Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some Thoughts on Time Share Ownership

Do you remember the song “Hotel California” by The Eagles? Great song!

There was one section that goes: “’Relax,’ said the night man, We are programmed to receive. You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave.”

That sounds a lot like owning a time share to me – it sure feels like you can checkout, but you can never leave.

My husband and I are time share owners. For the most part, we have been satisfied with our accommodations, and the ability to trade our beach time for skiing. However, what is often promised is rarely what is received.

As I last blogged, we spent last week in Riviera Maya, at our time share – and in order to get the related 10% discount on all food and drink – not to mention other goodies – we once again had to attend the time share presentation.

These are really a 90-minute talk where they try to up sell – more time, better accommodations, etc. According to our salespeople, their close rate is over 70%. Not bad, when you consider it is a very short selling cycle, and big ticket numbers.

These people are fast talkers, and great promisers – by the time you leave, your head is spinning. Then, reality strikes – what did I just agree to?

Here are some words of advice and caution if you, too, find yourself in this type of selling situation, from someone who considers herself to be a savvy consumer and good negotiator:

1)Use your head, not your heart. Ask yourself these questions: “Why am I doing this?” “Will I use it”; “What are the units selling for online?”; “Can I afford it?”; Remember, this isn’t a business investment, it is a guaranteed vacation week.

2)Have a price in mind. Be willing to walk away if you don’t receive it. When we originally bought the time share, we gave what we thought was a ridiculously low price – and they said, “yes.” We should have offered less!

3)Get everything – and I do mean everything – in writing.
And, again, be willing to walk away if they don’t put it in writing.

All of this being said, most time share owners continue to buy more, and new buyers continue to sign on -- it’s a thriving industry. If you want a week in some sunny destination, will use it, and can afford it, time share ownership can be a great way to vacation.

Just keep in mind, however, that you can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave!


james Lloyd said...

Hi Marjorie. Just checking out your blog. We follow each other on Twitter. Great stuff.

Marjorie Brody said...

Thanks, James!

I appreciate you taking the time to post a comment (and for following my tweets).

Happy holidays!

-- Marjorie