Posted by William Charles on May 12, 2017
Misc

Published on May 12th, 2017 | by William Charles

64

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. 

Introduction

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.

Sample Offers

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:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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”.
  3. 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. 



64 Responses to An Introduction To Timeshare Offers

  1. Lisa says:

    I did this once. I travel with a handicapped adult. The timeshare folks could not ensure handicapped accessible rooms. Therefore, the argument was closed. Same argument should work for others, even if it doesn’t actually apply. And maybe (unlikely) word would make it’s way back that more should be done to make more rooms handicapped accessible. (And no matter what one says, a room with a tub instead of a shower is NOT handicapped accessible.)

  2. Greg T says:

    We have a timeshare in Branson that is for every other year and has been a good deal for us as we have made good use of it with the flexible date plan. I would tell people never buy from the company selling them but buy it from someone wanting to get out of their timeshare. You can get a much better price that way.

    This is the first year we will probably not be able to use our place in Branson since 2005. Can you suggest the best way to advertise and find someone who would want to use it? I want to offer a 1 bedroom condo for $400 for a week and a 2 bedroom condo for $700. I was considering using airbnb.

  3. Sam says:

    I did a timeshare presentation with IHG, and they put us up in a different holiday inn Express. Wasn’t a big deal, and was actually a pretty decent hotel, but I’ve read many accounts of people being put up in lousy places and expected to make their own way to the timeshare property

    • Tom says:

      True, but sometimes this can also work to your advantage. I attended the IHG presentation in Orlando, but I had no interest in staying at their resort in the middle of nowhere, so I found a cheaper property near downtown Orlando and they approved me staying there instead. A win/win, since the purpose of my trip involved attractions in the downtown area anyway.

    • Hin says:

      Same thing happened to me but it worked out really well since I got the IHG points for the stay even though I didn’t have to pay for the room.

  4. Dan says:

    I love the timeshare presentations for the free stuff. We were in Vegas and attended Hilton and some other company. Hilton was REALLY EASY. When I told the rep, I was not interested, he certainly changed attitude to being a dick and calling me a cheapskate, BUT we were out of the there in 20 minutes (instead of 2 hours).

    The other company did make us listen to them for the full promised time, but no more.

    I have no reservations about attending more of them.

    Nobody should ever purchase a timeshare though. It is a horrible deal. In reality, those people have to pay you to take it, because of maintenance fees.

  5. TomT says:

    I have attended about a dozen timeshare presentations in my life; four of them (2 still coming) within a 12 month window. Hilton packages have given me the best value. Shell presentations are not worth your time in my opinion.

    You can almost always receive a presentation package offer from one of the hotel chains if you simply call to confirm or inquire about your booking, as long as you are a member of that hotel’s loyalty program. In the last six months, I’ve been transferred to a presentation package offer from Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Windham.

    Also, you can almost always get a better presentation package offer by negotiating with the person at the call center. Tell them anything that will make it sound like you are about to say “No”, such as you can’t make any type of purchase without your spouse, you need to know the exact date you can get the package, or that you already have vacations planned out for the next 12 months. That has worked for me multiple times, resulting in things like a $100 reduction on the presentation package price or an added benefit like a free luau for two.

    One more caution for readers who might think about actually purchasing a timeshare: look online to see how many people are trying to get out of their lifetime contract by selling them for as little as one dollar to avoid the never ending annual maintenance fees.

    • Would definitely like to hear more about readers success stories getting better offers than initially offered. Would also like to find out how they determine what to offer. Any insiders want to share more info?

      • Trevor says:

        Hilton is giving us 7 days( initially promised unlimited) at Disney area. 1 bedroom is free. 2 bedroom is $100 per night. We paid $295 IIRC and they well refund it completely once we attend the presentation. Also receiving 5k biotin points (better than nothing) and a stay a night cert (free night up to $200 basically) after attending.

        That was the offer agreed to with the agent that “sold” us the presentation. When we actually went to book a couple months later, they didn’t want to honor it, but we relistened to the recording with a senior manager and they are honoring it.

