Are you in the market to buy a timeshare?
Today timeshares are everywhere, eBay, Craig’s List, and hundreds of other sites around the web and abroad.
In this article, I’m going to be covering 10 things you should know about timeshare scam companies before you buy one.
1. They Use Hard Sales Tactics
The first thing you got to know is that timeshare resorts will use any hard selling tactic they can to get you to buy.
When I was looking at buying a timeshare we were crammed into a room for over four hours.
They basically wanted to keep you in there till you cracked and that’s exactly what they do. In that time they will say anything to get you interested.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Boiler Room you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
2. They Will Give You Anything To Get You To Buy
Next, a timeshare scam company will give you anything to get you to say yes. First off, they will wine you and dine you. They will take you out to eat at their resort restaurant to show how great their resort is.
Second, they will give you a free vacation usually for just checking them out. This is actually the only benefit I could find to going to a timeshare meeting. However, you may want to read the fine print beforehand.
The resort I got my free vacation from was real but had a restriction that we had to be 25 years of age to use the voucher. We of course couldn’t use it since we were only 23 at the time, how covenant for them.
3. High-Interest Rates
Third, one of the biggest timeshare scams is that resorts will give you a high-interest rate on the loan you take out for your timeshare.
A typical timeshare ranges from $5000 to $20,000 or more and will charge ridiculously high rates.
In fact, my loan on the timeshare I bought was right at 16% and the resort claimed I could get it refinanced once I got back home.
However, instead of refinancing the loan, I decided to just pay it off and avoid all the refinance fees.
4. Maintenance Fees
Fourth, every timeshare has maintenance fees. The reason resorts charge this fee is that once you sign on the dotted line you will in a sense become a part-owner of the resort.
The resort will then charge a maintenance fee to cover the cost to run the resort. However, this doesn’t mean it’s cheap, at my resort I paid around $350 a year and the fee increased as much as 10% every year.
5. Club Fees
Fifth, once you buy a timeshare you will have to pay a club fee in order to bank or exchange your timeshare. I’m not sure if this is required or not but the resort I bought mine from said we had to have it.
The first year of the service is usually free but after that, it will cost you.
A typical annual fee runs around $60 to $100. However, if you buy for a longer term you will usually get a cheaper rate. If would like to learn more about these company check out Interval International.
6. Exchange Fees
Once you own a timeshare you may not want to go to the same resort all the time. If that is the case you will be able to exchange it using companies like Interval International.
However, this will also come as a fee as well. The typical fee to exchange a timeshare with another resort will run around $100.
7. Impossible To Sell
Seven, timeshares are next to impossible to sell. I tried selling mine and it took over 4 years to get rid of it.
In fact, I recently got an email from someone who said they were in desperate need to sell their timeshare. It this almost a regular occurrence for me to get one or two emails like this every month.
I really feel sorry for these people, especially when I hear that they still have a loan out and can’t get even one offer on the property.
8. Timeshare Resale Companies Don’t Work
Eight, one of the things people will do in order to sell their timeshare is getting in touch with a timeshare resale company. The short and sweet of it is they just don’t work.
I bought into two different timeshare resale companies and never received one offer in the two years that I had the ads out. I even called these companies and they claimed they were busy at work trying to sell my timeshare.
The typical fee with a company like this is around $600 and the worst part is they offer no refund at all. My best advice for you here is to just avoid this timeshare scam altogether.
9. Timeshares Don’t Increase In Value
One thing I learned the hard way with timeshares was the fact that timeshares do not increase in value. This was probably the biggest lie I’ve ever heard a timeshare salesman say.
The reason they don’t increase in value is that when you buy a timeshare you aren’t buying an actual piece of land but rather just a piece of time, one week to be exact.
Since time itself doesn’t increase in value the value of your week doesn’t increase at all. In fact, in most cases, they actually are worth a lot less when going to sell, which brings me to my final point.
10. No Return On Investment
Finally, the worst thing about a timeshare is the fact that you will not get back the money you originally paid for the timeshare.
However, there is always that outside chance that it might happen and if it does please leave a comment I would love to hear your story.
In my situation, I bought my timeshare for $4500 and ended up selling it back to the resort for $400. The reality after 4 years of trying to sell the timeshare I couldn’t even find even one buyer.
Now that I’ve educated you a little more on buying a timeshare are you still going to buy one?
I don’t want to scare you away from this if you have your heart set on it but my goal in this article is to point out some of the major pitfalls that go along with a timeshare.
In the end, I hope I’ve educated you enough to help you avoid the timeshare scam companies and not get ripped off as I did.
Hope to Prosper says
Tuesday, I went surfing with a buddy of mine in Carlsbad, CA. He bought a timeshare in Hawaii on his honeymoon and was really sorry he had. His wife and him are since divorced and they are still stuck with the timeshare. They each have to take it every other year and split the expenses. I think I will be renting hotels instead.
