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Fraud and Deception Perpetrated by Exit Firms - Exit Timeshare Now

Fraud and Deception Perpetrated by Exit Firms

Judge’s Ruling Demonstrates the Pattern of Fraud and Deception Perpetrated by Exit Firms on Unsuspecting Timeshare Owners  

Consumers Should Report Timeshare Exit Scams to Authorities 

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2019 – A judge for the United States District Court Middle District of Florida Orlando Division ruled against Mitchell Reed Sussman & Associates, a timeshare exit firm, in the case brought on by Westgate Resorts, a resort developer headquartered in Orlando, Florida. In the summary judgment ruling, the judge stated, “Mr. Sussman’s letters informing timeshare owners they successfully exited… are objectively deceptive.” The court also stated that, “Contrary to what owners were told, stopping payments does not effectuate a timeshare exit,” which is a tactic many companies and individuals in the timeshare exit industry attempt to use. 

“This is another case where timeshare owners were deceived into paying large upfront fees for services that the exit company knew it could not deliver,” said VP of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel of ARDA, Robert Clements. “The court found the scheme didn’t stop there. Owners were told to stop all communication with their timeshare company while the exit company kept them in the dark about the status of their matter. The final insult came when the exit company told the owners they were out of their timeshare, only to find out later that was false, leaving many of the owners in a worse situation with damaged credit, facing a foreclosure and no refund of the fees they paid to the exit company,” continued Clements.  

The court, in its order, not only ruled against the defendant but broadened its statement to include other exit industry players by noting the relationship between “Mr. Sussman and Timeshare Exit Team (Reed Hein & Associates), a self-proclaimed ‘exit’ company that was built on the unlawful and deceptive business model Mr. Sussman ‘pioneered.’” Clements continued, “Many of these exit firms have the same model and tell people it will take 12-18 months for the process to be complete when they know that the services they are promising cannot be delivered.”  

Westgate brought the lawsuit against Sussman for (1) tortious interference with existing contracts and (2) violating Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (“FDUTPA”). (Doc. 7, ¶¶ 90-100, 112-118.) A copy of the entire order can be found here.  

“Our owners were being scammed and told lies,” said Westgate Resorts Chief Business Officer Jared Saft. “Many of these consumers were long-term owners that had happily used their timeshare over many years and were lured into this exit scheme by false statements and misrepresentations, and in all cases were not aware of the fraud that was being committed on their behalf. We are pleased that the judge acknowledged the reckless behavior of Mr. Sussman and clearly outlined the lies that continue to be told by many exit companies. In the past few years, Westgate has launched The Legacy Program where we specifically address and discuss the needs of owners who have enjoyed the use of their timeshare, but due to lifestyle changes or other factors, would like to discuss and explore what options are available to safely and effectively exit their timeshare either to a family member, through a resale or back to the developer,” Saft continued.   The timeshare industry, which has over nine million owners in the United States and generates over 540,000 jobs and $10.8 billion in federal, state and local taxes in the U.S., has become a target for unscrupulous individuals and companies. Many third-party exit companies present owners with misleading information, often using scare tactics and false advertising, in order to convince unsuspecting owners to sign up for services that require large upfront fees. As a result, the industry has committed to better communicating with owners who want to understand safe ​exit timeshare options, often directly through their developer or property manager, which may be available for exiting their product. This information can be found at responsibleexit.com.

Top 3 Timeshare Destinations in Australia

Top 3 Timeshare Destinations in Australia

Australia is a rich country in many ways. The quality of life in the land down under is second to none, its people are friendly and easy going, there are coffee shops serving great cosmopolitan food at every other corner, pristine beaches line up the coast from North to South and all the way around to the West, the land is graced by superb vineyards producing fine wine, not to mention the kangaroos and koalas, and the list keeps getting longer…

It is no wonder why millions of tourists pilgrimage here every year, knowing with great certainty they are set up for the holidays of a lifetime. Regardless of the time of year and destination, it could be summer in the south-east or winter in the west. Perhaps spring in the south? The odds seem to be always in favor of the holidaymakers.

