Timeshare salespeople have got something of a dodgy reputation, and it’s probably fair to say that on the whole, it is justified.
If you are considering purchasing a timeshare, you’re probably going to have to sit through a dreaded presentation at some point, and endure the hard sell tactics of a timeshare salespeople.
We spoke to timeshare experts at the Timeshare Consumer Association who gave us these top tips:
The free gifts
One of the reasons a lot of people attend these kinds of presentations in the first place is the lure of a free gift, whether these be free meals, attraction tickets or just straight up cash.
They may even offer complimentary breakfasts, play areas for the kids and a glass of bubbly (just to lower your guard that little bit more!).
Lots of people head to the meeting with the sole intention of snagging one of these gifts and walking away without a timeshare.
If this sounds like you then check out this post from Lifehacker on ‘How to Attend a Timeshare Presentation Just for the Free Gift’.
This is all well and good but why do you think they’re offering these gifts in the first place?
Once they’ve got you in the room you’d be surprised how quickly you can succumb and find yourself getting very keen indeed on a timeshare!
Also, being given such gifts creates a sense that you are obligated to give something back to them, whether this simply be a couple of hours of your time or as much as actually signing up for a timeshare!
Getting you to commit
The ultimate aim of a salesperson is to get you to sign on the dotted line and agree to a timeshare.
However, they’ll be trying to hook you in much earlier than this. For example, lots of timeshare salespeople will ask you to sign a contract agreeing to stay for the full sales pitch (and you’d be surprised just how long they can run!).
Some may even go as far as to ask you to put down a small deposit that you’ll get back at the end, which is a sure-fire way to make sure you stick around!
When you turn up for your timeshare presentation, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve just walked into your best mate’s house, that’s how friendly the salespeople will be!
It’s common sense that you’re more likely to buy from someone who you get on with, and the timeshare salespeople will go out of their way to make sure you do so, offering you drinks and chatting about things such as family and how your holiday is going.
But be sure not to let your guard down! While we’re not saying they aren’t genuinely friendly people, timeshare salespeople have a range of personas that they will adopt to try and get you to commit to a timeshare agreement.
While things may start off light and friendly to begin with, you may notice the salesperson all of a sudden jumps to being very desperate and almost pleading with you to take the timeshare, often claiming that they could lose their job if you don’t!
Of course, this is rarely the case, so always remember that the salespeople are essentially playing a character, with the purpose of taking your money.
Question the numbers
Timeshare salespeople will often try to wow you with the impressive numbers of people who have signed up to their schemes.
They might even tell you that they themselves have a timeshare which they and their family regularly use!
All of this may well be true, but it’s always a good idea to take everything with a pinch of salt and question anything that seems a little bit too good to be true.
Don’t be afraid to make notes and do some calculations yourself to see if things don’t add up.
Be wary of ‘today only’ deals
We all love getting a deal that nobody else is getting, and timeshare salespeople know this.
It’s why special offers are so popular in the supermarkets and the same applies here.
Timeshare salespeople will love telling you all about how few units are left in a resort and will often offer you deals which they claim are only valid on that day.
However, this is often little more than a sales tactic, designed to panic you into putting pen to paper and signing up.