determine whether you want to offer a discounted price to make your reservation more attractive to potential buyers. Consider factors such as the hotel’s cancellation policy, the demand for accommodations during your travel dates, and any new events or attractions in the area that could affect pricing.


While setting the price, it’s vital to be competitive but also realistic. Offering a reasonable discount compared to the hotel’s standard rates can make your listing more appealing. However, be cautious not to undervalue your reservation significantly, as this might raise suspicion and deter potential buyers.


When creating your listing, provide accurate and detailed information about the hotel reservation. Include essential details such as the hotel name, location, check-in and check-out dates, room type, and any additional amenities or perks included. Highlight any unique selling points, such as a balcony with a view or access to exclusive facilities.


Include high-quality photos of the hotel, if possible, to give potential buyers a visual representation of what they can expect. A picture speaks a thousand words, and attractive visuals can greatly enhance the appeal of your listing.


Be transparent about the reservation’s cancellation policy and any transfer or administration fees imposed by the hotel. It’s essential to provide potential buyers with clear information on what to expect and any potential costs they may incur. This transparency builds trust and increases the likelihood of a successful sale.


Lastly, consider offering additional perks or incentives to make your reservation more attractive. This could include complimentary breakfast, spa access, or free parking. These extras can help differentiate your listing from others and make it more appealing to potential buyers.


By carefully determining the price and providing accurate and comprehensive listing details, you can increase the chances of selling your hotel reservation quickly and successfully. A competitive price coupled with enticing listing details will attract potential buyers and give them confidence in making a purchase.


Step 5: Promote Your Hotel Reservation Listing

Promoting your hotel reservation listing is crucial to reach a wider audience and increase the chances of finding a buyer. By utilizing effective promotional strategies, you can attract potential buyers who are actively searching for hotel accommodations. Here are some tactics to help you promote your listing effectively.


1. Utilize social media: Leverage your social media platforms to spread the word about your hotel reservation. Share your listing on your personal profiles, travel-related groups, and relevant community pages. Encourage your friends and followers to share the information with their network to increase visibility.


2. Word-of-mouth: Inform your friends, family, and colleagues about your hotel reservation listing. They may know someone who is planning a trip and could be interested in purchasing your reservation. Personal recommendations can significantly increase the likelihood of finding a buyer.


3. Online travel forums: Participate in online travel forums and discussion boards. Engage in conversations, answer questions, and mention that you have a hotel reservation available for sale. Be mindful of forum rules and guidelines regarding self-promotion.


4. Classified ads websites: Consider advertising your hotel reservation listing on classified ads websites, such as Craigslist or Gumtree. These platforms have a wide user base, providing additional visibility for your listing.


5. Explore travel blogs and websites: Look for opportunities to feature your hotel reservation listing on travel blogs or websites. Reach out to the website owners or bloggers and offer to provide them with an exclusive discount or perk for promoting your listing to their audience.


6. Email marketing: If you have a personal mailing list or belong to any travel-related groups, send out an email informing your contacts about your hotel reservation. Be sure to highlight the unique features and benefits of your listing to capture their interest.


7. Collaborate with influencers: Connect with influencers in the travel industry who have a significant following. Offer them an exclusive discount or benefit in exchange for promoting your hotel reservation listing to their audience. Their endorsements can greatly increase the visibility of your listing.


8. Optimize your listing for search engines: Use relevant keywords and phrases in your listing title and description to improve search engine visibility. Consider what potential buyers may be searching for and include those terms in your listing text.


Remember to be proactive in promoting your hotel reservation listing. The more exposure it receives, the higher the chances of finding a buyer. Experiment with different promotional strategies and monitor their effectiveness. Be responsive to inquiries and provide additional information promptly to keep potential buyers engaged.


By implementing these promotional tactics, you can increase the visibility of your hotel reservation listing and attract potential buyers who are actively searching for accommodations. With a targeted and strategic approach to promotion, you’ll increase your chances of selling your reservation efficiently and successfully.


Step 6: Communicate with Potential Buyers

Once potential buyers show interest in your hotel reservation, effective communication is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. Open and timely communication will build trust and help potential buyers feel confident in their decision to purchase your reservation. Here are some tips for communicating with potential buyers:


1. Respond promptly: When a potential buyer reaches out to inquire about your reservation, make it a priority to respond in a timely manner. Prompt responses show you are serious about selling and can help maintain the buyer’s interest.


2. Be transparent and honest: Provide accurate and detailed information about your reservation. Be transparent about the transfer process, any fees involved, and any other relevant details. Honesty builds trust and helps potential buyers make informed decisions.


3. Answer questions thoroughly: Be prepared to answer any questions potential buyers may have about the reservation, such as check-in and check-out times, room amenities, or hotel policies. Providing detailed and helpful answers will increase the buyer’s confidence in making the purchase.


