I've been looking around the internet for hostels in different cities in mainland China, and I've come across a website, hostelworld.com, that has lots of great info but at the time of booking charge a 10% fee, claiming the rest of the booking fee to be paid upon arrival. Is this ok?
Yes, this is normal for hostel booking websites. It's a good idea to print out your booking confirmation so there is no dispute about what you pay when you arrive.
I agree, I never had problems with this 10% prepayment proceedure and I traveled around China as well. However, this is NOT a booking fee. It is a (non-refoundable) prepayment to ensure your booking. At the hostel you pay the remaining 90%.
However, hostelworld is charging a booking fee of 2$ if I see right. Check out hostels.com and hostelbookers.com. The first web-site charges no fee if you sign up for their news-emails (check "Sign me up to pay no services charges & send me special offers by email" when you make the reservation) and the second website does not charge any fee at all! There might also be differences in the prices, and you can have a look at even more reviews by checking out all of them.
Enjoy your trip! The hostels in China really are amazing!
Travellerspoint is partnered with both Hostelworld (hostels.com is owned by hw) and Hostelbookers effectively meaning we have more choice than both! We also combine ratings and reviews from both with our own to give a very complete picture of their standard. And if you choose to book (same 10% deposit) you help keep TP running
MlleKosuch and Sam, thanks so much. great info. I'll be booking soon~