Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RCI Shop and Save

Finally, some good news for everyone who has an RCI membership. Long overdue, but good news is good news.

RCI has partnered with Mall Networks in a program that earns members cash rewards for shopping online.

The list of participating merchants is much too long to cover in this blog. Suffice it to say that it is quite comprehensive and is full of major retailers that you are familar with the probably already use on a regular basis.

Here's an example of how easy it is to earn rewards using this new Shop and Save Program:


1 Dozen Roses 1-800-FLOWERS $ 29.00 $ 3.59

1 Pair of Jeans Macys $ 39.99 $ 1.99

1 Scarf NY and Company $ 10.99 $ .65

1 Toaster Target $ 19.99 $ .59
1 Shelving Unit Target $ 49.99 $ 1.49

1 Sweater Express $ 19.50 $ .58

1 Throw Rug $ 29.00 $ 1.16

1 iPod Touch Apple $149.99 $ 2.99

TOTAL $13.10

OK, I know that $13.19 is not enough money to even make an RCI exchange, but it is $13.10 that you'd have in your pocket for doing nothing more than you would have done anyway, and that's the point.

Anytime you have at least $25.00 in your account in any given quarter, you'll get a check mailed to you.

I used products with fairly low price points in my example above. Let's say you purchase a Mac Pro computer for $2,'d earn $49.98 on that one purchase. Not bad at all.

I'm fairly certain that RCI and one of its affiliates, NorthCourse, is mining all of your purchase information in an attempt to send you information leading to even more purchases, but face facts, every time you use a frequent shopper card, that company is doing the exact same thing. We are smack in the midst of the information age whether we like it or not.

RCI might even use this information to actually begin some good target marketing for its affiliate resorts...could this be the start of a new age in timeshare "marketing?" Could RCI actually be starting to do what I've been writing about for years and years now? Could this be the start of some mutually beneficial marketing alliances being formed between a timeshare and a major retailer such as Target?

Naw, I doubt it...they haven't caught on that much yet. But money in your pocket for shopping? Get on board!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Did You Know We're On Facebook?

In this "social media plugged in network" we all live in, I thought I should let everyone know Timeshare Insights has a Facebook page.

Until we run out, we're giving away a complimentary ICE membership and 10,000 Platinium Reward points to everyone who becomes one of our "fans" on Facebook.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Information On Selling Your Timeshare

If you've been contacted by a company offering to sell or rent your timeshare, the Better Business Bureau advises using caution, especially if an "advance fee" is involved. While these companies claim to have ready buyers or renters, imply that they are representing foreign investores, or that corporations are interested; most are just offering to advertise your timeshare for sale.

Do NOT confuse the service of an advertising or marketing company with those of a real estate company. In most real estate transactions, it is the buyer who puts up a deposit and the real estate company gets its commission from the seller only after the deal closes.

Ask if the company's salespeople are licensed to sell real estate or whether they are selling an advertising program. If you are contacted by a marketing service, don't allow the caller into pressuring you into making a hurried decision. Request detailed written information about the company's services, find out where they currently advertise and visit other Internet listings the company may have.

Most company can not tel you whether a timeshare has rented or sod because these are generally "For Sale (or Rent) By Owner" advertisements. Fees for timeshare listing services can range from $295 to $600 or more with little guarantee that your timeshare will be sold or rented. Be sure to get all promises in writing, but remember that even then, those promises are only as good as the company that stands behind them.

For additional infomation on how to get out from a timeshare that you no longer need or want, e-mail me at and request MODULE 3. Remember, Timeshare Insights does NOT sell, rent, buy, broker or represent any timeshare or any type of timeshare. What you'll get is clear, concise, useful and above all, unbiased information on what to do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And The Scams Continue

There seems to be a never-ending supply of greedy, shady companies out there. And with the difficult economic times that some timeshare owners find themselves in, these companies are raking in a fortune.

Recently, a timeshare owner contacted me wanting to know if they should pay a company $2,000 to list their timeshare for sale.

This presented a few “problems”:

· the owner in question lived in Florida---new Florida DBPR regulations expressly forbid the
collection of a “listing fee” for any timeshare owner residing in the state of Florida
· the timeshare in question was located in Florida---ditto on the Florida DPBP regulations
· how did the company in question obtain this owner’s information

I did some checking into the listings that this company had and was astonished…a rare thing for me!

The site had thirty-three (33) timeshares listed from this particular timeshare property, ranging in price from $5,500 for a 1-bedroom to $32,000 (!) for a 2-bedroom. What was even stranger was that the same listing had a 3-bedroom timeshare for “only” $26,000…a steal compared to the 2-bedroom at $32,000!

So why my astonishment? As my regular readers know, I used to be a timeshare salesperson and I used to work for this particular timeshare resort. They are currently selling 2-bedroom timeshare (or the points equivalent) for $17,900. And this resale company had one listed at $32,000!

There is one of two scenarios that happened here…neither was particularly appealing:

1) the company in question got their hands on some owners’ listing and convinced some poor
unsuspecting owner that for “only” $2,000, they would be able to sell their timeshare for
them and get $32,000.
2) the company in question is in fact making up their listings as they go…there is no timeshare
“for sale”, much less one for $32,000

Why is the timeshare resale world even less regulated than the primary timeshare market? There is nothing at all to stop these companies from “listing” fictitious timeshare properties. And nothing to stop them from listing them under various “umbrella” companies. Oftentimes one company will be doing business under various aliases, all listing the same properties.

It is more important than ever for consumers to be wary of these companies which prey on tough times and ignorance. There are legitimate places that consumers can turn to if they are looking to sell their timeshare. And if consumers are in the market to purchase a timeshare on the resale market, don’t make a costly error. Work with a company that has full transparency, that offers a recession period, that has competitive prices, that has a good rating with the Better Business Bureau and that offers a guarantee of a clean title.