There are people who make a sport of attending timeshare presentations just for the freebies offered. I am not going to condone or disapprove of this behavior, my role is simply that of an informer – letting the public know the ins and outs of a timeshare presentation. Now for the gifts… Depending on what resort you visit, you can walk away with a free weekend stay, television, show tickets, or some extra cash in your pocket. As you can see, gifts range from the mediocre to the extreme, all offered as a way to lure potential buyers into sitting through a presentation. Timeshare salespeople know that once they have you through the door, they have your attention. They also know that many consumers are simply not prepared for the types of sales tactics that will be employed, which translates into sales and commission for the salesperson.
The key to making it to the end, and claiming your prize, is simply to survive. Before you attend a timeshare presentation, make sure you are clear on how long the session is scheduled to last, and what you will be eligible for at the conclusion. Confirm that this is offered even if you do not go through with the buying process. The tips listed below can help you assure you will not be roped into a vacation ownership you do not desire, and ensure you can get through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Tips for Surviving and Escaping a Timeshare Presentation (Without Buying):
- Before you go to the presentation, find out when the busiest times are, and go during one of these times. This will give you the upper hand – when a resort is overbooked and understaffed, your likelihood of getting through the presentation in under 90 minutes is dramatically increased. You are also less likely to be the victim of high pressure sales; the salesperson will just move onto the next person if you seem uninterested.
- Before your session begins – tell them you will be up front with them, and that you expect the same treatment from your salesperson. The “If I like it, I will get it” approach will deter the salesperson from badgering, or otherwise pressuring, you into something you have clearly told him you are not interested in.
- Keep to yourself and try to be as boring as possible. Timeshare salespeople will use any personal information you provide to try and strike some sort of common ground with you, making you feel as though you can trust them. If they offer some sort of tale about how they know so-and-so from your town, just say that is nice, and ask to focus on the issue at hand – getting information about the resort.
- Hold them to the time frame that you have been promised for the timeshare presentation. If you were quoted 90 minutes, set your alarm for 70 minutes, and remind the salesperson at 70 minutes that they now have 20 minutes to finish up the talk.
- Do not lead on the salesperson. Do not pretend you are interested only to let them down at the very end. If you have no intentions of buying be sure to act that way.
- When they ask how much you make, lie. Pick a low to average income when asked how much you make per year. Admitting or saying you have a lot of disposable income is just going to make your experience that much more painful – think multiple salespeople all over you for hours on end.
- Tell them you already know about timeshare and its benefits, this way they will need to be more focused on the amenities at the particular resort, thus, shortening the presentation.
- Try not to talk too much, again, be boring. The less details you offer up about your personal life, the better.
- Be ready with an arsenal of reasons why you do not want to buy the timeshare:
- I am not interested in buying, I just want to trade to go to other resorts.
- I just bought a new house, I do not have any extra cash.
- I am swamped with bills – car payment, credit cards, new RV, home remodel, etc.
- The resort just does not fit my lifestyle – not enough activities for kids, location is too cold, lack of surrounding activities, etc.
- I can not afford it, it is much too far out of my price range. Be ready for them to offer ownership every other year, tell them it is still not affordable enough.
- You like your other timeshare better. This is a pretty solid reason, as there is no way they can haggle price to rope you into buying.