Day 27 – Timeshare 

28 Jan

Have you ever made the acquaintance of a timeshare salesman and then sat through the whole experience ? Well, I have and I can break it down for you !

We were on our honeymoon in Vegas in 2009 and strolling through one of the hotels , we met this friendly guy who stopped us and asked us where we were from. When we mentioned we live in the US but in another city, he then asked us if we wanted to come back to Vegas for an all expense paid stay. So this seemed too good to be true and as naive as we were at 23 and 25 we listened on.

The whole idea is quite simple, he explained. We paid $120 now. We would get two nights at a good hotel , in fact the one we were standing in and admiring at that moment and  we could use it within a period of two years. Once in Vegas , we had to attend a 2 hour seminar on their timeshare with no obligation to buy. At the end of it, irrespective of our decision we would be given $120 in gambling chips which we could use at the hotel’s casino or cash out with. As this seems practically easy to accomplish , we went ahead put down the $120 and were excited with the prospect of coming back to Vegas.

About one year in, we planned a trip with some friends and decided to use our free stay. We pulled out the paperwork to find a bunch of blocked out dates when we couldn’t use this. So we had to take time off work and pick two working days like a Thursday and Friday for this. We called the number indicated and booked our stay. They prompted us to register for the seminar on the second morning of our visit. Wanting to finish it off as soon as possible we complied. 

We got to Vegas and checked in. The room was decent as expected. The next day we went down the lobby as instructed but to our surprise met a whole bunch of other couples like us who were there for the same reason. And here was the next surprise , a bus came by and we were told to get in. We were driven about 10 minutes away from the strip to this timeshare property. The sales pitch was planned to be there , as I guess seeing is believing . We were herded into a big building where there was a decent breakfast spread . We helped ourselves and saw a quick video on the timeshare, which started off at somewhere in USD 30k plus range to own for life. We then were taken to a seperate table and assigned a salesman who started off asking us what we did for work and how many vacations we took.Slowly he built upto cost of vacations for a lifetime and how this timeshare purchase would bring down costs. He then walked us around the property, specifically the actual vacation home you would own a share of and I must say it was really nice. Especially , if you want to vacation with kids and parents or extended family. They explained exchanging your share for cash or trading in for other locations etc whenever you wanted and made it all seem simple.

We had discussed before hand to be anchored on “No” and definitely not buy the timeshare that day and we stuck to it. He lowered the price with fewer benefits and tried again and again we said no, making up some random excuses like wanting to relocate possibly out of the country.He immediately started on his international location sales pitch and tried to sell that. We again said no. When this salesman grew a little tired of us, he sent another guy to our table who offered a lower price still. We were now down to the $15k range for a a shorter duration . We again refused to buy. Finally they bid goodbye to us and sent us a level below in their office to get our money back. Before we actually got our money, there was a final pitch again at a ridiculously low price and it really seemed foolish not to take it. But we stuck with our “No” and got our money and awaited the bus back to the hotel. On the way back we discussed if anchoring ourselves on no had been worth it.At that point in our lives it made sense.

We have stayed clear of all other timeshare presentations after that incident. I do think the experience is worth sitting through once, depending on the freebie you get. In Hawaii for example , the freebies are great – usually a full day excursion is covered. We have been on the opinion that a half a day of our vacation is not worth spending at the presentation . But of course, this opinion can change depending on the situation and the freebie.

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6 Responses to “Day 27 – Timeshare ”

  1. jan January 28, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    A friend of mine attended this and went ahead and bought it. They seem to be enjoying it , but I have read about how we can be scammed or lose money.

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 28, 2017 at 11:36 am #

      I don’t know anyone personally who has bought it here. Interesting that some people you know have.It’s really hard to walk away from an absolutely good deal at the end . My folks in India have one and we have enjoyed some good trips growing up. It almost forces you to plan a trip each year which is a good thing when you have kids etc

  2. Suji LN January 28, 2017 at 9:17 pm #

    Happened to us in New Orleans – back in 2001. We had just started working after grad school. The 3-4 hours for a “free river boat cruise with dinner” seemed worth it back then! Of course, we decided NEVER again 🙂

  3. princessbutter January 29, 2017 at 12:07 am #

    Like you said, Hawaii or something is totally worth it. And 2 hours is still okay. I know a fool who stayed in some odd town near Palm Springs when he brought his parents to SD to visit from San Jose. His TimeShare pitch was 9 hours! That’s just ridiculous! But I also know people who own or share timeshares. I don’t like the idea to be honest. Right now I am of the opinion that I need to see a new place every time I make a trip. It may change later on the age, where probably I just want to go to a vacation home to unwind.

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 30, 2017 at 11:07 pm #

      Thing is with timeshares too my understanding is you can go to different places..Like swap out. Especially if you own in Hawaii..They make it seem super easy to do. Cannot imagine a 9 hr presentation. Ours was a little more than 2 hrs or so. But okay if you have nothing else to do

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