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Answers to the Most Common Timesharing Questions

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This page is a list of the most commonly asked questions that timeshare owners have about timeshares and the timesharing concept. TUG has been around for nearly 30 years and while we have not seen or heard it all, the experience gleaned from the tens of thousands of owners and experts who make TUG the great community it is never cease to provide information for all owners seeking help!

Question 1: How do I sell my timeshare?

Answer:  This is hands down the most frequently asked question we get on TUG, and we get it on a daily basis so do not feel alone or disheartened that you dont know.  The VAST majority of timeshare owners simply dont have a clue as to what they can expect when entering in the resale market for the first time, and you have the added bonus of an entire industry making it as difficult as possible for you to learn about it, after all if the resale market were more mature, developers would be forced to make a massive reduction in retail pricing!  

That said, this question has such a long and detailed answer, the collective minds of owners and experts here on TUG have collaborated with an all encompassing article titled "
How to Sell your Timeshare" and it is available for free to the public here:  How to Sell your Timeshare free advice article

We highly suggest reading this article carefully and completely as it will answer nearly every question you have about how to sell your timeshare the right way, with little or no cost to you and most importantly avoid being scammed in the process!

Question 2: How do I rent my timeshare?

Answer:  Easily the 2nd most frequently asked questions we get here on TUG, and not feel alone in the fact that you are unaware of how to do this.  It is extremely rare for a resort to inform an owner of their ability to rent out their own units to other individuals in an effort to at least recoup some or all of the annual maintenance fees for a week not going to be used or exchanged!  This advice article titled "How to Rent your Timeshare" was written as a guide for owners looking to rent out their own units for the first time, learn how to do it the right way for free and protect both you and the renter!  How to Rent your Timeshare - Free Advice Article

Question 3: I just bought a timeshare from *any resort* did I get a good deal?

Answer:  The short answer is NO!!!!

You likely paid significantly more money than you should have vs buying the exact same property from an existing owner looking to sell.  The Timeshare Resale market is the best kept secret in the timesharing industry, and for good reason!  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A NEW TIMESHARE!  This advice article discusses why you should rescind your contract now if you still have time, and potentially save thousands of dollars or more in the resale market for the exact same thing you just bought!   Did I get a good deal on my new timeshare? - Free Timeshare Advice Article

Question 4: Can I donate my timeshare to charity and get a tax deduction?

Answer:  The short answer is "Yes", but there is a catch (isnt there always with timeshares?).  

 This is an extremely common question we get in this day and age with the economy the way it is, this advice article was written to provide you with as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision on how to proceed with this particular process should it be right for you!   Can I donate my timeshare to charity and get a tax deduction?

Question 5: Do I have to convert my Deeded Week to Points?

Answer: The short answer is "NO", there is absolutely no requirement for you to convert your deeded week to a points system.

This question comes up alot with various points programs around the Timeshare Industry, many people fall prey to the overwhelming pressure and perhaps somewhat underhanded tactics by some companies to entice weeks members to convert into points members all while usually charging you a hefty fee to do so.  This Advice Article provides some real world input on the subject:  Do I have to convert my Deeded Week to Points?

Question 6: What is TUG?
Answer: The Timeshare Users Group (TUG) is a website founded by Bill Rogers and a group of other volunteer timeshare owners just like yourself who have a common interest in vacation timeshare ownership.  For the full story of TUG's beginnings and history you can read this article:  The History of the Timeshare Users Group - TUG

Question 7: I have read that this is a "not for profit" website.  Why is there a membership fee to join?
Answer: The membership fees pay for this site and all the associated costs of running TUG which include the 800 line, online web hosting fees(extremely expensive since we migrated to numerous dedicated servers to run all of TUGs sites), domain registrations, etc....but absolutely zero labor costs as we are an all volunteer organization.  Once you join the group for the first time, if you contribute back to the community by referring other members, or submitting resort reviews...there is no need to pay for membership ever again as the credits you earn for doing those things can be exchanged for membership extensions!  For more detailed info on TUG finances you can reference this post made by Founder Bill Rogers: TUG Finances