  6. John K says:

    My wife and I have two young children and we love using these timeshare “opportunities” as small trips that basically pay for themselves.

    I’d add Choice Hotels as another option – their vacation partner is Bluegreen Resorts.

    Additional requirements for these: typically there is a minimum age and income requirement.

    We first got in touch with these by calling into hotel loyalty 1-800 numbers and being offered a sales pitch. I caught on that I could call in to Choice Hotels or Wyndham Group pretty much whenever I wanted and I would be made the same generic offers – get a free or reduced stay for 4 or 3 days depending on locale and for attending a presentation.

    Be sure to ask if these offers are refundable or changeable. Hilton offers these packages in a similar fashion but their deals are non-refundable. Wyndham and Choice (Bluegreen vacation resorts) are both refundable for the first 15 days, and they will typically let you make a booking as far out as a year initially.

    Always call back in and ask for a better offer during the refundable period. Tell them you’ve had a better offer elsewhere or are simply no longer interested. You can get all of the following:
    – A gift card equal to or slightly more than the cost of your package (example: cost $149, card $150; cost $179, card $200)
    – Improved accomodations (a cabin or townhouse instead of a room, the corner room with the jacuzzi tub instead of a regular room, better view, etc.)
    – If working with a hotel partner, a “stay the night on us” voucher worth $100. T&C: voucher good from date of presentation typically for 6-12 months after. Must call ahead to schedule. Will reimburse up to $100 for one night stay, not including tax/resort fees, so typically shoot for a room close to $100.
    – More time to schedule. They usually start with a 6 month window, you can get it extended for free to 12-18 months typically. They would usually charge extra for this service.

    BEFORE YOU GO IN, give yourselves a pep talk that you aren’t interested and why. They will be friendly and nice and tell you whatever they think you want to hear to make a sale – and your game is to always say no with a smile. Bring a copy of the state regulations on timeshare presentations and know your rights. Be honest upfront in your disinterest and assertive in watching the clock and keeping them honest. For me, the easiest answer to their push is “I already get enough hotel points for all the stays/vacations we need using credit cards and travel for work.” This is also a nice segway if you have a polite salesman for changing the conversation from a high pressure sales pitch to discussing the points/credit card hobby while they show you around the place.

    They have to show you around and give their spiel. Even if you aren’t interested, let them show you a room, drive you on the golf cart, and look at their binder full of stats. Be polite but firm in your disinterest.

    Last summer we traveled to the Dells to attend a Club Wyndham presentation. For $179 we were offered 4d/3n at the Wintergreen “Resort” (really a mediocre motel with decent indoor/outdoor water play areas) with a corner room with more space and a jacuzzi tub, a $150 MC & a $100 stay-the-night-on-us with Wyndham for attending the “presentation.” We were told ahead of time to expect taxes/resort fees and so were not surprised to pay ~$70 at the door. We had to go to the Wilderness to attend the presentation, which they scheduled. We did manage to reschedule it as we were not told ahead of time when to expect it and we’d already made plans for when they scheduled our presentation. It was a bit of a hassle but they made it happen for us. The 2 hour presentation would have been more like 2.5 to 3 hours had we not rudely cut them off at the 2 hour mark, due to exhausted children. We were pretty roughly handed off from our initial salesperson to a manager and finally to a back office person who tried to sell us some ownership at cost. He was the most rude, throwing our mastercard at us and turning away after we explained how it was already past our 2 hour mark and we weren’t interested. I think they only have two presentations per day – one a 9am and one at 1pm – so they are really looking at it as a 3 hour deal for their staff despite the 2 hours advertised. That said, we had a great time in the Dells other than those 2.5 hours, and most of it was covered by Wyndham – thanks Wyndham!

    Next month we’re going back to the dells with Choice/Bluegreen Vacations at their Christmas Mountain Village. Have a cabin with a loft (upgrade call in), cost $149 but got a $150 MC gift card and a $100 stay the night on us voucher (upgrade call in).

