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Owner's information and FAQ

SCAM ALERT - Owners take note.
DO NOT provide refunds until any cheques you have received are cleared. more...

Last Minute List

The Last Minute list returns on June 19! This is for our clients who, by cancellation or other reason have Last Minute weeks available at their cottage/resort. Last Minute, in this case, means the property is available within the next 6 weeks (i.e. please do not send in a Last Minute entry in July for availabilities in October). The last minute list will be available to visitors to our site from approximately Father's Day until Labour Day. It will be found at

Please note that this service is available only to listings paid up and in good standing, including outstanding charges for listing modifications and photo additions.

Please note that we will be using the following pricing for administering the Last-minute list this year:

  1. Cost will be variable depending on how long the property has been continually listed with CottageLINK (as of June 1 of this year):
    • 5 years or more - no charge!
    • 3 or 4 years - $15
    • 2 years or less - $25
  2. Second and subsequent listings for the same owner will enjoy a discounted rate of a maximum of $15/listing, unless the cost would be lower using the above.
  3. You tell us about your property's availability - you may include as many weeks as you like.
  4. We post the availability and link to your listing from our last-minute page
  5. Please remember to let us know when you've booked a week so we can remove it from the list as a courtesy to vacation seekers. If they get frustrated by calling owners that are already booked they will stop using the last-minute list....thanks!

To add your property, please use the form at: You will need to know your cottage number. It normally appears mailings you receive from CottageLINK and also in the title bar of your listing. There is added room for 50 characters of commentary so you can advertise specials etc.

Communication is Key to Successful Rentals

Just wanted to drop a quick reminder to owners that it is good business practice to respond to all inquiries, even if you are already booked. The client who receives a pleasant "sorry, we cannot accommodate you this season" is more likely to try again next year than one who receives nothing. A quick and easy way to do this is to create a special signature in your e-mail software with text to this effect. That way, you can generally respond to an inquiry with a couple of clicks.

Also, it will save you and your prospective tenants some phone/e-mail time if your calendar is kept up to date. We received a couple of letters over the weekend which highlight some renter sentiments in this regard.
I am writing to suggest that you strongly urge cottage owners to update the availability schedule when they post on your website. I have just phoned 4 cottages, all of which indicated they were available in the weeks I was hoping for. All turned out, however, to have already been booked.
Wondering if you could comment on the fact that I have sent probably 10 emails to ask about availability and further information on a few cottage rental listings, none of which have been replied to? Are these people serious about renting their cottages? I have spent alot of time fishing through listings, amenities, pictures, locations, availability and it is disappointing to get no responses.
Clients appreciate any and all attention to detail.

Don't let the Bedbugs Bite!

Growing up, I thought bedbugs were a relic from antiquity, when matresses were made of straw and floors consisted of little more than planks over dirt. Apparently, bed bugs are making a comeback, and if you are renting our your cottage, it is a good idea to take steps to make sure they don't pay a visit - a good read can be found by clicking here. .

SOLD? Please let us know

If your have sold your cottage, regardless of whether the listing was a sale or rental listing, please, please, please let us know! Visitors to the site become frustrated if they make calls only to find a property is no longer available. We have no way of knowing this unless the owner tells us. We appreciate you taking the time to do this!

Calendar Questions

Q: What is the link to the calendar update page?

Q: My calendar update is showing 1984 (or some other year) instead of the current year. How can I update the current year?
A: The calendar feature uses Javascript, which uses the date/time information on your PC to set itself up. It is likely you need to reset the date/time on your PC to the current date.

Q: I can't update more than one property's calendar. All the changes seem to go to the same one.
A: If you have more than one calendar to update, please close down your browser and restart it between property updates. The browser "remembers" your id for the duration of its session, but that information is refreshed when you close/restart your browser.

Q: My booking week is Sunday to Sunday, and I can update it that way, but when someone inquires about it through my listing, it shows Saturday to Saturday. Why?
A: The update feature allows you to specify a start day to make update more convenient by using the weekly toggle. The presentations to visitors are ALWAYS Saturday to Saturday to keep it consistent (remember they may be looking at dozens of listings and it would be confusing if the calendars appeared slightly different for each). Saturday to Saturday is the most common, which is why it was chosen.

Other Common Questions

Q: How do I update my listing?
A: Other than changes on your calendar (which you make yourself), just send us an e-mail outlining the changes and we'll update the listing ASAP. Please do NOT use the "Add Your Property" online forms for changes - they do not contain enough info for us to match a change request back to your listing.

Q: I requested changes on my listing and have been told they were made, but when I look at my listing it still looks the same.
A: Browser's maintain what is called a "cache". The cache retains information about pages on the web that you have visited. Rather than go out to retrieve the data from a web site, a browser may just go to its cache instead. This would result in you seeing an old version of the page. Try clicking on your refresh/reload button (it will usually have two arrows on it pointing in a circular direction) to pick up the changes. Let us know if you still don't see them after that.

