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Review: 4 Reasons Timeshares Are a Scam

Review: 4 Reasons Why Timeshares are a Scam

Review: 4 Reasons Timeshares Are a Scam


Amanda Purdy’s article, 4 Reasons Timeshares Are a Scam, provides a scathing critique of timeshare ownership, emphasizing why it should not be viewed as a sound real estate investment. The article incorporates data, quotes, and industry analysis to explain why the allure of timeshares often masks significant financial pitfalls. As we review this article, we find that Purdy focuses on key points to make the argument for consumers to educate themselves before purchasing a timeshare.

Key Points on Timeshares

#1 – Overpriced and Inefficient

Timeshare purchase agreements

A primary concern with timeshares is their excessive cost compared to conventional vacation packages. According to Purdy, “The average one-week timeshare purchase price exceeds $24,000,” a sum substantially higher than what one would typically spend on regular vacation arrangements. Purdy elaborates, explaining that to break even on this investment, a timeshare owner would need to use their property annually for over 24 years. This calculation does not account for additional annual maintenance fees and potential increases over time, which further diminishes the financial appeal of timeshares. This inefficiency in cost versus benefits highlights why many view timeshares as an impractical option for savvy travelers looking for value and flexibility in their vacation choices.

#2 – Depreciating in Value

Booking a timeshare reservationUnlike typical real estate investments, which usually go up in value over time and can increase your wealth, timeshares almost always lose value. This significant drop in value makes them a risky financial choice for those looking to invest in long-term assets. Purdy points out this major downside, stating, “You never gain value. No equity gets accrued.” She explains that this loss of value is because of the way timeshares are sold. Developers make a lot of money by selling the same unit to many buyers, each owning a piece of the time. Meanwhile, the buyer doesn’t see any return on their investment. Instead, the value of their timeshare drops sharply right after they buy it, made worse by a market flooded with timeshares being sold for much less than the original price. This decrease in value, along with constant maintenance fees and the lack of flexibility in use, shows why timeshares are often seen as a bad financial move compared to other types of property investment.

#3 – Inflexible Usage

Depreciation of TimeshareTimeshares are notorious for their restrictive usage rules, which can significantly limit when and how owners can access their properties. Purdy details these limitations, noting, “Timeshare agreements allow developers to blackout dates,” which means that owner/members cannot use their timeshares during these specified periods without paying additional fees. These blackout dates often fall during peak vacation times when owners most want to use their properties. As a result, owners are either forced to vacation during less desirable times or pay steep premiums to access their own timeshare during high-demand periods.

This inflexibility extends to the resale market as well. Many owners find themselves unable to utilize their timeshares as they had envisioned and may attempt to sell them to regain some of their investment. However, the resale process is fraught with challenges. The market is saturated with timeshares, and demand is low. As a result, many owners struggle to sell their timeshares, sometimes resorting to offering them for as little as a dollar just to escape the burden of annual fees and other associated costs. This difficulty in selling timeshares further emphasizes the lack of flexibility and poor value retention that characterize these properties.

#4 – Predatory Sales Tactics

Today Only TacticsPurdy strongly criticizes the timeshare industry for employing aggressive and often predatory sales tactics. She describes how sales representatives often subject potential buyers to extremely long, marathon-style presentations that are designed to wear down their resistance. “The entire sales pitch gets structured as a grind,” Purdy writes, emphasizing that these exhaustive sessions can last for hours, with salespeople using high-pressure tactics to coerce attendees into making a hasty decision without the time to consider the implications fully.

These presentations are not just long; they are filled with manipulative techniques, including misleading information, emotional appeals, and false promises of financial benefits. Sales reps often create a sense of urgency, suggesting that deals are available for a limited time only, to push potential buyers into signing contracts on the spot.

Purdy points out that these predatory practices are particularly harmful to lower-income buyers, who are often enticed by the promise of a luxurious lifestyle and investment opportunities. These buyers are the most vulnerable to such tactics, as they may be less familiar with the contractual complexities and long-term financial burdens of timeshare ownership. The combination of high pressure, complex legal jargon, and the allure of an affordable luxury vacation creates a potent mix that can lead to regrettable financial decisions.

Why Do People Still Buy Timeshares?

Despite these glaring issues, 7.1% of American adults still own timeshares. Purdy mentions that the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) claims 62% of timeshare owners earn less than $100,000 annually, which makes them susceptible to these predatory practices.


Amanda Purdy’s analysis clearly warns consumers about timeshare ownership, urging people to be more financially savvy and to do their homework before investing. By comparing timeshares to other vacation options and pointing out the aggressive sales tactics often used, she shows why buyers should be cautious. In the end, it’s up to each person to make an informed choice about timeshares and whether the timeshare product fits their lifestyle needs.

Disclosure: This review article is for information purposes only. Readers should conduct their own research and due diligence, including obtaining independent legal and financial advice, before making any investment decisions.


Led by timeshare attorneys J. Andrew Meyer and Michael D. Finn with over 75 years of combined legal experience. The Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm that specializes in Timeshare Law. If you need the services of a timeshare attorney, please reach out to us for a free consultation to discuss your individual situation. Call 727-214-0700 or email us at [email protected] | Learn more on social Twitter X

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