The Timeshare Resales Message Worth Repeating

In Monday’s The Timeshare Authority blog, I shared my thoughts with you in a post titled: Timeshare Sales and the Great Reality Check. That timeshare blog post was written in response to an article that appeared in USA TODAY.

Timeshare owners need and deserve more good opportunities to resell timeshare. And I am not disputing that there are timeshare scam companies and timeshare fraud companies that promise everything and deliver little to nothing. These companies are an urgent problem that both legislators and the industry needs to address.

But the article was one-sided and that is frankly, never acceptable journalism. When you take on an industry so unfairly, you can do a great deal of damage to a lot of people. Not only does the timeshare industry contribute significantly to local tax bases through real estate and property tax, but it employs millions of workers worldwide, from sales to advertising, to resort staff, housekeeping, golf course maintenance … and the list goes on and on. And consider the secondary and tertiary impact of timeshares.

Timeshare vacationers spend money on travel, food, entertainment, and shopping. In so many ways, they boost an economy and contribute indirectly to the employment of others. As tourism has dipped and in some cases nose-dived across the country, occupancy rates at timeshares have outstripped those at hotels. And there are even more subtle ways that timeshare contributes to the economy, such as the proven productivity and health benefit for people who vacation regularly.

So with all of this in mind, I thought you might enjoy what others in the timeshare industry had to say in response to the same article that started my rant:

Lisa Ann Schreier, author of Timeshare for Dummies, and respected authority on the timeshare industry, wrote:

“Not ANOTHER article in the mainstream press focusing on the non-existent ‘investment potential’ of a timeshare (and by the way, it’s ‘timeshare’ one word.) While the whole investment pitch is not unheard of, consumers should know better. Are the thousands of dollars that they spend year after year after year on renting hotels and then paying room tax on those thousands any sort of investment? Try going back to the hotels that you stay in after 10 years and ask for your money back.

As a timeshare consultant and someone who works with both consumers and the industry, I am getting fed up with consumers saying such things as they were lured in by attractive offers and then ended up buying something. No one ‘lured’ anyone in … anyone who has sat through a timeshare sales presentation received something in exchange for their time at the presentation. And the vast majority of these people knew full well that they were going to be asked to purchase…they abuse the entire system…a system which I whole-heartedly agree needs to change by the way.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…if you aren’t interested in a timeshare, then don’t waste your time at a sales presentation. And if you aren’t the type of person who is spending at least $80 per night on hotel accommodations, chances are you can’t afford to purchase the timeshare, so just say no to the offers to attend the presentation.

Timeshare is a terrific alternative to renting vacation accommodations for many people. No, they are not for everyone. Consumers who do their homework, know how timeshares work and know what they can afford are NOT taken for a ride. The vast majority of timeshares owners enjoy their timeshares and can take advantage of vacation opportunities that they would not otherwise be able to were it not for their timeshare.”

USA TODAY’s article ‘Stuck with time shares‘ did a real disservice to millions of very happy time-share owners and prospective owners. I should know. I own 14 time shares and also lead an association of time-share owners (Cover story, Money, Monday).

Sure, there are shady resale scams out there. And some people bought more than they could afford. But there is more than one story, which was only hinted at near the end of the article.

There’s the story of how spending a week at a beautiful resort provided a family with the time needed to recharge. And there’s the story of the couple who have been going to the same resort for 25 years, first with their kids and now their grandkids. The list goes on.
Investing in a time share allows the owners to take regular, more comfortable vacations. The place appreciates in sentimental value. Also, it helps people develop financial discipline for better vacationing because time shares are pre-paid. Everyone has a place to unwind and eat together around a table, as well as activities to participate in, making vacations more enjoyable and valuable.

USA TODAY’s article didn’t capture that side of the story.”

Lisa and Ed, I couldn’t have said it better myself.