Question 8: What are Maintenance Fees?  And how much are they?
Answer:  Maintenance Fees are essentially your annual dues paid to the resort as an owner of an interval unit at that resort (or resort system).  They are paid by all owners at that resort (or should be).  This article provides a more detailed answer:  What are Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

Question 9: If I decide to buy a timeshare, should I buy "new" or "used" from the resale market?
Answer:  Since the resale market is such a well kept secret from the vast majority of people considering buying timeshares, you would be doing yourself a HUGE disservice by not at least investigating it prior to making any decision...after could save you tens of thousands of dollars for the exact same product!  This page gives TUG's take on buying resale vs new:  Timeshares - should I buy new or used?

Question 10: What is ROFR?
Answer:  This term means simply, Right of First Refusal and describes a process used by some resorts to intervene in the sale of a timeshare in the resale market.  Read more here: What is ROFR?

Question 11: What is Title Insurance, and when is it needed?
Answer:  Title insurance is an optional insurance for the buyer of a Timeshare to protect them against financial loss due to title defects, undeclared liens, or other matters that could impact the transfer of ownership between buyer and seller.
Read more here: What is Title Insurance and when is it needed?

Question 12: What is a Timeshare Estoppel Letter?
Answer:  An Estoppel letter in its simplest form, is a verification of the actual ownership of a Timeshare Interval according to the Timeshare Resort's official records. Read more here: What is an Estoppel Letter?

Question 13: What points system is the best for me?
Answer:  This question will have a different answer for each and every person who asks it!  With so many different point systems to choose from, your best bet is to browse the  TUGBBS forums and read existing posts from owners of each of the individual point systems.  You are also welcome to ask questions about them to find out which one will be the best fit for you!  TUGBBS Forums

Question 14 : What special access do I get to TUG by joining as a member?
Answer: While the vast majority of the content all the websites maintained by TUG are free and open to the public, a paying TUG membership while not only supporting the oldest and largest online community of Timeshare owners, grants you the ability to post free ads in the TUG Timeshare Marketplace where you can sell, rent, or exchange your Timeshare and read Ratings and Reviews of over 5000 resorts in the TUG Resort Review Database!

Question 15: How do I verify this company that contacted me is Legitimate?
Answer: Fact is, 99% of the companies who contact you out of the blue are looking to rip you off, this TUG advice article provides some easy tips and rules to identify for sure companies you should avoid doing business with!  Advice Article: How do I verify this Timeshare Company is Legitimate?

Question 16: How do I verify a Timeshare Rental is Legitimate?
Answer: Timeshare Rentals can provide some of the best savings around, however you are dealing with individual owners vs a company or hotel/resort!  Care must be taken on both sides to ensure both the renter and the rentee are protected from scams!  This article provides some great tips on how to ensure the Timeshare you are looking to rent from another owner is legitimate before you pay any money!
Advice Article: How to Verify if a Timeshare Rental is Legitimate

Question 17: I just purchased a timeshare from a developer. How do I get out of the purchase?
Answer:  Nearly all timeshares provide a cancellation period ranging from 3 days to 15 days, with most being around 5 to 7 days (note this varies by state, and country).  Within that time you can legally cancel your new purchase from the developer with no obligation to you whatsoever.  This advice article explains what the right of rescission is, and how to exercise it if you are within the rescission period!
Advice Article: How do I cancel my Timeshare Purchase?

Question 18: When I'm finished with my timeshare, can I just give it back to the resort?
Answer:  It depends!  There are certain situations in which resorts will indeed take units back from owners, this article describes the process and how to identify those situations so that if you are indeed unable to sell your timeshare, you can try to give it back to the resort!  Can I give my Timeshare back?  


Question 19: What happens if I stop paying for my timeshare?
Answer: It Depends!  Different resorts handle delinquencies differently, but in most cases you can expect yourself to see it reported to the major credit agencies along with a collection agency...and eventually legally foreclosed upon!  Read this article for more details!  What if I stop paying for my Timeshare?

