Use PERMUTATIONS to maximize free rebids!!!

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Use PERMUTATIONS to maximize free rebids!!!

verkuilb
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verkuilb
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Joined: August 10th, 2002, 10:46 am

October 24th, 2005, 10:04 pm #1

Have you ever planned to start a Priceline bid, had three or four rebid zones, and wished you had many more? Maybe you’d like to use one or two for true “lowball” bids, just to see if they could work. Or maybe you’re wanting to increase your bid only $1 per rebid attempt, just to make sure you get accepted at the lowest possible price. Well, read on--this may be good news for you!

Many BFT users who have read the Hotel FAQ are under the belief that the number of free rebids available is equal to the number of free rebid zones in the bidding area. This is true if you have zero or one free rebid zone available--but if you have muptiple free rebid zones to work with, this is not the case, and the number of free rebids can be significantly higher! The secret is to have an understanding of the concept of “permutation” bidding. By doing this, you can increase your number of free rebids as follows:

Free rebid zones: 0
Free rebids (traditional method): 0
Free rebids (permutation method): 0

Free rebid zones: 1
Free rebids (traditional method): 1
Free rebids (permutation method): 1

Free rebid zones: 2
Free rebids (traditional method): 2
Free rebids (permutation method): 3

Free rebid zones: 3
Free rebids (traditional method): 3
Free rebids (permutation method): 7

Free rebid zones: 4
Free rebids (traditional method): 4
Free rebids (permutation method): 15

Free rebid zones: 5
Free rebids (traditional method): 5
Free rebids (permutation method): 31

So how does this work???

When you place a bid involving multiple zones (usually your desired zone plus one or more free rebid zones), Priceline recognizes the bid as a unique (and therefore acceptable) bid if the combination of zones is not an exact duplicate of a previously bid combination, AND if the combination isn’t IN ITS ENTIRETY a PORTION of a previously bid combination. This means, for example, that if you’ve previously bid on zones A/B/C, you could not now bid on zones A/C (that combination was part of your previous bid), but you can now bid on zones A/B/D (a completely new combination), or on A/B/C/D (adding a zone), among many others.

So how do you maximize your possible free rebids? USE EVERY POSSIBLE COMBINATION, and IN THE CORRECT ORDER so you don’t cancel out any of your unused free rebids!

But how can you bid on A/B/D, when the rejection screen from your previous A/B/C bid doesn’t allow you to remove “C”? The secret is to START A BRAND NEW BID. When you do this, you can create any zone combination you want. It is key to maximizing your rebids--in fact, to truly maximize them, you’ll need to start a new bid on every other attempt, as you’ll see below. To start a new bid, just go back to the main Priceline screen (using the A-B link, of course!), and go through the bid process like you’re just starting.

With that, you should be ready to go! Start by assigning letters to all your zones. Give the letter “X” to your desired zone, and “A”, “B”, “C”, etc., to all your available free rebid zones. (These zones are determined in exactly the same way as traditional bidding.) Then simply start working your way down the appropriate list below! You'll cover every possible combination, avoid eliminating possible rebids by using a combination too soon, and minimize the frequency of needing to start brand new bids.

For one free rebid zone:
First bid) New bid: X
Rebid #1) Rebid screen: X, add A

For two free rebid zones:
First bid) New bid: X
Rebid #1) Rebid screen: X, add A
Rebid #2) New bid: XB
Rebid #3) Rebid screen: XB, add A

For three free rebid zones:
First bid) New bid: X
Rebid #1) Rebid screen: X, add A
Rebid #2) New bid: XB
Rebid #3) Rebid screen: XB, add A
Rebid #4) New bid: XC
Rebid #5) Rebid screen: XC, add A
Rebid #6) New bid: XBC
Rebid #7) Rebid screen: XBC, add A

For four free rebid zones:
First bid) New bid: X
Rebid #1) Rebid screen: X, add A
Rebid #2) New bid: XB
Rebid #3) Rebid screen: XB, add A
Rebid #4) New bid: XC
Rebid #5) Rebid screen: XC, add A
Rebid #6) New bid: XBC
Rebid #7) Rebid screen: XBC, add A
Rebid #8 ) New bid: XD
Rebid #9) Rebid screen: XD, add A
Rebid #10) New bid: XBD
Rebid #11) Rebid screen: XBD, add A
Rebid #12) New bid: XCD
Rebid #13) Rebid screen: XCD, add A
Rebid #14) New bid: XBCD
Rebid #15) Rebid screen: XBCD, add A

Have five free rebid zones? Just make a copy of the entire list of rebids for four zones (including the original bid), paste that copy at the end of the four zone list, and add the letter “E” to the end of each zone--you’ll now have 31 rebids. (Note that to make the four rebid zone list above, I simply copied the three rebid zone list and pasted it onto the end of itself, adding the letter “D” to the copy, thus creating rebids #8 through #15.)

