My wife and I received an offer of three free nights accommodations at a Virginia resort, provided we participate in 90-minute sales presentation for timeshare condos. We thought, “What the hell, three nights away, never did timeshare scam pitch before, why not”.
When we arrived they housed us in their hotel on the resort property. It did not begin well. The room was clean and neat, but very cheap. It was probably the cheesiest hotel room I have ever been in. Not a good first impression.
We go to the sales presentation with the mindset that it would be purely for the entertainment value and it was entertaining. It was one-on-one. A salesman drove my wife and I around the resort for about an hour. Throughout the tour he asks questions designed to elicit ‘yes’ responses. We then returned to the sales office.
He begins the pitch. More questions that elicit ‘yes’ answers. Some graphs. Some charts. Some yada yada yada. Then the numbers. If you buy now you can get one week a year in the prime time for only…. wait for it …here it comes…$20,999, plus $295/year owners fee and $250/year maintenance fee.
We balk and I ask to look at blank contracts, bearing in mind that I still have no intention of buying anything. The salesman leaves under the pretense of getting blank contracts. When he returns he does not have contracts, he has…THE CLOSER!!!.
The closer hits us with all the advantages of buying and buying NOW. He sweetens the deal…$9,999 for one week a year, plus the $295/year owners fee and $250/year maintenance fee.
Two questions that I never had answered were why do I need to decide NOW and do I actually own any real property or just the privilege to use the property once a year.
Then I stared to think about the numbers. If I pay $10K for one week and 51 other people pay $10K for each of their weeks these guys just made $520,000.00 on a condo worth $70,000.00. And $70K is being generous. There are 8 condos per building. These guys are making $4.16 million on a building that probably costs then about $150K to construct. That is a very good profit margin, wouldn’t you say. Oh and the there is the owner’s and maintenance fees. Let’s see: 295 + 250 = 545; 545*52 = 28,340; 28,340 *8 = 226,720. $226,720 per year! So, in just one year they have recovered the cost of the building and still made almost an additional $100K profit from the owners and maintenance fees. Oh and the there is the $4.16 million additional profit per building.
I offered them $1,500.00 for the purchase of the condo and $30.00/year for the owner’s fee and $20.00/year for maintenance. Needless to say we did not close the deal.