    Have another Wyndham scheduled for this Fall down in the white sands of panhandle of FL. Got a beachfront room for a similar deal to the above, with all the upgrades after a second call in. They initially called me this time. Made a pretty good offer up front, but called in to sweeten in later. I can’t remember if their wait time between presentations was 6 or 12 months.

    • Aahz says:

      No offense to TTG, but I found your comment much more useful and informative than his post. Thanks, John K.

    • Awesome comment. Question, are you able to get additional offers after your first offer (and being informed re rules and time allowed) or do they blacklist you?

      • John K says:

        With Wyndham at least no blacklist after the first attempt, we have a second one scheduled in December of this year. One of the requirements to participate is that’s you haven’t attended a presentation with the Wyndham group in the past six months. My opinion is these are churnable every six months.

        Also, we just got back from our Bluegreen Resorts timeshare visit in June. The salesman we had was much more experienced and cut to the chase with us, as we did with him. We told him up front we weren’t interested, and he politely asked that we have an open mind, but to feel comfortable and that they don’t use high pressure sales tactics. They kept their promise. It was a pleasant two hour presentation, with only one handoff, and I never felt uncomfortable. All he asked was that we rate him an 8 or higher on a survey, which I wasn’t happy to when I got the email a week later. They even gave us our gifts up front. Bluegreen – highly recommended.

        Another benefit to staying at a resort and participating in a timeshare presentation is discounts they offer for local attractions. As a family of four we saved nearly $100 over 2 days on activities we were going to do anyway (boat tour, “safari” visit) just for buying the tickets at the resort. Cheers!

  7. lawnmowerman says:

    I love a nice segway.

  8. Joe says:

    Does one have to be married to take advantage of these offers?

    • John K says:

      The offers I’ve had:

      did not require you to be married,

      but if you are married, you must both attend the presentation.

      …I assume so you can both sign the contract if you buy.

    • Justin says:

      No. In Vegas once I was approached about one. Screened for my income which was adaquate. I considering doing it, but since my gf didn’t live at the same address with me they compensation offer was only for me. For that one, marriage wasn’t important but for the second person they had to be a household member.

      • Aahz says:

        Can you elaborate on what you mean by “screened for my income”?

        • Lela, Frugal Nellie says:

          In my experience they just ask you what your annual income is, no proof. I had a nice rep on the phone practically eluding to the fact that it was approximate and one could lie if they want to. He said something along the lines of “of course you have at least 50k of income, right? We won’t require any proof…” That was IHG (Holiday Inn) hotels. I was promised that I can extend as long as I like before making any reservations and can switch to any of 8-10 properties around US at any time. I got 4 nights free for equal reimbursement in $ expected at the time of the stay and a $100 choice hotel cert too. I got all my upgrades on my first phone conversation, though I spent about 45 min on the phone really honestly being on the fence about it. I haven’t actually used my stay or gotten my money & vouchers yet so I can’t report on that. That offer was received when I called into IHG for a separate question. I received an offer after that for a separate hotel group- possibly as a spam call, but passed because the locations were so similar to the first offer and it wasn’t a full 100% reimbursement.

  9. MoreSun says:

    Recently got our last night free at a Marriott Vacation Club in Hawaii for listening to the 90 min pitch (alternatively could have had 20,000 Marriott points or $125). No interest in purchasing a timeshare. They stuck to 90 mins for the pitch and then passed us to the hard pitch person who was pretty short after we made it clear we weren’t interested. Everyone was pretty nice. (I think they are such a huge operation there it was a waste of time for them to keep pitching us.)

