Making Sure That You Get a Good Deal Buying a Timeshare
The tricks used in high-pressure timeshare pitches are so well known, sitcoms and movies make fun of them. “You’ve just won a free weekend in Florida! All you need to do is to attend a sales presentation.”
Timeshares can be wonderful opportunities. Millions of people enjoy regular holidays for very little money once they invest wisely in a quality timeshare. The problem is that the timeshare industry attracts many unprofessional operators. If you’re interested in buying a timeshare, it’s important to recognize the red flags when you see them, and stay away.
The “good investment” angle
Timeshares are simply a way to go on vacation for less money than it would take if you rented a hotel room. They are not an investment even when they are deeded (where you own your share). Many timeshare vendors, though, attempt to push the notion that what they sell is an investment that can appreciate over time. In truth, all but the most high-end timeshares do not return a profit when you resell.
The free vacation trick
This most iconic of all timeshare tricks. You get offered a free all-expenses-paid getaway for the weekend if you agree to sit through a high-pressure presentation for timeshares. It isn’t a good idea to attend one of these presentations. Not only do they waste hours of your time, you do stand some risk of falling for a sales pitch that is specifically created to psychologically get through to even the most skeptical consumers. The weekend can also be overpromised and underwhelming.
Specifically, do not believe in easy promises
If you do find yourself in a high-pressure timeshare sales presentation, watch out for the specific promises that they make, and understand the truth behind them. According to leading timeshare resort developer Capital Resorts, many timeshare salespeople reel customers in simply by promising them that there isn’t much risk to signing and paying, because if they change their mind, reselling is always an easy option. In reality, reselling is never easy.
The idea that you should buy directly from the developer
It takes a timeshare developer a great deal of investment to develop the property and sell it. Initial sales, then, tend to be overpriced to cover these costs. Experts at Timeshare Users Group warn that timeshares bought directly from developers immediately lose half their value the moment the sale is made. It’s a far better idea to buy a resale. They tend to be priced far closer to their true market value.
The sales pitch may not mention maintenance fees
A timeshare is like a condo. You need to pay maintenance fees each year. These tend to be raised by the management from time to time to keep up with inflation, too. Before you sign up for a timeshare, make sure you can afford these fees. Ebay brims with timeshares selling for $20. These owners are simply tired of paying maintenance fees, and are willing to give up their holdings if they can be set free of those fees.
The timeshare concept is a valid idea. Many reputable vendors do sell valuable products. You do need to make sure that you buy from one of them though, and learn about the timeshare lifestyle before you sign up.