Timeshare Retail vs Resale. On first blush, saving over half on the price of a timeshare seems like a smart thing to do, pointing you in the resale direction.
After considering timeshare retail vs resale, I realized it came down to "value is far more important than price" for me.
Let's consider what you receive with both, and you decide. Then I'll tell you my personal opinion.
First, though, make sure the timeshare you are considering meets all of my Buy Right Rules.
All right, now, in addition to meeting all of those criteria, in comparing timeshare retail vs resale, what is the difference in price and value between buying retail and buying resale?
Now you could use a closing company with resale to make sure you have clear title, but what about the other differences?
While I am unable, in this timeshare retail vs resale comparison, to give examples pertinent to all timeshare developer companies and what is contained in their added value packages, I can give more specific examples with the two timeshares I know.
With Polo Towers I receive a lifetime membership with ICE Gallery, the world's leading cruise and experiential vacation exchange program. My first year membership with Interval International was also included, which isn't as big a deal, but it was nice.
ICE Gallery has been of great value to me. I am guaranteed the lowest price on cruises and excursions all in one place, nicely wrapped in with my timeshare. Their service has been stellar.
I've even booked a cruise while driving, and the agent handled everything for me. I had everything wrapped up in an email when I arrived home. That kind of service is priceless to me.
With Worldmark by Wyndham, I receive my first year membership with Resorts Condominiums International, which is nice. More importantly, I receive TravelShare, a package of travel specials and exclusive benefits.
The most important benefit to me is the ability to break up exchange weeks into nights! I no longer have to stay in one exchange resort for the whole week, even if I'm staying at a traditional weeks vs points timeshare.
So if I head to Europe, starting in Aix en Provence, where my son lives, I don't have to stay there! I can head over to Barcelona to see some amazing flamenco dance. I can then head over to Italy & Greece, soaking up the mediterranean sun.
We would also want to visit my husband's sister in Wales and go hear some authentic celtic music in Ireland, since we're so close. Okay, I'll need more than just one week! But I don't have to bunk at my son's or my husband's sister's house, and all of my resort stays are in first class, home-away-from-home accommodations.
How do you measure the value of that when comparing timeshare retail vs resale? If you're strictly a numbers sort of person, you could add up what you would have spent on hotels, etc. to do the same trip in Europe.
If you don't have TravelShare, you have to book a timeshare for a week, period. That's why I've wasted weeks with Polo Towers I won't with Worldmark! You could still go to the other places, but you'd be paying for hotels, on top of the exchange fee you paid for the timeshare.
It has been a problem, and Wyndham figured out how to fix it! I only pay the same exchange fee per week, even if I break it up and go resort-hopping!
There are other travel specials contained in TravelShare too numerous to mention that guarantee me the best deals and travel convenience, so I don't have to go looking everywhere -- I have a "one-stop-shop." Since I'm a retired road-warrior, I'm quite aware of what a good travel deal is when I see one.
How valuable is that when comparing timeshare retail vs resale? Well, how valuable is YOUR time? I consider mine very valuable. Add in the fact that I HATE shopping, and this becomes priceless to me.
I just want to be guaranteed the best price from the get-go, I just want attentive, direct service from expert travel professionals. I like it all wrapped up in one convenient package!
When comparing timeshare retail vs resale, if you buy Polo Towers or Worldmark resale, you do not get these benefits, no matter how resale ads lie that you will!
The developers obviously have an invested interest in trying to stem the glut of resales in the market place. The whole point is to USE your timeshare for a lifetime then pass it on to your children.
Of course, there wouldn't be as many resales if developers would stop the high pressure sales approach. Because of the negativity out there that developers have brought on themselves, owners are very edgy and the slightest concern sends them over the line of sanity to where they are willing to dump their timeshare for 50% or less of what they paid for it.
Fear-based resale. Not a good thing! It is possible that the owners did get gipped and that their timeshare doesn't meet my Buy Right Rules, but then who wants it? Personally, I'd feel bad about trying to find a new sucker to buy something I don't believe in or I know is a bad deal.
Well anyway, this site is all about trying to wake developers up to 2007 and beyond. Wouldn't it be great if they would let you just read this site, contact them to purchase and not charge you the extra 50% for the high pressure sales presentation, still including the added value packages, of course?
In debating about timeshare retail vs resale with resale enthusiasts in forums, I know this is their major motivation -- out of principle, they refuse to pay the extra 50% for the high pressure sales presentation that they hate being subjected to in the first place.
I don't blame them, and admire their gumption -- I'm just not willing to give up what they're willing to give up to do it. I believe we're both fighting the same battle in different ways. They are revolting by withholding their money from developers, I'm doing this website.
By the way, don't wander into a "timeshare owner" forum unprepared as a retail owner, unless you've found a brand-specific one like worldmark the club! You've stumbled into a hornets nest if you're not willing to ask forgiveness for buying retail, allow them to brand you "sucker" across your internet forehead and ask for their "enlightenment" to properly reform you into a resale warrior. It was an experience, to say the least. But they still couldn't convince me!
I'm sorry, in assessing timeshare retail vs resale, I'm just not willing to buy just anything second-hand! Value Village, (a wonderful chain of second-hand stores here in Canada that provide funding to worthy non-profit charities) would love it if you would, but some things I just wouldn't feel right buying at Value Village. I try to stop by and buy second-hand clothes here and there, but...
