How availability management works

Illustrated guide of the options customers and providers have using availability calendars to make hourly, daily, or nightly bookings.

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Written by Sharetribe
Updated over a week ago

Sharetribe has availability management features for providers to add times they are available for booking in your marketplace. Customers can then book hourly, daily, or nightly slots from the provider's availability calendar.

Availability management is automatically enabled whenever a listing is created using the "Calendar bookings" transaction settings. Whether providers add available hours, days, or nights depends on the booking unit selected.

The rest of this article shows you how availability management works for providers and customers using hours, days, or nights as the booking units.

How providers add their availability

Daily/nightly availability management in listing creation

When creating a listing that operates on a daily or nightly basis, providers can specify their available days or nights. This can be done by selecting specific dates from a calendar or setting recurring availability. For example, a seller can indicate that a service or item is available every Monday, or only for specific dates.

If a seller wants to set exceptional availability outside of their default schedule, they can set an “Availability exception”. Availability exceptions allow providers to add specific days or nights when they are or are not available, overriding their default calendar. If the seller does not have any kind of recurring schedule, they can leave the regular schedule completely unavailable and manage their availability just by adding exceptions.

See below for screenshots showing how providers can add their daily or nightly availability.

Setting a recurring schedule for a daily availability listing:

What the recurring availability looks like after done:

Adding an exception to daily availability:

What the recurring availability looks like after exceptions:

Hourly availability management in listing creation

For services or items that are available on an hourly basis, providers can set their availability by specifying the hours during which they are available. This could include setting availability for specific hours on specific days, or recurring hourly availability such as every weekday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

If a seller wants to set exceptional availability outside of their default schedule, they can set an “Availability exception.” Availability exceptions allow providers to add specific dates and times when they are or are not available, overriding their default calendar.

See below for screenshots showing how providers can add their hourly availability.

Seller adding a recurring hourly schedule:

How the recurring schedule looks like after creation:

Adding an exception to the schedule:

What the exceptions look like in the recurring schedule:

How customers book

Daily and nightly bookings

Customers can make bookings based on the seller's available days or nights. By viewing the availability calendar in the booking panel, customers can select their desired available dates from a calendar view and proceed with the booking process.

The booking panel provides a visual interface for customers to view and select availability. Dates and/or hours available are highlighted, and unavailable times are grayed out or otherwise marked as unavailable. Customers can select from the available times and add these to their booking.

Pricing for daily or nightly bookings is set by the seller and is visible to customers on the listing page. The total price will depend on the number of days or nights booked.

The conventions used in the booking calendar for how days and dates are shown are set by your locale, which you can read more about here.

Customer's view when looking at a daily availability listing:

Customer's view when selecting the dates for a daily availability listing:

Hourly bookings

For hourly bookings, customers can select the hours they want to book from the seller's availability in the booking panel. This allows for flexibility, especially for services that do not require a full day or night.

Just like for daily/nightly bookings, the booking panel provides a visual representation of available hours for customers to select from. The date can be picked from a calendar-style pop up, whereas the time can be picked from a dropdown menu.

Hourly pricing is determined by the seller and is visible on the listing page. The total cost for the customer will depend on the number of hours booked.

The conventions used in the booking calendar for how days and dates are show are set by your locale, which you can read more about here.

Customer's view of an hourly listing page:

Customer's view when choosing the date of the booking:

Customer's view when selecting the time of the booking:

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