In this happy-go-lucky holiday spirit, we list below three top destinations for your timeshare experience in Australia that are sure to make you want to come back every season – be it summer, winter, spring or autumn.

Gold Coast

Now, before we are accused of being too obvious, lazy, or lacking originality, let us pose a question: does Hotel Brunswick ring a bell?

If not, then all the more reason to keep the Gold Coast on top of your holiday list. Well, not solely because of Hotel Brunswick. The point we are trying to get at is that there still are things around the area which deserve to be explored further – albeit, yes, Brunswick Heads is located south of the border. What brings the realization that the Gold Coast is a pretty strategic place: it is within an hour from the mountains, small beach towns and its urban cousin, Brisbane. Contradictorily, once on the Gold Coast, there aren´t really many reasons to go elsewhere. It is hard to argue against the 70 kilometers of coastline and 300 days of sunshine. Just do the math and you´ll see how it adds up!

Pacific Palms

Elizabeth beach and Blueys beach are two of the most charming little beaches around the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales. Located in the township of Pacific Palms, it’s the perfect location for those who don’t want to go too far but need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. If driving from Sydney, for example, it will be a pleasant trip of just over three hours, which you can break up into two parts by stopping for a coffee in Newcastle along the way. It’s a great place for surfing, sunbathing, and restoring your inner balance. Once you feel like you have recharged your batteries and need a little more action, why not go to Forster for dinner and a few beers? But before you do that, make sure to check Cellito beach, and you might want to stick around a little longer.

South Yunderup

Located just about an hour south of Perth, this charming little town offers a great supply of wines from the nearby wineries, pristine beaches and great golf courses for you to improve on your rainmaker and putting skills alike on your away across the green to a respectable handicap. And what a fabulous combination this is, going to the beach in the morning, hitting the golf courses in the afternoon, and topping all up with great quality wine before pressing repeat. Not to mention the award-winning marina by the Murray River, for those who are into boating and sailing. Shall we say that West is Best? Yes, we shall.

The Basics of Timeshare

The Basics of Timeshare

Timeshare is an investment that provides the owner the right to use property (or properties) for a set period of time. This can be a holiday villa, apartment, condominium or cabin.

Owners were usually approached by sales representatives. They were offered free gifts in exchange for attending a presentation. During these presentations, high-pressure sales techniques are sometimes used to entice you to sign up on the spot. Timeshares are sold in Australia and in other countries. All require a long-term commitment.

Before you attend a timeshare presentation, here are the things you need to know that will help you ask pertinent questions. It’s good to be equipped with knowledge before signing the dotted line.

How it Works

  • There are two types of timeshare schemes: specific time period schemes, and points-based schemes.
  • Specific time period scheme – This allows the use of a specific property at a given period of time, usually one week per year.
  • The points-based scheme – This requires buying of points or credits that you can use at a selection of destinations in several locations.
  • The price of a timeshare scheme depends on the desired length of the holiday period or points purchased. It is also affected by the location and type of available accommodation. With a points-based scheme, your available points determine the length of vacation you can take, the period you can use them, the location and type of accommodation you can get. Peak season, such as school holidays and long vacations, require more points compared to lean seasons.
  • If you have already bought a timeshare and cannot use it within the specified period, you can rent it out to others. You can also exchange your timeshare through timeshare websites.
  • Timeshare is a managed fund. The operator must be a licensed Australian Financial Services provider. Before you buy a timeshare, make sure that the company is legitimate.
  • Aside from the purchase price, which is usually paid in a lump sum, you will pay a maintenance fee and sometimes, a membership fee, annually. You will continue paying this fee for as long as you own the timeshare, whether you use it or not.

Timeshare Presentation

When you attend the timeshare presentation, remember that you don’t have to sign the contract on the day itself, no matter how insistent they are. And, should you decide to sign it, you have the right to a 7-day cooling-off period after signing, in case you change your mind.

