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Old 05-29-07, 02:25 PM   #1
DM4
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Timeshare Sales Scam - I received one

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.

Last edited by DM4; 05-29-07 at 02:26 PM. Reason: wording
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Old 05-29-07, 02:45 PM   #2
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Ha ha ha good for you!!! They can be very pushy at those things!!!
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Old 05-29-07, 02:51 PM   #3
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I will sell you two weeks use of my road bikes for that.
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Old 05-29-07, 04:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DM4
why do I need to decide NOW
for the same reason that you ALWAYS need to buy the car/stock/vacuum/life insurance policy/knife set right away, the salesman needs a comission. I respect the fact that everyone needs to make a living, but there are so few things in life with such urgency that they need to be decided on right away that when someone tells me that it's "now or never", that's an instant deal breaker.
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Old 05-29-07, 05:00 PM   #5
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We did one in Florida for free DisneyWorld tickets and the rooms were really cheesy as well. It was a large place but the interior decorator must have been color blind!

We did the tour in the golf cart thing and it was a nice location. But the decorations and colors inside were just crap. Plus, we were in my wife's cousin's time share at the Hilton and their place was just amazing!

In the end in the "sales" area we basically told the "closer" that we were only there to get the free tickets. So he basically shut up and gave us our tickets. haha!
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Old 05-30-07, 02:35 AM   #6
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Yeah, & i just happen to have a share of time i can sell you
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Old 05-30-07, 06:30 PM   #7
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I did the Trendwest thing...once. On the one hand I wanted to just run the salesman in circles, on the other I felt bad for the poor guy having to spend 90 minutes trying to sell me something I had no intention of buying. I couldn't bring myself to build him up just to break him down.

After I got my free gift, though, I almost wished I had. It was a 3 day stay in a hotel on the coast and a DVD surround system. Turns out you stay in a cheap hotel, not one of their resorts, and you can only redeem it Tues, Wed, Thurs. I wasn't expecting anything special for the "DVD surround system," but what I got was basically a discman wired to a pair of computer speakers.

Not worth 90 minutes of my time.

Although it was kind of amusing to have him explain to me the type of person I am. "You see iamlucky13, the fact that you went to college shows you're the type of person who thinks ahead, and that's exactly what our program allows you to do. Just spend $20,000 right now and take free vacations for the rest of your life (Limited to x days per year, plus annual maintenance fee, plus annual dues, plus peak usage fee when applicable).


It really scared me to see all the, shall I say simpler looking folks, who probably live paycheck to paycheck eating every word out of their mouths.
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Old 05-30-07, 06:34 PM   #8
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Old 05-31-07, 02:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamlucky13
I did the Trendwest thing...once. On the one hand I wanted to just run the salesman in circles, on the other I felt bad for the poor guy having to spend 90 minutes trying to sell me something I had no intention of buying. I couldn't bring myself to build him up just to break him down.

After I got my free gift, though, I almost wished I had. It was a 3 day stay in a hotel on the coast and a DVD surround system. Turns out you stay in a cheap hotel, not one of their resorts, and you can only redeem it Tues, Wed, Thurs. I wasn't expecting anything special for the "DVD surround system," but what I got was basically a discman wired to a pair of computer speakers.

Not worth 90 minutes of my time.

Although it was kind of amusing to have him explain to me the type of person I am. "You see iamlucky13, the fact that you went to college shows you're the type of person who thinks ahead, and that's exactly what our program allows you to do. Just spend $20,000 right now and take free vacations for the rest of your life (Limited to x days per year, plus annual maintenance fee, plus annual dues, plus peak usage fee when applicable).


It really scared me to see all the, shall I say simpler looking folks, who probably live paycheck to paycheck eating every word out of their mouths.
That's why they live paycheck to paycheck. Stupidity doesn't stop when you leave your desk. They bring it with them on weekends to sales pitches as well.

My dad went for a timeshare pitch once too, just so he could take the family out to the hot springs and spend the day there, and get the free gift. He sat through the presentation, said no thanks, picked up his crappy gold-plated cutlery, and proceeded to enjoy the day.

I almost want to be invited to something like this just for my amusement. It's so sad that those sales tactics work, let alone that so many people are that bad with money.

I wouldn't feel bad for the salesman. They know what they're doing, sod the lot of them.
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Old 05-31-07, 02:43 AM   #10
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My dad was smart/lucky. He bought into a timeshare company low, long before the N. Myrtle beach area became a popular resort area. The company was bought out by RCI, they offered him and the other timeshare owners a sweet hunk of change, knocked the place down, built a new resort in it's place. He still kept a timeshare in the new building AND made a profit.

Timeshare has certainly jumped the shark since the 80's though. Caveat emptor.
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Old 05-31-07, 04:17 AM   #11
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I am truly amazed at people. I really am. One, that there are low-lifes who will sell things to people knowing it is worthless or nearly worthless. It might be legal robbery, but it is still robbery in my eyes. The other thing is that people believe that there is something for nothing. I wouldn't go to a sales promotion for something I would never buy. What they give me afterward is likely to be worthless or nearly so.

Of course I wonder who in the world keeps responding to Spam to keep that industry alive, and the scams where people tell you that you have won the lottery - and of course we can never forget the widow/son/bank official who is willing to share part of a vast sum of money who somehow found out you were an honest trustworthy guy over the Internet...

I read this one thing once and it has both saved me a lot of money and been responsible for making me a lot too.

You cannot cheat an honest man.

If you are looking to get something for nothing - well my friends you can really get hosed and have no one to blame but yourself. It works the other way too. I have people who come to me to participate in business with me. Why? Because they know I am trustworthy and won't rip them off and I would never drag them into shady areas. This is not because I am some moral giant in my opinion - it is just that I tend to always take the long view.
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Old 05-31-07, 05:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crtreedude
I am truly amazed at people. I really am. One, that there are low-lifes who will sell things to people knowing it is worthless or nearly worthless. It might be legal robbery, but it is still robbery in my eyes. The other thing is that people believe that there is something for nothing. I wouldn't go to a sales promotion for something I would never buy. What they give me afterward is likely to be worthless or nearly so.
But it's okay to go for my amusement, isn't it?

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You cannot cheat an honest man.
umm.. no comprendo.

I'm honest, and I've been cheated. Please to splain?
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