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Beware of pushy and sometimes fraudulent timeshare sales tactics.

Free gifts like new cars, cash rebates and extravagant prize rewards are very often used to lure potential buyers into timeshare purchases and the free gifts are never what they appear to be.  It pays to listen carefully to the sales pitch and read the small print on the paperwork the broker provides because, if it seems to good to be true, it is!  There have been many reports of cons in the timeshare industry, including a case where a free boat was offered as a prize for buying a timeshare and the prize ended up being a toy boat.  Many people already own timeshare units and prospective brokers/sellers will promise to sell their other timeshare in return for purchasing a new one, when the broker actually has no intention of even trying to sell their other timeshare unit!

Timeshare brokers have developed a lot of tactics to lure you into purchasing a timeshare unit, including offering a very attractive discount if you “sign right now,” or insulting you by saying that “maybe you’re not the right kind of person for this generous deal.”  No matter how enticing the sales pitch may be, NEVER impulsively sign anything on the spot. 

Take the paperwork home with you so you and your lawyer can review it.  You should also insist on being given the name and phone number of somebody in the broker’s company who you can call and ask any questions necessary to clarify the potential transaction.  In summary, you need to carefully listen to the sales pitch, read the contract thoroughly (or have your attorney do so), weigh the costs of the purchase and be sure the broker is revealing all the costs involved and, last but not least, never buy a timeshare property sight unseen because glossy photos don’t show the whole picture!  Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware)!

Another important factor to consider is exactly what maintenance the timeshare resort will provide for taking care of the timeshare facility year round.  A poorly maintained timeshare destination won’t be much fun to vacation at each year if it’s not a pleasant environment to visit.  Make sure you get the maintenance terms outlined in writing to protect your rights under the law.  If the timeshare owners cut corners on maintenance of the property, you have legal recourse if they violate the terms of a written contract.

Some brokers offer timeshares for sale before they’re even constructed.  If you are involved in one of these transactions, be sure that an escrow service holds your money until the project is complete because, if the financing falls through or something else interferes with construction of the timeshare property, the timeshares may never be built and your money may be gone if not properly placed in escrow.

If you feel like you've been scammed or misrepresented by the timeshare resort or a resale company, file a timeshare fraud report.


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