  10. Ken says:

    My wife and I recently attended a timeshare presentation in Hawaii for a cat 7 SPG resort. Great deal where we paid $800 for 5 nights stay, a bonus of 5,000 spg points, plus buy 1 get 1 free helicopter ride ($250 value), and $200 credit for a rental car. We love to travel so the conversation probably led them to think we were an easy target. We eventually said that our parents are about retire and would need financial help from us and that a $60,000 timeshare (lowest one they had in Hawaii) w/ $3,000 annual maintenance fee is not for us right now. The guy, as nice as he could, kept insisting it’s more reason to buy this timeshare. One, so we can escape the stress of spending all our money on supporting the parents. Two, so we can take our retiring parents out on vacation and they’ll love us more. Three, its a great deal! Laughing inside, we still didn’t budge…

    They then sent in another closer with a less expensive offer of $40,000 timeshare outside Hawaii, we still declined. Then the manager came in to offer us an even lower $20,000 timeshare with limited dates, we still declined. Then they offered to bring us back to the resort for only $3,000 for another 5 night stay… no thank you!

    It took almost 1.5 hours of our time, but I feel we made out like a bandit on this.

    • Suresh Nivin Gopi says:

      Wow, that’s gutsy of you. Most people would not want to go through 3 hard selling salesfolks 🙂

    • Shonuffharlem says:

      How did you get such an amazing initial offer?

      • Ken says:

        Not sure why I was targeted but I’ve only been a member of the spg program for 8 months when that happened. I received a letter invitation for that Westin resort promo.

  11. MontyFC says:

    What are the typical privacy policies of these timeshare companies? I once attended a timeshare in Vegas and the company sold my info to several other companies and I kept on receiving junk mail and calls for a while.

    I know you can easily opt out for banks and other financial institutions and stop them for sharing your info to their partners. Is it as easy with these timeshare companies as well?

  12. Abey says:

    Thanks for this post William. This is very interesting. I never went to a timeshare and i stayed far away from accepting one since i watched an episode of King of Queens (Slippery slope) which is hillarious. But hey maybe its not as bad and i should reconsider for the free stuff after all i have been sitting through 2 hour annoying movies before to satisfy the gf so i guess i can do it.

  13. alex says:

    Great post.

    Here is my experience with Wyndham:

    By phone I was offered three nights at Pier 2620 in SF for $179 upfront, with a $200 amex GC after the sales meeting and a $100 voucher to any Wyndham property worldwide. Pretty sweet eh?

    The sales meeting was scheduled by phone before check in and they were flexible on the exact date of it. It would be held at the Wyndham Canterbury, and they would pay me $20 for transportation from my hotel.

    The meeting was fine, lasted only about 1 hour, and the sales person was generally OK to deal with. They coughed up the $200 gc, travel compensation and I was on my merry way.

    I would highly recommend this.

    The Pier 2620 hotel was fantastic and the bill was suppsoed to be about $1,100 for the three nights.

    They allow you to do this deal once every six months, and you can buy multiple packages at a time with the agent by phone!

    • Lela, Frugal Nellie says:

      Sweeet! Great info! Thanks for letting us know exactly how repeatable this is!

      • Alex says:

        I’m glad it’s useful. If you call the car rental companies, hertz in particular, they will sometimes route you to Wyndham vacation club. That’s how I originally found out about this deal.

  14. El Guapo says:

    You could not get me into another timeshare presentation for anything under a 1,000 value. I guess my tolerance for avoidable sales presentations is just too low. I start to feel bad for the salespeople, thinking about the series of bad life choices they must have made to end up on the other side of the golf cart, waxing poetic about the great exchange opportunities for their “owners.”

  15. All, Thanks for the comments and thank you to Will / Doctor of Credit for agreeing to post my article. You can see from the replies that timeshares have a mixed reputation. They are definitely not any type of financial investment but definitely can provide some reasonable or cheap weeks for vacation in some very nice properties and locations.

    There are many travel hacks to get great weeks but it requires a bit of time and effort to learn the systems.

    Feel free to reach out for questions or further comments!

