Monday, March 2, 2015

The 11 Most Common Timeshare Mistakes

1)    Buying the first one you see

There are approximately 6,000 timeshare resorts out there and there is no such thing as the “best” one.  Don’t get caught in the trap of purchasing the first one you see or look at online.  Also, remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.

2)   Believing everything you hear, good or bad

This goes from the salesperson trying to sell you the timeshare, to your neighbor who says that all timeshares are crap.  It is YOUR money, it is YOUR vacation and it is YOUR decision.  Read reviews, talk to people, check out blogs and then make your own informed decision.

3)   Forgetting to bank your week

You’ll typically remember about 10% of what the salesperson or online company tells you about timeshare.  Then you’ll start planning your next vacation and find out that your week has “expired” because you didn’t bank it.  Send yourself a few reminders or voice mail messages in advance so you don’t forget next time and have a bad experience.

4)   Not reading the fine print

Yeah, we know that the documents are very long and typed in very small print.  Read them anyway.  All of them.  And remember that no matter what the salesperson told you, if it is NOT in the documents, you shouldn’t pay attention to it because the written documents are the only things that matter.

5)   Not showing up for the annual HOA meeting

If you can’t attend the meeting, then find out who will be representing you and other owners and make your voice heard.  There’s no excuse to complain when you haven’t exercised your vote.

6)   Not getting educated

Knowledge is power and hundreds of timeshare owners have lots of knowledge and lots of power.  Check this blog, online forums to start with or get other recommendations.

7)   Believing that RCI and II are your only exchange options

They aren’t…no matter what the salesperson said.  Joining a smaller exchange company such as Dial An Exchange, Trading Places International, Platinum Exchange and/or SFX (to name a few) offer you great benefits and usually lower fees than the big two.  Although these are not necessarily better than the big two, you should take advantage of as many options and benefits as you can.

8)   Not understanding the difference between points and weeks

BIG difference.  Location plays no part in trading power if you own points and it is everything if you own weeks.  If you own points and don’t pay attention to your “window of opportunity” you may find yourself out of luck for a decent vacation that year.

9)   Thinking that a brand name timeshare is somehow better than a non-branded timeshare

There is no such thing as the “best” timeshare for everyone.  The so-called “brand name” timeshares do offer some nice perks that piggy-back on some of their non-timeshare properties.  They are also generally more costly.  Look into all of your options, but pay attention to what is important to you.

10)  Buying at a resort that is NOT a member in good standing of ARDA (American Resort Development Association)

Among other things membership in ARDA does is provide and abide by a Code of Ethics.  This code is in effect to help you, the consumer.  Before you buy any timeshare, you should find out if they are a member in good standing.  You can find out more about ARDA, their code of ethics and find out if the resort you are interested in is a member by visiting and clicking on “Understand the Ethics Code.”

11) Doing it all yourself

6,000 timeshare resorts, points and weeks, “new” timeshares vs. “used” timeshares, sales pitches and online sites with different information…how are you supposed to make the right choice?  We don't sell, rent, buy, broker, list, transfer any timeshare or get any kickbacks or commissions from anyone we may suggest you work with.  That way you can be assured that you're getting unbiased and independent information.


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