Sunday, February 28, 2010

An Industry "Expert"?

I just saw a Press Release touting a new book on timeshare authored by someone who claims to be an industry expert.

Having authored or co-authored three books myself, I was curious to see what this book was all about and who the author was.

My first clue that something was not quite right came when I saw books about everything BUT timeshare on the site including a book on dating! Then, when I finally found the book on timeshare, I was instructe to "click on (name of author)" to find out more. Weird, but OK.

I had to first go through a lengthy preamble by someone who also claims to be an industry expert. Expert except for the fact timeshare was in quotes as if it were a strange word of some sort.

Obviously, this guy has some good PR...he got himself mentioned in an industry trade magazine that I have yet to crack...but a timeshare expert? I don't think so.

If you want to know about the timeshare business, then you should read "Timeshare Management-The Key Issues For Hospitality Managers." If you've never been to a timeshare presentation, or are about to go on one, then you should read "Surviving A Timeshare Presentation...Confessions From The Sales Table." And if you want to find out more about owning and using a timeshare, then you should read "Timeshare Vacations For Dummies", this blog and join a timeshare owners group.

Monday, February 22, 2010

New vs. Resale

Interesting finding recently released through ARDA Internationl Foundation concerning reasons for consumers hesitating in purchasing timeshare.

Hesitation Bought New Bought Resale

Price 36% 11%
Concern about annual fee 26% 22%
Possible future annual fee increase 26% 17%
Not sure if would be used enough 23% 25%
Same day purchase 26% 14%
Monthly payment 24% 19%
Wondered if "too good to be true" 17% 22%
Pressure during sales presentation 19% 17%
Down payment 17% 19%
Interest rate 16% 14%

What really stood out for me was the 22% of consumers who thought that the product might be too good to be true when dealing with resellers vs. only 17% of consumers when dealing with "new" timeshare.

I can only attribute this finding to the fact that the respondents must have been dealing with an actual sales presentation or "pitch" with the resellers...not buying off of a site or from a previous owner.

As the industry has heard time and time again, sales presentations are NOT the way to reach out and make a positive impact on today's consumers. They demand transparancy and will seek out many opinions before making a purchasing choice. I've always said it..."an educated consumer is the timeshare industry's (all aspects of the timeshare industry) best friend."

Become a Fan or Follower, Get A Membership

For a limited time, become a Fan of Timeshare Insights on Facebook, or a Follower on Twitter and receive a complimentary ICE membership.

Drop me a note with your e-mail address and as soon as I verify, I'll e-mail you your membership information.

See you soon!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Resale Listing Woes

One of the problems (and there are many) with "used" timeshare listings is that in many cases, the information bears no resemblance to the truth.

Consider this listing which I recently found on a very well-known timeshare reseller's site:


So what is wrong with this listing? Where do I start? How about:
* the resort is NOT rated Gold Crown, it is rated Hospitality
* there are no 3-bedroom/2-bath suites at this resort
* there is no ownership available at the resort valued at 20,900 RCI Points
* 20,900 RCI Points would get you LESS than 1-week in a junior 1-bedroom in the
off-season...NOWHERE near a 3-bedroom

Imagine you're looking to purchase a 3-bedroom resort in've already toured one or more of the wonderful resorts there with a price tag of $26,000+ and now you see this ad. WOW...only $6,500...what a deal!

So what can be done about these thousands and thousands of incorrect listings? Well, for one, I think that all timeshare resorts should have at least 2-3 full-time people on staff to comb the listings out there and take some action. At the very least, correct the listing or buy back the property in question. And that of course assumes that the listing is real and not just designed to draw unsuspecting consumers in.

As for the timeshare reseller...shouldn't they at least have some sort of basic knowledge of the timeshare properties they are listing, again, assuming they are real listings? I talk a lot about how the timeshare developers and their salespeople need to clean up their act and stop "pitching heat." Something needs to be done on the resale end as well. much work to be done.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Update on RCI Points Partner Usage

If you own a timeshare based on RCI Points, you may be confused as to how to utilize them. Here's the basic rules:

1) You may use 33% of their annual allotment OR 25,000 points (whichever is greater) up to a maximum of 250,000 points.

2) Your points can be used TOWARDS NOT FOR airline tickets, car rentals, hotel stays and/or certain theme park tickets.

3) Discounts using points range from $200 (for 12,500 points) to $2,000 (for 200,000 points).

4) All reservations/purchases must be made through can't make reservations on your own, say through Orbitz and then try to apply the points as a discount.

It can get quite confusing and you must do some homework to make sure you are not devaluing your points. I find that in most cases, you're better off using your RCI points for timeshare accommodations.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Don't Forget Tonight's Webinar

Don't forget tonight's free webinar that I'm hosting in conjunction with Holiday Group.

We will be LIVE from 8:30 to 9:30 pm (EST). The webinar is free, but you do need to register.

Here is the link:

Friday, February 5, 2010

More Media News

Did an interview today for the Miami Herald business section, the radio interview should be aired on February 22nd and working on a tight (Monday) deadline for The Resort Trades, featuring my non-sales timeshare training for resort personnel. Oh yes, and I finished my "cautiously optimistic" article for the March/April issue of TimeSharing Today.

I see a "non-relaxing" weekend in my future...seeing as I'm headed out to KSC for the 4:39 am liftoff of the space shuttle on Sunday. :-)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cautiously Optimistic

I just finished writing a mostly positive article on the timeshare industry for TimeSharing Today. The entire article will be published in their March/April issue.

I thought I'd share the last paragraph of the article here today:

The timeshare industry is, I believe, at a crucial tipping point. It can still go either way. Let's all hope that it tips to the positive side, resulting in more owners, happier owners, more transparancy, more acceptance and ultimately, happier vacation experiences. The danger is that the industry will NOT take advantage of the unique situation it finds itself in. The result of that could be catastrophic.

Hmmm, doesn't sound too optimisic, but actually the tone of the piece is quite positive. Look for the full article in the March/April issue of TimeSharing Today.

Monday, February 1, 2010

SIGH...Yet More News and Updates About Resale Companies

It has come to my attention that disreputble companies are still out there scamming people in the market to sell their timeshare. Unfortunately, some of these companies claim to have a good relationship with Timeshare Insights...THEY DON'T.

Here's what you need to know about any company charging you any sort of advance fee for selling your timeshare...STAY AWAY.

A timeshare is just like any other real estate or personal property out don't pay someone in advance to list pay if and when a buyer is found. There is a difference between a listing fee and an advertising fee if you are taking out a classified ad in a publication or other media. Those are standard...for example $125 for a 3 line ad in a publication.

HOWEVER, if a company wants any sort of "advance fee", "listing fee" or "marketing fee", stay away from them...and better yet, send me their name and contact information.

As I've mentioned before, the Florida Attorney General recently made it ILLEGAL for anyone to charge an advance fee for ANY timeshare located in the state of Florida, regardless of where the owner lives AND for ANY resident of Florida, regardless of where the timeshare property is located.

Hopefully, more states will soon follow Florida's lead.