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What Do iPods and Timeshares Have in Common?

What Do iPods and Timeshares Have in Common?

Some upbeat and very interesting quotes from industry panelists at the European Timeshare Business Forum 2005.

The latest edition of Timeshare Staff LTD Magazine, (December ‘05-January ‘06) reviewed highlights from this year’s, European Timeshare Business Forum, recently held in Prague. Here’s a few of the facts that came out of this meeting of industry giants, which we think will have you congratulating yourself heartily for being a savvy timeshare vacation property owner.

Chairman and CEO of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Rip Gellein, looks at his industry this way, “Timeshares are alive and well in the United States… I believe the sky’s the limit.”

He elaborated that there have been no “down years,” in timeshare sales in the US since 1980. US timeshare sales in 1990 were $1.2 billion, and by 2004 had reached the astounding figure of nearly $8 billion. This means that since 1993, the US timeshare sales growth rate has been almost 16%.

On the international market, timeshare sales topped $11 billion last year. And as Yannis Daskalantonakis of The Daskalantonakis Group, reported, “it (the timeshare industry) will be in even better shape in the future.” 

But Shari Levitin Katz, President/CEO of Levitin Group gave us perhaps the most enlightening factoid to come out of the forum, “The growth rate in the past year has been seven-fold. What other product has that level of growth?”

iPod, Australian wine, and Prozac,” she said, answering her own question.

Timeshares: Blame the Packaging, Not the Product

Timeshares: Blame the Packaging, Not the Product

There’s no good reason for unethical sales practices to exist in the timeshare industry. On the flipside, there’s a world of reasons for you to buy timeshare resales.

Imagine that you arrive at a luxury resort for the express purpose of attending a timeshare sales presentation. The salesman promises you the world, and you sign the paperwork. A few months later, when it comes time to use or exchange your timeshare, you run into complications. Confusion soon turns into anger when you find out that what you were promised verbally was not described in the actual contract, and the resort won’t deliver on the salesman’s extravagant promises. 

We’ve all heard this scenario so many times that at this point the terms “timeshare” and “misleading sales practices” seem almost synonymous in the public consciousness. The big resort companies blame rogue scammers for giving the timeshare industry a bad name, while their marketing divisions exacerbate this problem even further by misleading and pressuring consumers into buying at over-inflated prices. 

Isn’t this kind of ironic?

With all these companies desperately trying to con people into buying timeshares, you’d think that timeshare was some sort of communicable disease. Still, one of the many reasons why I love my job is the sizeable pool of timeshare properties that we own, trade, resell, or use. I’ve used a number of our timeshares while traveling on business, and I have yet to be unimpressed.

Timeshares are great, no question about it. Since this is so, why do so many companies and individuals waste money, time, and other valuable resources on unethical, sometimes illegal, business practices?

There is no good reason for a timeshare sales company to mislead or pressure potential buyers. That’s what makes timeshare-by-owner advertising such an appealing alternative to buying timeshare from questionable resort sales staff.

What this all boils down to is that timeshare is a quality product, but it is often poorly marketed.

Buyers can avoid both deceptive salesmen and inflated sale prices by buying timeshare from individual owners, on the resale market.

Thanksgiving Tur… ducken?

Thanksgiving Tur… ducken?

With Thanksgiving festivities coming up shortly, this is the perfect time to introduce a new contributor to the Timeshare Owners’ Blog. Please welcome our good friend, Ms. Lucia Kaplan.

With this year’s holiday season looming nigh, I’ll take this opportunity to wish our readers a happy and safe Thanksgiving. In keeping with my festive mood, I’d like to introduce you to a good friend of ours, Ms. Lucia Kaplan. Ms. Kaplan is a writer and editor with a strong background in business, especially when it concerns the all-important business of how we spend our free time and hard-earney money. 

You can expect to read more from Ms. Kaplan in the coming months. I hope you enjoy her unique insights in today’s article, which deals with an unusual holiday dish…

It May Be Is Time to Think About Turducken

by Lucia Kaplan 

We are well into the month of November. Are the preparations for your turducken on schedule?

That’s right, your turducken.

Hate to admit you doesn’t know the ins and outs of turduckens? Perhaps you are new to the subject and only gained your first knowledge of them when the current issue of National Geographic featured turducken on their cover, alongside Indonesia, ocelots, and revolutionary events in Nepal.

Turduckens (as everyone should know by now) are the culinary delight that results when a whole, boneless chicken is filled with andouille sausage, shrimp, oyster, or traditional cornbread stuffing, and liberally massaged with Cajun seasoning. Then, the stuffed chicken is itself stuffed inside a similarly prepared whole, boneless duck, which in turn, is stuffed into a whole, boneless turkey. Tur-duck-en!

If you have missed the pleasures of a juicy, slow roasted turducken, then you have missed A LOT. Turducken lovers travel to Louisiana, particularly around the holiday season, just to enjoy this regional delicacy. Type “turducken” into your search engine and you will find half a dozen turducken specialists (almost exclusively in the Bayou State) that will overnight ship you a frozen turducken, many offering you choices of seasonings and stuffing.  Or if your skills are up to the boning, stuffing, and fowl supervision, you can easily find delicious recipes, including some from legendary Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme, for preparing a bird inside a bird inside another bird.

So what’s the real connection between turducken and timeshares? If you are planning a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other winter season holiday, and haven’t decided where to go, consider Louisiana and Mississippi timeshares.

Yes, this summer’s hurricane season was devastating. But the businesses that are open (or reopened) need your patronage. Spend your tourist dollars in an area that has experienced a dramatic decline in business, and you are helping people get back to the business of living. And when you are spending those dollars in Louisiana and Mississippi, you are right in the heart of turducken country—reason in itself to plan a timeshare holiday. 

If you can’t fit a Louisiana timeshare vacation into your schedule right now, consider ordering a turducken this year. Many companies that sell this triple-play holiday feast are donating a portion of their receipts to the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Timeshare Spammer Jailed, Ordered to Pay $120,000 Restitution

Timeshare Spammer Jailed, Ordered to Pay $120,000 Restitution

The notorious “Timeshare Spammer” was sentenced today to one year in federal prison. Inboxes everywhere rejoice.

Search for “timeshare” on any online news service, and news stories about the nefarious “Timeshare Spammer” dominate the results. Convicted “Timeshare Spammer” Peter Moshou was sentenced today to serve 1 year in federal prison and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $120,000. The case has received worldwide attention because Mr. Moshou is among the first spammers to be sentenced for violations of the relatively new CAN-SPAM act.

I am particularly vocal when it comes to lousy business practices in the timeshare industry. It is for this reason that I feel obliged to comment on such widely-publicized news.

First, that this spammer was busily and indiscriminately flooding people’s inboxes with garbage causes him to rightfully earn the ire of everyone with an email account. Never purchase anything from spammers, nor should you offer money for their supposed “services”. Why reward bad behavior?

Second, this is a particularly dramatic example of shady marketing practices which persist in the timeshare sales community. The Timeshare Spammer’s sentence serves as an explicit warning, not only to all spammers everywhere, but also to certain unscrupulous types who infest the timeshare industry. Sorry guys, but bottom-feeder sales tactics are no longer acceptable in this business.

If only the “timeshare spammers” of the world would go find real jobs like everyone else…