Nearly every victim of a timeshare sale is on vacation when they make the purchase. Because of this, many eventually regret it. While it’s easy to blame the ignorance of their decision on a gullible mindset and the euphoria of their travels, it’s important that we take a second to look at things from the timeshare owner’s perspective. Although consumers do have an individual responsibility to make wise purchases, the presentation of products shouldn’t look to take advantage of them.
Whether travelers are solicited to buy a timeshare at a tourist-heavy location (boardwalk, strip, shopping center, etc..) or around the resort, they tend to be instantly intrigued by the lure of free overnight stays, dinner vouchers, tickets and other attractions. Cut-throat salespeople are positioned in these places to talk people into exchanging their time for these gifts. Even if the offer is something inexpensive like $60 GatorLand passes, most people take the bait.
This is Where the Story of the Timeshare Sale Begins.
From the timeshare owner’s perspective, attending a “90-minute” presentation appeared to be a win-win scenario. Yea, they might miss out on some of their trip, but they’ll get to do something else, that sounds amazing, for free! Everyone likes free stuff, right? But fast forward 8 hours (yes, 8 hours later), and the presentation is still going. They’ve now sat through a manipulated podium presentation, listened to a number of misleading statements and find themselves exhausted and relatively confused.
Just when they start thinking a timeshare may not be their cup of tea, a new sales guy offers another “today only deal worth listening to.” This could be justified due to their shirt being blue or it being Tuesday. Almost anything is usually said to make the attendee believe they’re in for an even better offer or that they are special. Because they’ve come this far, they usually continue listening to offers – hoping something makes it worth their time. But in the end, it simply wears them down while remorse begins to settle in.
At this point, most people feel like they have to get something out of the wasted day. How bummed would you be if you lost some of your vacation with nothing to show for it? This is exactly how timeshare sales teams want travelers to think. Even when the white flag is waved and they request the “free gift” for their time, most are met by another closer that finds a better way to relate to them. Many become so bogged down by information that they don’t even check contract terms. Some even feel forced to sign.
Analyzing The Perspective of a Timeshare Owner.
From the outside looking in, you might wonder why they don’t just walk away. But victims are strategically distracted from certain elements of the purchase and continuously presented with perks. It can be awfully difficult to see the drawback of the product from a new timeshare owner’s perspective. Especially when they’re uncertain if they want to let the “today only deals” they’ve been presented with expire. While it may not be financially ideal, they almost feel obligated to buy because they qualify.
You see, the timeshare sales process is extremely methodical with a strong level of urgency. The time invested and the commitment to the spiel can be misleading in itself. Salespeople know who they can persuade and how to persuade them. Sales teams pair up with relatable attendees and relationships are forged. The new “friend” spends hours getting to know them and uncovers everything about their financials, family, interests in lifestyle. Pretending to care helps salespeople garner trust and close the deal.
How Else Are Sales Attendees Sold on Timeshares?
Knowing someone’s wife wants to go to the Bahamas or that an attending couple has family in Hawaii could aid them in closing. The idea of letting children or relatives use the timeshare week could also encourage people to buy in. Improved financing options for lower income families that help soften the monthly cost may also do the trick. Many sales teams have even been known to lie about revenue opportunities to get contracts signed.
From a timeshare owner’s perspective, having an investment property and a new friend that can help him make money sounds like a sweet deal. Sales teams nudge them by asking, “You can see the value in this right?” Some people are even told points or property values will increase over time. But there’s really no way someone can prove this during a timeshare presentation as historical data proves this to be false. So when attendees fail to see the value, more aggressive measures typically ensue.
But, What Happens When They’re Still Not Interested?
When friendly sales don’t work and an attendee really just wants to go back to their hotel, the sales demeanor usually changes drastically. The presentation pivots from a helpful friend to a critical one. Quick jabs are often taken to convict them for walking away. “You can finally afford to take your family on vacation, don’t your children deserve to go on vacation?” This is where some people even feel like they owe their sales rep a purchase – because of how hard they worked on the deal.
Or they might be told, “Don’t you want to take your parents on a trip before they pass away? You said they wanted to visit Maine.” “What about your wife? Don’t you think she deserves a treat every year for watching the kids while you work?” “Don’t you think your husband deserves an escape after working so hard?” “You guys look like you could use a vacation.” All of these statements really get under the skin of someone who’s already wasted an entire day.
What to Do If You Want to Go Home.
At this point, the attendee’s perspective will become defensive or succumb to the relentless sales efforts. They’re either going to want to sign up for something or get their gift and go home. In order to exhaust every possibility of the sales presentation, let’s assume the attendees dodge every sales pitch and communicate a firm, “No” on several occasions. Even after another supposed “price drop”, they demand their gift. It’s been far longer than 90 minutes and they’re ready to go to bed and prepare for a day at GatorLand tomorrow.
The thing is, they’re now committed to getting these tickets. Which can take another 3-5 closers to receive. At some point in the process, they’re going to either be forced to leave the event empty handed or commit to some deal to get their gift. Once people are told they can always take advantage of the contract cancellation period, they usually sign up to execute the exchange. Sadly, the actual value of most free gifts don’t match the original perceived value and a majority of people aren’t aware the rescission period is less than a week (3 days in some states).
Signing Up to Escape the Presentation Usually Backfires
So in this example, the timeshare owner’s perspective is rather muddy at this point. In most cases, the buyer isn’t going to even look into the purchase until they get home. If they immediately return to work (or their normal routine) then it could be days or weeks before they even get around to it. By the time they do, they realize there were some restrictions to cashing in their voucher and the timeshare purchase is now perpetually binding. The entrapment of the presentation is to blame.
When the new buyer tries to get in touch with the friendly sales rep, they’re unable to connect. Days after the purchase settles in, the owner then discovers a secret compartment in the binder his salesman forgot to mention. It’s then that they realize all of the verbal promises made were lies. Things begin to be more clear and resentment starts to settle in. From a timeshare owner’s perspective, they’re a victim. Because of this, most people want revenge – but few are able to obtain it.
The Struggle to Escape a Bad Timeshare Decision.
Unexpectedly finding yourself under contract can cause an aspiring determination to find restitution. But like many buyers, it only causes more trouble. Whether they walk away from timeshare payments, attempt to resell the property or look into cancellation, there are a number of pitfalls. Added costs with no resolve is common in this industry. Frantically guessing on where to turn for a solution leads many to scams.
A sense of hopelessness, bitterness or anger can then settle in if the financial burden gets out of control. Especially if the unit itself is disappointing. Although many buyers are led to believe they have an affordable $15K contract over 10 years; interest rates (15-17.9%), travel costs and unexpected maintenance fees are also contractually binding. This can be a tough pill to swallow.
After failing to find a way out, many are forced to look for a new way to make the most of the purchase. From the timeshare owner’s perspective, making some sacrifices to afford payments is better than fighting a battle where the odds are stacked against them. But if they struggle to book ideal dates or the destinations they were promised aren’t available, a tipping point is usually reached. And the cycle essentially never ends.
Making Wise Timeshare Decisions.
While there are plenty of ways this scenario can play out, it’s important to understand the purpose of this story. Signing up for a timeshare agreement may seem like an amazing opportunity, but there are a number of moving pieces that can make it a regrettable decision. We’ve published dozens of articles on this in hopes you can find the answers you’re looking for.
Knowing what to expect during the entirety of this process can be the difference between an extensive setback or nothing at all.