Throughout our worldly travels we’re occasionally approached by a friendly young man or women offering a free dinner, hotel stay or other gift in exchange for our attendance to a 1- or 2-hour timeshare presentation. We’re usually on a pretty tight schedule and are forced to say “no,” but we’ve been wondering lately – are timeshares a scam? To answer this question, we spoke with timeshare resale experts, BuyaTimeshare.com.
Us: So, what exactly is a timeshare?
BuyaTimeshare.com: The word “timeshare” can mean a lot of different things nowadays. In the past, “timeshare” typically referred to one or two weeks of vacation time per year at a single resort. Nowadays, “timeshare” can also refer to points-based products and vacation clubs, which allow you to stay at multiple different resorts around the world through exchange programs. Points can also sometimes be used for flights, cruises and other vacation-related products.
Us: What are some positives and negatives of timeshares?
BuyaTimeshare.com: see below
Most timeshares are located in above-average resorts in popular tourist destinations around the world. Accommodations at these resorts usually come equipped with a kitchen and multiple bedrooms. The kitchen can save you a significant amount of money when on vacation and separate bedrooms can be convenient when traveling with kids or other couples.
One often overlooked benefit of a timeshare is its health benefits. When you buy a timeshare you actually own vacation time at a resort or club, which you have paid for whether you decide to use it or not. This essentially forces you in to taking a vacation, which can be good for your health. According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), men and women who don’t vacation regularly are more likely to experience health problems. Men are 32% more likely to die of a heart attack and women are 50% more likely to go into cardiac arrest.
Now on to the negatives. One of the most common misconceptions of timeshare is that it’s a financial investment. If you buy a timeshare thinking it’s going to accrue value over time, you’ve made a mistake. Similar to buying a new car, a timeshare bought directly from the resort loses up to 50% of its value once purchased. This is because the resort charges a 50% markup to cover the marketing costs of the gifts used to lure tourists into the presentation, the sales commissions and the staff overhead. This markup does not exist when purchasing a timeshare on the resale market.
Another negative with timeshare, depending on who you ask, is the sometimes inability to break up your timeshare week into smaller increments. Some timeshare products, such as those based on points, allow you to break up your timeshare week into shorter 3- or 4-night vacations, but many do not. If you’re not the type that likes to stay in one place for at least one full week, a timeshare might not be the best option for you.
Us: You’ve mentioned the resale market a few times. What exactly is that?
BuyaTimeshare.com: This is where existing timeshare owners go to advertise their timeshare for sale and rent by owner. Our timeshare resale marketplace has hundreds of owners advertising their timeshare for sale and rent at prices significantly lower than those found at the resorts. The price discrepancy is often so large that some people can’t help but think the resale market is just a big scam, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve been in business since 2000 and are accredited by all of the leading timeshare organizations.
Us: Anything else we should know about timeshare?
BuyaTimeshare.com: Our site has a lot of information if you’d like to learn more. In general, we recommend doing an extensive amount of research before purchasing any timeshare to avoid feeling like you got scammed. A resale timeshare can be a great deal if you know exactly what it is you’re buying and how to use it. Just remember, a resale timeshare will save you thousands of dollars off the price of a timeshare.
After talking with BuyaTimeshare.com, we’re convinced that timeshares are not a scam. You really just need to know what you’re doing before purchasing one. If you’d like to learn more about BuyaTimeshare.com as a company, head over to hotel-scoop.com for an extensive buyatimeshare.com review. Funnewjersey.com did a great review as well.