Friday, September 01, 2006


Timesharing Is Caring

I think you’re giving out a little bit of bad advice when you say to never take timeshare companies up on their offers [“The Hard Sell,” issue 31]. I agree that the weekend vacations they offer may sometimes not be worth it. The cash and ticket discounts they offer, however, are almost always worth it. The trick is to not do what either you or your girlfriend did. Her mistake was making them believe that you had money available to spend on their overpriced product. Your mistake was your irrational behavior. Think about it. For most people, paying thousands of dollars for what these companies offer is in and of itself an irrational act. Your behavior said you were exactly the type of person that would purchase from them.

Also, NEVER let them drive you ANYWHERE. If they are leaving the property, tell them you will drive yourself. Here’s my approach. I’m one of those professionals you referred to in your article. My wife and I go in and immediately let the salesperson know that we already know everything about timeshare and how it works. We let them know that their offer must beat the great deals we already get via the Internet and that the offer must also be better than what can be found in the timeshare resale market. Some salespeople will immediately send you on your way with whatever gifts were promised to you. Others will attempt to show how their plan is better financially. It doesn’t take a math whiz to find the flaws in their math. Point out those flaws and they’ll either acknowledge that you’re not a potential customer or they’ll conclude you’re too much of hassle to bother with. If they try to stretch it to their 90-minute limit, at the end of the 90 minutes stand up, let them know that you’re not interested.

I made $800 cash and got free VIP seating at the Marriott Resort’s Luau (purchase price for tickets in the VIP section are $300) while in Maui. I made $700 cash and got free tickets to Sea World, Disney, and Busch Gardens while in Orlando. I made $600 cash and got free tickets to the aquarium while in Gatlinburg. This is just the short list of the tours we’ve taken. I’ve stayed at some presentations for as little as 15 minutes. The max I’ve ever stayed is 90 minutes. I always schedule them early in the morning (which usually includes as free breakfast as well). This frees up the rest of the day to spend all the cash you make.

There is a way to make these timeshare offers work for you. It just takes a small amount of time and even lesser amount of effort.

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