Timeshare purchases are often made impulsively, without doing the proper research ahead of time. That’s because timeshares are frequently sold while consumers are on vacation, and why many people who buy one may end up regretting it shortly afterwards. Timeshare: Avoid buyer’s regret with some education on the vacation marketplace. Timeshares are one of the top purchases that consumers almost always regret later on, according to a Money Talks News article:
“19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret.”
in the Top 5
For some people, timeshares might seem like a great idea. You get to vacation at a beautiful location for a week or two every year and you don’t have to worry about making all the arrangements yourself. Many people, on the other hand, later regret purchasing into a timeshare due to unforeseen and rising annual costs.
The founder of Money Talks News, Stacy Johnson is a CPA and has written extensively on the subject of timeshares.
The Long-Term Commitment of Timeshare Ownership
Johnson said on his ‘ASKSTACY’ blog, “Bottom line: If you buy a timeshare, plan on keeping it, and paying the maintenance fees on it, for many years to come. Because I can assure you, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.”
Before going into a timeshare presentation, consider doing some fact-finding on vacation ownership ahead of time. Not all timeshare vacation programs are the same, so make sure that the type of timeshare you tour, fits both your lifestyle and budget. The initial purchase price of a timeshare can often be just the tip of the iceberg; there are also monthly payments and yearly maintenance fees to take into consideration.
Timeshares are frequently at the top of consumers’ lists of regretted purchases for a variety of reasons. First, as Johnson points out, they’re a long-term commitment. Once you buy into a timeshare, you’re typically responsible for paying maintenance fees for many years to come. And if you decide you no longer want the timeshare, getting rid of it can be difficult and expensive.
Don’t Get Caught Up In The “Today Only” Moment
When you’re on vacation, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the moment and make a purchase that you’ll regret later. The high-pressure “Today Only” sales tactics used by some timeshare salespeople can be very hard to resist, but it’s important to remember that this is a purchase that will be a long-term commitment, so the implied sense of urgency to buy a timeshare on the spot is not something you should give into without time to consider the offer.
Additionally, many people found that they didn’t understand how complex a vacation points system was to use, including reservation allowances, until well after they’d purchased the timeshare and tried to use it. Key Tip: Make sure you understand how a timeshare points system works and what restrictions there are on using your timeshare before you make a decision to purchase, not after.
Timeshare Constraints: Balancing Points, Preferences, and Availability
Consumers may regret purchasing timeshares for a variety of other reasons, including being unable to locate an unreserved unit when they want to go on vacation.
Low inventory and seasonal availability along with health travel restrictions can create a perfect storm for many points-based vacation ownership systems where owners are stuck with using their points for a less desirable location or time.
Key Tip: If you purchase a timeshare, make sure that there is more than one “like” location available to use your points at and that the locations have reasonable availability throughout the year, not just during low seasons. Many resorts have multiple seasons and more or less availability depending on location.
While there are people who are happy with their timeshare purchases, many consumers may end up regretting this type of purchase later on. We could sum it as: If you’re considering buying a timeshare, make sure you do your research ahead of time and understand all of the benefits and costs involved before making a purchase decision. But, read on…
A “Today-Only” Offer Can Mean Regret Tomorrow
Take your time and don’t just accept a “today-only” offer. Instead, ask as many questions as you like while you are at the resort to avoid any regrets about vacation ownership. Anything negotiated or promised by the timeshare company should be put in writing to ensure that you receive any and all benefits promised.
Finally, ask to take the final sales proposal home to think about. You can then research and compare different timeshare models without the pressure of sales representative sitting in front of you awaiting your answer.
Some timeshares are sold with a deed, others are sold as vacation points. There are big differences between timeshare ownership and vacation membership programs.
Making Informed Decisions on Timeshare Purchases
You may also want to talk to someone who already owns a timeshare at the same resort to get their opinion. Timeshare owners are a great resource for knowledge. There are also other articles, comments, and reviews about #timeshare that consumers can read on social media. Before signing anything, carefully read and comprehend all sales proposal materials with the help of an experienced timeshare attorney.
A timeshare should be a fun addition to your vacation plans, not a source of regret. For this reason, it’s important not to make any big purchase – like a timeshare – without really thinking about it first, just like you would any other decision. If its right for you, the great deal on a timeshare will be there next week.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal or financial advice. Follow the Consumer Watch Team at Finn Law Group on Twitter.
Led by timeshare attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with over 75 years experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare related issues. For a free consultation please contact us at 727-214-0700 or visit our website at FinnLawGroup.com