Slip of the Tongue or Truth in Advertising?

I hate when salespeople call my cell phone, but at least the last sales call I got was entertaining.

They were selling a timeshare, er, I mean, they were giving away a free no-obligation vacation valid for an entire year, plus a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant.

All I had to do to receive this fabulous gift was listen to a short presentation that would last no more than over an hour.

Did you catch that? That’s right, no more than over an hour.

Now I don’t know if the person really meant to say that or if it was just a slip of the tongue, but that sure does leave the time frame wide open…

At any rate, if I actually wanted a timeshare, I’d probably hop on over to eBay and pick from one of the 1,775 listings or so available. Just for fun, I clicked on a listing that was ending in 5 minutes. It was going for about $300, with no reserve. Of course your $300 would also include the “right” to pay an additional $800 in maintenance fees each year. With that kind of a deal, I bet I could find someone willing to give me a timeshare for free.

I tried to find the average price of a timeshare in the U.S., but got conflicting results in Google that ranged from $7000 to $25,000 for the initial purchase price. It’s safe to say though that they are expensive.

Of course, I doubt that many of the people who attend those resort presentations actually intend to buy a timeshare. Most of them probably intend to get their free vacation and go home.

The thing is, presentations like that (the kind where they give you something valuable to attend) are almost always high pressure. If they aren’t high pressure, they are are staffed by outstanding salespeople who are expert closers.

It’s usually cheaper in the long run to just pay for your own “free” vacation and meal out.


  • Yea, Timeshares are a big waste of money. However I was able to get a good deal to stay at a hotel that mainly sold timeshares. It was a very nice 2 bedroom for around $100 a night. It was the best deal I could get around here in Orlando for that type of room. That’s just an FYI

  • We used the timeshare to save $150 off our Vegas vacation a few years ago. I wouldn’t do it again, but we were a little money tighter than usual but were still trying to fit in some kind of travel. $150 off what we were going to do anyway was exactly what the doctor ordered. We spent a total of 3 hours driving to the “resort”, being escorted all over, saying no to all 3 of the salespeople, and driving home. I figure that $50 an hour was worth it for us then. Now…ummm…probably not.

  • Paul

    My wife and I totally got sucked into one of those presentations back when we were first married. Went for the free goodies, came away signing papers on a timeshare. It was very slick, and was all the evidence we needed that we have no place at those “presentations.”

    P.S. – I’ll sell you a timeshare! It will only cost at least $1!

  • Darn you Jackie, I ended up over at Ebay looking at the timeshares for sale. LOL!

    Like Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, I did go to these in the past. Not worth my time anymore. I hate high pressure sales techniques.

    • Doh! If I could find one where the seller would pay *me* every year, I might consider it, but otherwise I’d rather travel randomly :)

  • Jackie, as someone already said, don’t get a timeshare! Save your money! It sounds awesome, but the costs don’t add up. If you ever want to get rid of the time share, watch out!

    Take it from me, a guy who likes to go to pitches to get their free food and tickets, and almost always signs a check but doesn’t. Scary stuff! I have a vacation condo, and I’m telling ya, financially, it’s best if I just had cash and paid for hotels.

    Best, Sam

    • Oh I have no intention of getting a timeshare. Not getting sucked into a bad deal is pretty much the point. (Well, plus my amusement at how long the presentation was supposedly going to last…)

  • BTW Jackie, is there a Retweet button on your posts somewhere? Would be nice for me and readers to help retweet your articles. Thnx

    • I had problems with the buttons I had before, but it looks like the issue I had is now fixed, so they’re back at the bottom of the post :)