4. Stay professional and polite: Maintain a professional and respectful tone when communicating with potential buyers. Remember that their decision to purchase your reservation is important to them, so it’s essential to keep the interaction positive and courteous.


5. Provide additional documentation, if required: If the hotel or the online marketplace requires additional documentation for the transfer process, such as authorization forms or proof of reservation ownership, be prompt in providing them. Failure to provide the necessary documents may lead to delays or cancellation of the transfer.


6. Negotiate terms, if needed: Be open to negotiating the terms of the sale if a potential buyer requests changes. This could include adjusting the price, offering additional perks, or modifying the reservation dates. Flexibility can help close the deal and satisfy the buyer’s specific needs.


7. Keep records of communication: Maintain a record of all communication with potential buyers, including emails, messages, or any other form of correspondence. This documentation can come in handy in case of any disputes or misunderstandings.


8. Confirm the buyer’s details: Before finalizing the sale, confirm the buyer’s contact information, including their full name and email address. This ensures accurate transfer of the reservation and minimizes the risk of any errors or miscommunications.


Remember, effective communication is key to successfully selling your hotel reservation. Maintaining a professional and proactive approach throughout the process will help build trust, provide a positive experience for potential buyers, and increase the likelihood of a smooth transaction.


Step 7: Finalize the Sale and Transfer Reservation Ownership

Congratulations! You’ve found a buyer for your hotel reservation. Now it’s time to finalize the sale and transfer the reservation ownership seamlessly. Following these steps will help ensure a smooth transaction:


1. Confirm pricing and terms: Double-check and confirm the agreed-upon price and any negotiated terms with the buyer. Ensure that both parties are on the same page regarding the costs, payment method, and any additional inclusions or modifications.


2. Arrange payment: Determine the preferred method of payment with the buyer. Options may include bank transfers, PayPal, or other secure payment platforms. Always prioritize safety and security when processing financial transactions.


3. Transfer reservation ownership: Contact the hotel or the online marketplace to initiate the transfer process. Follow their instructions and provide any required documentation or authorization forms. Ensure that the buyer’s details are accurately provided to avoid any confusion during the transfer.


4. Confirm receipt of payment: Once you have received the payment from the buyer, confirm its receipt and notify them that the transaction is complete. This step provides reassurance to the buyer and allows them to proceed with confidence.


5. Update reservation details: Communicate with the hotel and update the reservation details to reflect the new owner’s information. Provide the hotel with the buyer’s name and contact details to ensure a seamless check-in process.


6. Provide necessary documentation: If required by the hotel or the online marketplace, provide the buyer with any relevant documentation, such as reservation confirmation emails, transfer authorization forms, or proof of ownership. These documents may be needed during the check-in process for verification purposes.


7. Offer assistance if needed: Be available to assist the buyer in case they encounter any issues during the check-in or stay. Providing your contact information or offering guidance can help ensure a positive experience for the new reservation owner.


8. Leave feedback and reviews: After the transaction is complete, consider leaving feedback and reviews for the buyer and the online marketplace, if applicable. This helps build trust within the community and provides valuable information for future buyers and sellers.


By following these steps, you can successfully finalize the sale and transfer ownership of your hotel reservation. Accurate communication, prompt execution of necessary documentation, and maintaining a helpful attitude during the process will contribute to a positive experience for both parties involved.



Selling your hotel reservation can be a practical solution when your travel plans change or you no longer need the booking. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of successfully selling your reservation while recouping some or all of your expenses. Let’s recap the key points covered:


During your journey to sell your hotel reservation, it’s important to research and understand the hotel’s cancellation policy, as this will inform your decision-making process. Contacting the hotel directly can provide valuable insights and options for transferring your reservation. If direct communication doesn’t yield favorable results, utilizing online hotel reservation marketplaces can broaden your reach and connect you with potential buyers.


Determining the right price for your reservation, providing accurate listing details, and effectively promoting your listing are crucial for attracting potential buyers. Transparent and timely communication with buyers is key to building trust and facilitating a smooth transaction. Finally, you can finalize the sale by confirming the pricing and terms, arranging payment, and transferring reservation ownership in coordination with the hotel.


Remember, each hotel reservation and selling situation is unique, so it’s important to adapt these steps to your specific circumstances. Additionally, always comply with legal requirements and policies set by the hotel or third-party platforms when selling your reservation.


By using a combination of research, effective communication, and promotion strategies, you can increase your chances of successfully selling your hotel reservation and providing someone else with the opportunity to enjoy a memorable stay. Whether it’s through direct contact with the hotel, online marketplaces, or a combination of both, this guide has provided you with the tools and insights needed to navigate the process.


Remember to always conduct your transaction in a safe and secure manner and be mindful of any potential risks associated with selling your reservation. With patience, persistence, and a proactive approach, you can turn your unused hotel reservation into a valuable asset and ensure a positive outcome for both you and the buyer.