And that’s all there is to it! If you have multiple acceptable desired zones, you can do the appropriate list above for each zone independently, or for all those zones combined.

I hope that helps! Good luck!

--Bill
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Colfax30
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Colfax30
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Joined: April 29th, 2002, 5:57 am

October 25th, 2005, 7:55 am #2

Welcome back from your honeymoon, Bill.

Thanks for posting this clear explanation of maximizing free rebids. There's a long thread on the same subject in the "Bidding Tips" section of the board, near the bottom of BFT's homepage. That thread started a few years ago and hasn't had any activity in a long time, so it's dropped off the first page of "Bidding Tips" and most of our readers don't see it.

Your concise explanation will be useful to newcomers to BFT who might have missed that older thread and it's also a good review for experienced bidders who encounter those situations where having more free rebids would help.

Thanks for your contributions to the board.
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verkuilb
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verkuilb
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Joined: August 10th, 2002, 10:46 am

October 25th, 2005, 5:17 pm #3

Thanks Colfax! And yes, that thread you mention is where I first learned about this practice myself--but there were enough posts in that thread by people who really didn't understand the practice very well that it became confusing, not to mention that (as you indicated) it's no longer on the first page of current posts. Hence this post, which is my follow-up from my post in the "Forum Suggestions". My personal opinion is that this (or some similar instructions) should be stickied to the top of this page, or linked within the Hotel FAQs, but that's up to you moderators.

And yes, it's good to be home, and out of Wilma's path!
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byeloe
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byeloe
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Joined: June 15th, 2002, 10:07 am

October 25th, 2005, 9:16 pm #4

For those math people

the total # of bids available is 2 to the power n
where n is the number of free rebid zones

ex 2 rebid zones then 4 total bids

3 rebid zones then 8 total bids
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Sheryl
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Sheryl
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Joined: January 16th, 2000, 4:19 pm

October 26th, 2005, 6:28 pm #5

I've just placed a new post in the Hotel FAQ category linking to this discussion.

p070.ezboard.com/fpriceli...D=10.topic~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BiddingForTravel.com can only remain a free resource through the support ofthose who benefit from the information available:
Please place all of your Priceline bids through our Priceline link.
Please check rates at Hotwire and make your bookings through our Hotwire link.
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rbchicago1
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rbchicago1
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Joined: August 16th, 2005, 12:38 am

October 27th, 2005, 4:18 am #6

By the time I got to #15, your post almost made me long for the days of old when one simply called a travel agent! Had I known it would take algebra to get a hotel room bargain, I would have paid attention in class.

Thanks for the info!
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byeloe
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byeloe
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Joined: June 15th, 2002, 10:07 am

October 27th, 2005, 1:08 pm #7

IMHO if you have done your homework, is it rarely necessary to use more than 3 or 4 bids unless your are trying $1 increments,(which doesn't always work)

So the standard rebidding method is usually sufficient
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verkuilb
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verkuilb
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Joined: August 10th, 2002, 10:46 am

October 31st, 2005, 7:47 pm #8

byeloe, generally I think you're right--but I've had times where there wasn't a whole lot of info available on a zone to do homework on. And I've also had times where there were only two or three rebid zones available--and in those situations, if you're needing three or four rebids, being able to expand those to three or seven rebids can be a big help. Also, if you're bidding on multiple nights and/or multiple rooms, having the ability to zero in on the absolute bottom dollar price (instead of raising, $5 per bid, for example, times 7 nights times 4 rooms is $140!) can save significant money. Even if you're only bidding for 1 room, one night--a $5 rebid raise is $4 more than a potentially successful $1 rebid raise, and that's $4 that you and I have more need for than Shatner does!!!
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rdonathan
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rdonathan
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Joined: February 5th, 2003, 1:27 pm

December 10th, 2005, 4:04 am #9

This is great stuff. I've been a PL user for years and never figured this one out. And there's nothing I like more than being able to zero in on the best price by increasing your bid by $1 increments to be sure you don't leave anything on the table. Also, it seems like there's a lot less info available on BFT (at least that's my off the cuff observation that BFT postings have decreased over the past year, but I might be wrong) than there used to be (maybe PL isn't selling as many hotel rooms as in the past) and I usually bid at the last minute, so maximizing the number of rebids is really important. I wish there were more rebids on 3 star hotels in the places I usually go - so many cities have very few rebid opportunities for 3 stars. I wish we had a thread on "virtual free rebids" - i.e. where certain zones are always very high and can be used as a free rebid for other zones. With the reduced number of postings on BFT, this might be hard to do. Anyways, thanks for posting this insightful tip.
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broon97
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broon97
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Joined: March 7th, 2006, 6:15 pm

March 7th, 2006, 11:15 am #10

Puzzled by what is meant by "go back to Main Priceline scree (using the A/B Link). Please clarify
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