If the company is not a member of the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council (ATHOC), the cooling-off period is 14 days. As always, read everything including the fine print before you sign the dotted line. If you change your mind about buying, put your intent in writing before the cooling-off period is over.

Selling Your Timeshare

You are now a proud timeshare owner and have enjoyed being one for many years. You have gone to many memorable vacations with your family and friends. There might come a time when you can no longer use your timeshare. Remember that even if you’re not using it, you still have to pay for the annual fees. If this arrangement is not acceptable to you, you can exit timeshare whenever you want. Selling a timeshare is hard, but doable if you temper your expectations.

  1. Do not expect to make a profit – There are a lot of timeshares in the market but not a lot of buyers. Should you be lucky to find one, be ready to sell at a bargain. Yes, you will not recover your investment, but unloading the timeshare despite a loss means you can stop paying the annual fees.
  2. Market it creatively – Timeshare companies spend money on advertising. If you are going to compete with them, you have to be innovative in selling yours.
Is inheriting a timeshare a good thing?

Is inheriting a timeshare a good thing?

Did you know that back in the US 9.2 million people own at least one shared vacation product or timeshare? The timeshare industry is enjoying steady growth. From $4.6 billion in net sales in 2010, the figure has increased to $9.2 billion in 2016.

But half of all new sales come from existing owners rather than new buyers. It’s common knowledge that timeshare has an unfavorable rep. If this is true, how come existing owners keep on buying timeshares?

Well, it’s hard not to listen to the sales pitches. Timeshare companies have outstanding salespeople who can seduce anybody into buying their product and seriously, there is nothing wrong with that. The fact is, there are many satisfied timeshare owners. How else can the industry enjoy a steady growth if there aren’t?

However, while there are owners who continue to enjoy their vacation lifestyle, there are also timeshare owners who want out. In the US, the average timeshare price nowadays is around $20,000 plus other fees. Some of the owners can no longer afford the rising costs, others are unhappy with the outdated properties or have outgrown the lifestyle.

The thing is, exiting a timeshare is difficult. Consider yourself lucky if you can find a buyer who is willing to pay a fraction of your investment; lucky because even though you did not recoup your investment, you can now stop paying for the other fees that go up annually.  

One of the selling points in a timeshare is you can pass it on to your children and they can pass it on to theirs. But is that a good thing?

Issues in Inheriting a Timeshare

  1. Children may not afford the lifestyle their parents had. If their parents were retirees at the time they got their timeshare, they had all the time to go on vacation. As a result, they benefited a lot from having the timeshare. If the children who inherited it are still building their careers or raising little kids of their own, vacation will probably take a backseat. The timeshare will be unused and worse, they will have to pay the maintenance fees and others that come with it.
  2. There are instances when people do not know they have inherited a timeshare. It can be passed on not just from parents to children but between siblings. It can happen that a recipient is not informed that he is a beneficiary. Some just had the biggest shock of their life knowing that they own a timeshare that has months of unpaid maintenance fees.
  3. If the beneficiary refuses to accept the timeshare, he can file a disclaimer. It will then go to the next beneficiary under the will. It will always be passed down to somebody.

If you consider the timeshare more of a hassle than an asset, there are ways you can let go of it. No one has to be burdened by unwanted timeshare including the debts and bills that go with it. Help can be had from third-party exit companies that can handle situations on a case-to-case basis. The bottom line is, you can go to the timeshare company, put in writing that you do not want the timeshare and are willing to sell or give it back to them. They cannot go after you because you are not the buyer.

Lady having breakfast and enjoying a beautiful view

Know how to take maximum advantage of your timeshare while you’re stuck with it

Congratulations! You are now a proud timeshare owner. We know that timeshare costs a lot of money and you should, therefore, get your money’s worth. A lot of people complain about the cost of owning timeshares.

Oddly though, the noise seems to be more online than in real life. Whenever I am on a holiday, I don’t hear any complaints from my fellow timeshare owners. I guess the complainers are those who do not know how to maximize their timeshare. Here you will find tips that can help you get the most value out of your timeshare.