    The Timeshare Guru

    • John K says:

      Thanks TTG! Great collection of info you provided. You listed a couple groups I didn’t know about – will definitely have to check them out! 🙂

  16. Charles says:

    Timeshare presentations are a great way to visit Walt Disney World for cheap. I have gotten an almost free stay directly across the street from Disney Springs with Hilton. Lots of other hotel chains have similar deals in the area. The presentation was a little high pressure. But they gave up pretty quickly when I said I had an appointment with the Disney Vacation Club and would not buy before attending that. DVC is actually not bad for timeshare if you buy resale. I now own there. If anyone is interested in buying, ALWAYS look at the resale market before you attend a sales presentation. DVC presentations are not high pressure at all. However, you won’t get a free room out it. You might get some fast passes if you attend a presentation at one of the resorts. I did get 3 “magic” fast passes – good anytime, any ride for up to 6 people, for attending a presentation aboard a Disney cruise.

    • Lrdx says:

      I have a recent experience with a Welk Resorts presentation. I got 2 SFO-HNL return tickets plus a hotel stay for 2 nights (extendable) in Honolulu for attending a presentation at Northstar Lake Tahoe. The actual offer was actually good enough for us to think hard on it if we should accept, while I expected something ridiculous.

  17. Jan says:

    I booked a Club Wyndham presentation for 4 days 3 nights at the Paramount hotel in Seattle for $299. I will receive 15k Wyndham points and $100 certificate towards a Wyndham hotel anywhere in the world. Is this a good deal or could I have paid less? I was told I had 15 days to cancel but I must do it in writing. Is this true or can I call to cancel?

  18. John K says:

    Just an aside – did anyone else notice this article’s googleadservices lists two methods to resell timeshares? Just shows the interest/desperation for unloading many of these packages.

  19. adam d says:

    Id’d go with I am about to start dialysis and cant be away for more than 2 days from home.

  20. Christine B says:

    I’ve always wondered, how do these presentations work when you have small children? Do I drag my kids along?…no salesperson would want to deal with my bored/hungry/tired kids for several hours.

    • Kids are a great excuse to get out of there quick! I have taken mine along just to give me an easy out when needed.

      • maikar says:

        I bought a timeshare in full for 26k + 3k annual maintenance fees from Monarch Grand Vacation around 2004. That sucker went bankrupt a few years back and Diamond Resorts took over the option to service us. Worst ever. Tried to strong arm us into buying their 60k Timeshare and told us our own timeshare (paid in full) was worth zero value and would be hard to get even ONE reservation in the future while increasing our annual maintenance fee (in the tune of thousands) every year. I felt bullied and scared. I stopped paying dues earlier this year. Smart? I don’t know. But I hate how aggressive they are towards us while visiting properties. I hate timeshares like Diamond Resorts now, I can’t even look at another one right now.

        If you know how to get rid of my timeshare for money, I am all ears. I want to get rid of this, and not look back.

        • Maikar,

          Sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many timeshares are worth nothing and can be extremely difficult to sell. However, I strongly disagree that you cannot exchange your week for very quality resorts. I also strongly disagree about you stopping paying the dues. They have some strong legal recourse against you and your credit will take a significant hit for 7+ years if they foreclose on you.

          Getting rid of the timeshare for money can be tough but you can potentially give it back to Diamond Resorts in a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or list it on Ebay, TUG and various brokers.

          If you wanted to reach out directly, I can see if there are any other options out there.

  21. Dee says:

    Thanks for this post. Hubby and I have attended numerous pitches for a variety of rewards over the last 18 years. Sometimes they pursue us. Sometimes we pursue them.

    Our first one at a Marriott in Park City, UT got us a free dinner. Our latest was this past winter – 4 nights/5 days at the Westin Cancun for $299, plus they gave us 5,000 SPGs. I didn’t know about proactively negotiating, though I’ve stumbled upon it a few times unintentionally (Holiday Inn $199 for 4 nights/5 days that I couldn’t get Hubby to commit to a date.) Good to know.