Question 20: Who is in Charge of my Timeshare/What is an HOA?
Answer: In US Deeded week Timeshares, an entity called the Homeowners association is the actual legal owner of the resort and is responsible for all decisions made regarding the operations of the Resort.  The HOA is made up of all owners at the resort, and is managed by an elected or appointed group of individuals called the Board of Directors.  The following article describes this entity and your responsibility as a part of it in greater detail!  
Who is in Charge of my Timeshare?


Question 21: Where do I find the best Timeshare Rentals?
Answer: Many individuals have no idea that you can rent a Timeshare from an existing owner for some incredible rates!  In fact some of these deals can be the most economical way to vacation you can imagine!  The following article describes how to find these amazing deals on TUG, as well as a variety of other locations that rent out Timeshares to the general public!  
Where do I find Timeshare Rentals?

Question 22: Where do I find the best Timeshare Resale Prices?
Answer: Most potential buyers have no idea you can buy a Timeshare from an existing owner and save up to 99% off the price they would pay if buying directly from the Resort itself!  This article strives to assist potential Timeshare buyers in finding the best deal they can on their Timeshare Purchase!  
Where do I find the Best Timeshare Resale Prices?

Question 23: What is a Viking Ship LLC?
Answer: A Viking ship is the name given to a shell company, generally a company formed with no assets to it's name. Read more about this controversial entity in the Timeshare Industry here!  
What is a Viking Ship LLC?

Question 24: How do I post a Timeshare Resale/Rental ad in the TUG Marketplace?
Answer: This step by step guide (with screen shots) will walk you through the process of posting ads in the TUG Timeshare Marketplace!!  How do I post an Ad in the TUG Marketplace?

Question 25: I was expecting a reply from TUG, where did it go?
Answer: Many emails from TUG are inadvertently placed in your Spam folder if you are using a large common public email provider (yahoo, cox, comcast, google, etc)!  This link will help you identify your Spam folder and locate those missing emails from TUG.  Did my TUG reply get lost in Spam?

Question 26: How do I upload photos to TUG?
Answer: Within the TUG Resort and Review database, all members can upload photos directly through the site on the "resort photos" tab.  This link provides detailed instructions!
How do I upload my Resort Photos to TUG?

Question 27: What is a Timeshare Shill?
Answer: A shill is someone (usually an employee) who pretends to be just an ordinary customer of a company who is sent to promote the company on the Internet!  What is a Timeshare Shill?

Question 28: Where can I see TUG Marketplace Sales and Rental Facts?
Answer: Every year we release the TUG Marketplace Resale and Rental factoids, they are listed here in this link!
Where can I find Marketplace Sales and Rental Facts?

Question 29: Is there a Glossary of Timeshare Related terms on TUG?
Answer: Absolutely, TUG maintains a list of commonly used Terms and Acronyms in the Timeshare world!
Timeshare Glossary and Acronyms?

Question 30: Are RCI Points better than RCI Weeks?  What are the differences?
Answer: One is not "better" than the other, there are advantages and shortcomings of both systems, however if you are already an owner you dont get much choice in the matter!  This article should help clear up the mud (somewhat)! RCI Points vs RCI Weeks

Question 31: Are Timeshare Vacation Clubs a good idea?
Answer: Most folks are presented at least once with the idea of buying into a Vacation Club with the promise of discounted rental vacations all over the world, read this before you buy!
Timeshare Vacation Club Warning and Info!

Question 32: Why cant I sell my Timeshare?
Answer: The number one reason we discover most individuals fail to sell their Timeshare in todays resale market, is because it is priced at a ridiculous amount!  This article is an abrupt slap in the face to try to bring some folks into the reality that is the current Timeshare Resale Market.Why cant I sell my Timeshare?

Question 33 : I just signed up for a sales presentation. What should I do or expect?
Answer: Timeshare sales presentations can be a daunting experience for any potential Timeshare owner, especially if it is your first one!  This article can prepare you for what to expect from the salesman and hopefully prevent you from making a very expensive mistake!  How to Survive a Timeshare Presentation

Question 34 : Should I trade my Timeshare exchange for a Cruise?
Answer: There are many hidden fees involved with Exchanging your Timeshare for a cruise, and in most cases youw ill find you get very little "on trade" for your Timeshare, this article explains in more detail!  Should I Exchange my Timeshare for a Cruise?