Chris Holdheide says
I agree renting a hotel room or even going all inclusive is a much better option. The biggest problem with timeshares is once you have one it’s very hard for you to get rid of it.
Mark Hagger says
I recently purchased a timeshare with Royal holiday in Mexico. When I tried to cancel, I was told that I was not able to since my contract was activated immediately. I I read an article saying this is not true, that I always have five days to cancel a timeshare contract. Here is the link:
My question to anybody is: Does anyone have ever been able to recover any monies from Royal Holiday after the cooling off period is over?
Thank you in advance for your responses.
Andrew A says
Hello my fellow timeshare owners, my name is Andrew A. and I currently work for the Vacation Ownership Group (Independent Timeshare Consulting Firm). Over the past two years, we have been investigating different timeshare companies and realized that more than 77% of timeshare owners were misrepresented and lied to when purchasing their timeshares. Being that our CEO, Vice President, and several managers used to be higher ups for the biggest company in the timeshare industry, they know all the ins and outs when it comes to the timeshare business. As we started getting deeper into the investigations, we found out there are over a half million timeshare owners that are victims of some type of misrepresentation and unethical sales practices. Apparently, these billion dollar corporations don’t have a solution for their upset customers because they blatantly don’t care and just want to make money. Well, our company went to the fullest extent to find a direct path to help these families out and get them a resolution to their timeshare issues. Please contact us, if you need any help with your timeshare situation and we will be more than glad to lead you to a solution. 1-800-381-9469 ext:120 or send me an email at [email protected].
please call me @ 608 7701415. i have problems with the sunset group in cancun , mexico. thank you, alan
Patricia McIntosh says
Here is what I learned since buying our timeshare in Mexico, three companies later:
Any and all riders on a contract are meaningless once the timeshare is sold to another company. Since we bought our timeshare in Mexico, ownership has been transferred two times. The rider on our contract guaranteeing no increase in our maintenance fees over the life of the contract is no longer valid. We are at the mercy of the new owner who is threatening our credit rating. Does anyone have any advice? Our lawyer here has been of no help. Beware…Torrenza timeshares!
Patricia, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. My only suggestion would be to contact the resort that holds the timeshare and see if they have a buy back option avaliable . This is how I was able to rid myself of my timeshare, however you will not get much back for it. In fact I paid $4500 for mine and only got around $400 in return for selling it back. I hope this helps.
Hi … “Summer Sun International” – have you had any dealings with this company? … TATOC (Timeshare Association) do not list them as an “iffy” company.
Summer Sun is linked to Beauregard Marketing Solutions. Summer Sun International contacted me with a buyer for my holiday club membership. They wanted my credit card details to set up a escrow account as insurance liability in case I pulled out. I got independent advice and did not provide the details. It is a scam. Up front payments of any kind are illegal under Timeshare Regs 2010
Thanks for letting us know Derek.
Carolyn Hill says
Thanks for that infomation Derek, we have just had a call from Summer sun, saying they have a buyer for our timeshare. Just another scam!!
Justin Bean says
The problem with the TIMESNARE INDUSTRY is everybody who has been bilked out of their hard earned money won’t form a coalition to end this treachery and deceit. Timesnares in general seem to enjoy using FEAR & SMEAR tactics to convince even the most savvy of people to purchase a virtually worthless product, and then hang the contract over their head for a lifetime of remorse. It’s time to form an coalition of disgruntled timesnare owners and form our own rendition of the 99% to combat the SLEAZY HARD SALES PRESENTATIONS, and put an end this lugubrious situation for those who have been taken. Just remember they brought the hardball to you. Now it’s time to serve it back to them. Take it to the streets, and get the public involved. Stage a protest and march in the streets until our voices are heard. Get the NEWS MEDIA INVOLVED in exposing the things that need to be brought to public attention.
Add Grand Paradise Club to the list of rotten companies. They are connected to a company called Advantage Services in Las Vegas. That alone says volumes. Stay away
Thanks for the update Fred.
In all reality most are a scam and most are high pressure… Not all though… Mexico timeshres are the worst… How time share works is if you want to trade with the world you want something theWORLD wants to trade with… Locations such as SoCal, Hawaii on the beach… Maybe new York Manhattan club… Otherwise you are not going to get your exchange…
Can you help me get rid of Diamond Resorts? I still owe money?
Karen I also bought a Diamond Resort Timeshare …I used Mitchell Reed Sussman to get me out.I didn’t get anything back but got out of the contract and those fees every year.Google his name to get the numberI was very satisfied with the results.I wish I hadn’t paid for the timeshare in full but at lest im out of it.Its a shame we have to give them our hard earned money.Timeshares are nothing but scams.