When I first started hosting on Airbnb, I did a lot of experimenting. 

As part of my experiments, I ended up making several different listings for the same space**. Once one became inactive, with no future bookings, I decided to delete it to make things a little less confusing for myself. 

Big mistake.

What happens when you delete your listing

What I didn’t realize was that, when you delete a listing on Airbnb, it deletes everything – including message threads with anyone who’s stayed with you under that listing. 

And lo and behold, just a day or two after I deleted my listing, someone who had stayed with me decided to contact Airbnb and request money back. 

This by itself is not a problem. Resolution requests happen; you just have to deal with them and move on.

But I had unknowingly crippled myself.

By deleting my listing, I had also deleted my message thread with the guest, leaving me unable to refute her claims. 

What should have been resolved in just a day or two ended up being drawn out for weeks. To this day I still can’t quite believe that I hadn’t been warned that my messages were also going to be deleted. Maybe I was, and I just missed it.

Anyway, the fact remains that I had put myself in a pickle, and it was a huge hassle to get out of it.

So, the moral of the story? Don’t delete listings unless absolutely necessary. You can make them inactive, or change their name to something that makes more sense to you to ignore. But if you delete your listing, especially when you have guests who are still within the window to file a complaint, you’re really just asking for trouble. 

(** Hey, experimenting is ALWAYS a good idea when working at optimizing your listings, and setting up A/B testing is a good practice, too. Just don’t delete any!)