Quick Tips Before you Listen to a Timeshare Presentation
If you’ve ever sat through a timeshare sales pitch, you know that they can be high pressure. The sales staff has been trained to do one thing and one thing only—-influence you to purchase on the spot. Because of that high pressure, these sales pitches can be laced with, ahem, some misrepresentations. Here are the most common things that are misrepresented at timeshare sales pitches:
Price Today vs Price Any Other Time
This is the one that is used the most, often in conjunction with ‘quoting’ some State Statute. If there is such a statute, such as in Florida, it has to do with whatever gifts you’re being bribed with to sit with the salesperson, not the price. Trust me, they’ll take your money tomorrow, next week or next month.
Resale Value And Your Ability To Resell
The truth of the matter is that the resale market is awash in timeshares that owners are willing to sell for $1,000 or less. Sales agents simply refuse to disclose that. In some cases, licensed brokers will refuse certain listings because the timeshare literally has NO resale value because of the draconian restrictions placed by the developer in secondary market purchases.
Maintenance Fee Relief Programs That Do Not Exist
There are many permutations of this misrepresentation. Suffice it to say you should not purchase additional timeshare under some bizarre plan that you’ll be able to pay off your fees with the points. Read that again. It makes no sense, does it?
The Value of Travel Awards
Again, there is a myriad of promised schemes using timeshare points and the ability to purchase certain travel rewards. Bottom line, buy timeshare only to use as timeshare, not for the promise of being able to use it for airline tickets, etc.
Stating A Lower Interest Rate Can Be Obtained From A Bank Or Credit Union
In the event you’re smart enough to balk at the ‘convenient’ 15%, 16% or 17% financing the resort will offer you (and you’d be stunned to find out how many people agree to those insane rates), some salespeople will tell you that you can get a personal loan. Wrong. I have yet to find a bank that will finance a timeshare. What are they going to do if you’re foreclosed on? There is however a reputable source for people with good credit history. Check out LightStream.com.
Ease Of Ability To Return To Your Home Resort
Unless you purchased a fixed week/fixed unit timeshare, highly doubtful, you’re going to have to make reservations to come back to your home resort. You’ll be battling other owners and owners who are exchanging into your resort for prime season. You better fully understand exactly when you need to make a reservation and what the process is before you purchase. Don’t rely on the salesperson, talk to other owners.
Ease Of Ability To Trade/Exchange
If you think coming back to your home resort takes some doing, it’s nothing compared to attempting to trade or exchange into another resort. In addition to the fee averaging over $200 (!) most owners find out too late that they need to make plans either 12-13 months out or less than 60 days out in order to get what they want. A week in Branson, Missouri is not going to get you Christmas Week in Hawaii.
Bottom line here is do not do anything in haste. If you’re looking for assistance in determining what’s true and what’s false, figuring out if a timeshare is for you, or like millions of people who already own and no longer want or use what they have, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Senior.com, she is the lead timeshare advocate at Elliott.org. 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.View All Articles