The timeshare industry is a legitimate and growing industry, expected to reach a market value of $21,700 million by 2024. It’s also plagued by a bad reputation borne of decades of scams and unscrupulous dealings.
Have you done your research and feel timeshare could add value to your life? Does your budget accommodate your desire to own an attractive timeshare product?
If so, all that’s standing between you and a lifetime of happy vacations is to read this guide n how to avoid timeshare scams along the way.
What Is a Timeshare Scam?
Like any scam, a timeshare scam involves handing over your hard-earned cash and receiving nothing in return. There are a few common ploys used by scam timeshare companies.
Most of them involve unexpected phone calls from so-called brokers offering to sell you a timeshare at rock-bottom prices, provided you send them a deposit upfront.
Others may sell you non-existent resale weeks or offer you cash for your timeshare interest provided you pay some costs upfront.
None of these practices falls in line with the timeshare industry’s code of conduct.
The Hard Sell Timeshare Scam
Some scammers work for legitimate timeshare companies, although they don’t toe the line when it comes to company sales policies.
As a whole, timeshare salespeople are extremely persuasive, but you shouldn’t feel pressured to buy a timeshare by hard-sell tactics.
Your best bet when attending a timeshare presentation is to arrive informed. Find out everything you can about the company and the resorts you’re interested in before you arrive.
If possible, visit some of these resorts to see if they’re a good fit for you first. No one can pull the wool over your eyes if you know the facts beforehand.
Resale Timeshare Scams
If you do end up getting scammed into making a purchase you don’t want, you’ll have a hard time getting rid of it. It’s almost impossible to exit a timeshare contract unscathed unless you sell your week.
Timeshare resales companies are the best way to do this, as long as you avoid the scammers.
If you’re looking for a more affordable way to get your foot in the timeshare door, resellers are a good choice, too.
Whether you want to buy or sell a timeshare, always look for accredited timeshare resale listings. You can check their credibility by looking up reviews and checking for legitimate contact details, such as a brick-and-mortar address.
Many reputable resale agencies offer excellent deals on timeshare products, but you must do your homework to ensure you’re working with a legitimate company.
When buying a timeshare, you’re going to need to hand over your cash at some stage.
If you’ve done your research, you’ll know when you’ll need to pay up, as well as how much. View anything else as suspicious.
Similarly, you shouldn’t have to pay any exorbitant upfront fees when listing your timeshare for sale. Again, a little research can help you figure out what to expect.
Enjoy Good Value for Money
Timeshare scams aside, many people who take this route do so without giving it the consideration it deserves. Buying a timeshare product is an expensive undertaking with ongoing costs.
In many ways, it’s akin to owning a vacation property. If you can afford it, you’ll enjoy worthwhile savings to come. If not, you’re in for years of financial difficulty.
You must research every available bit of information in line with your budget before you commit.
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