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A new "eBay for travel" platform lets you buy people's unwanted holidays

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A new online marketplace, dubbed as the "eBay for travel", allows people to sell anything from unwanted package holidays to flights.

Transfer Travel was founded two years ago by Simon Powell, after he was left with an unwanted luxury holiday to Dubai following a split from his partner. He was able to claim some of his money back on the flights but £3,000 worth of hotel rooms went to waste.

He was left shocked that there was no platform available to allow holidaymakers to get back lost money, while at the same time, providing somebody else with a bargain holiday. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Powell spoke about the conception of his new platform.

“Virgin charged me a no-show fee but the rest went into my account as credit, but with my booking direct with the hotel there was nothing they could do.”

Powell said that the receptionist at the hotel he booked with gave him the idea to start the site.

“She said ‘can you bring someone else or can you find someone else to take the booking off you and we can change the name of the booking?’ and I could charge them what I paid for the room and make some money back.”

Research conducted by Transfer Travel revealed that shockingly, 220,000 hotel rooms a day are wasted in the US, while 37 per cent of holidaymakers have had to cancel a holiday in the past. 

Travel Transfer is also being used to sell non-refundable accommodation by those who had their cut-price tickets cancelled by British Airways recently.

Powell says that sellers are encouraged to set up profiles with photographs and the reason for cancelling their trip, while the site itself verifies that all the bookings listed are genuine.

The main motivation behind Transfer Travel is to help people who are stuck with unwanted holidays, however, Powell says it’s now a buyer’s market where anything from honeymoons to stag dos to cheap rail fares between London and Edinburgh is for sale. 

“There is a buy it now price, but there is a system where you can make an offer, because it’s a buyer’s market. But we’d like to help people who are left with non-refundable travel. The focus is to help those”, he said. 

“If you’ve got a £1,000 four-night stay in London, the seller might take £300/400 because they just want something back.”

The site then takes 15 per cent of the selling price, with money released to the seller as soon as the booking has been redeemed by the airline or accommodation provider, which helps to protect against fraud.

Transfer Travel already has 50,000 visits a month, with around 1,000 listings for buyers to get their hands on. Take a look for yourself

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