My wife and I recently sat through a timeshare sales presentation. We received an attractive postcard in the mail a year ago with an invitation to stay at a wonderful resort in Orlando for a reduced rate. The only caveat was that we needed to attend a 90 minute sales presentation. Our sales person was polished and did an admirable job of presenting the benefits of purchasing a timeshare and gave us the opportunity to do so. The asking price exceeded $40,000 so we politely said, “no thank you”. He left the room for a few minutes and returned with another offer for slightly less money. We again said no and over the course of the next hour he made seven different offers, each with a lower price than the previous offer. The company even followed up with an email three weeks later saying we could still purchase. We loved the resort and will be back again. So why didn’t we purchase? Because there are three secrets the timeshare resorts would prefer you not know that will allow you to enjoy timeshare vacations at a fraction of the retail price.
Secret number 1. There is a robust resale market for timeshares at prices that are far lower than what you would pay during a sales presentation. Timeshare owners decided they no longer want their timeshares and are willing to sell them. They may have changed their vacation habits and the timeshare no longer works for them. They may have aged out of vacations altogether. What worked well in previous decades now goes unused because they no longer travel. They may have tired of paying the yearly maintenance fee. Enter the resale marketplace. Timeshare owners can list their timeshare vacation on numerous online sites or have a timeshare real estate company do the work for them. Savvy shoppers can purchase fabulous timeshares at a 75% discount or more. There will be a fee to get the deed transferred and the resort company may charge a small fee for the transfer of ownership. From this point on the new owner will be responsible for the yearly maintenance fee. Most timeshare companies now operate on a point system. Your new purchase is worth a certain number of points that you can use at the company’s resorts all over the world. You are now an owner of a timeshare vacation but you didn’t pay anywhere close to the retail price.
Secret number 2. You can rent points from a timeshare owner. Some timeshare owners love what they have and would never think of selling, but for a variety of reasons won’t use all their points this year. The same websites that allow owners to sell their timeshare also handle rental options. You go online and see what resorts are available during your vacation timeframe. Through the website you will communicate with the timeshare owner, agree on dates and a price, and confirm the transaction. Instead of cramming your entire family in one hotel room, you have a two or three bedroom apartment with lovely views, inviting amenities, and delectable restaurants on site.
Secret number 3. You can rent directly from the resort company. You can go to the company’s websites (Marriott.com, Hilton.com, Disney.com and other companies) and rent a room for one night or several nights. You will enjoy the same space and amenities timeshare owners have purchased, but avoid the yearly maintenance fee. My wife and I have done this for years. A few years back we spent a week at a particularly appealing resort. When my wife walked through the front door of our suite she said “I could live here the rest of my life”. It was that nice. We have carried fond memories of this special vacation for many years.
Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and restorative, and where you stay plays a great part in achieving these goals. Resort companies have built and maintain lavish properties that far exceed a typical hotel room and it is well worth the investment to spend a few dollars more for a fabulous vacation. You just don’t need to spend a fabulous amount of money to get the same results.
(The timeshare industry has its share of bad apples so be on your guard as you deal with online sales or rentals. These websites have a multi-year track record of good service: tug2.net, redweek.com, timesharesonly.com and for Disney fans, dvcrentalstore.com and dvcresalemarket.com. Some sites may charge a nominal fee to use their services)
About John G. Ullman & Associates, Inc.
John G. Ullman & Associates, Inc., was founded in Corning, N.Y. in 1978. The firm is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) registered federally with the Securities & Exchange Commission*. As an independent, fee-based investment management firm JGUA provides comprehensive wealth management strategies and services to their clients. The firm manages over $1 billion in client assets, with a staff of more than 75 employees over four locations, including Horseheads, N.Y., Rhinebeck, N.Y., Charlotte, N.C. and Corning.
If you are interested in learning more about how JGUA could help you, visit our website HERE, or call 1 (800) 936-3785. You can follow us on, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and The JGUA Blog.
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