Face it! You pay the same mark-up or more on anything you purchase new at retail prices. Are you going to refuse to buy your stereo new, even if you lose the value package, warranties, service and direct accountability because you refuse to pay for retail marketing?
A 100% retail mark-up is a pretty standard minimum, which usually equates to a 50% gross margin. You see the same when comparing timeshare retail vs resale.
Restaurants, for instance, are way more. I can buy a bunch of grapes for pennies even retail, but greet me pleasantly at the door, escort me to a intimate corner table with soft lighting, with someone to fill my water and bring my lemon slice, and someone else to describe today's specials with succulent flair, a chef to add a little tangerine-ginger sauce and a sprig of peppermint and whoosh(!) the price of my bunch of grapes used as a garnish has just increased at least 500% if not more!
Am I going to stop dining out? No. Am I going to stop purchasing retail merchandise new in order to avoid paying the retail marketing margin? Only if I don't have to give anything up!
Now, that's me. That's how I compare timeshare retail vs resale. Like those resale enthusiasts, you may be willing to give up these added value benefits, when considering timeshare retail vs resale, to save that 50% or more on the front-end. You may feel as strongly as they do and be willing to make those sacrifices.
But, bottom-line could I also argue that, in the long-run, accounting for travel savings and time savings contained in my developer value package, I come out ahead of you? I believe I could.
The other issues when considering timeshare retail vs resale that I'm just not willing to compromise on, with such a large purchase, is having direct accountability, a contract with my name and the developer's name on it.
In an industry that has seen it's share of shysters, this is very important to me. I want disclosures, I want terms, I want guarantees, I want remedy and I want it all in writing.
You have to decide with timeshare retail vs resale, where your comfort level is with not having this contract.
In looking at timeshare retail vs resale, even if you can get clear title, has the current owner or resale broker fully disclosed everything? Are there any hidden or unpaid fees that you're not going to find out about until you try to use your resale timeshare?
Are there really banked weeks as represented? How do you verify that? RCI or II won't talk to you because you are not their member of record. Has the previous owner kept everything in good standing, really? Has a special assessment just been approved that wasn't disclosed, causing you to fork out additional thousands as soon as the deal closes?
A clear title just doesn't clear everything up, when comparing timeshare retail vs resale. How do you really find all of these things out? Call the developer? They don't want to talk to you, or won't disclose any information because you are not their owner of record.
Do you just trust the resale broker or current owner? If the current owner is willing to take 50% or less than they paid, what's wrong with it? What are they not telling you? Do you hire an attorney? Do you hire your own broker? What recourse do you have? I just don't like the prospect of facing any of these issues! Just looks like a big can of worms to me!
Case in point, I purchased a 1931 farmhouse on 3 acres. Right after I moved in I took a weekend trip and came back to a flooded basement. Here I am a single mom, starting a new business in a new city, taking a huge leap of faith even buying this place! It was a fully finished basement, with my son's room, all of his furniture and belongings as well as a large family room with all the furnishings -- flooded!
Come to find out, the previous owners neglected to tell me that they had mickey-moused the hot water furnace pump, and you were supposed to constantly monitor the water valve, turning it off and on out in the detached furnace room!
They had a stay-at-home wife (we really need to appreciate ALL that stay-at-home wives do more)! I didn't have one of those! I was flying all over the country 4 days a week! Quite important detail, wouldn't you say? Had I known I wouldn't have bought the place unless it was remedied.
Guess what the remedy was?! A brand new furnace, with a brand new furnace room inside the basement to meet updated city regulations!
Because I had the disclosure documents in writing as part of the Real Estate contract -- guess who paid for it?! Not me! The previous owner had to! Thank God they just did it without giving me any further hassle.
I realize this particular scenario would be covered under the maintenance fees in considering timeshare retail vs resale, but it illustrates what can go wrong even in standard Real Estate transactions, and how vital standard contracts and recourse are!
But I'm sure you've heard it said that "One person's junk is another person's treasure." You have to make that call when considering timeshare retail vs resale. To me, if the current owner is willing to take an average loss of $9,000 or more -- it's definitely junk to them!
Theoretically, the timeshare itself has not lost value, not like something else "used" would. It's the same timeshare they bought and their maintenance fee is supposed to ensure that it is kept in tip top shape.
If someone thinks the pig lamp their aunt gave them is junk and I love to collect pig decor, that's a junk-to-treasure scenario that just has to do with the difference between my tastes and theirs.
In assessing timeshare retail vs resale, it just feels quite different, and I'm uncomfortable in this instance buying a timeshare the seller considers junk and is desperate enough to lose thousands of dollars to dump it. Do you think that sounds cynical?
I don't think so. After a 25 year career in business development, I would say it's just prudent business. If someone wants me to hand over a dime, let alone thousands, I'm in business mode and expect appropriate, standard business disclosures and remedies. I don't see how to get that in resale.
Are you willing to make it your treasure? That's your decision. Due diligence cannot be emphasized enough if you do!
So that's my take on timeshare retail vs resale. Resale enthusiasts vehemently disagree with me. That's fine.
It boils down to long-term value vs front-end price. Price is objective but value is admittedly very subjective.
Value is far more important to me than price.
What is value to you?