Q: Why do you have a map of the USA and not Canada?
A: Well, actually, the map IS Canada, but maybe we didn't label it well enough. We've made a couple of changes that we hope will eliminate any geographical confusion.

Please Make Sure We aren't Filtered Out

Many people these days are using some sort of junk mail and spam filtering, either on their desktop or at their Internet Service Provider. Please remember to add our e-mail address ( to your list of acceptable senders - we'd hate for you to miss a key e-mail from us if one of our notes was mistakenly identified by your filter as junk mail - thanks!!

How to Make Your Listing More Effective

We get asked a lot of questions about how to improve listings. While we simply don't have the resources to do a detailed analysis of every property, there are some general tips you can follow.

With a lot of cottages out there on the market, it's more important than ever to be competitive.

  1. Examine other properties in your areas with similar features and facilities. Make sure that you are priced competitively with them AND with any other attraction that will compete for tourist dollars. Additionally, make sure that you are highlighting your property's best points...don't leave out any key details.
  2. Point out nearby attractions as well (golf courses, national parks etc.).
  3. Finally, we cannot overstate the importance of good photos. More than anything else, pictures can make or break your listing.
For more information, please review the following CottageLINK Magazine articles on the subject:
Be Careful with Overpayments via Cheque or Credit Card

A recent e-mail from one of our clients (Thanks Jenny!) pointed out a scam that may be used on unsuspecting property owners. It works something like this:

  • Renter calls and asks about property, makes booking
  • Renter sends cheque that is significantly larger than the amount due, claiming that their vacation is being "sponsored" by company, relatives etc.
  • Owner sends refund cheque or wire transfer, then finds out that original cheque sent by prosepective tenant is worthless and is now out the amount of the refund.
Of course, the vast majority of contacts are not out to scam you in any way, but it is good to be aware of this and to be cautious when sending funds.

Here is a sample:
Hello, Thanks for your response, i am extremely interested in the cottage and will be ready to move in at thestate time, i am currently in u.k but will be coming down to the Canada as soon as possible. It's not easy to describe myself in a little box. I'm creative,sensual, love music (play some piano), spiritual, and intelligent. Quick-witted, and admittedly sarcastic (hopefully in a good way?). I work hard at understanding and improving myself. I have a friend who says I'm like an artichoke--the closer you get to the center, the better I am My favorite activities right now are dancing and walking/talking with friends. I've got many interests, though, and like tryin g new things. Oh, am also into art.I guess that is thelittle I can tell you about my self for nowtill I hear from youagain, I have a exhibition and seminar in Ontario later this year withsome of our new clients, I hope you will be available to come.I hope to read again from you soon. As for the payment, i will instruct my client to send you a canadian certified check,based on the money is oweing me in our last transaction before i left home,which will include the 1st and last weekly rental. You will deduct your own money from it and be sending the remainder of the funds to my travel agent who will be responsible for my fligth ticketing and seat reservation. I will appreciate if you email me back immediately with the name, address and your phone send you the payment,hence i will keep you posted with the travel's infos and any other neccessary informations . Thanks. Mail me back your total cost for this period and the dates and the month available.

Here is a another sample:
Thank's for the mail,I am please and highly appreciate your response, due to your efforts in getting my Daughter a rooms for her stay in the state.The price is well okay with me for the(week).I want you to understand,that I had left out of the state for Australia on a business trip and it's will take me a little while before getting back to the state, and if I said I should make the payment to you on my trip it's will take atleast 2 to 3week before it's will get delivered to you,So due to this,I had contacted my associate in State and instruct him to make the payment payable to you,So that the rent can get reserve for my Daughter and the payment can be received by you intime before her arrival to the state.

So my associate will be issue out a Certified Cashier check drawn from United State Bank of ($3,000) to you on my behalf just to get the rooms reserve for her okay and as soon as the check get delivered to you I will like you to deducts the ($700) for the rent from the check and after the deductions of the rent amount have been done, I will want you to get the remaining excess of the funds transferred to my Personal Assistant through via the Western Union Money Transfer, He's the one that will be leading my Daughter when arriving from the Air Port to your apartment which will included her shopping expenses and her belongings shippments with some other things she will be needed in the state for her stay,okay.

So i will want you to do send me all the details below,
Check Receiver's Name:
Check Delivery Address:
Your Valid Contact Phone Number:

I will want you to get back with me and let me have an assurance from you that the remaining excess of the funds will not be delay with you as soon as the check get delivered to you,so that My Personal Assistant can do quickly do all the necessary arrangement before my Daughter will be arrived in United State.

So kindly let me know's if you have any nearest Western Union Outlet around you,So that immediately the Check clearance has been done the remaining balance will be wire back to to my Personal Assistant in United State,So let me know's how nearest the Western Union it is to you.

I Await to read your futures mail.

It is fairly easy to protect yourself from this...

  1. Always be suspicious if someone is sending a cheque for greater than the rental amount and/or asking for money up front.
  2. NEVER give out details such as a bank or credit card number to someone wanting to send money to you directly. If you would like to explore flexible payment methods, please talk to your banker first.
  3. ALWAYS make sure cheques clear before taking action on them.

