The fact is clients are shopping around. People are interested to get the best possible deal on their blue cruise holidays and what better way to get this kind of deal, then to send your request to 10 different agencies – and let them compete for your money.
In theory, this truly sounds like a perfect thing, however, in this BLOG POST, I will describe you exactly what usually happens when clients shop around too much.
So read this, so that you know exactly what happens when you send an inquiry to BLUE CRUISE agency – FROM AGENCY POINT OF VIEW.
STEP NO.1 – received inquiry
Let’s say you send an inquiry to rent a gulet in Croatia. You are interested to rent a gulet with 6 cabins in Croatia in July and you inform the agency about your budget, which is around 12.000 €/week (for example).
When an agent gets your inquiry, his motivation is normally very high and he definitively wishes to get you the best possible blue cruise deal.
STEP NO.2 – market research
12.000 € is not a small amount of money and small booking, so agent will make a market research and use all his experience and expertise and gulet knowledge to figure out which gulet might be perfect for you, which gulet owner will be willing to give a good discount and most important: WHICH BLUE CRUISE WILL BRING YOU BACK!
A good agent will not only think about selling you a gulet and earn as much as possible. The good agent will think about LONGER RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU as a client. Gulets are such a remarkable way of travel that is everything is done properly – YOU WILL BE BACK.
And that is why to an agent it is also very very important to put you on a gulet, where you will get MORE FOR YOUR MONEY!
STEP NO.3 – it is a small world we live in
So the agent will now see which gulets might be the best for you. It can be from 5 or 10 different gulets and next step is trying to get the best possible deal for a client.
So the agent will check and call several gulet owners and try to get the best possible deal for you. And as client sent this request to 5 or even more agencies, here is what happens.
Lots of times (actually most of the time) agencies check for similar gulets. So to more agencies, the request is sent, the higher chance you have agencies will check the same gulets.
So if for example, 3 different agencies check the prices and the status of 1 gulet, here is what happens:
1) OWNER will tell the agency that they are the third agency asking for the same thing.
2) AGENCY will learn this, and immediately her motivation will be much lower as they are aware the chance to actually get a booking will be much lower.
3) There are 2 types of agencies in the market. As you have GOOD CARS and BAD CARS, you have NICE HOUSES and UGLY HOUSES, you also have GOOD AGENCIES and LOUSY AGENCIES. What will happen? A good agency is usually the agency that works hard for their clients, they make good business and they make sure clients get what they paid for – and for this, they also expect a commission (people tend to forget travel agencies are not charity organizations). A lousy agency is usually not making very good business and the best way they get the business is that they offer larger discounts, which are usually deducted from their agency commission.
This means you will get a bit better price and additional discount, however, the agency that will make a booking will be 100% oriented to get your commission-only…..which will not be high also…..and after they get the money from you….their work will be done. If you will need any assistance or any additional work from them will be needed – you can expect very very poor support.
4) When I said the motivation of a good agency will go down, it does not mean they will not continue to work hard for you. They will do their job professionally but there is always a human factor involved…and you can be sure the effort will not be the same anymore.
5) And there is also GULET OWNER PART. If there is 1 group asking for his gulet, he will be highly motivated to get this group. Negotiations will be possible and the flexibility of the owner will be present. However, if gulet owner gets 3 or more requests for the same dates, he will think about 3 things:
a) There is much demand for my gulet, so I will drop down my prices to nobody.
b) Agencies are competing between each other to get this deal…I will not lower my prices as they will lower their commissions and the one that will go down the most will get the booking (read point no.3 again)
c) If this client sent a request to so many different agencies, it means it is a tough client that will cause only problems on the board. If I get this group, I wish to get a lot of money for it as I do not wish to suffer for anything…so I will not lower the price!!
So if there is more demand for a single inquiry the negotiations will be almost impossible.
The blue cruise market is a small market, where everybody knows everybody, and if you send your request to more agencies, they will know that. And when they find out it is almost for sure, your chances to get BEST VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY will be SLIM.
If you send your request to a large number of agencies, here is what will happen:
a) you will probably get the cheapest offer
b) the discount will usually come from 2 things:
– an agency will give it to you from their commission on “LET’S GET YOUR MONEY AND THEN SCREW YOU BASIS”
– or the discount will come from saving on services – which means you will pay the smallest amount of money possible, but this money will be then deducted from your services (worst quality and quantity of food, less cruising, less air condition, bad attitude from the owner and the crew, very little flexibility….)
As mentioned in this post before, there is 2 type of agencies in the market. Good ones and lousy ones. But the bad news is you do not know which ones are good ones and which ones are lousy ones. And the thing is for 12.000 € worth of booking (or less of course or more) you should know what you are getting. So my last advice is that you do shop around…but do it in a smart way.
Here is what I would do:
1) check the internet and check the agencies on the first 2 pages of google. These agencies are usually investing some money in marketing, which means they are legit.
2) if you find gulet owners on those 2 pages you can also contact them directly, but I think this is not the smartest thing in the World. Lots of times agency will give you a better price than the owner, and if something goes wrong on the gulet, it is always good to have somebody to BACK YOU UP. And gulet owners will always say their gulet is the best, while the agency will give you realistic advice about what is truly the best FOR YOU.
3) then I would take 15 minutes of time and check minimum 10 – 15 web pages that have the info and offers on their page according to what I am searching for.
4) and after that, I would contact 3 of them (maximum) that give me the best feeling and ask them several questions (not just give me an offer type of request, but I would ask questions about gulet crew, request info about food on board and ask an opinion on itinerary)…More questions you ask – better for you.
5) and then the 2 agencies that give me the best and most professional and fastest possible feedback I would go with them.
6) and if there is a competition between 2 agencies, I would tell both agencies about that. If you tell an agency that they gave you professional feedback and that you would like to finalize with them, however just to be sure you truly got a good deal you are dealing with 1 more agency (you should also give the agency info with whom they are in competition with).
In this case, the agency will know you are honest with them, they will have to work hard for you and the combination of this 2 things will make 100% sure you will get the best possible deal!
I hope this post will show you why it is good, to be honest, and not deal with 2 many people. Do your homework of course, but you have to know the blue cruise market is a small market, and that you are dealing with other people also..so there is always a human factor involved.
If you wish to try out our agency, we invite you to do 2 things:
1) go to the home page and check 4 things which you have to know when booking a blue cruise holiday
2) send us a request and ask us as many questions as you can remember…and we will do our best to reply to them professionally 🙂
To come to home page click on this link: Blue cruise holidays!