Tales From The Inside

So, there’s something I just need to come right out with…

There’s really no easy way to say it. I… used to be a Timeshare Salesman. It’s terrible, I know. Please leave your torches and pitchforks in the shed. I wasn’t your typical shady Timeshare Salesman. And since leaving the industry after nearly 3 years, I’ve turned rogue and actively warn others about the dangers of signing on the dotted line. Which is exactly what my intention is with this monthly blog.

I need to make it clear that not all Timeshare Salespeople are sleazy or mean to do anything harmful or dishonest. Most of them are new to the industry and honestly believe in what they are selling. Beautiful vacations and memories. Fresh out of training class and ready to sell some memories and make some great money in the process. Then they hit the sales floor, and everything changes.

They are assigned a manager, and the manager completely changes their sales presentation. They often tell the new representatives knowingly false information just to close more deals. Most people either don’t sell enough and get laid off, or they ignore their conscience and embrace the dark side.

The average employment length of a timeshare rep is 3 months. Almost everyone fails to reach sales goals and are laid off within a few months of starting. This is because timeshare is an extremely challenging thing to sell without withholding information or outright lying. In the industry, they call it “pitching in the gray.“ Basically, it’s not technically lying, but not telling the truth either. And it’s a term that floats around all too comfortably on sales floors.

In my time on the floor, I never knowingly told any misinformation to my guests or buyers. I did learn that my manager had given me false details on several occasions to close deals, but that is another story. I was never a top salesperson, but was never in the position to be laid off either. I made a modest amount of money, with up months and down months. I always slept well at night knowing I was honest during my presentations.

So what made me leave? Well, after learning more and more about the truth behind the programs and the people that were leading and directing us, I just had to go. I was miserable. I didn’t believe in what I was selling anymore. I certainly didn’t believe in the people I worked for.

The day I decided to leave, my manager tried to convince me that my guests terminal cancer was a great reason for her to buy our program so that she can go take the trip of a lifetime before she died in the next  months. Then, she would be dead after taking the trip, so who cares about the bill?? Yeah, that actually happened. It was my breaking point.

These are the kind of people I am here to warn you about. Those that will say anything if it means they can make some money, regardless of a person’s best interest.

I pretended to take the lady to the property to finish the presentation and took her to McDonald’s for an ice cream cone. I later put in for all the vacation time I had built up, and quit on my last day.

And here we are.

The purpose of this blog is to expose the inner-workings of the Timeshare Industry and educate the public. To provide inside knowledge from someone who spent a significant amount of time on the other end of the sales presentations. Be sure to keep up with the monthly blog to see what kind of sneaky tactics and stories I expose. Lets bring down the empire. 

-D.

Do you have a question you’d like me to answer? Awesome! Just leave your question in the comments and I will answer a different question at the end of every blog, or may choose to focus a whole blog on your topic!

Is Now a Good Time to Buy Timeshare?

If you are considering buying a timeshare, you might be wondering if now is a good time to do so. There are several factors to take into account when making this decision. The timeshare development industry has been growing steadily since the 2008 recession, according to annual studies conducted by the American Resort Development Association, with larger, healthier companies consolidating and expanding their inventories. This modest growth trend is likely to continue in 2017, unless an unexpected economic crisis or political event changes things. Rapid growth of the market, however, is hindered by factors such as low resale value, stringent government regulations, and uncertainty of the future.

buy timeshareAccording to Timesharing Today, there are several transitions in progress that will affect current and prospective timeshare owners. Maintenance fees, for example, are expected to increase between 2-5% on average this year as HOA boards attempt to offset increasing delinquencies with the need to renovate older units and onsite amenities at legacy resorts. The secondary market will likely continue to struggle as many original timeshare owners begin to age out of their timeshare travel and resale inventory outnumbers demand. While timeshares were a popular vacation option for baby boomers and the generation before them, it seems as though millennials are not as enthralled with the idea. Younger generations are tending to prefer short, spontaneous vacations as opposed to week-long stays at one resort, and are especially cautious of lifelong purchase contracts. It remains unclear how the millennial generation will react to and impact the timeshare industry as they age.

Another wild card factor for the future of the timeshare industry is the trajectory of President Trump’s time in office. During his campaign, the Republican Party adopted a platform that included a promise to dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which investigates complaints about financial credit and loan programs that may defraud consumers. It is currently investigating numerous industries and at least one timeshare company, Westgate Resorts, for their practice of financing owners’ timeshare purchases. Again, Trump’s regulatory reform policies remain unclear.

So, while there are some uncertainties that lie ahead regarding the industry as a whole, it still may be a good time to purchase. You can be confident that at this moment in time, the timeshare industry is growing steadily and relatively healthy. Be sure, however, to ask yourself these questions and do your research before moving forward. Make sure you are ready for the large time and financial commitment that comes with timeshare ownership. And also be aware that once you own a timeshare, it can be very difficult to get rid of, as the struggling resale market suggests.

Vida Vacations Timeshare Experience

We received the following submission from one of our users about their experience purchasing a timeshare with Vida Vacations in Mexico:

timeshare experience“We went to a timeshare presentation at the Riviera Maya in Nov. 2015. It was the worst thing we could of done. Sadly we were scammed. In the sales presentation we asked many questions, and some questions various times. Every question or doubt we had regarding the contract was put to ease by the 2 sales persons who dealt with us. We have tried contacting them at many different numbers and sent them letters. We have been promised that our calls will be returned but they are not. They will not cancel the purchase or contract and they will not even bother to speak to us and find a resolution.

We found 170 complaints on one website against this merchant and their timeshare sales such as the one we bought. I also found dozens of complaints at other complaints boards, at the better business bureau and dozens of other sites online. If you search online Vida Vacations or Vacation Privileges or Mayan resorts you will see endless lists of customers who like us were lied to and scammed.

DO NOT VISIT THIS RESORT OR GO TO THEIR TIMESHARE PRESENTATION NO MATTER WHAT IS OFFERED TO YOU. DO NOT BUY FROM THESE THIEVES.”