Timeshare: A Today Only Business
Timeshares occupy a distinct niche in the world of purchases, marked by practices that often diverge from typical consumer experiences. Unlike standard products or services that grant buyers the luxury of time and research, timeshares come with a high-pressure sales tagline: “Today Only.” Notably, some industry developers have pointed out that a staggering 99% of all new timeshare sales are sealed on the very day the potential buyers take their timeshare tour. So let’s take a look at Timeshare: A Today Only Business.
The Rush of On-the-Spot Commitments
For those considering a timeshare investment, it implies an environment where decisions, potentially lasting a lifetime, are made in the spur of the moment. The traditional prerogative of going home, pondering over the pros and cons, meticulously reviewing the contract, or scouring the internet for more insights is absent. Such a rapid decision-making demand is rare, if not unheard of, for other significant investments in a person’s life.
The Driving Force Behind the “Today Only” Mentality?
The answer to that question is twofold. First, timeshare tours are typically high-pressure sales presentations, designed to get buyers to sign on the dotted line.
Timeshare sales are commissioned based and reps are paid and evaluated on “Volume Per Guest” or VPG. Secondly, timeshare prices start off inflated at the beginning of a sales tour, which is designed to make it seem as if buyers are getting a great deal through a series of price drops. These offers are not always genuine.
The Hidden Traps of “Today Only” Timeshare Deals
The salesperson may also make verbal representations on usage and other buyer incentives that may never materialize if not contained in the agreement. The problem with this way of doing business is that it can be very coercive and misleading. In some cases, people have felt pressured into making a purchase they weren’t prepared to make. Worse yet, others have been scammed out of their money after being convinced to buy a timeshare during a “Today Only” sale.
So why do people buy timeshares? There are likely a few reasons, but one of the most common is that they are attracted to the artificial value created in the “Today Only” pricing. Timeshare developers use this sales tactic as a way to induce owners into purchasing a timeshare on the spot. They know that if people have the opportunity to walk away and think about it, they may not come back to buy.
Timeshare developers are confronted with substantial financial burdens, particularly in the realm of marketing and sales directed at prospective consumers. Remarkably, the costs associated with marketing can constitute over 40% of the new sales price that a consumer is expected to pay. Such a significant investment in marketing has not gone unnoticed, leading to a somewhat skeptical view among individual timeshare owners and the broader public. The root of this skepticism can be traced back to the exorbitant marketing costs that seem disproportionate to the value offered.
“Today Only” The High-Stakes World of Timeshare Sales
The timeshare industry is characterized by fierce competition, especially in prime tourism destinations. Developers are in a relentless race to attract new visitors to their resorts, which has given rise to the “Today Only” sales approach.
This strategy underscores the urgency and immediacy of securing sales. In the world of timeshare sales, there’s a prevailing sentiment that “there is no tomorrow.” This means that sales representatives often employ high-pressure tactics to close deals on the spot, emphasizing that the offer on the table is a one-time opportunity that won’t be available again.
The rationale behind this approach is twofold: firstly, to capitalize on the impulse of potential buyers and secondly, to combat the challenges posed by the high marketing costs. By creating a sense of urgency, developers aim to achieve a quicker return on their hefty marketing investments.
This “Today Only” philosophy, while effective for some, has also been a point of contention. Critics argue that it can lead to rushed decisions by consumers, who may later regret their purchases or feel they were misled. On the other hand, developers defend the approach as a necessary means to stay afloat in a highly competitive market with razor-thin margins. Whatever one’s stance, it’s undeniable that the “Today Only” ethos is deeply ingrained in the timeshare sales culture, reflecting the industry’s broader challenges and dynamics.
Unveiling Timeshare Sales Pressure Tactics
In order to make a sale today, timeshare developers can be quite aggressive. They have to make today’s tour the best it can be. In a typical multi-step sales presentation, the sales manager will be brought in to give the final “Today Only” deal. The big offer typically expires if you walk out the door, but in reality the longer the tour, the more pressure there is to buy. Take a look at this “Ask Anthony” news video from Jacksonville, Florida where an elderly couple were pressured to buy a timeshare on the spot.
If you are considering buying a timeshare, it’s important to remember that a vacation ownership is a lifetime commitment and should not be entered into lightly. If the deal seems to good to be true, you should research the offer thoroughly. Ask the manager for written documentation of the price, along with time to review any additional benefits of the “Today Only” offer.
Consumers should always read any timeshare agreements and other related documents carefully to understand their rights before signing anything. If you feel pressured or don’t have enough time to think about the purchase, there’s always tomorrow.
This article is intended for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. If you have a legal issue with a timeshare contract, you should seek assistance from an attorney experienced in Timeshare law.
The Finn Law Group is a Consumer Protection Law Firm that specializes in Timeshare Cancellation. Led by attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with over 75 years of combined legal experience in consumer law. The firm offers free consultations, including contract reviews. Contact the law firm at 727-214-0700. Follow us on Twitter for more on Timeshare.