Today I discuss again, the absurdity of the old "people don't wake up one day and decide to buy a timeshare" arguement that the industry has relied on for years to justify their "marketing" practices---bribing consumers with a discounted hotel stay and two tickets for an insane price in exchange for their attendance at a 90 minute (ha) resort preview (ha).
Several weeks ago, while contemplating the projected end of the world later this year and how stupid I would feel if I continued to save money instead of spending it on something like a vacation, I thought about how nice it would be to take a European river cruise.
So I went online to do some investigating. Now, let me stop here for a minute. I didn't suddenly decide to BUY a European river cruise...I suddenly decided to LOOK INTO a European river cruise.
Yesterday, two weeks later to the day, I received a lovely four color brochure from Tauck in the mail and spent a good hour reading through the lovely descriptions of their varied itineraries.
As usual, I started comparing this type of travel marketing with the timeshare model. What can I say...I'm a VERY focused individual.
The brochure contained all the elements that made for a very compelling sales pitch. Photos, reviews, extremely detailed descriptions of the different sailings, information on included meals, sightseeing, right down to letting me know that the bedding included pillow top bed and 400-thread count satin bed linens. And of course, all the cost details.
I say sales pitch because that's what collateral like this brochure is...a sales pitch. At the bottom of every single page was the phrase, "Call your travel agent or Tauck at 800-xxx-xxxx." Sprinkled in throughout the brochure were QR Codes where I could scan to view videos and access Tauck's website in a snap.
What this sales pitch didn't include of course was a donut and tea with a salesperson. Or a "today only" price or a TO calling me to see if the price was lowered would I jump on the deal.
Now, I haven't bought the cruise yet. So in that way, I fit into the majority of people who attend a timeshare sales presentation and don't buy. But what I do have is the brochure and the website which I can revisit anytime I want. The price doesn't go up, the thread count doesn't go down.
Having just attended a timeshare sales pitch-undercover of course-I did ask for a brouchure of some sort and of course was turned down because "no one ever comes back to buy a timeshare" in the words of the salesperson.
Of course no one comes back to buy, because potential owners are forced to leave empty handed!
Let's get back to the whole "waking up and deciding to buy" theme. Yes, it is very true that no one wakes up and decides to buy a timeshare and no one wakes up and decides to buy a costly European river cruise. Let's just add that no one wakes up and decides to buy ANYTHING unless they have prior knowledge and/or experience with it.
Isn't it high time that the timeshare industry stops using this outdated thinking to "justify" their marketing and sales practices?
What do you think? Leave your comments...and I'll let you know about the river cruise. Since the ships have internet access, I can blog from the Danube!