Is this timeshare honest? As honest as the day is long!

Joe Turner attends a timeshare pitch with the promise of a free vacation, and walks away with a single gas coupon.

I’m not a fan of timeshares because I get most of my vacationing free on points anyway, and can get deals that make the rest of my travels less expensive than a timeshare anyway.

I can imagine scenarios where “vacation ownership” might make sense for some people, in part as a planning tool and in part to economize on the knowledge gathering necessary to do better than a timeshare offer.

But the sales tactics of many operators suggest that the deals they’re offering may not be that compelling on their own, and at the very least it’s important to recognize that you need to

  1. get all the facts and dig through the fine print
  2. take your time, high-pressure tactics like suggesting a deal will only be available for 24 hours aren’t credible, they absolutely want to sell you and will be happy to do so in a week or a month, and
  3. negotiate on price, there’s plenty of flexibility that the sales folks have, don’t take the first/second/or even third offer.

I’m sure there’s plenty of good advice out there, such as whether it’s ever better to buy directly from a timeshare company as opposed to in the secondary market, which companies have the best reputation and offer the best value, what questions to ask and what to avoid. I’ve never looked for this information myself, but would certainly want it before seriously considering a pitch.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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