Published on May 12th, 2017 | by William Charles64
An Introduction To Timeshare Offers
This is a guest post written by The Timeshare Guru. If you enjoy this post then make sure to check out their site. I’m a newbie when it comes to these offers, so I’d appreciate readers sharing their thoughts/tips/best practices in the comments as well.
It is no secret that timeshares have an awful reputation. When I mention timeshares, most people immediately believe that they are scams, awful deals or only for retirees. Most people are usually introduced through to the world of timeshares while on vacation and agree to attend a presentation for a couple of hours in exchange for money, free meals, points, activities or some other perk.
If you have been to these timeshare presentations, you know that they can be brutal. High pressure sales tactics, being passed to many different salesman before you can claim your gift, and being stuck in these presentations far longer than your agreed time commitment. These high-pressure sales tactics are definitely one reason that timeshares have such a bad reputation.
Despite the reputation, in my opinion, timeshares can be a terrific way to travel in luxury accommodations for very little cost while having tons more space than a typical hotel room if you understand the systems, are flexible, plan far in advance (1 or 2 years) and have a vacation style where you normally stay in one destination for at least 7 days.
Regardless of whether you think timeshares are great or if you think they are a scam, the offers that you can receive to sit through a sales presentation can be extremely valuable. These types of offers generally come via e-mail or snail mail and generally offer a very reasonable package deal of 2 or 3 nights where you pay a small upfront fee (generally $200-$300) for accommodations in a one or two-bedroom timeshare unit in exchange for agreeing to sit through a timeshare presentation. Many times, you can receive also receive hotel bonus points for attending these types of presentations.
For example, I have recently received an offer from Hilton where, for a $249 upfront fee, you can receive a 2-night stay in New York City in a Hilton hotel in midtown, receive 5,000 Honors points, and receive two $100 vouchers, just for sitting through a sale presentation. You can’t argue that this is not a very valuable offer. The vouchers and points are basically worth the upfront fee of $249 and the nightly hotel rate usually will cost upwards of $249 per night if not much, much more.
The Hyatt Residence Club lists offers on its website where you can receive a 1 bedroom for 3 nights for $199 (total) at the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch in San Antonio, Texas. Rates at this property can be as much as $400+ per night during high season.
All the major hotel brands have timeshares including Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, Four Seasons, and Starwood (the timeshares are now called Vistana). All of these timeshares developers provide similar type of introductory offers. Some of better than others but most offers are very valuable and can be a wonderful way of getting a cheap vacation and even profiting from the experience!
How To Get Targeted For Offers
If you wanted to get targeted for these offers, I highly recommend requesting information from the developers. You can request information online and most will immediately contact you. Be honest that you are inquiring about potential ownership and wanted to learn more. Ask if there are any offers for you to experience the properties.
Some will offer deals immediately and others will target you down the road based on the information that you inputted such as state of residence and annual income. They want to make sure that you earn enough to afford a timeshare, I’ve personally never been asked to verify this information.
Here are some good starting points for requesting information:
- Hyatt Residence Club
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Hilton Grand Vacations
- Club Wyndham
- Vistana Signature Experiences
Once you get on their mailing list, I find that you will start receiving various offers to participate in these vacation offers. Generally, they prohibit you from getting the offers more than once per year but each timeshare is different so you need to read the fine print.
The “catch” of all these offers are that you need to sit through the sales presentation. Sales presentations can be pleasant and informative or they can be a high-pressured sales event where they hold you hostage for hours beyond the agreed time commitment. Most timeshare presentations offered by the main companies listed above can be decent since they have a brand to protect.
Warning & Precautions
Nobody goes into a sales presentation wanting to purchase a timeshare. They know that so they have responses to every single excuse on the book. In my experience, I have found that there are a few good tactics to use to end the presentation quickly.
- The Truth: Tell them that you have no interest in purchasing a timeshare and only came out for the benefits. Most salespeople are commission based so they may not want to waste their time on a definitive “no”. Many times, the salespeople are professional and appreciate the honesty. This isn’t always the case so be prepared with some pushback or attitude.
- Travel Locations: Timeshare salespeople are very cunning in crafting responses to all potential reasons not to purchase. However, one thing that can be difficult is for them to invent timeshare locations. When they ask you where you want to travel, you can tell them: Bora Bora, Tahiti, Alaska, Denmark, Perth, Australia, and Dubai to name a few. There are timeshares all over the world but if you name a few of these places where there are no timeshares, it can be a difficult comeback to try to get you to buy one where there are no timeshares in all your desired vacation spots. It is kind of hard to say, “purchase a timeshare even though you can’t use it in any of your desired travel locations”.
- Research: You can also inform them that you are simply learning about timeshares and will not be purchasing anything today. You can tell them that you have appointments with various other timeshares and will be evaluating all the programs. They will likely indicate that the offer prices are only good for today and if you leave you cannot receive the same offers. Fine – don’t be fooled. You can always buy a timeshare anytime you want – GUARANTEED!
Timeshares have various issues but depending on your vacation style, in my opinion, timeshares can be simply awesome! They are not for everyone and there are many different systems, types of timeshare ownership, ways to exchange and nuances for each program. Regardless of your thoughts on timeshares, the offers to participate in a timeshare presentation can be immensely profitable for as little as an hour and a half of your time.
If you are interested in learning more about the intricacies of timeshares, please take a look at my blog. I’m sure that you will have many questions so please reach out and I will answer them and help you navigate the world of timeshares!
Thanks again to the Timeshare Guru for this guest blog post. My advice is that if you’re easily influenced or suspect you might fall victim to high pressure sales tactics to just give these a miss. They are very good at making these offers seem like an exceptional deal and are used to ‘travel hackers’ trying to game the system.