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Timeshares – Gasp!

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  • Avatar AlexxT 
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    Status: Physician
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    My wife made me sit through a presentation in order to get the “free” gift.  I won’t comment on the economics of the timeshare itself, but I will on the value of the “gift”.   If you’re on a one week vacation, add up the cost of airfare and accommodations, plus meals, as well as the cost of your vacation in lost wages.  Then divide by the number of waking hours that you will be able to spend in your vacation spot.  The presentation you attend will cost you several  hours of that vacation, perhaps even half a day or more when you factor in the disruption to your day, inability to take a tour or go to the beach, etc.  Your lost vacation time is usually much greater that the  value of the “gift”, which you probably didn’t want anyway.

    On the plus side, it’s educational in that you get to watch a salesman at work.  You can learn a lot from their techniques.

    #14803 Reply
    Liked by Roentgen, Craigy
    Avatar Joseph 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/08/2016
    Your lost vacation time is usually much greater that the  value of the “gift”, which you probably didn’t want anyway.

    Click to expand…

    I strongly disagree.  Our gifts were the highlights of our trip. The whale watching excursion was awesome. We love to scuba. And we enjoyed the nice meal at the restaurant.  I would say that we got $500 in value.

    But we take lots of vacation and aren’t rushing around trying to squeeze a value per hour ROI either.

    Plus we got to see the resort amenities and can easily book there online now (not through them, of course).

    Have you done any good in the world today?

    #14809 Reply
    Avatar AlexxT 
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    I would say that we got $500 in value.

    Click to expand…

    That’s great. I’m glad you feel that you got your money’s worth.

    Now here’s my math. I’m assuming a one week trip, and just throwing out some estimates on expenses.  Obviously, actual costs will vary.

    Airfare for two:  $1,000.   7 nights in a hotel, $200/night.  Lost income for a week, assuming a $200 k income: $4,000.

    Let’s ignore meals and incidental expenses.  So, total cost of one week’s vacation:  $6,400.  You probably lose a day of that vacation in travel time.  So each day of touring or relaxing  is costing you 6,400/6 days, or over $1,000 per day.

    You have to get to the presentation, sit through it, and many people say it runs closer to 3 hours rather than the promised  1 1/2 hrs.  Either way, the presentation that you attend costs you about 1/2 day of your time, so it cost you just over $500. If your lost income is higher, or your hotel cost more, etc, then the presentation costs you even more.

    Given that the whole point of the vacation was to do what you want, most people really don’t want to travel half a day to sit through a lecture and high pressure sales pitch.

    If you enjoy those presentations, then go.  But if you want to go on vacation and relax and do what you want, skip it and just do what you want.  In your case, it sounds like you ended up on a whale watching trip that you loved and might otherwise have not experienced.  That’s great.  But most of the time, the lost vacation time is more valuable than the “gift” received in return.

    #14923 Reply
    Avatar MrDerm 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/11/2019

    Hello,

    I am new to WCI and so am responding late as pertaining to this thread. My wife and I bought a timeshare at Big Cedar in 2004 as our youngest daughter was attending camp nearby each summer and planned to become a counselor there when she was older. We paid in excess of $28,000 for 2 weeks “Silver” membership. Well, we attended regularly for about 5 years, then life came rushing in. We haven’t been there in 10 years due to caring for our sets of parents, some rebellion of her older sibs, health issues for me, increasing practice responsibilities, weddings, etc, etc. Fee increased every year or two.

    Finally we decided to try to sell, though were discouraged by the low rate of success. We are now listed with a low-cost service but have had no offers after 8 months. We priced it low. I wonder if it can even be given away, much less sold.

    Any suggestions from those with experience in this?

    Appreciatively

    Dr. K

    #228432 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
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    Status: Physician
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    I don’t know much about the secondary market of time shares but you either need to lower the price or give it away for free. If it were me, I would just work on giving it away for free to somebody who will take it.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #228441 Reply
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Moderator
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
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    Joined: 01/09/2016

    Hello,

    I am new to WCI and so am responding late as pertaining to this thread. My wife and I bought a timeshare at Big Cedar in 2004 as our youngest daughter was attending camp nearby each summer and planned to become a counselor there when she was older. We paid in excess of $28,000 for 2 weeks “Silver” membership. Well, we attended regularly for about 5 years, then life came rushing in. We haven’t been there in 10 years due to caring for our sets of parents, some rebellion of her older sibs, health issues for me, increasing practice responsibilities, weddings, etc, etc. Fee increased every year or two.

    Finally we decided to try to sell, though were discouraged by the low rate of success. We are now listed with a low-cost service but have had no offers after 8 months. We priced it low. I wonder if it can even be given away, much less sold.

    Any suggestions from those with experience in this?

