Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Need For More Timeshare Consumer Awareness

While it is true that the average timeshare owner did NOT purchase a timeshare with the intent to get involved in meetings, read blogs, participate in forums or at the extreme, become involved with Class Action lawsuits, it has become obvious that timeshare owners DO need to become more aware of what is going on in timeshare as it has a direct impact on their ability to enjoy their timeshare.

Having gotten my start in front-line timeshare sales some 12 years ago, I can say with some degree of certainty that many of the issues facing both timeshare owners and resorts today could have been avoided if one word “transparency”, was more universally implemented.
I strongly believe that timeshare is a wonderful product and that more people should own it.  It’s a terrific way to vacation.  Having said that, there are some changes that need to be implemented in order to make it “better” for both consumers and resorts.  Unlike some both in and on the fringes of the industry, I believe that it can and should be a win/win situation; consumers don’t have to lose if resorts win and vice versa.

It starts with transparency, fiscal responsibility and consumer education/awareness.  Timeshare Insights was formed in 2006 because I believe strongly that “an educated and involved consumer is the timeshare industry’s best friend.”  If a timeshare resort or organization does NOT want their owners and prospective owners to be more informed, then I think there’s something wrong.  It sounds basic and a bit cliché, but organizations with nothing to hide don’t hide anything.
This consumer awareness can and should in my opinion start at the resort level.  Resorts should welcome questions, allow for sufficient time for a consumer to make a purchasing decision and by following up with that consumer whether or not they choose to purchase.  Resorts should be happy to have their owners get involved with timeshare owner groups and read books and blogs about timeshare.  Imagine how many problems that owners and resorts are facing in 2012 could have been avoided this more of this awareness and interaction had taken place in 2000!


  1. How to you sell or give away a timeshare? What if you just can't pay maintenance fees anymore and just want to give it back?

  2. Most resorts unfortunately, will not take back a timeshare, although that is where you should start. Get in touch with them and see if they will.

    However, there are many more options available to you including selling and renting.

    Email me and I can give you some pointers.

  3. Lisa, as I said before, that is the problem that must be solved before timeshare can join the desirable investments at the table.

    As long as the timeshare company can sell you something that is then a monkey on your back, something that you can't get rid of- it will be seen as the junk it is.

    It's no accident timeshare is only sold through high pressure questionable sales tactics by blue suede shoe operators. It's the only way to get someone to buy something that is ultimately less than worthless like the first posted is finding.

    If timeshare interests were just like other real property interests, meaning your liability is limited to your interest and you cannot be forced to keep paying you would then become an important customer of those timeshare developers.

    They would have to keep you happy to keep you paying. If they didn't you'd stop paying and they would have no customers. No one to use the facilities, tip the bellman, pay the maintenance and other fees.

    As it is now, if you don't pay they turn you over to collections and ruin your credit. To them, timeshare owners are something they have thousands of and they don't value them at all.

    That's what needs to be changed.

    That the anon first poster is having trouble getting anyone to take his timeshare, even free, tells the story doesn't it?

  4. Timeshares can be a terrific purchase for some families, as they also can be a giant rip off for others. 50 years ago, also known as Holiday Home Sharing or timeshare travel, timeshares were created with the idea of offering fully furnished accommodations for a lower price than a full-time ownership. Nowadays, timeshares have become a very popular vacation option, yet lots of people do not completely understand how timeshares operate.