Bad timeshare deals are usually initiated through nefarious methods such as unsolicited faxes or telemarketing calls. Usually an enticement is involved such as a free two-night resort stay.
As a precondition for getting a free vacation you are forced to sit through a 4 hour meeting where the sales representatives pitch their timeshare to you. These high pressure sales situations can and make you feel obligated to purchase something because you received a free vacation. Once you purchase a time share it can be nearly impossible to get out without taking a huge loss.
Here are some tips to avoid falling for a bad timeshare deal:
- Pinky swear with your spouse that you will not sign anything at the sales meeting no matter how good it sounds. Any opportunity that is truly good will still make sense days later once the two of you have a chance to analyze all of the costs and compare the deal with other opportunities.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages before or during the sales meetings. While tempting, you are more likely to say yes when you are plied with alcohol. That is why casinos provide complimentary beverages while you are gambling!
- Check out the company thoroughly. Ensure that they have a good Better Business Bureau rating and are free from any unusual pattern of complaints. Search for reviews about the company and the properties involved in the timeshare.
- Make sure that you have the financial means to afford the contract on permanent basis. Timeshares are notoriously difficult to get rid of, which often results in scammers taking advantage of the timeshare resale advance fee scam.
- Avoid these pitches altogether by planning your own vacation using discount tools such as Expedia, Travelocity or better yet Groupon or Living Social.
Timeshares are not an easy decision for most people. They are expensive, have limited options and are incredibly difficult to get rid of. When you do sell, you almost always take a huge loss. It would be similar to driving a car off the lot, except this car drops 50% in value instead of the normal 10%! Now are you sure you still want a timeshare?
That being said, some well-known businesses do offer some enticing timeshares that can be reasonably priced considering the ammenities. These are often provided through hotel chains. If you do choose to buy a timeshare, make sure that it is what you want as there is little recourse if you change your mind.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."