  22. Tom says:

    Obviously the conventional wisdom is to never actually buy a new timeshare, but what about buying one for $1 on the used market? Of course people would tend to assume it’s a bad deal by default, but nobody ever talks much about this or offers much insight into this… I think 99% of the people that read this blog are smart enough to know to never buy a new timeshare, but most of us are also very interested in seeking out the best deals… I know that some timeshare companies, such as IHG (the only one who I’ve actually attended a presentation for so far) offer an annual sum of flexible points that can be converted to actual hotel points if you’d rather not stay at an actual timeshare property. Has anyone ever done an analysis of buying used timeshares from the various companies for the sole purpose of getting the annual bonus points, and then done analysis to see if the value of the points outweighs the annual maintenance fees or not? Additionally, with Marriott for example, would these annual points count towards lifetime status (assuming Marriott offers annual points like IHG does, I don’t know). If they do count towards lifetime status, perhaps for some people it might be worthwhile to buy a used timeshare for a few years in order to boost their lifetime point totals?

    Just some random thoughts…. it seems like there could be a lot of potential opportunities out there for used timeshares, but everyone always focuses on the “SAY NO TO NEW TIMESHARES!” argument and lumps used timeshares in with them, even though they are generally considered to be a much better deal… it would be very useful if the Guru could post any information about the used market and answer some of these questions for this community. Thanks in advance!

    • Tom says:

      Additionally, with Marriott, you’d also have access to the 5 night vacation packages too, which could be another awesome benefit.. not saying it’s worth it, just wondering if anyone has ever actually done the analysis for buying a used timeshare…

      • Tom,

        Thanks for all the questions. You are exactly on target with your question. My blog seeks to show you how to maximize timeshare ownership. The vast majority of timeshare owners are disgruntled since the initial purchase price was way too high, it is hard to sell, if you can sell, you will only get pennies on the dollar and a lot of false promises on being able to trade your week at a whim for highly desirable properties. This is generally why the general consensus is to stay far, far away from timeshares.

        If you go into a purchase knowing these pitfalls but recognize the potential and know how to maximize the systems, timeshares can actually be a great tool in your travel arsenal. Timeshares are not for everybody. I am an avid points collector and I use timeshares and points to travel for free or for a very reasonable cost as compared to retail nightly rates but I strongly believe that timeshares can be great, especially when used with points and miles.

        Some of your questions are answered on the blog and I just wrote a post about comparing using / accumulating posts with Hyatt and using them at timeshare properties as opposed to owning a Hyatt timeshare and using Hyatt timeshare points to reserve the same properties. This should be posting on Monday.

        Timeshares are misunderstood and they can be absolutely screaming deals provided that your initial purchase price is reasonable and you understand how to maximize the systems.

        Many timeshares do sell for $1.00 or people will pay you to take them over. Other times, some of the nicer properties that I try to focus on (Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Four Seasons) can sell for $1.00 but many will sell for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on the resale market. Lower quality timeshares or those without a name brand (Shell, Bluegreen, Westgate, etc.) tend to have the worst resale market as no one knows of these companies even though some of their properties can be very luxurious.

        I will answer some of your questions in upcoming posts and see if I can provide a deeper analysis on how timeshares can actually be screaming deals if you buy them cheaply.

        I have a section on the blog called “Guru Deals”. I haven’t been updating this section as frequently but it should give you a good idea of some previous deals that occurred and what you can exchange into or rent.

        Just as an example, I am traveling to Park City over Memorial Day weekend and will be staying in a 1 bedroom unit at the base of the mountain. I rented this week for just over $200 for the week.

        Another example, I am traveling over 4th of July weekend to Costa Rica and reserved a 2 bedroom condo for just over $300 for the week.

        I have high standards and both of these units are comparable to Marriotts, Hiltons, and Hyatts.

        Neither of these two vacations require you to own a timeshare and neither require a timeshare presentation of any kind.

        Thanks for your questions and I hope you find the blog useful! Feel free to reach out directly if you wanted a specific question answered and/or a specific analysis.

        The Timeshare Guru

        • Tom says:

          Thanks for the quick response, I did take another look at your site now and was able to find answers to some of the questions. I’ll check back from time to time to keep updated with your new content.

