If you are interested in becoming a timeshare owner, you need to be aware of the timesharing scams and lies being told by timeshare salespeople. A timeshare salesperson will promise you the sun, moon, and stars in order to get you to walk out of a presentation as an owner, but they will rarely make good on the perks they are offering during the sales pitch. If you do decide to purchase directly from a developer at a presentation, be sure to get everything in writing including bonus weeks, estimated value, accessibility, resort amenities, and other special offers. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Keep reading to discover the Top 5 Timeshare Lies.
- Timeshare is a good investment. This is one of the biggest whoppers out there, and also one of the key ways timeshare salespeople will get prospective buyers to sign on. Many timeshare salespeople will present the timeshare as if it is a real estate investment, leading consumers to believe its value with appreciate over time, which is totally false. The truth is, timeshare purchased from a developer is ALWAYS overpriced, and the IDENTICAL timeshare can be purchased on the resale market for a fraction of the price.
- You can make a lot of money renting out your week, if you choose not to use it for any reason. This is another form of bait used by timeshare scammers to reinforce the idea that timeshare is a good investment. The idea that you can make money on with your timeshare is absolutely false. The reality is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to rent out an unused timeshare week and make a profit. You may be able to rent out a week and break even, but not without added stress, time, and involvement related to finding a renter. Most owners choose not to deal with the extra step of renting and end up banking unused weeks or losing them all together.
- If you get tired of your timeshare you can easily resell it, and even make a profit. Timeshares are almost always sold at a loss on the resale market (unless you were lucky enough to pick up a Hawaii timeshare at some deep discount). They are not easy to resell, and with reselling comes a whole other host of timeshare scam artists that charge fees to list your property on their website or require exorbitant amounts of money to execute a sale on your behalf.
- X company will buy your old timeshare from you for a considerable amount of money (perhaps more than you paid for it), and that amount will be deducted from the purchase price of a new timeshare or applied as the down payment. Truth is, this simply does not happen. Timeshare salespeople have no intention of helping you get rid of an unwanted timeshare you already have, and these X companies do not usually exist.
- You will be able to trade your timeshare week for a stay anywhere in the world (this applies to weeks vacation ownership only). The way that timeshare weeks programs are set up do not make it very easy to trade for other locations, and many weeks timeshare owners have found that without banking a few years in advance, it is almost impossible to get their choice of resort and/or week. For more information on this read about a class action lawsuit dealing with timeshare trading –Murillo vs. RCI
If you are presented with any of the above 5 scenarios, get the promises in writing. If you choose to go through with the purchase, make sure these facts are noted in the contract signed by you and the company representative and MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A COPY of it before you leave the property. If they are unwilling to do this, which happens in most situations, walk away.