Yesterday, I went to a timeshare presentation in exchange for travel prizes. Have any of you ever done one before?
The whole concept is that you are attempted to be sold a timeshare. I have attended two presentations so far in the past two years. Each time I had filled out a normal entry form for a “contest” to win a trip. I then have gotten a phonecall to attend the timeshare presentation in order to redeem the prize. This is (and at least should be) told to you upfront and also in your confirmation email when you get the phonecall to attend one of these sessions. Each time, I have learned more information and never bought one. It doesn’t make sense to me and is a rip off unless you really get a cheap deal.
What a Timeshare Is: Timeshare/Vacation ownership is what they call it now, involves you purchasing 1 week at a hotel suite in the world. You can purchase a fixed week in the year, for example – The 2nd week of June. Then you become part of the timeshare program and you can swap your timeshare for another timeshare all over the world.
Sounds appealing and easy at first, but then the numbers come in to play and in my opinion – it’s not worth it unless you buy it darn cheap!
The Two Times I Was Getting Sold and Said NO!
- South Florida 1 bedroom condo on a golf course
16,600k was the initial selling price
Then it got cut in half to ~8k – when I said no
It’s on a golf course, so good for older people. I want the beach – so why would I go somewhere I would never go to?
~$600 maintenance per year you have to pay = EVER YEAR. That’s a vacation from NY to Mexico each year I can take or a far away plane ticket.
You own it for 1 week, 51 other people get the other 51 weeks. So you’re not buying a vacation home for life. They say “It’s for life”, no it’s not.
You have to pay an “exchange”/swapping fee if you want to go to another destination ~$200 each time.
The more weeks you want, the more you have to pay $$$
- Atlantic City 1 bedroom – no casino!
27,000k was the initial selling price
Then it got cut more in half to 9,900k
It’s not in a casino, the bedroom was at Atlantic Suites which has no casino, no bar, no nightlife. Why would I even stay there?
$875 maintenance = EVERY YEAR unless you send the timeshare folks 4 people EVERY year, then it gets waived. I’m sorry, but no friends of mine are sitting through something like that for a place they’re not even interested in. And I’m living to my 100’s I hope so I’m not searching for 4 people every year either.
You own it for 1 week, same concept that 51 other weeks get taken unless you pay more $$ to get more weeks.
They initially had an extra 6k to add to the 27k selling price to become a “Platinum Member” to get 12 additional weeks at the timeshare for free. Then it got waived magically half way through the presentation. I don’t even have 12 weeks of vaca to take off from my job.
From these two presentations, I learned that you never agree to the initial price. They will keep dropping and dropping until the 3rd guy comes to “close” the deal. Also, when you want to swap, it is not 100% guarantee. If you have a timeshare in a regional place or one that is not in a worthy place to swap, it might not work out for you to trade.
A good deal for a timeshare I would say is paying under 9k for 1 week and low maintenance fee, $500-600 or under.
And choose a timeshare you would actually go to and not rely on always trying to “exchange” to a different destination. You will have to pay exchange fees all the time unless you have the money or you buy real cheap so it’s paid off for super quick.
Yesterday’s option came with a 17.5% interest rate for financing! Home mortgages are 4.5%. Where do they get their numbers from?
The two groups of people I know who own timeshares did it smart and cheap:
Two friends who bought a timeshare in beachfront Aruba for under 10k on Eagle beach there for 1 week
Two family members of Adam’s who got 4 weeks of timeshare for 6k! Their homebase might be in Vermont by the ski resorts and they swap all the time to go skiing somewhere but they’re able to do it very easily.
What I told the salesmen is that I’d rather save my money and buy my own house in another country that I can live in and have 365 days out of the year, every year, the rest of my life. Maybe one day I’ll get sucked into buying a timeshare but I highly doubt it. I like instant gratification of traveling to places depending on what’s going on, I love finding travel deals, and I don’t always stay in hotels. I stay with friends, or rent from AirBnb, bed and breakfasts, inn, hostels etc. It depends on where I’m going.
Do what’s best for you but take this one thing from the post – Do Not Overpay! They will keep dropping the price J
Stay tuned for my post on what travel prizes I got from sitting through these timeshare presentations.