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How to survive a Timeshare Sales presentation without making an Expensive Mistake!

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How to Survive a Timeshare Sales Presentation!

Survive a Timeshare Sales Pitch

If you are vacationing in a Timeshare, you will eventually be scheduled to attend a Timeshare Sales Presentation! These meetings are scheduled (or at least the scheduling is attempted) for nearly all guests who are staying at the Timeshare itself, be it an existing owner, exchanger or simply someone renting a unit. This article is intended to help you be prepared for what to expect when attending one of these meetings so you are better prepared to sit through it!

Note that these sales presentations can be disguised as many different things (Owner Update for example) in an attempt to hide the fact that you are going to have to sit through an attempt to sell you a Timeshare

"The Call"

In most Timeshare resorts, the scheduling of your sales presentation is not generally done until shortly after check in via a phone call to your room. The caller is always very polite, and is paid to not take no for an answer. These folks can be extremely persistent and will pretty much counter and or ignore any attempts to get out of attending the meeting.

It is important to note that this individual likely doesn't even work on the sales team, and is responsible for nothing more than scheduling your meeting with the salesperson. How persistent are they? I recently stayed at a resort and flat out told the scheduler who I was from the start (she was aware of TUG) and politely tried to inform her that I did not want to waste the salespersons time and did not feel comfortable taking the free gift ($100 gift card) from the resort either.

She rebuffed all of my attempts, and quite frankly the only way to end the call was to finally schedule. I will say that at no time did I feel forced or antagonized, she was extremely polite and simply explained that it did not matter if I was convinced I was not going to buy that I should simply attend and hear what they had to say.

As you can see, the individuals who are responsible for scheduling the call are not interested in the least if you are a valid buyer or not, its not their job to sell you anything. It is in fact their job to ensure the sales department schedule is always full.

Ok so it appears I have to go - what now?

It is at this point where your experience can vary from extremely short and pleasant, to extremely long and miserable! We have had reports from all extremes of the spectrum, and everywhere in between! It truly depends on the resort and the salesman on how your presentation will go! I cannot possibly describe each and every possible scenario, however it never ceases to amaze me how many folks go into a presentation convinced they wont buy a thing, and exit the presentation new owners of a Timeshare!

The next few sections will discuss the main contents of nearly all Timeshare presentations.

The Pitch!

When it comes down to it, you are there to be sold something. While this is usually a new timeshare, pitches to existing owners can include "upgrades" to increase point totals you already own. "Trade ins" that give you some value for your existing timeshare if you agree to purchase a newer (read more expensive) timeshare package. As well as "preview/trial" packages for potential new owners who may be on the fence about buying!

No matter what the pitch to you is, there is one very important thing you MUST understand, and that will get you through any presentation.

You do not need to buy right then and there! Nor SHOULD you buy anything on the spot without doing research.

It is the job of the salesperson to get you to sign that new contract (for whatever package you are being pitched at the time) right then and there during the sales presentation. Doing this eliminates many options and protections for you as a consumer!

Common tactics you might encounter!

While its practically impossible to list each and every creative tactic in a salesperson's arsenal, these are some of the more commonly reported ones for you to listen for during your presentation:

  • "X number of extra vacation weeks" that you can have if you buy this package.
  • "Buying this timeshare will let you trade/exchange for any other timeshare at any time"
  • "If you don't use your Timeshare, we will rent it out for you"
  • "Timeshare is an investment that will increase in value!"
  • This deal is "just for you" as I cleared it with my manager but is only available if you buy today!

Each of these statements or variations of the above are designed to urge you to make your decision right then and there and sign up for the deal they are offering. See if the salesman will put said comments in writing in the sales contract, and then based on the reaction you can decide for yourself how far off base the comments were to begin with and while you do this, remember that if it is NOT in the written contract, you are not going to get it. We cannot count the number of lies and or misleading statements told to owners to close a sale that are nowhere in the contract and unfortunately when an owner goes to complain or demand what they were "promised" the developer can merely say you "misunderstood" the salesperson during the presentation.

You also might get the pitch discussing the "long term comparison" between the timeshare and a hotel, where the salesman will compare numbers adding up the cost of hotel stays vs the sales price. What is nearly always "accidentally left out" is the cost of your annual maintenance fees which if included, would not make the comparison numbers very attractive.

