Phil’s Adventures In Timeshareland – Part I

(Part I of a four-part series)

Before you attend that timeshare presentation to get your FREE (drinks, dinner, massage, boat tour, or whatever) consider what happened to me.

I booked a trip to Cabo San Lucas for a well-deserved vacation a few years back.

While checking in at the resort, we were offered a free dinner at a beachfront restaurant, as well as other enticements, if we would attend a timeshare presentation.

We went to the presentation and, predictably, succumbed to the salesperson’s relentless pressure that included once-in-a-lifetime pricing and other incentives if we would buy then and there.

The unit itself was spectacular ~ top floor, end unit, wraparound balcony, overlooking one of several swimming pools with swim-up bars, and breathtaking quality throughout.

After a couple of annual visits, I decided to take advantage of the timeshare exchange program that I had paid extra to have included in my purchase.

I quickly discovered that there were limited trade possibilities when I factored in desirable times of the year at resorts of equal quality in places I wanted to visit.

I also learned that the timeshare exchange company’s website was essentially useless because it was incredibly unintuitive and so slow that it often failed to load pages describing resorts (it still is!).

(continued tomorrow)


  1. Chris Garvin says


    Channel your inner Nancy Reagan, and “just say no”.

    My wife and I have attended maybe 4-5 of the presentations; enjoyed a couple of good lunches in Maui and mid-range dinners out here in CA (restaurant gift cards). In fact our honeymoon was at a Marriott timeshare place; we got a good deal if we would listen to the pitch.

    Yes, we are *that* cheap.

    We always said “no”, and asked the following question: “Remember when you said the company would buy the timeshare back? Why shouldn’t I just buy a timeshare on the secondary market, for 40 cents on the dollar?”

    I think timeshares are *occasionally* the right answer (basically seems to be a pre-paid hotel stay, in a really good quality room) but I think to do well, you can’t buy retail…you have to buy them on the secondary mkt. And one thing the sales guys are right about, I think you have to commit to using it every year. If you commit to a vacation a year, it looks a little better.

    When doing the analysis, don’t forget the maintenance fees. I believe a savvy shopper can always beat a retail timeshare price. Disregard the $$ part of the sales pitch, too, b/c they always neglect time value of money when doing the analysis. You can do your own analysis on Excel in about 10 mins.

  2. philhoov says

    All good points.
    You’re gonna love Parts II, III, and IV.
    It gets better! (or worse, depending upon your point of view).

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