What We'll Cover
Travelers are known to scour the internet to find the best possible deals on hotels, flights, and attractions. This has led to a rise in the competitive landscape of travel sites, all promising to secure the lowest prices for users. One such site is Unsold.com, a newcomer to rival better-known sites such as Priceline and Hotel Tonight—but is it actually legit, or too good to be true? There are thousands of Unsold.com reviews (and the associated Unsoldvacations.com reviews) online, helping would-be users get a better understanding of the site and its reputation. But don’t worry about wading through thousands of reviews, we’ve don the work for you to get a better sense of what it’s like to book with Unsold.com. Here's the round-up:
First, What Is Unsold.com?
If you’ve never heard of Unsold.com, it's a travel site promising the "world's lowest airfares" as well as massive savings on hotel rooms. In some places, it says that savings are up to 50 percent; in others, it says up to 72 percent. One deal available at the time of this writing is listed at a mind-boggling 83 percent off.
How does it work? In their own words:
"Unsold.com gets access to Unsold hotel and travel deals and makes them available to members as special discount rates not available to the public."
It's a familiar model for seasoned travelers, who have been using sites like Hotwire, Priceline, and Booking.com for years. Unsold.com is a membership-based site, and it says if you find a lower price for a hotel somewhere else, your membership is free for up to a year.
You don't have to know when you're traveling—after you buy the deal, you have 24 months to complete the trip. Though, it’s worth noting that the site does not guarantee dates, explicitly calling out the fact that certain weeks and weekends may not be available. Keep this in mind if you’re interested in traveling during peak season because availability is far and away the most common issue expressed by negative reviews (more on that below). As well, you must book your dates at least 15 days in advance. The name of the hotel you're getting is only revealed after you book.
Why Are People Questioning the Legitimacy of the Site?
The prices are very very low. Some would characterize them as suspiciously low. Typically, the idea of scooping up unsold hotel rooms at a low price is based on a last-minute booking but this site claims you have two years to book after buying your deal—so the unsold rooms you could end up booking in a few weeks or months may not even be available at the time you initially buy your deal. Simultaneously, it sounds too good to be true and like quite the roll of the dice.
The website itself, as you might imagine, features a slew of glowing reviews, touting their experience and pricing as unbeatable. They're pulling those reviews from Sitejabber, where they have an average of 4.75 stars out of 5. (Unsold.com claims 4.5 stars out of 5, but that says it's based on 3,435 reviews. When you go to Sitejabber, Unsold.com reviews number over 15,000, so it seems Unsold hasn't updated that information in a while.)
Among the negative reviews, both on Sitejabber and other review sites, many of them indicate that the user's problem was taken care of by the company. Some people say their hotels were supposed to be 4- or 5-star hotels, but when it came time to book, the options weren't that nice, or the hotels were located far outside the area where the travelers wanted to visit. Let's take a closer look at some of those Unsold.com reviews and the conversations that are happening online.
Is Unsold.com a Scam? We checked their online reputation
It's hard to tell whether or not they are a scam. If they are legit, they certainly have a ton of unhappy customers to answer for. The Better Business Bureau gives it a rating of A-, but Unsold.com is not BBB accredited. The blog LoyaltyLobby in October 2020 did a little research on Unsold after a reader asked a question about the company, concluding that "... if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is." There are both positive and negative stories in the comments, and Unsold responded directly to many of the negative ones. A May 2021 article in South Africa's Travel News takes a closer look at Unsold based on some user and travel agent experiences.
This archived Reddit thread started a year ago. The user referred to it as a scam site that had been showing up as a promoted post on social media. Other users asked questions and shared their own experiences with the site, and Unsold responded to several of the comments.
It pays to note that on Sitejabber, many of the 3-star reviews say the experience has been fine so far, but the user hasn't yet booked their travel, so they're not sure how it's going to go. Some reviews noted that Unsold.com asks for a review immediately when buying the deal, so the user doesn't have the full experience of using the site—they've only bought a great deal, or what seems to be a great deal, for a hotel they haven't stayed in yet.
Positive Unsold.com Reviews
"...we had a really great experience with Unsold! The room/suite we got in Banff st Tunnel Mountain Resort for $115/night was truly an amazing deal, and no extra fees when we got there!"From Caitlin J. on Sitejabber, December 20, 2020
"We just got home from a Banff stay - Aug 16 till Aug. 19th., 2020. We stayed at the Moose Hotel but would have been happy with any of the other hotels we had a choice of. No extra charges were tacked on at checkout...."From Brenda M. on TripAdvisor, August 20, 2020
"...we just finished a trip to Boston with Unsold and want to go on another as we were pleased with the quality of the hotel and of course the savings...."From Jason D. on TripAdvisor, August 23, 2020
Negative Unsold.com Reviews
"I would not suggest anyone to buy the deals unless you are not concerned with hotel's location and the date on which you want to travel, which could mean postponing it by a month or so. After spending lot of time and energy we are unsure of what to do with our reservation at this point."From Shivesh KUMAR on Trustpilot, June 4, 2021
"Once you are registered/paid, you are locked in to a specific location. Lots of dates are blocked off. What is available is not 4-5 star.... Stay away...."From Rock Rock on Trustpilot, March 18, 2021
It’s worth noting that Unsold.com replied to both Shivesh's and Rock Rock’s comments, offering direct assistance via their support system. At the very least, it seems the company cares enough to follow up with negative reviewers and help find a solution. It also aligns with some of the neutral reviews that experienced issues but felt the company did a fair job of resolving the problem.
As you might assume, many of the negative reviews are because of availability and/or hotel quality and location. In many of those cases, an Unsold representative responds to the comment or makes an attempt to work with the user.
Notes From People Who Are Unsure
"...On sitejabber and trust pilot, they have great reviews, but for a company that claims to have been around since 2007, the only reviews and social media presence that I can see are since March 2020."From Charlotte on TripAdvisor, July 11, 2020
"I was planning a trip to the grand canyon and purchased a 3 night stay only to find out that my dates were blacked out. I did email their support team and actually got my refund today so that makes me think they're legit. The website does look sketchy which is probably why a lot of people think it's a scam."From Liz G. on Trustpilot, April 8, 2021
Should You Use Unsold.com for Your Next Vacation?
In short, no. I recommend instead that you go with booking.com's vacation packages. They are the largest most well established brand and you can sometimes get even better deals if you know how to search for them. Click on the link below to check out their current travel deals:
If you insist on giving them a shot, I can only say that it's somewhat reassuring to see that Unsold responds to comments and, according to reviews, has issued refunds when the trip didn't work out as the user expected. Based on the fact that many negative reviews are about availability, however, you might have better luck booking if your travel plans are extremely flexible, or if you don't mind if the location of the hotel is a little out of the way.
If you'd like a little more flexibility and peace of mind, then you're definitely better off using a long-trusted site like Booking.com, where you can choose your travel dates and know which hotel you're staying in before you pay. On the Reddit thread, RealUnsold noted that they are a growing company that is still working on establishing best practices and trying to keep up with demand to the best of their ability. The commenter also assured other Reddit users that they strive for 100% customer satisfaction, something that is clear in their prompt responses. Hopefully, as they continue to grow and perfect their operations, more travelers will be able to take advantage of fantastic hotel deals without hassle or concern.