Timeshare Buyer’s Remorse – Costly Mistakes When Buying a Timeshare on Vacation

Every year people like you and I take much needed vacations at beautiful vacation destinations around the world. We all seek change from our daily lives in places that will allow us to find peace and tranquility spotted with enough exciting activities to raise our spirits and bring joy to our lives.  

The vacation of your dreams can be a financial nightmare if you fall prey to buying a costly timeshare on vacation!

While on these glorious respites many of us encounter the main street peddlers and hotel lobby kiosks offering free or low cost sport adventures, theatre tickets or the like. The deals are real and can be a lot of fun. Who would not want to go on a helicopter ride to a remote waterfall on Maui for $29?  But be aware, there is a catch!

In exchange for these deals you are required to give up 2-6 hours of your prime vacation time to visit a timeshare resort and participate in a timeshare sales pitch staged with fun emotional tugs on your heart, champaign toasts and not so obvious social pear pressure. Your experience is choreographed from the moment you arrive with the goal of having you feel excited to have paid $20,000 to $50,000 or more for the right to spend one or two weeks a year for life at their glorious resort not to mention all the added features and benefits that are piled on to close the deal.  

With deference to Winston Churchill, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never buy a timeshare at Retail during one of these sales pitches! Go ahead and partake of their free or low cost bribes to get you into their presentation but I implore you to NEVER buy a timeshare at Retail on vacation.  

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A real world example of a friend who did not follow my advice and lost $19,000!

My friend, let’s call him Keith to protect his real identity, and his family of four headed south to Florida for a well deserved vacation near a well known family entertainment complex. Keith and his wife, wanting to show their children a good time, stopped by the activity center at their hotel and were offered a tremendous deal on prime local activity parks that the kids would really enjoy. They agreed to the “2 hour presentation” the next day.  

You know the story; they bought the timeshare with a view of the pool at a very nice local resort. Excited they were already planning their visit next year and all the things they would do again as they enjoyed their stay at this fabulous resort.  

Now Keith knew I owned several timeshares and upon his return home he promptly tells me about his prize timeshare purchase. My first words to Keith were, “If you don’t do another thing I ever ask you please use the grace period you have by law and cancel your timeshare purchase today, in fact right now, please, please, please!” In our discussion I found out Keith paid cash for the timeshare (from an inheritance) and he and his family still had that dear in a headlight focus on all the joy their $25,000%2B Retail purchase would bring to them. And they did get the unit with the view of the pool!  

Suffice to say Keith was not listening well when I explained how I was positive I could find him a similar timeshare to buy, if not the same timeshare resort, for pennies on the dollar. Keith at least agreed to mention our conversation with his wife that evening but I knew in my mind he bought the choreographed presentation hook, line and sinker.  

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That evening I did some online research and within 10 minutes I found a re-sale unit in the same resort for about $6,000. Do the math. $25,000 minus $6,000 equals a $19,000 cash savings. Keith could buy 3 more weeks at same resort and have a full month for his $25,000. So I emailed the details to Keith and to my dismay but with no surprise I got the response, “Well we talked it over and I am sure you found a good deal but the family was really excited and we did get the pool view, and we did have the money, so we are going to keep the one we bought. Thanks for your help anyway.”  

No amount of logic was going to change Keith’s emotional decision. With a little more research I am convinced I could have found him the same or comparable resort at $2,000 or $3,000.   Sad but true I lost yet another battle. You see this scenario is played out over and over each and every day and I feel for the millions of dollars that are spent on Retail timeshare purchases when just down the street or online you can purchase the same or comparable timeshare units at pennies on the dollar.  

Buyer’s remorse is your best opportunity to save thousands of dollars.  

Within a couple of years, circumstances change for a high percentage of timeshare owners. These changes cause these owners to re-evaluate their need for a timeshare, especially if they financed the retail cost. They soon find out that the glorious timeshare they bought 2 years ago for say $25,000 can now only be sold for at the most $10,000 if they are really lucky. So if they financed they are upside down, owing more than they could get for the timeshare (does this sound familiar relative to the circumstances of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown?).  

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Distraught with this reality, a high percentage of these upside down timeshare owners abandon their timeshare obligations and most end up on the timeshare re-sale market, for sale by lenders, real estate brokers and third party agents, hence the opportunity for you and I to buy these same excellent timeshare properties at pennies on the dollar.  

I know about buying timeshares on the re-sale market because that is what I have done several times over. The Islands of Maui, Hawaii and Kauai as well as mainland locations Scottsdale, Arizona, Horseshoe Valley, Canada and other great locations, all bought NOT at Retail. In fact I bought them at $2,000 or less and as low as $99. That’s Pennies on the Dollar!   Some will tell you that timeshares are a poor investment. I have to agree that they are not an investment like buying real property. As a vacation tool timeshares are a great investment if, and only if, you buy them at pennies on the dollar.  

Save your cash and buy on re-sale market!

Make wise decisions as you seek the ultimate joys of vacations in fabulous locations around the globe. Pack your emotions about timeshares while on vacation and keep your wallet closed.  Wait until you are home to seek out opportunities to buy the same or substantially similar resort properties on the re-sale market allowing you to save lots of cash or buy even more timeshares. Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never buy a timeshare at retail during one of these sales pitches while on what should be a fun vacation!