4 Myths of Timeshare to Know Before You Buy – T.F.T.I

Tales from the Inside

Learn about the most common myths in the timeshare industry

Timeshare organizations are still booming and total sales have increased for an eighth straight year, and the amount of unhappy consumers posting in forums has risen right along with it. If you are considering purchasing a timeshare for nearly any reason other than doing lots of research and believing it will truly compliment your vacation habits, you are making a mistake. Doing your due diligence and understanding how the program works and what people that use it are saying about it is key in the purchase process.

Below are the 4 leading myths that convince people to purchase a timeshare property. Understanding the truth behind these myths could stop you from making a decision that could haunt you the rest of your life.

Myth #1: Timeshares are a Good Investment

If you fell for this one, don’t feel too badly. Lots of people have made the same mistake. The Sales Rep is making some convincing points about reselling or renting your property… you’re imagining yourself taking some great vacations AND making some money in the long run… it sounds like an easy decision. Then the years go by and you realize the dream you were sold was more of a nightmare.

Timeshare properties shouldn’t be purchased with hopes of financial profit. You are stuck with the maintenance fees whether you use the property or not and they are hard enough to give away for free, let alone sell for a profit.

Myth #2: Timeshares are Easy to Trade

In timeshares early days, you only had the option to go to the property you purchased. How boring. Since then, companies like RCI and Interval International have partnered with resorts to allow owners to exchange their properties with one-another. Great, so you should just be able to pop in and trade for where you want to go pretty easily, right? Wrong. You have to deal with requests, trade values, fees, and still may get denied for multiple locations before you end up having to settle for something available.

Myth #3: Timeshare Owners are Top Priority

Most owners are under the impression that they are considered first priority after purchasing. They get the best rooms, the best services, and the best perks. While most owners do enjoy several perks and benefits of their ownership, they are also shuffled down the line behind potential new owners and people that haven’t stayed at the property before. These are the type of people they are looking to impress, the ones who’s money they haven’t gotten yet. Who do you think they will try to take car of more, the people who already own, or the people who are signed up for their sales presentation tomorrow morning?

I have seen this in person. Owners will be booked in mediocre units while a portion of the top shelf units are saved for those attending presentations.

Myth #4: Traveling with Timeshare is Cheaper

Timeshare is represented as a way to increase the quality and ease planning your vacations, while saving money in the long run. It sounds like as wonderful concept, but unfortunately isn’t typically the case. Some people can take advantage of deals and excess inventory to get some great deals, but most people cant wait until 30 days before their trip to start planning. The typical timeshare traveler is paying $1,000+ for the timeshare ownership, $800+ in annual maintenance fees, plus additional fees for trading and memberships within RCI and Interval.

When you add up all of the associated costs, it usually would’ve been cheaper (and easier) to just book the trip yourself.

Conclusion: Timeshare Doesn’t Work for Most People

This probably isn’t breaking news to anyone, but with so many people still making purchases based on misinformation, it’s worth pointing out. The initial and ongoing costs, limited tradability and availability, along with the significant difficulty in reselling make Timeshares a bad idea for the vast majority of people.

-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!

5 Signs Your Timeshare Rep is Lying to You – TFTI

In  my first blog, I spoke briefly about the fact that all Timeshare Reps were not bad people. I stand by that. However, I also have to acknowledge the fact that there is a large portion of representatives that are quite sleazy. The ones who will say anything to take your dollar.

These are the terrible peop… I mean Timeshare Reps we will be talking about in this blog.The following 5 tactics are red flags that you’re sitting with a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

They Tell You You are Required to Hear the Presentation

  • This one starts at the beginning. When you are checking into your property and are confronted by the concierge. Listen closely. There is no such thing as an owners update. I know. They make it seem so official and mandatory. They tell you about the potential equity you would be giving up by skipping the presentation. They tell you anything they can think of to make you stay. At the end of the day, you are doing it for the gift card. The only thing they want is to sell you anymore timeshare by any means necessary.

They Try to Scare You with Losing Equity or Benefits

  • This is kind of a continuation from the last point. There is no such thing as owner equity or signing off on benefits if you don’t purchase something on your presentation. This is the most obvious scare tactic used. I promise you, there is nothing they would sell you then that they wouldn’t sell you if you called them next month ready to buy.

You are Required to Run Your Credit on the Tour

  • This is a big one. It may be hard to believe that reps say this, or even harder to believe that people fall for this, but it absolutely happens. Running your credit means they can officially qualify you for financing and gets them one step closer to the sale. NEVER give authorization to run credit unless you are truly comfortable with considering a purchase.

The Lowest Package Can Get You to Hawaii

  • Nope. Not even a little bit. People who have owned timeshare for some time and tried to get into Hawaii understand how bold of a lie this is. While it is true that someone with a high enough level of ownership can get some prime weeks in Hawaii, that owner most likely isn’t going to be you. I would estimate that most timeshare reps inflate their packages capabilities by 4x what they will ever produce.

They Try to Convince You to Put the Purchase on an Exclusive Credit Card

  • This is another pretty unsettling tactic. Not the fact that they are asking you to finance the purchase, but the fact that they are selling you on a turd painted. While I cant be familiar with all of the credit cards offered in all of the timeshare offices all over the world, I can be confident in my belief that the terms and benefits are being lied about by untrustworthy reps. Interest rates, point plans, maintenance fee payment options…. The list goes on. While these are offered on typical cards, the ease of reaching their true benefits is greatly exaggerated and unrealistic.

There are other warning signs that can tip you off to a trickster, but those were the most common. Any of these situations should make your “spidey senses“ tingle. You can leave your presentation at any time regardless of what they say. If you really wanna tough it out for the gift they offered you, go for it. Just wait until your required time mark and firmly ask for your gift and carry on with your vacation.

-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!

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!