Question 35 : How do I update the Information TUG has for my resort?
Answer: TUG has more than 5000 resorts in the Ratings and Reviews database, so as such if you find something that is missing, incorrect, misspelled, etc...we provide a quick and easy way to let us know so we can get it changed immediately!  How do I update TUG Resort information?

Question 36 : How do I pick what Timeshare is best for me?
Answer: One of the most frequently asked questions on the forums for those folks who find TUG before buying! This article should help you narrow down your decision!  How do I pick what Timeshare is best for me?

Question 37: What's the difference between a timeshare fixed and floating week and which is right for me?
Answer: In the simplest terms, Fixed week means the same week of ownership every year, while a floating week offers a range of weeks for a Timeshare owner to choose from.  This article explains in more detail!  Fixed vs Floating week Timeshare

Question 38: How do people contact me about my Classified Ads in the Marketplace?
Answer: All classified ad messages are stored on your ads within the TUG system, they can be accessed and read at any time by logging into the Marketplace!  TUG Marketplace Messages

Question 39: Where are the Timeshare Reviews on TUG and how/why should I write one?
Answer: Timeshare reviews are all stored in the TUG Resort database and act as a permanent guide for any other TUGGER looking for information about staying at that resort on vacation!!  Timeshare Reviews on TUG

Question 40: Should I buy a week for Trade value, or where I want to vacation?
Answer: This is a long running debate with pros and cons for each side!  This article hopefully serves to help you decide which option better suits your needs as a Timeshare owner!  Which Timeshare to Buy?

Question 41: This company called me claiming to have a buyer for my Timeshare?
Answer: This is one of the most prolific scams in the Timeshare industry today, noone legitimate is going to contact you out of the blue with a buyer, they will ALWAYS look to scam you out of money in a variety of ways!  Cold call Timeshare resale scam?

Question 42: This company called me claiming they can cancel my Timeshare?
Answer: Regularly we see ads for companies claiming they can "legally cancel your Timeshare" or "get you out of your Timeshare".  You should read this article before doing business with any of them!  Company claims they can get my out of my Timeshare

Question : Are Marriott/HGVC/Starwood/etc properties worth the extra cost?

Question : Which is better, RCI or II?

Question : How do I get the best exchanges?

Question : I have (any system) points that are about to expire.  What can/should I do with them?

Question : Is it safe to buy a timeshare on Ebay or Craigslist?

Question : How do I protect myself if I buy a timeshare on the Internet?

Question : What is a timeshare and how many different types are there?

Question : Is a timeshare an asset or a liability?

Question : Is a new timeshare worth more than a used timeshare?

Question : Is it ok to take timeshare tours for the gifts when you have no intention of buying a timeshare?

Question : If I join II or RCI, can I trade my timeshare week for a week at any other resort?

Question : If I own a "floating week", am I guaranteed any week I want every year?

Question 29: If I own a "fixed week", can I just show up and check in on the appropriate day?

Question 30: If I wont be using my unit, will my resort rent out my unit and send me the money?

Question 31: When I'm on vacation, am I required to attend the owner meetings?

Question 32: I just won a timeshare online, what is the next step in the process to obtain ownership?

Question 33: The Salesman told me that my purchase would be a good investment, is that true?

Question 34: The Salesman told me the developer would sell my unit at a profit in the future if I ever wanted to sell, is that true?

Question 35: The information I was told in my presentation does not match what I learned here on TUG and by reading my contract.  What can I do to get my money back if my rescission period is over?

Question 36: I feel I am a victim of Timeshare Fraud, can the BBB or any government agencies help?

Question 37: Are there limits on how much my annual maint fees can increase?

Question 39: Can the timeshare developer change the rules for exchanging whenever they like?

Question 40: Can the timeshare developer change the rules for reserving weeks whenever they like?

Question 42: What is the difference between a timeshare fixed and floating week and which is right for me?

Question 43: Can I take my pet to my timeshare?

Question 44: How do I find out the trading power of my timeshare?

Question 45: Is Brian the coolest person you know?

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