  1. Go to the secondary market when buying timeshares – There are owners who bought their timeshare without knowing enough about it. They end up selling their units on the secondary market. The value of timeshares does not appreciate; in fact, it goes down upon selling. Timeshares in the secondary market are being sold at a bargain so it is the best place to get one.
  2. Buy a unit that has low maintenance fees – The most common complaint about timeshare is the high cost of maintenance fees. You pay this annually and the amount can go up by as much as 12% per annum. A high maintenance fee doesn’t mean your unit is better or that you’d get a nicer vacation. It only means you shell out more money than you should.
  3. Trade your unit for maximum value – If you are to use your own unit each year, you will grow tired of it sooner than later, plus it’s not the best use of your unit. Staying in your own unit means you’d only get one-week vacation per year. The best thing to do is to trade your unit and be an expert in looking for bargain trades. You can easily get up to 8 weeks of vacation from your single unit. These extra weeks do not require additional purchase price or extra maintenance fee. The more weeks you get off your single unit, the lower the cost becomes.
  4. Get a lockout unit that has a high trading value – When you buy a two-bedroom unit, trade it as 2 one-bedroom units. Doing this cuts your cost in half because you buy one unit but trade it for two. The location doesn’t matter, just make sure the unit has a high trading value.
  5. Early deposit of unit – You can trade your unit for a different timeshare that is available one year prior to two years after the week of your lock-in unit. If you wait to deposit close to your schedule, the value of your trade will go down.
  6. Advance planning – Timeshare owners deposit and pick their vacation weeks out of the pool. The farther ahead you do this, the more options you will get. When your vacation date approaches, the choices become fewer. There may be last-minute trades, but the selection is still limited compared to planning way ahead. Planning ahead may also allow you to get airline deals.
  7. Look for points bargains – A lot of units go on sale for a variety of reasons. There are units that are available for trade for as low as 3 points per week. If your single unit is worth 35 points, you can make as much as 11 trades if you pick 3-point units. That’s 11 weeks of vacation per year.
  8. Be flexible in picking dates and location – If you want to go to a beach in a tropical country you will not find many options, if at all. However, if you are open to going there on a lean season, you easily can. You cannot control what goes into the trading pool, but there is always a good place to visit if you’re not too picky. It’s not because you haven’t heard of a particular resort that it’s automatically a bad one. If there are timeshares in that area, it’s safe to assume that people go there for vacation. Be open to new adventures.
  9. Take your relatives and friends – If your timeshare can accommodate additional people at no additional cost, you might as well bring your relatives and friends. Not only can vacationing be more fun, but you can also split other expenses with them, like food and entertainment.
  10. When you get to your destination, skip the sales pitch – Chances are, you will be asked to listen to another timeshare presentation when you get to your destination. Again, you will be offered a freebie and free meal. Decline politely since the reason you’re there is to go on vacation.

Use these tips and you will surely enjoy using your timeshare. You’d get your money’s worth as you keep on enjoying nice vacation accommodations.

Timeshare Owners and Exit Companies

Timeshare exit scam exposure

Over 1.5 million timeshare owners in the US are represented by the American Resort Development Association – Resort Owner’s Coalition (ARDA-ROC). They are satisfied with the recent study released by the Missouri Better Business Bureau (BBB) that exposed the unscrupulous practices of some timeshare exit companies. Timeshare owners who are thinking of exiting their timeshare are advised to read the report so they can understand the deceptive practices employed in the timeshare exit industry.

Timeshare is a growing business. Although they have their share of unhappy customers, the satisfied ones are greater, and they continue investing in a timeshare. It happens that some owners want to exit timeshare and scammers pounce on them. Only a few timeshare companies have an exit program; a lot of them do not. This is where unscrupulous exit companies take advantage.