          Personally, one of my biggest questions is regarding the ability to convert timeshare points into hotel points. After reading one of your articles, it seems that some/many of the companies remove this ability if you purchase the timeshare on the resale market, is this correct? So for example (and these numbers are hypothetical, I really have no clue) if I would a used Marriott timeshare on sale for $100 on ebay, and I purchased it, I would NOT have the ability to convert the timeshare points to hotel points since it was purchased on the resale market, correct? Is this the same for all of the major hotel brands, or do some companies allow this?

          My main curiosity revolves around trying to find the cheapest possible timeshare that could purchase that could potentially provide an annual stream of hotel points that can be used anywhere in the hotel chain, for a minimal annual fee. And specifically, with Marriott, apparently this unlocks the ability to purchase their 5 day nights/flights travel packages as well, which is another good benefit. But from what I’m reading, it sounds like it’s not possible to find something like this on the resale market, since the hotel point conversion feature is blocked…? No way I’d pay $20,000 for that privilege, but if it’s possible to do on the resale market for dirt cheap, then that changes everything… Thanks for the info!

  23. UAPhil says:

    I’m not an expert on timeshares, but I’ve heard that they can also be a nightmare for your heirs when you pass away.

    I’ve also been told there are legal firms who know how to get you out of a timeshare contract that you can’t sell, but that it will cost you $3,000-$4,000 to do so. There are shady operators in this marketplace, but I met someone who had a good experience with one such firm. My partner is a dissatisfied timeshare owner; she may take this route at some point.

  24. Daniel M says:

    I am a Marriott Vacation Club Asia Pacific owner and can refer people to a free 4 day 3 night stay at Marriott Mai Khao Beach (Phuket) in exchange for attending a sales presentation. PM me at Flyertalk if you’re interested. My username is LHS323
    Thanks

  25. yang says:

    If you want to attend a timeshare presentation, just fly to Los Cabos. Right when you step out of the terminal, you get bombarded with salesmen trying to get you to attend one. The salesmen get commission when you attend and will tell you what you need to say, but they care less if you buy or not. The salesmen will give you up to $300 USD (had to say no a few times), gourmet breakfast buffet vouchers (best meal I had on the trip), fare for round trip taxi to airport. The presentation was about 90 minutes and not as pushy as I expected. I forgot the name of the property, but it is the one that is connected to Mango Deck. I thought it was worth it and would probably do it again. This was my 4th timeshare, never see myself buying one due to the annual maintenance fees.

    • JR Stewart says:

      I am a multiple resort, resale, timeshare owner and 4.6m point/mile owner.

      I frequently go to presentations in Mexico, when I need more Pesos 😉

      You can get anywhere from various tours etc up to $400, in Pesos (about 7500). At 19:1 you can live like a king in Mexico!

      always buy resale, if you must.

  26. Jackie says:

    Has anyone have done the Club Wyndham time share presentation with the promise of 15k Wyndham points and one night on us up to $100?

    I am interested in know if there is a “catch ” to the free gift of 15k Wyndham points. Do I need to purchase anything or is it totally free and credited to my Wynham loyalty account.

    TIA

  27. sil says:

    Hope someone can answer this as soon as possible. My last wyndham presentation was October 2016. I will be going to another one September 2017. I received the 6 page terms and conditions for my 4 days 3 nights package today. It states that I may not have attended a presentation in the last SIX months to qualify.

    Then I received another email for the confirmation of my hotel in Seattle. It states that I may not have attended a presentation in the last TWELVE months for qualify.

    Which is correct? Six or 12 months??

    I don’t want to run into any problems later and not receive my free gifts.

    TIA

  28. Mark says:

    “You can always buy a timeshare anytime you want – GUARANTEED!” I love this line. Seriously how is a price only valid for an hour when they are always actively pursuing new clients with all kinds of shenanigans. In general if you can’t have a day or two to think over a large purchase that will impact you for years or decades then you ought not make that purchase. Very little is ever “too good to be true”.

    • Shonuffharlem says:

      Oh it’s worse than that you can often buy a used one while their still selling new. Anyone ever at end of presentation go “I’m sold awesome resort! I found on Internet one for sale at your place for way less than your offer I’m calling the seller now!”

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