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Should I Buy a Timeshare? 12 Reasons Not to Buy a Timeshare

Updated on May 19, 2015
Timeshare presentations use dreamy vacation images to convince people to buy.
Timeshare presentations use dreamy vacation images to convince people to buy. | Source

A timeshare is a method of owning a vacation property that is shared with others. Timeshare organizations such as Wyndham or Westgate make a profit by selling credits or points that hold a value in using a time share in the future. These points allow the time shareholder to schedule a vacation at certain time share locations.

Bait-and-Switch Definition

The action (generally illegal) of advertising goods that are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods.

While in theory this system may sound appealing, in actuality many people find themselves quickly disenchanted when they realize that there was a kind of bait and switch taking place. For some, the points that they purchased weren’t enough to qualify for a basic vacation so that they would need to upgrade to even use their points. An upgrade may also be necessary to take advantage of many of the locations seen in the presentations. For others, they find the terms have changed or the sales pitch was highly misleading.

If nothing else, it is the value that is lacking in the purchase of a timeshare. Many people realize after purchasing a time share that it would have cost them the same money to book each vacation individually rather than committing to a lifetime of obligatory trips.

If you are considering attending a presentation and perhaps purchasing a time share please be sure to read and carefully consider these reasons why you should not purchase a timeshare.

Big expenses and commitments should involve consideration, this takes time.
Big expenses and commitments should involve consideration, this takes time. | Source

#1. Important Decisions Need Consideration

Contrary to what you might be told at a presentation, you do not have to act on the offer today. You can purchase a timeshare on any other day. The sales representative will be happy to discuss a sale on any day of the week. Don’t act on impulse! You would never buy a car on a whim or a house without doing some shopping around and research. Buying a timeshare is a relatively large long term investment that needs to be considered. Big decisions take time to consider.

Research the company before you invest in it. There are a number of timeshare companies, go online and research them, knowledge is power.

Timeshares do not save people money
Timeshares do not save people money | Source

# 2. There is no Savings in the Long Run

When you do the final calculations, you are better off planning vacations one at a time. The timeshare salespeople know this, if there was a real savings there would be customers lined up outside the door. The fact that they need to sell the timeshare to you by bribing you with a gift and using pressure sales tactics only proves this point.

A timeshare is not an investment, it is a loosing proposition
A timeshare is not an investment, it is a loosing proposition | Source

# 3. A Timeshare is not an Investment

Definition of an investment: the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns

Not only does a timeshare lose value over time, it is difficult to sell and has ongoing maintenance fees.

Investment: the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns.

# 4. You lose Money when you don’t use your Timeshare

If you don’t use your timeshare you still have to pay for it, it cannot be rented out. Renting out a timeshare is illegal. Because of this, a time share is most often a money loosing proposition.

# 5. What you see is not what you get

Many of the destinations discussed and shown in videos during the presentation are often not available unless you upgrade your time share plan. After you have signed a timeshare contract, you will continue to receive incentives to upgrade and pay more. The pressure sales tactics don’t end on day one.

# 6. Unethical Sales Practices

This is a dirty business, and purchasing a timeshare through one of these presentations only supports this kind of sales tactic. The online complaint boards are filled with very unhappy customers who have been swindled via these sales practices.

Timeshare presentations often take place while you are on vacation and you are not thinking practically.
Timeshare presentations often take place while you are on vacation and you are not thinking practically. | Source

# 7. When you are Feeling Good you Spend More

Many presentations are offered to would be customers while they are already on vacation. These vacationers tend to have their guard down because they are feeling good. With this frame of mind they are more susceptible to purchasing something that is not in their best interest.

# 8. Canceling is Very Difficult

The timeshare complaint boards are filled with story after story of time share purchasers who attempted to cancel their purchase within days of signing a timeshare contract. While legally you are permitted to cancel within a window of time, the timeshare companies make it near impossible. This has been the experience of many timeshare contract signers after realizing that they made a big mistake.

Buyer Beware!

# 9. Can’t sell a Timeshare

There are many websites that will offer to buy your timeshare from you for a huge fee, this is yet another scam, many people have been swindled yet again into giving money to a company and the next day they can’t find the company and they still own their timeshare…ouch!

You can however buy timeshares on websites like ebay for as low as $1. This is because timeshare owners simply want to rid themselves of the headache. They are willing to pass off the burden to you for nothing, you would be doing them a favor to take over their legal ownership.

Trying to get rid of a time share on ebay, check out this listing!

#10. Lifelong Maintenance Fees

One of the major complaints of the disenchanted timeshare owners is the ongoing maintenance fees that can even increase over time. The timeshare owners are legally responsible for monthly payments in the hundreds of dollars, a commitment that seems to go far and beyond the expectation of a person that signed up for a timeshare years ago.

The gift of a time share comes attached with lifelong maintenance fees
The gift of a time share comes attached with lifelong maintenance fees

# 11. Gifting a Time Share

Gifting a timeshare to your children, family member or friend means giving them the obligation of a lifetime of maintenance fees, is that really a gift?

# 12. Assumption of Income

One of the first questions the sales person will likely ask you at a presentation is: What do you typically spend on vacations each year? They will then offer to give you a better value for this dollar amount. I have already discussed that they don’t give you better value. Either way, since no one has a crystal ball, how will you know what your income will be in five or ten years from now? What if you lose your job or have some kind of medical issue? If something like this happens, guess what? You are still locked in to this timeshare that you bought, along with the maintenance fees.

Why not simply book your vacation each year based on practical considerations like income, time and desire. Maybe a stay-cation is the best choice for you in 7 years from now.

If a timeshare was such a good deal customers would be lining up to steal it

Timeshares are a modern day scam, the sales people bribe you with empty gifts, and they convince you that you are investing in your family and that without a timeshare your life will be lackluster. They are lying, they want your money, and they are vultures preying on the innocent happy go lucky vacationers. Don’t fall for it. They have rehearsed and used time tested methods for appealing to your emotional drive and not allowing your thoughtful reflective mind to do its job.

If you have read all of this and still intend to purchase a timeshare because you have been sweetened up by a really great sales pitch, then be my guest. At least you can’t say you weren’t warned.

© 2015 Ariel Laur


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      On the surface, time shares can really look ok, but once you get into the fine details, they are pretty much always more trouble than they're worth.


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