Here are some highlights of the report:

  • The Missouri BBB has been issuing consumer warnings to timeshare owners should they want to engage the services of a timeshare exit company.
  • The scammers do not choose their victims. They even prey on hapless senior citizens owners who are on a fixed income. It doesn’t matter to them if their victims are already hard-up.
  • In a nutshell, the exit companies promise timeshare owners that they can exit their timeshare easily in exchange for a large upfront free.
  • The BBB is asking local law enforcement officials, the attorney generals’ offices in the US, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to go after the timeshare exit companies that participate in these dishonest activities.

The timeshare industry continues to grow and despite this, there is no exit procedure in place for those who want to quit. This then became a target for scammers. Knowing this, timeshare companies are committed to protecting the owners from falling prey.

Avoid falling prey to timeshare scammers

The bigger timeshare companies have started putting an exit program in place. They also educate them on safe exit options.

If you are a timeshare owner who wants to exit timeshare via an exit company, here are the warning signs that you might be dealing with a scammer:

  1. They tell you that they are from the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council (ATHOC). But ATHOC do not send out unsolicited emails. They will not call you up or initiate communication UNLESS they are replying to your request.
  2. They tell you that they have an “interested buyer”.
  3. They promise that, for a reasonable fee, they can modify, cancel or transfer your timeshare.
  4. If what they’re telling you sounds too good to be true, run the other direction.

If you have been victimized by these unsavory companies, you may get help from your state’s Office of Fair Trading or Department of Consumer Affairs.

Investing in a timeshare

Investing in a timeshare: should you take the plunge?

If I were to describe typical timeshare owners, I’d say they are retirees who now have the time and money to travel. They have worked long and hard and it’s time to enjoy the benefits of their labor. They can spend their money however they want. They are the target market of timeshare companies.

With a traditional timeshare, buyers shell out a lump sum upfront and retirees can afford this. This allows them to use a specific unit at a predetermined time every year. It is usually a one-week period, but this can be shorter or longer. The average cost of a one-week timeshare is $19,000, with a maintenance fee of around $600 per year. Some owners own several timeshares to allow them multiple vacations annually.

When the United States was hit by the recession, the timeshare industry was badly affected but not to the point that they had to close shop. As of 2011, there are still more than 1,500 US timeshare resorts.

Nowadays, timeshares mostly operate on a points system. This allows the timeshare owners more flexibility with destination and travel period. The number of points a member earns in a year can be rolled over to the following year. He can also borrow points from the year ahead.

I have talked to several satisfied timeshare owners who have spent a week of vacation each in several resorts for a period of one year. There is a good ROI in timeshares if you know how to use it well.

If you are thinking of getting a timeshare, read the following inputs we got from other owners, financial advisers, and timeshare representatives. This will help you gauge the pros and cons of owning a timeshare.

Pros:

  1. Timeshare is more practical than owning a vacation house – A lot of us dream of having a vacation house that we can go to every summer or any long holiday. While the idea is nice, it’s not practical. If you only use the house during the summer holidays, who will take care of its upkeep during the months you’re not there? You’d end up hiring a caretaker or a security company who will check on your property. Maintaining a house is also expensive. It can be too much to maintain a house that you only use a few months each year. You will not get this type of headache with a timeshare. You get to enjoy the perks of a vacation home without having to buy a house.
  2. A timeshare can help you save on travel expenses – You don’t need to bring a lot of travel outfit when you own a timeshare. Most units have laundry facilities so you can just wash your clothes when needed. They also have a fully-equipped kitchen. Cooking home-cooked meals is less expensive than dining in restaurants. Timeshare units are huge compared to hotel rooms. Big families end up booking several rooms if they stay in a hotel and this can rack up expenses. With a timeshare, everybody stays in one unit that usually has several bedrooms.
  3. Timeshare guarantees a vacation each year – A timeshare provides a vacation lifestyle. It’s great for people who want to plan ahead their trips. Skiing over the winter holiday is assured because you can lock-in your booking months ahead.
  4. You can trade-in your timeshare and travel to other locations – There are companies that allow you to trade timeshares for units outside of your timeshare’s menu. It comes at a cost but will allow you to go on a holiday in places such as Portugal, Spain, and Paris.

