Guide to Purchasing Timeshares

Have you ever been to a Timeshare presentation and wondered if you should buy one?   Here are 7 things every consumer needs to know about Timeshares and Timeshare Presentations:  Purchasing Timeshares

Don’t believe everything you hear

This rule applies to Uncle Mark telling you that timeshare do not work because he was never able to trade to go anywhere else (perhaps because he owned in Kansas?) to the salesperson telling you that you’ll always be able to trade at anytime for any place. Location is key when talking about week-based timeshare if you want trade or exchange into different locations. This is especially true for high demand timeshares such as Hilton Head in the summer or the French Alps in the winter, etc. You need to own in an area that has high, year round, global demand.

Nothing is Free or Perfect, Always

Avoid anyone, especially a salesperson or a sales manager who uses the words FREE, PERFECT, ALWAYS and/or NEVER. Generally speaking, if things seem too good to be true, they are.

Do your homework ahead of time

Have some general ideas about timeshare and be truthful about how much you spend for vacation accommodations such as:

  • In 2015, the average price of a 2-bedroom timeshare purchased on the primary market was about $21,000
  • That same timeshare can be found on the reputable resale market for around $5,000
  • Most, if not all timeshare resorts allow you to exchange or trade off to another member resort.
  • Location is KEY in determining how “good” any particular timeshare is…unless you are purchasing a point-based timeshare, where location no longer factors into trading power at all.
  • Go back 2 or 3 years and determine how much you spend for your hotel/motel/condo rooms and include the hidden room tax

Keep an open mind

If you are going to go to one of these timeshare presentations for the gift (dinner, cash, theme park tickets, etc.) or just because you are required to go in order to receive the discounted hotel room, then do yourself a favor and at least go in with an open mind and let the salesperson do his/her job. On the other hand, if you have already determined that timeshare is not for you, for whatever reason, then why would you want to waste your valuable vacation time by listening to something you don’t want? After 2 or 3 presentations, you should be able to determine if timeshare is a good idea for you. If so, then purchase one. If not, then just stop wasting your time!

Don’t purchase any type of timeshare as a real estate investment

Even if the timeshare is deeded, it should not be considered a financial investment, but an investment in your future vacations. If you buy a timeshare today for $21,000, use it for the next 20 years and sell it for only $5,000, ask yourself how much you’ll be able to get for your hotel/motel receipts over the same 20-year period.

Don’t assume anything

Many timeshares are deeded in perpetuity. Many are not. Many timeshares operate on a “points-based” system. Often, those points are not inflation proof. Always ask questions and don’t be afraid to say “no” if the product doesn’t suit your needs or wants.

Don’t cave in to high-pressure sales techniques

A high-pressure sales person or sales manager is high pressure for one or two of two reasons: Ignorant or they don’t believe in their own product. Don’t confuse high pressure though with the fact that in all cases, you will be asked to purchase on the spot.  Focus on these points:

  • Do you understand the product?
  • Do you like the product and/or the particular resort?
  • If you had it, would you use it? Meaning do you plan or intend to spend that amount of money “anyway” on vacations? (Note the word “plan.” You can’t predict the future of course, but you can and should plan.)
  • Focus on the long-term. In the short-term you will not be saving any money.
  • Compare apples to apples, when talking about cost and value. You may not be saving money even in the long term, but are you having a better vacation staying in a spacious 2-bedroom villa in a quality resort as compared to a 400 square foot hotel room?

For more information and to find out if timeshare is right for you, contact Lisa Ann Schreier at Timeshare Insights (

Guide to Purchasing Timeshares

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About the Author

Lisa Ann Schreier

Lisa Ann Schreier has been involved in the timeshare community since 1998. After cutting her teeth as a timeshare salesperson and manager at a number of Orlando area resorts, she grew increasingly frustrated with the antiquated marketing and high pressure sales techniques that were (and sadly still are) the norm in the industry. Seeking to be a catalyst for positive change, she wrote ‘Surviving A Timeshare Presentation…Confessions From The Sales Table’ and ‘Timeshare Vacations For Dummies.’ She is a frequent contributor to major media outlets and a sought after speaker at consumer advocacy groups. In addition to her articles at, she is the lead timeshare advocate at Her ‘tell it like it is’ blog about timeshare issues is a source of solid information and continues to alert consumers to the myriad of less than reputable companies and practices.

Lisa’s blog can be accessed at:
Twitter users can follow her at @LisaLooksAt
Questions? Looking for assistance? Email Lisa at

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