Comments from sitters

Hope you’ll write a factual review and warn off other sitters from your nightmare sit.

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This discussion is fréquent!
Comparasons often meaningless
Comparing Airbnb and sitting for example…
How many sitters would rent a house + pool and garden on AIRBNB ? Or a big flat ?
For sure there must be some '‘work" to do in exchange of à free housing.
But nobody is obliged to sit 5 cats 3 dogs, 6 horses or lamas, clean à chicken house, mow a garden. Limit the work. Don’t select these offert!
I could rent my home 300 € per day. Sitters hace 3 rooms , 2 bathrooms, some came with relatives or kids… How much they would pay for that if they had to rent such a home ?
The ’ work’ is to feed 2 outdoors cats ( no litter). If i wanted to put them in a kennel, i would spend 20€ per day… but i prefer to leave them at home and not rent.

I see many listings in some fashionable towns/ regions where it would be impossible to rent an anonymous small hôtel room under 100 or 200 € per night. Where you can’t cook, where you can’t stay all day reading because the help needs to clean

Why some sitters are still complaining, as if there wad no "win win’?
Why do they choose to pet sit ? It sounds forgotten…

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With some sits, there’s no win-win for many sitters. And this forum allows folks to discuss that as they see fit.

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People are allowed to complain when what they were promised was not what they got. Works both ways.

It also works both ways on “I’m (doing my part) for free!” We hear that both from HOs and from sitters, and in both cases it’s ridiculous. You’re doing your part in exchange for the other person doing their part. It’s when one or the other doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain that we get complaints, but no one is doing it “for free”. There may be an altruistic aspect, but it’s still an exchange and is expected to be considered by both sides an even one.

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I can pay a 5 star Rover sitter $30-60/night to stay in my home. How much does a nice hotel room/airbnb for a night cost? In my location, during high season, a mediocre place is minimum $300/night. I add my car in for free when requested by the sitter. Car rentals in my city are $60-100/day, depending on season. HO takes risks of property and life/welfare of their pets in opening up their homes to virtual strangers. What is biggest risk of a sitter who can always immediately walk away from a threatening situation?
For us, we’re coming to the conclusion that short sits are simply not worth it. The time/value doesn’t make sense. For a recent short sit, the sitter asked if they could have a friend also stay, using an additional guest room and 2nd guest bathroom, and also asked for use of our vehicle. The sitter and friend, who left late in the day, didn’t bother to strip either bed, nor replace gas used in the vehicle (3/8 tank used), which had been filled to full the day before the sit as a convenience for the sitter, on top of other minor (yet annoying) things such as not straightening up throw pillows on sofas (total disarray), not clearing out frost buildup in freezer (admittedly from sitter having accidentally left freezer door open).
After this sit, we will never allow an additional guest of the sitter, and will hesitate before loaning out our car, perhaps only with near empty gas tank. These are things that shouldn’t have to be said…just knowing how to be a good guest in friends/family’s home. That’s all that is expected by us as a HO.

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Unfortunately, there are rude, selfish, inconsiderate people in various forms all over the world. For anyone who encounters them in a THS sit, whether they’re hosts or sitters, the other party will get a bad deal.

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As a sitter, I agree. Home owners complaining about the sofa pillows in disarray :man_facepalming:

Not worth the hassle. A hotel or an AirBnb is so much easier. No anxiety about stars getting deducted by overdemanding HOs. No need to be deferential and invisible like a servant.

After all the hassle of applying, interminable waiting periods, video interviews, another wait, requests to see tickets before confirming, etc etc. And then not having the address after asking three times.

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@pietkuip don’t forget sitters arriving at the sit just to find out the pets are sick and have to take multiple pills by mouth and the pet parent refusing to setup a deposit account at the vet. I had this very encounter today when I met the pet parent and was not happy at all! Apparently the cat became ill a few days ago and needs meds for two weeks. When I asked the pet parent the start and end date of the medication she said oh just give her the pills until they are all gone. I was shocked by her response as I expected her of all people to properly keep track of the meds and be able to give this information to the “complete stranger” that will be taking care of her cats. These types of pet parents are very off putting.

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Yes, I had not even mentioned the pets yet. Even perfectly healthy and well-behaved pets are a constraint on one’s schedule. And dealing with poo is not really fun.

It is just not worth it for one or two nights. For that, I rather send a request to a Couchsurfing/BeWelcome host. Or a hostel. Or sleep rough.

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Think your accounting might be off. In a city with hotels starting @ $300/night it’s doubtful that an overnight sitter would be $30-$60. I’ve lived in a city like that and $30 might get you a half hour dog walk on Rover - if the walker was five minutes away. Overnights would start at $125/night for one pet. I currently live in a city where a comfortable hotel would start at around $175/night and overnight pet care starts at $75.

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Agree that those numbers seem badly made up, but that’s really not the point of THS — it’s bartering. If so, then whoever doesn’t feel like they’re getting a reasonable deal shouldn’t do it. Shrug.