Cons:

  1. Timeshares are difficult to sell – Timeshare is an investment that will not yield money. Its value goes down as soon as the contract is signed. If you no longer want to keep your timeshare, you can sell it, but a much lower price. The demand for it is low vis-à-vis the supply. Selling it at a bargain is actually a better choice than holding on to it. For as long as you’re keeping the timeshare, you continue paying the maintenance fee which goes up annually.
  2. It is a long-term commitment – Timeshares don’t have an expiration date. As previously mentioned, for as long as you own it, you pay the annual fees. You cannot get out of paying these fees regardless of your financial capacity.

So, is owning a timeshare right for you?

There is no black or white answer. It depends on your needs and lifestyle. At the end of the day, you just have to do a thorough study to see if owning a timeshare will benefit you.

How to properly exit your timeshare

How to properly exit your timeshare

You must be a timeshare owner that’s why you found yourself here. I used to be one and I have nothing but pleasant experiences about my timeshare. Like me, you must have been approached in a mall and offered a freebie. Some companies give a TV and others, a vacation. How can you say no to that? All that they ask for is to attend a presentation and listen to their sales pitch. The presentation I went to lasted for several hours, good thing it came with a free meal.

I went to the presentation despite the warning of some friends. I am not naive. I have heard unfavourable feedback about timeshare, the most common of which is “it’s a scam”.  But hey, I am an educated person and can perform due diligence so I can make an informed decision. And, like I said earlier, I am satisfied with my timeshare experience.

It is unfortunate that I had to give it up due to personal circumstances. You must be in the same boat I was on, that is why you’re here. You may be wondering if there are legitimate ways to exit timeshare now and yes, there are. I will tell you about them in a bit, but first, why do you want to give it up?

Reasons for Exiting Timeshare

Here are the common reasons why timeshare owners want out of it:

  1. They bought it with their eyes closed. You can say they fell for the sales pitch, signed the contract and handed their money. Then, they realise it was a poor decision and want out. Yes, they can opt out because contracts usually have rescission period.
  2. They find that they can no longer afford the timeshare. Timeshare comes with annual fees. Travelling to and from your vacation destination come at a cost, too. If you find yourself pinching pennies, there’s no shame in giving up your timeshare. Exit timeshare now and just move on.
  3. They no longer use it. Changes in family situation may result to non-use of the timeshare. The children may have gone off to college or have gotten married and moved out. Or, the location may no longer be desirable for the family.
  4. They are no longer physically able to enjoy their timeshare. Growing old and declining health may prevent you from going on holidays. Maybe it’s time to admit that your timeshare owning days are over.

How do you Exit a Timeshare?

If it’s high time for you to part ways with your timeshare, here are the ways to do it properly:

  1. Read your contract – Contracts usually have a rescission period. This is the period when you can cancel your contract after having signed in. Usually, it’s a few days long and sometimes, certain requirements must be met. Check with a lawyer if your contract is unclear. And, of course, check if there is a rescission provision.
  2. Check if you can sell it back to the company – There are companies that buy back the timeshare, but most likely, they will not give you the full price.
  3. Check if the company can take the timeshare back for free – Giving back the timeshare for free is a huge loss of money but it means you will no longer have to pay annual fees. Losing huge bucks by giving your timeshare back may be a bitter pill to swallow, but at least, you won’t be losing thousands more through annual fees.
  4. Sell your timeshare – There are companies that allow timeshare selling. Note though that just like buy back, you would have to sell your timeshare at a lower price. There are sites designated for timeshare sales, but they usually charge fees. If you don’t want to pay fees, you can opt to advertise in Gumtree and other similar sites. You can also get the services of a company like the Newton Group to help you with your timeshare exit.
  5. Give it away – If despite several attempts you cannot sell your timeshare, giving it away may be your last option. This may seem unwise considering the amount you paid for it, but the more you hold on to it, the longer you will have to pay the fees. And, if you’re no longer using your timeshare, continuing with the annual fees is unwise.