    Appreciatively

    Dr. K

    Click to expand…

    Welcome to the forum! 10 weeks @ $2,800 week (not counting inflation) isn’t the worst use of a timeshare I’ve ever heard of, don’t be too hard on yourselves. But they definitely aren’t easy to get rid of. I agree with CordMcNally – don’t expect to get anything out of it except saving those annual fees. Have you checked out DonateMyTimeshare?

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~
    http://www.fox-cpas.com/for-doctors-only ~ [email protected]

    #228454 Reply
    Liked by Tim
    Avatar nephron 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 215
    Joined: 05/09/2019

    If time shares were half way decent, they wouldn’t be so hard to get rid of when you didn’t want them anymore.  Not a good sign when there is a market for paying someone to take something off your hands.

    #228485 Reply
    Liked by Roentgen
    Avatar FIREshrink 
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    Status: Physician
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    You will likely need to pay someone to take it off your hands.

    #228486 Reply
    Liked by MPMD
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/14/2017

    In Dante’s 9 Circles of (Financial) Hell belong:

    9.  Anyone associated with the selling of time shares

    8.  Companies telling you they can help you get rid of your time shares

    7.  Insurance agents who peddle whole life insurance

    #228487 Reply
    fatlittlepig fatlittlepig 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/26/2017

    Fatlittlepig finds it very odd that someone would go to a presentation with absolutely no interest in buying the product to get a free gift. Seems really tacky. Never in a million years for fatpig.

    #228490 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 02/11/2019

    If you think there is regret in buying whole life insurance or a vacation home or a boat. It is a whole new level of pain with timeshares.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #228498 Reply
    Liked by ENT Doc
    The White Coat Investor The White Coat Investor 
    Keymaster
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 05/13/2011

    At least with whole life you’ll likely get back at least 50% of what you paid. You’re doing well to get ten cents on the dollar selling a timeshare.

    Dave Ramsey recommends a firm called TimeShare Exit Team. I don’t know much about them personally. I think the goal is to get out, not get a return on the “investment.”

    Site/Forum Owner, Emergency Physician, Blogger, and author of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing
    Helping Those Who Wear The White Coat Get A "Fair Shake" on Wall Street since 2011

    #228546 Reply
    PhysicianOnFIRE PhysicianOnFIRE 
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    Joined: 01/08/2016

    The fact that there are companies that specialize in getting you out of a timeshare should be the first clue not to get into one (except maybe via the secondary, severely-discounted market).

    40-something anesthesiologist and personal finance blogger @ https://physicianonfire.com [Part of the WCI Network] Find me on Twitter: @physicianonfire

    FIRE. Financial Independence. Retire Early.

    #228558 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2484
    Joined: 05/01/2017

    Honestly a time share pitch was something I attended pretty early on in my financial literacy/education.

    Went to Breck w/ my now wife (then gf) when we were both residents and we stayed at a really nice spot that wasn’t quite ski in/out but was close. 4 nights comped for the pitch.

    To be fair to the time share company (if I need to) this was a REALLY nice property. It would have been ski in right at the base of one of the peaks. Like one of those hand-your-skis-to-the-ski-valet-and-order-a-Manhattan type of spots. Pitch really wasn’t too bad as far as pressure went. Not sure if the sales guy was a killer or on his way out but he was pretty low pressure.

    • started off with the photocopied and laminated page listing a parking spot in Vail for $400k, vacations are going up exponentially blah blah blah. Frankly I thought that was a pretty reasonable price for a parking spot in Vail considering they cost ~$50k in my hood in Chicago so I was sort of unimpressed by that.
    • just the typical thing of how great it was to own your vacay spot etc, what a good deal it was
    • i think the guy knew the difference between a resident and an attending, he wanted like $35k down and I told him honestly that I couldn’t come up with $35k if I needed it to pay ransom of a beloved family member, he kind of seemed to get that
    • best part was when I asked him about appreciation and resale and he said, “well I wouldn’t consider this to be an appreciating asset.” even in the infancy of my financial education I responded, “sir an asset that doesn’t appreciate is called a liability.”

    We got out fine, no pressure afterwards. I tell myself that part of his skill was spotting suckers and I am many unfavorable things but not that. I’m sure they have a PPT slide at their conferences that reviews people who just aren’t going to buy no matter what you do.

    #228561 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD
    Avatar GasFIRE 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 212
    Joined: 01/08/2018

     I think the goal is to get out, not get a return on the “investment.”

    Click to expand…

    I agree. Out of curiosity, what if you just stop paying the yearly fees? I figure the company will try to convince you to pay, but if you turn down all attempt, wouldn’t this ultimately lead to them “repossessing” the asset? What are the downsides other than a credit ding on your record? Essentially jingle mail except on a timeshare instead of a house.

    #228563 Reply

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