Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Beware of timeshare resale companies that refuse to disclose their location. If they won’t post their physical address on their site, or if they hide behind a PO Box… they’re probably up to no good!
(Author’s note: for the purposes of today’s post, I’ll be using the term “transparency“. According to business-in-asia.com’s Business Glossary, “transparency” is defined as:
“The concept of making trade-related administrative processes easier to follow, including opening them to public scrutiny and subject to clear methods of challenge or amendment.”)
As stated in earlier posts, my goal for this weblog is to provide quality timeshare tips and advice for timeshare owners instead of promoting my own company. However, for today’s post, I would like to use my own company as an example to make a few observations about the current state of the timeshare resale industry.
I’ve often remarked that the timeshare industry is changing for the better. When big hotel brands entered the timeshare marketplace over a decade ago, these ushered in an era of greater accountability and honesty in the timeshare business. True, this multi-billion dollar industry attracts its share of scammers, but so does any other lucrative business. Essentially, the entire industry is undergoing a massive change in business practices, from the top down.
Though corporate policy is decided at the highest level, it can take a while for all these changes to filter down to the base of the pyramid, where most timeshare owners feel the difference. This is why, even while the entire industry is reaping the long-term rewards earned by years of sound business practices, it is an ugly fact that the timeshare resale sector has been the one segment of the industry LEAST receptive to these positive changes. Each day ARDA and other groups within the timeshare industry are taking new measures to put an end to “antiquated” high-pressure timeshare sales tactics. At the same time, hundreds of boiler-room operations across the world dazzle their prospects with false promises, badger their victims when they don’t rise to the bait, and eventually take the money and run.
Timeshare owners and resale companies have at least one thing in common: we’re both sick and tired of the deceptive practices in the timeshare industry. As a resale company, we compete with some of the most nefarious scam artists this side of organized crime. It frustrates me that these people actually get a share of the timeshare resale market while at the same time dragging the entire industry through the mud.
It is time to put an end to these lousy business practices once and for all. One way we can do this is to educate first-time timeshare buyers about the timeshare industry. Common sense dictates that a well-educated consumer is much harder to scam. The same consumer will inevitably respond well to honesty and fair treatment. This mode of thinking has caught on in some circles of the timeshare sales community, and I think that it is time to apply it to the resale sector too.
Another way to promote better business practices is through integrity, transparency, and honesty. For instance, a timeshare company that refuses to disclose its physical location probably has reasons for being duplicitous. If a company does not post its physical address on its website, or hides behind a post office box, there’s probably something funny going on. Maybe it’s a one-man operation conducted from a basement somewhere. We’ve all heard stories about fraudulent “businesses” based out of a cell in a maximum-security penitentiary. The bottom line is, if something that claims to be a timeshare resale company will not give out its actual physical location, do not give it any money!
In summary, transparency is the order of the day. It is the only way for a company to attain any degree of credibility in the modern age. This is especially true of online businesses, who by their nature can be subject to the scrutiny of millions of people all over the world at any time. Our business model is centered around long-term success in a modern business climate. Not only for ourselves, but also for our advertisers. It is in our best interests as a company to provide openness and accountability to both potential clients and long-term advertisers.