Timeshares are a sound investment if you are fond and able to go on regular vacations. But, circumstances sometimes happen and you have to exit a timeshare.

Follow the tips I mentioned and act quickly. That way, you’re not going to lose more money.

The five most common hurdles of selling or renting your timeshare

The five most common hurdles of selling or renting your timeshare

1) Advertising

The first thing someone who wants to sell something tries to do is to advertise it. With timeshare, it’s the same thing. Regardless of whether you want to sell the weeks you won’t be able to enjoy or your timeshare as a whole.

But where should you advertise it? Facebook? Gum Tree? That’s a pretty good question…

But well, the lack of an appropriate venue to do so leads timeshare owners to do exactly that. To advertise their weeks or contracts in places which aren’t really suitable for that. If you were looking for accommodation, would you really go to Facebook or Gum Tree, or any other listing platform? Pretty random, isn’t it?

It’s likely you wouldn’t even think of renting a timeshare off someone, let alone buying one advertised on Facebook or Gum Tree… it reeks of scam…

That said, you could definitely try RedWeek or TUG, which are more appropriate venues to advertise a timeshare and will give you better chances of renting out your unwanted weeks or even selling it. But good luck in cutting through the clutter!

2) Lack of interest

This is a subset of the first hurdle you’ll find when trying to rent out or sell your timeshare. Once you actually advertise it, the most common thing to happen is, well… you’ll keep checking your inbox but that coveted message that says “I’m interested in your timeshare…” will probably not be there. Not now, not ever…

At this point, you already get the gist. Renting or selling your timeshare is hard work. But keep on trying, as it can happen. It certainly happened before with other timeshare owners just like you. It’s a good thing, then, to try and find a person who’s been through the process, successfully, for advice.

3) Explaining how it all works

Well, you kept on going and your ad finally came across someone who’s interested, and that someone reached out to you. Yay!

That’s more than half the job done, right?

Well, no.

There’s still a lot to cover from here, and this part may prove to be just as intricate as it was finding someone interested in your timeshare offer.  

For example, how do you explain how everything works in a simple, easy to understand way, considering all the clauses in your timeshare contract that you, too, can’t fully understand?

Like how you are allowed to rent out your weeks in a timeshare unit to a third party, secure the accommodation, and confirm it’s all been booked and taken care of. And you haven’t even delved into cancelation policies…

But, in case you managed to do all that the right way, then you’ll have someone virtually in front of you that may be seriously considering to go ahead with your offer.

This leads us to hurdle number five in your attempt to sell or rent your timeshare.

4) Convincing your prospect

After explaining how it all works, how will you convince your potential renter/buyer that this is a guaranteed transaction, that you are trustworthy, and everything will happen according to what you are saying?

Especially when your price is less than half the original price. Or sometimes not even a third of all the other prices that this potential renter/buyer is getting from more reputable timeshare sources in the market.

At this stage, a red flag has certainly been raised and your potential customer is questioning himself of why he should risk his vacations and proceed with this transaction – with zero guarantees…

How will you back up your claims?

This lack of confirmation or, in other words, trust, will then take you to the final hurdle in the hard knock life of a timeshare owner.

5) Getting a fair price for your timeshare

After you have overcome all the obstacles thus far, time will come for you to negotiate the final details of your timeshare transaction with your prospect renter/buyer.

This ultimately conducts the negotiation towards pricing your timeshare. What’s a fair price that you’d be willing to get for what you are offering and that your prospect may consider paying?

Remember that this person could just as well go elsewhere and book their holidays in a safer way that has practically zero chances of being jeopardized. These are the AIRBNB and Booking.com times, after all.

Consequently, your prospect has a big edge over you and is going to be able to take the reins of the negotiation.

Not only that, but also consider the laws of supply and demand and think about the number of people who are trying to get rid of their timeshares and the number of people who consider going to the aftermarket after timeshare options…

This virtually drives your price to pretty much rock bottom.

