There’s a lot of things said about timeshares, both positive and negative, with seemingly a horror story to balance out every rosy-sounding sales pitch.
It can be difficult to work out what the truth actually is, with so much information coming from sources of varying credibility and so many myths out there.
We’re going to look through five of the most common misconceptions about timeshares, according to industry experts, the Timeshare Consumer Association.
Timeshares Are a Good Investment
Perhaps the biggest myth propagated by timeshare salespeople is that they’re a sound investment.
If you’re looking at this from a purely financial point of view, then there’s no doubt that timeshares are a bad investment.
The timeshare resale market is so saturated that when you come to sell your timeshare on, you’ll almost certainly be doing so at a loss.
Of course, if you’re looking at it in terms of the enjoyment that you’ll get out of the property then you may consider it a worthy ‘investment’, but in purely financial terms, it shouldn’t be seen as such.
Timeshares Offer Good Value
While a timeshare property might seem like a good deal on paper, this often isn’t the case in practice.
While you may be able to secure a property for far cheaper than you would by purchasing it outright, once you add on the extra costs of things such as maintenance fees, taxes and other hidden costs, the price of a timeshare quickly starts to skyrocket.
Once it all starts to add up, many realise they would have been better saving up for a normal holiday, or perhaps for a holiday home.
You Can Easily Swap Your Timeshare Property/Week
Lots of people buy their timeshares on the assumption that they can easily swap their property with other similar ones around the world, but this sometimes isn’t the case.
This is only the case if you sign up for a timeshare which is part of a big network and is dependent on having other timeshare owners who are willing to swap with you. In the end, the whole swapping process can often be more hassle than it’s worth.
Timeshares Are Easy to Sell
The timeshare market is so oversaturated that it can be extremely difficult to find a buyer when you want to sell your property.
The demand for used timeshares simply isn’t there, even if you use a resale broker. In fact, trying to sell your timeshare through a broker leaves you open to the possibility of being scammed.
You can see in this Telegraph article just how difficult it can be to shift a timeshare once you’re locked in.
Unfortunately, many scammers pose as agents who offer to find a buyer for your timeshare, but who actually disappear with your money.
It’s Worth Attending a Timeshare Presentation Just for the Freebies
Offering up free gifts or holidays is a popular way to entice holidaymakers into timeshare sales pitches, but they’re often not all they’re cracked up to be.
There are often lots of complicated terms and conditions that come with these gifts which mean that they’re simply not worth it.
First things first, it means that you’re stuck in the presentation for what could turn out to be hours, with salespeople pressuring you into making a purchase that you don’t really need or want.
In addition, the gifts that are offered up are rarely what they seem, with many hidden catches; they could require you to commit to a purchase, or offer a free stay at a property without including the cost of flights.
This post from Money Crashers goes into more detail about how timeshares use free gifts to attract people to their sales presentations.