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The Rover range is actually $25-70, for housesitting in my home (just checked…again), with a couple rates in the $100 range as outliers. (Have snapshot but can’t figure out how to upload). We use a sitter quite frequently who is an airline pilot for $25/night, when in town and not flying. Many of my friends pay around $35-50/night. I had actually checked Rover right before our last THS sitter, who failed to respond to our email for 4 days the week before the sit so with lack of response, we considered canceling the sitter entirely. The other plus about Rover is the ‘local’ accountability/convenience.
The $300 night rate includes all taxes, etc. and that’s a high season estimate (which it was spring break). The week prior to our sit, we paid $300/night for a Hilton Garden Inn for family we could not accommodate. I’m sure one could find something much cheaper in a less desirable area in low season……our last THS sitter had a 1 night gap and paid less, but was approx 25 miles away.
My spouse will frequently do car rentals for local state car trips and pays $80-90/day, excluding gas used which is charged if not refilled.
I understand every circumstance is different and it sounds like THS has more value to you, which is great! I was just sharing our experience and valuation of the THS platform given our last THS sitter.

I don’t know where you are @TailsUp, but I will agree with @lou28

In a city like Chicago, 3-star hotels cost about $150-$190/night, while 4+ stars will cost about $250+.
Rover costs about $90-$125 day/night for pet care; I usually pay $30 per walk (+ tip, you’re looking at $40ish).

We do save a decent amount of money with THS sitters, but I also think it saves our sitters a ton of money to stay at our place, which is better and cleaner than $175 hotels, and there’s no need for car rentals. Plus, I’m biased to say that my dog is the pinch of the bunch… every sitter we’ve had falls in love with him.

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Wendy, I just checked Rover for Chicago, Illinois and two of the top people, both of whom have 33+5 star reviews with multiple repeat clients, charge $45 and $55 respectively for sitting for a pet in the pet owners home (less in the sitter’s home). A search on Booking for three nights at the Best Western is $470 with taxes for a 301 square-foot room. However, it’s really apples to oranges when comparing hotel rooms to whole home accommodations. Every situation is uniquely different and I appreciate each HO and PS will have different value propositions. There is no ‘one size fits all’ here. Again, I was just sharing our valuation of the THS platform with the economics we know, most respectively with our recent sitter. You may choose to disbelieve them.

Removed links and names in line with forum guidelines

But if I book a stay at the Best Western, I can book for myself and my guests (within the capacity limits of the room), I can choose my dates and my time of arrival. I can come and go as I please, I don’t have to walk dogs or pick up poo. And if I mess up the cushions, they even have housekeeping staff who will put them back for me. So this is really not comparable to what you are offering.

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My POV: If you use your last sitter as the measure, you shouldn’t use THS at all. I sure wouldn’t in your place, no matter what prices hotel rooms fetch anywhere.

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I’m sorry you ended up with a not-great sitter, @TailsUp. Mutually understood and agreed-upon expectations are key in this kind of exchange.

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It sounds like day sits/walks around where I live in Chicago. Overnight sits charge an average of $90 for 5-star sitters with over 50 reviews (x7 nights—$630).
Chris and Ryan don’t even come up in my search, because they probably live in a completely different area than me. I live in a fairly popular neighborhood, and I would prefer rover sitters who live nearby.
Best Western in River North (downtown area close to museums, etc) is $358 for seven nights.

Remember that we have all four seasons, so prices for hotels fluctuate between cold and warm weather.

I agree that every situation is uniquely different, but I’m afraid, as a local Chicagoan, I have to disagree with your evaluation of Chicago costs :slight_smile:

For me, personally, it comes down to choosing a sitter who wants to experience Chicago as a local rather than a tourist because they are often more interested in the neighborhood experience than the popular downtown tourist attractions. Then, we (HO and Sitter) feel like it’s an equal exchange of service. My home provides a very cozy/homey vibe; it’s clean, and it comes with a cute and entertaining pet they can explore the neighborhood with.

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From what I’ve seen, sitters apply for dates they want on THS, is that not correct? And sitters inform/agree time of arrival/departure as well. My last THS sitter invited a friend, who used a separate guest room and bathroom, so multiply $470 by 2 for 3 nights which is approximately $940 (for 3 nights). I’m a bit confused by your example if you’re paying $940 for 2 hotel rooms, I agree you shouldn’t worry about cleaning up after yourself or returning the room to the condition you found it in. That’s presumptive in the hotel rate. (As an aside, I find it amusing that you and another want to focus in on the minor throw pillow annoyance as opposed to the bigger picture, when things just start to add up. I also would never think of staying in one’s home, throwing things around, and not replacing them to at least close to their original position. But perhaps that’s too high an expectation on my part?).
In the THS platform, the HO cleans the house (or pays to have it cleaned-additional cost to HO) and organizes the home back to status quo if not done by the HS, all at no cost to HS. The ‘trade’ is the HS looks after the pet. Also, the HS can choose ‘low maintenance’ or agree to accept higher maintenance pets. If HO does not disclose true care requirements, that’s on them.
I can book a Rover sitter to stay at my home for, let’s just say ave $50/night ($150/for 3 nights, less if pet stays with sitter), who also picks up poo and walks the pet. Again, my value proposition, which as I previously stated, THS is not a good platform for us for very short house sits. As a result, moving forward, we have already agreed we would not use THS for short sits. It’s not meant to judge your value proposition. You do you.

Edited to remove links as per forum guidelines

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That was our takeaway BEFORE this last sitter arrived when she took 4 days to respond to an email less than a week before the start of the sit, and only after we sent a follow up text. Solidly confirmed after the sit. At least for the short sits. Longer term, it has more value with someone staying in the home, etc. But obviously with clearer expectations on departure.