There are even cases where people are giving away their timeshare. Some timeshare owners even offer to pay up to a year’s worth of maintenance fees just so they can transfer they timeshare over to someone else and not incur into unwanted maintenance costs and yearly fees.

That typical timeshare scene

That typical timeshare scene

A typical scene in several hotels in the main tourist destinations around the world is to see a group of people approaching tourists for an incredibly friendly chat.

This practice is known as OPC (Outside Public Contact) and is responsible for engaging or convincing tourists, most of the time through a free tour, meal, or even extra complimentary nights at the hotel they’re staying, to attend a presentation.

But the said presentation is really a show set up to manipulate tourists into buying a timeshare.

The problem arises when an unaware tourist proceeds with buying a timeshare without having all the information at hand.

This usually happens because he or she is carried away by the wonders told in the presentation, the impressive photos of the destination and that happy family enjoying a magical holiday. All that coupled with fantastic promises from a seller looking for a juicy commission…

Does a timeshare suit you?

Usually, a big portion of dissatisfied timeshare owners, upon signing the dotted line in the purchase contract don’t have a proper understanding of the contract in question.

For example, people who did not consider cancellation policies, refunds, bonuses and even the season of the year in which they could make use of their timeshare.

Therefore, before choosing or buying a timeshare consider the following:

Economic stability

Can you ensure your solvency and economic stability so you can travel and use your timeshare for at least the next 15 years?

The cheapest timeshare ranges around $13,000 and a maintenance fee of $500 on average. Timeshare contracts today are between 10, 15 or 30 years maximum. There are very few timeshares that last 99 years.

The high cost of maintenance usually is one of the main reasons why timeshare owners want out of their contracts.

That is why it is important that before buying a timeshare you fully understand all the economic responsibilities involved in owning it.

Are you a parent?

A timeshare is ideal for a family of 4 people – dad, mom, and two children, since generally when they grow up they follow their own path. It’s also important to consider that you may need more freedom to decide what to do with your money when you are of a certain age.

Are you a constant traveler to the same destination or hotel chain?

Having a timeshare will tie you up to limited holiday destinations, meaning that your future vacations will either have to be in the same destination or, in the best-case scenario, your destination choice will have some flexibility, provided you own a timeshare in a resort chain.

So, if you are a traveler who likes to go to different places every now and then, there will come a time when you may want to get rid of your timeshare due to the lack of options.

Recommendations

If you are about to go to a timeshare presentation, remember that you are going to deal with professional sellers.

They will try to convince you at all costs to sign the contract on the spot. They will promise you the moon and the stars, and extras that are probably not even listed in the numerous clauses in the timeshare contract.

That said, enjoy the breakfast, or lunch, or whatever it is that they are offering, be amiable but if you are not really interested, thank them and tell them that you are not interested.

On the contrary, if you tell them you are going to think about it, then they will insist every time they see you around the hotel. They will constantly apply more and more pressure to try and push you into buying their timeshare.

Under any circumstances give them your credit card details, address, personal information, email accounts or social networks.

If it’s required that you provide some personal information, give them as little as possible to avoid further harassment.

And if you decide to buy their timeshare, thoroughly check the contract you are going to sign. Even the tiny little letters on the bottom.

And if you end up signing the contract, it’s likely that they will say that you can cancel it at any time. But that’s not true.

Most contracts can only be canceled if you make a claim within the first 5 business days after you signed. Otherwise, the amount due for the timeshare you signed up for will be charged to your credit card, and there is no money back after that.

Take special care with clauses that indicate giving up your right of cancellation.

You can notify your cancellation by email and certified mail (within 5 business days, usually).

And never sign contracts in languages ​​that you don’t understand!

Finally, do you want to cancel your timeshare contract and they tell you that you can’t?

If you do it within the cancellation period stipulated by law, the developer has the obligation to reimburse you for what you have paid, without penalties.