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Old 08-06-2012, 12:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Time Share Presentations

Time shares are pretty well known to be awful investments. Even so, a shit ton of people "own" them. I've only just today discovered why. I've always wondered what it was that was so magical about the presentations that make people go into them thinking they're going to walk out with a free trip at no obligation, and then end up $30k in debt with only a shitty, once per year accessible "investment" property that never becomes equitable. I've pretty consistently been counseled to steer clear of these "free" trip offers because they're all scams. The companies usually offer a week stay at an awesome resort of your choice, and "all you have to do" is sit through a 90 minute seminar. I came across one of these offers recently (at a booth at the CA State Fair) and out of morbid curiosity decided to see what the fuss was all about.

The deal they offered was a 7 night stay at 4-star resort at a city of my choosing (from a list of 20ish major cities of which I chose Orlando) for $99 flat. I had to leave a $20 deposit that would be applied to the $99. Also (and more importantly) I had to sit through a 90 minute seminar with my fiance.

The seminar was more impressive than I thought. Not because it was an awesome deal, but because the sales techniques were amazing. This is what I learned:

1. They target idiots. During the sign-up process (way prior to the seminar), they treat you like you're the greatest world traveler since Ponce de Leon. You'd be stupid NOT to sign up.

2. They make you bring a either a) your spouse; or b) someone you live with. Most people can't afford a time share on their own, and almost ZERO married people will make such an investment without their significant other present. They have you both at the meeting. My guess is that 8/10+ couples has one person dumb enough to fall for this shit. Side note: When I worked in mortgages, whenever I could I would sell both people at once. 10/10 times I was a way better salesman than whoever the spouse was (because I had the knowledge as well as a huge ulterior motive), so I wanted to be the one doing the selling.

3. They bedazzle you. During the 90 minute meeting, 60 minutes was devoted to pictures of paradise on an HD screen. The pricing was amazing. Almost too good to be true! But it wasn't!

4. They confuse the shit out of you. They rattled off a series of the most convoluted mathematical calculations I've ever seen. I watched people's eyes, glaze over. These calculations last for about 20 of the last 30 minutes.

5. They spend about 30 seconds glossing over the main major cost and make it sound insignificant (even though it is around $30k).

6. They bring in the closers for the last ten minutes. You and your spouse are taken to a private room where one guy further sells you on the benefits, using phrases like:

"So when you're in Hawaii in a few months, what types of things would you like to see?"

"So you have a big family? Won't they be excited to know they can also stay at YOUR time share?"

7. They again appeal to your ego. Your stalwart adamance has thoroughly impressed them, and they lower the price. Drastically.

8. They're super impressed at your bargaining skills and again, lower the shit out of the price. This makes the time share a fucking steal (even though it would still take roughly 12 consecutive yearly vacations to THE EXACT SAME PLACE to warrant a savings). Never mind that no one in their right mind would ever vacation at the same place 12 times in a row.

Final stages: Once you use normal people logic and math to point out the disadvantages of buying a time share (even though you've been attempting to do this the whole time), they finally lose interest. You are sent on your way with a final warning that the deal will last only until the end of the day.

They do, however, send you on your way with the trip they promised. I am fully paid for a 7-night stay at the Westin in Orlando. Total cost: $99 + 90 minutes of my time..

Creeping around as I please nonchalantly like any other Supreme Emperor might.

Last edited by Ironic Mustache; 08-06-2012 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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tl;dr: I went to a time share presentation and didn't buy anything, and they gave me what they promised.

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Old 08-06-2012, 01:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Can't beat a week stay for $99!
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've never made through a presentation. I typically get pissed off, but then it's always been a breakfast or something at a place I already am staying.

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I love going to the presentations, just for the awesome deals that come out of them. I did this in Vegas twice and picked up $50 in gaming credits, dinner for two (with wine), and a show for two. $200 package for 90 minutes and getting to see what was going on in my own city.

The one plus about the Vegas timeshares were that you could trade them with other people and since Vegas is a main destination point for a LOT of people, it would be an easy one to trade and enable travel to many other cities.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I always just assumed there was some catch beyond the 90 presentation. Apparently they're just really successful at getting people to buy.

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Old 08-08-2012, 10:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironic Mustache View Post
I always just assumed there was some catch beyond the 90 presentation. Apparently they're just really successful at getting people to buy.
This was always my assumption as well. Might have to scope out some free vacations in the near future.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is how good they are... They pay employees to provide endless tours which give you several hundred dollar packages just to see what they are trying to sell you on. Just make sure you don't get duped, these guys are pretty good.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't get what the appeal of having a time share, even for real demonstrative value, is.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There isn't. Time shares are almost always a bad idea. The salesmen are just really good.

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