Another Scam?

A recent e-mail from one of our clients (Thanks Mike!) pointed out a note that may be a scam, based on the wording and grammar. The same e-mail has been reported received by others but is unconfirmed as a scam as of this writing (November 22, 2005)

Hello, My name is Dr. Lawrence Nunn. I am based in England and i happen to come across to advert concerning your cottage, i believe i and my family are very much interested to stay for a period of 1week in you beautiful cottage. Hope it is very much available for the period we wish to come and stay January 21st. I can be reached at this number +447040104449 anytime of the day, please feel free to call me so that wecan discuss on the total cost for the period of 1 week, or better you send an email with the total estimate. Thank you and i await your response to this aspect. Regards, Lawrence Nunn.

Follow-up (November 24/2005) - it appears this is a similar scam as the one above.

Dear XXXXX, i am in receipt of your email and i want you know that i shall fill the form and have it sent to you along with the check, also i shall be needing some personal stuff during my stay and by so doing i have overdrafted the check and please instead of the agree payment i have added some additional amount to the check, so after you cash the check please, take out you own funds from it and help me hold onto the balance upon my arrival or you await my further instructions. Hope this is fine with you and i await your response.

And perhaps Another Scam?

Another recent e-mail from one of our clients (Thanks Marc!) pointed out a note that may be a scam. It is unconfirmed as a scam as of this writing (April 24, 2006) but is suspicious in that again it asks the owner to provide funds as a form of refund.


Thanks for your reply and assistance so far.I am glad to tell you that i have just place a call across to inform my clients and we have concluded payment with the delegates to CONFIRM this booking whose gross total stands $1500

However we are going to send you the visa Account Information that will cover the cost of the accomodation, and the necessary transportation arrangement for the delegates.

Moreover, we also made an arrangement with a pre-paid car hiring firm who will supply the delegates with cars they will use during their stay, but because of they dont have credit facility and for the purpose of security reasons and confidentiality, we have decided that only one person will have to handle the Visa account information.

So once you are in receipt of it, you are required to charge the total cost of $2750 .Deduct your 50% deposit services charge of $750 and send $2000 via Western union money Transfer, to the car hiring agent whose information will be forwarded to you once this is CONFIRMED.The remaining balance of $750 would be paid at check-in.

So confirm this and provide me with your (1) YOUR FULLNAME (2) ADDRESS (3)PHONE NUMBERS for office records.

Please remember that the integrity of our agency is involved, so this business requires prompt response. I also hope the stay of the delegates will be made comfortable. Thanks for your co-operation

Note - there are now several variations on these themes, and we'd like to thank our clients for keeping us up-to-date! The danger of listing ALL the variations is that someone may check the ones here and assume that because it's not listed here, it's not a scam. Rather than take that risk, please just follow a simple rule - DO NOT SEND ANYONE CASH/CHEQUES FOR REFUNDS UNTIL THEIR INSTRUMENTS OF PAYMENT - CASH, CREDIT CARD ETC. HAVE CLEARED THROUGH YOUR BANK AND ARE GUARANTEED...THIS ISN'T THE SAME AS HAVING YOUR BALANCE SHOW AN INCREASE ON DEPOSIT.

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam....

Spam - for those of you unfamiliar with the term as it applies to e-mail, it is, basically, unsolicited junk mail. A couple of people have asked us whether or not we sell an e-mail list of our clients. Please be assured that we do no such thing, nor do we intend to at any time in the future. Unfortunately, once your e-mail address is discovered in any way shape or form, it seems to be fair game for the spammers.

What does this have to do with CottageLINK? Well, right now, we get about 800-1000 junk e-mails every single day! We employ a junk mail filter to help us screen out the offending e-mails, and it does a remarkably good job. Unfortunately, we occasionally record a "false positive" - i.e. a note that is legitimate but that our intrepid filter believes is spam. We check the filter every couple of days and we've gotten pretty good at fishing out the legitimate ones. Unfortunately, this is a manual process and prone to error. So, if we haven't responded to your e-mail within 72 hours, please re-send it or send us a nag note to jog our memory - we wont mind.

How does your e-mail keep from being identified as a false positive? Difficult question - there are a number of factors that the filters consider, but you may wish to keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. If your id is a collection of letters followed by numbers and comes from one of the web mail services such as Hotmail, it may be suspect based on the address.
  2. The use of many different fonts and colours may also tip off the filter. Try sending your notes in plain, unformatted text (they take up less room that way anyway).
  3. Be careful about certain seemingly innocuous phrases. One client's e-mail wound up in our filter because they has specified that their cottage was for adults only.
  4. Don't use all caps or a lot of !'s.

Every filter uses slightly different algorithms, but we've tended to notice that the aforementioned are oft-used as criteria.

It is important to consider this information if YOU employ a spam filter yourself. Please be aware that, depending on your filter settings, some e-mails sent to you by prospective tenants may be identified as false positives. If you are unsure of whether or not you use a filter, or need help with its settings, please contact your Internet Service Provider.