Published on August 24th, 2017 | by William Charles43
Getting Free Stuff from Timeshare Presentations
This is a guest post written by The Timeshare Guru. He has previously written ‘Economics of Owning A Timeshare‘ ‘Benefits Of Owning A Timeshare‘, ‘Complete Guide To Renting Timeshare Properties On The Cheap‘ , ‘An Introduction To Timeshare Offers‘ & ‘Timeshare Strategies‘. If you like those posts or this post please check out his site.
As you can see from my previous posts, timeshare ownership is a controversial topic. Some love their timeshares and others have had horrible experiences with them. While my goal is to educate people on how to maximize timeshare ownership so that you can travel well, timeshare ownership is definitely not for everyone. Purchasing timeshares directly from the developers can be extremely expensive. There are a few reasons for this but one of the major reasons is that it requires a lot of marketing money to get people to learn about timeshares.
Timeshares have a horrendous reputation, I’ve talked about how the word “timeshare” has become a four-letter word. Due to their horrible reputation, developers have been changing their use of timeshares and now offer “vacation clubs”, “memberships”, “fractional ownerships”, “residence clubs”, and other creative names despite them all being a “timeshare”. In this post I’ll be talking about how you can get free stuff from timeshare presentations.
Large Marketing Budgets
One benefit to customers is that timeshare developers have very large marketing budgets. It requires a lot of money to get potential buyers to attend timeshare presentations. As a result, timeshare developers have many tools at their disposal to entice you to listen to their presentation.
Types Of Offers
Back in my college days, I attended a few of these timeshare presentations. As a poor college student, any freebies were highly beneficial and needed. One of my first timeshare presentations was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We were offered free breakfast, a Mexican blanket and a bottle of Kahlua. After that presentation, I thought I had won the lottery!
These days, I would never attend a timeshare presentation for those gifts. However, there are plenty of gifts that I would gladly take in exchange for 90-120 minutes of my time. In this post, I wanted to explore some potential gifts and freebies that timeshare developers are known to offer in order to entice attendance at their presentations. Most of these types of freebies are only given in person and not available online.
Online / Direct Mail Offers
I previously discussed here how to get targeted for vacation packages that the timeshare developers offer. Depending on their vacation package offers, it can be very worthwhile to commit and sit through the timeshare presentation. Online timeshare offers or direct mail timeshare offers generally offer you a significantly discounted vacation package to travel to a property. These are the type of offers that I previously discussed above. These can be targeted via e-mail or arrive in the mail. Some even call you on your phone. Some offers are generally available online and you can book them directly to those that qualify.
I constantly look for these offers as they can be a great way to travel for cheap. Most times, the accommodations will be in a 1 bedroom or even larger condo and cost much less than a hotel room.
Other timeshare offers are generally provided on-site. Most times, when I travel to a destination that have timeshare properties, there are people around that attempt to get vacationers to sit through a presentation at the property.
Types Of Gifts
Timeshare offers can be very lucrative. They can offer resort credits, hotel points, Visa gift cards, concert tickets, slot play, show tickets, activities, discount passes, Disney passes, Universal passes, dining offers, spa treatments, souvenirs, alcohol, golf green fees, additional vacation packages, Sea World tickets, and more. Most times, the types of gifts will be directly related to the activities available within the area of the timeshare.
- Las Vegas, there are regularly offers for free concert tickets, resort credits, free slot play, vacation certificates or show tickets.
- Orlando, they generally offer Disney tickets, fast track Disney passes, vacation packages, Universal tickets or more.
- San Antonio, they generally offer Sea World tickets, Schlitterbahn tickets, vacation packages and others.
- Hawaii, they generally offer luau tickets, dining credits, snorkeling tours and more.
As I have mentioned in other posts, in addition to timeshares, I am a big fan of miles and points. For those timeshare developers associated with major hotel brands, I have been offered plenty of free hotel points for attending a presentation. I have been given Hyatt points, Hilton points and Marriott points. The amount varies per offer and program but they have offered sizeable amounts that gets my attention. Depending on the amount, getting free miles or points can be great, especially if you use them wisely.
Resort Credits can also be a very valuable benefit that are frequently offered by the developers. For those timeshares associated with a hotel, they will offer various amounts of resort credits that can be used throughout your stay for any and all charges at the hotel. These can be used for dining, spa treatments and various other items that you can charge to your room.
Finding The Offers
The thing with timeshares is that you probably do not need to go out to find them, they will find you! Some timeshare promoters can be aggressive and they will come to you but those within the major chains tend to less aggressive and you actually may need to inquire yourself.
Most timeshares that are affiliated with hotel brands actually have timeshare units within or close by the hotel property. Hotels that have timeshare components will generally have booths located throughout the property or a separate area that will discuss their timeshare offerings.
Hotels that have timeshare components want to target the hotel guests that are paying high nightly rates and show them the amount of additional space that they can get through timeshare ownership as well as the “potential” economic savings of owning rather than vacationing at hotels.
There are a ton of hotel properties that have timeshare components. Just off the top of my head, here are few good ones that have both a hotel and a timeshare component:
- Marriott Frenchman’s Cove in St. Thomas
- Marriott St. Kitts
- Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio
- Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe
- Marriott Newport Beach, California
- Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
- Marriott Kauai Lagoons
- Hyatt Centric Park City
- Westin Maui Resort and Spa in Ka’anapali
There are a ton more as this is a fairly common arrangement. If you are staying at a hotel that has a timeshare component, I would definitely ask about timeshare ownership (if they do not find you first) and see what they are offering.
Negotiating Your Gift
Many times, you can negotiate your gift. If they offer you one item, inquire about something else that you may find useful. Many times, the offers are interchangeable so if you prefer a Visa Gift Card over a resort credit, you can likely ask and receive it without an issue. Also, many times, you can try to negotiate upward on what they are offering. They usually have some limits to what they can give you but I would definitely encourage trying to get as much out of the offer if you are willing to attend.
Depending on their demand and potential sales quotas, they could have significant leeway to give you additional items to attend.
I have been to my fair share of timeshare presentations and some are good, some are bad and some are truly horrendous. Some can be easy going while others put intense pressure on you to purchase. Giving up a couple of hours on vacation to get these gifts can easily be worthwhile and allow you to do activities, have luxurious meals, do spa treatments or other things that you normally would not do on vacation or would not want to spend money on. Other times, vacation time is precious and I would not want to give up my time to attend these presentations.
The key is to be aware of these offers and see what they are offering. You could be surprised! If you do attend, make sure to do research on the program before committing to anything! The timeshare presenters will generally tell you anything you want to hear in order for you to commit. The issue is that many times, their statements are false or half-truths so do you own research, understand the programs and understand purchasing options before ever committing on the spot!
I am a big fan of my timeshares and get tremendous value out of them but not all timeshares are equal and not everyone wants to or can navigate the systems or be as flexible with travel plans as most timeshares require.
What have you been offered? Have you been successful in negotiating any original offer? Make sure to comment below! Thanks again for Doctor of Credit for their continued support!
Note from Will: Big thanks again to The Time Share Guru for this series of posts. If you haven’t already, check out their site.