Nothing can invoke fear and discomfort to your well-being quicker than being approached to do a timeshare presentation, a.k.a. a timeshare promotion, a.k.a. a “timeshare tour.” Usually it goes something like this:
You have arrived at your vacation destination after many long hours of travel, be it by car or plane. All you want to do is move in your 28 pieces of luggage, find your toothbrush and collapse into bed. Or maybe you’re starving, and you want to race off to the grocery store to buy a pizza to pop in the oven as soon as you get into your unit. You now have your resort map, your room keys and all the other info you might need to have a great vacation. That’s when the dreaded spiel begins—“Because you are owners, we really value your opinions. . . “ And, “I’ll just pencil you in for 9:00 tomorrow morning—or would you prefer noon? And, we’ll treat you to any one of these 5 restaurants!”
So, what do you do? If you’re like most people, you probably cave and agree to do a timeshare presentation. It’s truly difficult to get out of it without being rude, or completely deceitful. What we have just described is the “Wyndham tactic,” although we’ve been victimized by this same method at other resorts. One of the latest ploys seems to be sending you to another desk for a parking pass (even if the resort is in outer Slobovia and no one would ever park there illegally!). That way, the friendly registration person doesn’t have to deal with the unpleasantness of the timeshare tour– it’s left to the “parking pass person,” or concierge.
A totally different method of “hooking” potential buyers is to station people at a mall or kiosk in well-traveled or touristy areas such as Gatlinburg, Las Vegas and Orlando. A pretty standard opening line is, “Hi, where y’all from?” Another good one is, “Hey, I’ve got some free show tickets for you!” The person who approaches you has very little understanding of the actual timeshare system, the cost, or the arm-twisting that awaits you should you decide to take him up on his offer. His job is simply to get you to go to the presentation. He gets paid for that, and he gets some kind of a cut if you buy.
And the “gifts” that they offer are pretty tempting! We have done timeshare promotions for many different dollar amounts, restaurant meals, show tickets, Sea World tickets, etc. etc. In some cases, we were somewhat interested in the system, but not really interested in buying. Occasionally, we (and we used to feel guilty about this, and I’ll explain later why we no longer feel guilty) just did it for the money or gifts, with no intention of buying. A good “rule of thumb” is to never agree to a presentation when they first ask. If you stall, hem and haw, or tell them to call you later, the dollar amount usually goes up, or the gifts multiply.
Check out our upcoming post for more fascinating info about timeshare promotions and presentations. Explore the ideas/answers to these questions:
How do you say no?
How do you say yes, and should you feel guilty?
Why do they offer promotions?
Should you be honest about buying resale?