But the salesman said this was a one time offer?

This is one of the most common "tactics" used by Timeshare salespersons to get you to commit during the presentation. Fact is, that offer will be valid whenever you decide you want to take it. You could call up the next month after returning home and doing your research and the salesman would literally jump through the phone to sign you up for that same deal offered during your presentation.

Absolutely No offer made during a presentation becomes "unavailable" to you the moment the presentation ends.

There is a reason that the sales presentations are done at the beginning of your vacation! Your Right of Rescission period begins the day you sign your contract and varies in length from 3 to 10 days depending on the state. It is quite possible that by the time you get home from your vacation and get a chance to sit down and research exactly what you just bought, you might have already passed the period in which you had to legally cancel. This is not done by accident folks!

Why would I cancel, surely its cheaper to buy at the presentation?

One of the hardest truths TUGGERS discover (usually shortly after buying during a presentation) is the Timeshare Resale market. So many folks are desperate to rid themselves of their timeshares, resale prices for most resorts have never ever been lower. Yes you can find that exact same interval for pennies on the dollar vs what you can buy it for right there at the presentation. At the very least, you owe it to yourself to RESEARCH before making that decision! If you find later that the price given to you during the presentation was the best you can do (it wont be), then by all means call the salesman back up and express your interest in buying and they will sign you right up!

TUG has saved owners MILLIONS of dollars in the past few years for those that have bought during a sales presentation, then later found TUG in time to cancel that purchase and buy on the resale market for pennies on the dollar. We are not making this stuff up! This thread serves as a reference for owners who have confirmed they were able to cancel in time and buy resale! Check out the current list of people TUG has saved here: I found TUG in time to rescind my new Timeshare purchase!

The salesman said I lose benefits when buying resale?

This is most certainly true of more and more resorts these days! It is a vain attempt at destroying the resale market so that resorts can continue to sell NEW timeshares at a grossly inflated price! If this tactic is used on you during your sales presentation, you should make the salesman write out right in front of you exactly which items and services do not apply if you were to buy this exact same timeshare on the resale market!

This will help you two fold!

First It gives you the exact items you can go and research to see if there is indeed a way to get those by purchasing resale. In many cases you will find that some of these "perks" do indeed apply to any and all owners irregardless of how the timeshare was purchased.

Second It lets you decide if those perks are worth paying tens of thousands of dollars MORE than buying the same property on the resale market!

One example of this is a large resort chain offering free limo rides during your vacation to and from the airport etc for those who purchase a new timeshare package at a certain price level. This sounds great, and is indeed a fantastic perk for new owners! However one must keep in perspective that you could probably get some pretty nice limo service yourself each trip with an extra $10,000 in your pocket that you saved by buying resale!

The Final Word!

A quote from a horrible 'B' movie goes something like this:

"During any sales presentation, a sale is always made. Either the salesmen is successful at selling you his product, or you are successful in selling him on why you wont buy it."

This could not apply better to the Timeshare world. It is the job of the salesman to sell you a Timeshare Package, and sadly he has the benefit of doing it for a living every single work day of his life! He has heard all the responses, he has seen countless folks before you give him every excuse in the world on why they aren't going to buy, and has a creative rebuttal for every one of them. It is your job as an educated consumer to ensure that you do NOT sign up for anything without doing the appropriate research!

There is no way you would just walk into a Realtors office and buy a house without doing your due diligence and research before making such a financial commitment, there is no reason you should make a decision on a Timeshare without doing said research either. Any salesman who tries to convince you otherwise is trying to take your rights away as a consumer to pad his or her paycheck that week!

  • If you are uncomfortable or have ANY questions or concerns about the deal, you should not sign.
  • if you are unable to confirm in writing IN THE CONTRACT everything the salesman has said, you should not sign.
  • if you are unable to do research on the resale market, you should not sign.

Each of these three reasons can be used to say no to any contract or offer from a salesman.

That said, buying from the developer may indeed be the best option for you...however assuming that is the case without following the instructions and advice above will in most cases make you regret your purchase should you find out later that you spent way too much money on your Timeshare!

Feel free to stop by our Timeshare Online Community Forums if you want to ask specific questions, with tens of thousands of Timeshare owners and experts, no question goes unanswered!

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