Back some time ago, my fiancee and I were on vacation in Aruba, when we took in a timeshare tour for the Marriott. Over the years, timeshares have gotten terrible press. My parents and her parents laughed at the idea. Still, my very smart friends had purchased them, and a large publicly traded company like the Marriott couldn’t steer us wrong right? She decided to buy… to this day we aren’t so sure if she made the right move.
The idea was particularly tempting to her for a few reasons. She gets an enormous 6 weeks of vacation, so why not have a place to go to every year at a discount? She had just gotten a big promotion and, after growing up deprived of many of the luxuries that her peers enjoyed, saw this as an opportunity to make up for years of getting a “Nyke” shoes while everyone else got Nikes. Lastly, it was billed as a great investment opportunity. After all, it is a deeded property and can be passed on in a will. We were also told that RedWeek.com and Ebay would return profits. So she decided to go for it.
In retrospect, she’s not sure she’d do it again. I think half the reason is that I don’t have the vacation time she does. She also can’t get her friends to go – again I have no clue why as I’d love to take a vacation in Aruba if I just had to pay airfare. We also found that few people purchase vacations from RedWeek – and again I have no clue why as there really are some exceptional deals there. I think there’s a bad taste in her mouth from that.
And finally we learned about for sale by-owner timeshare resales on sites like SellMyTimeshareNOW. These are the same thing as regular timeshares but for much less as you avoid paying the marketing costs and sales commissions that are rolled into the price when buying wholesale from a resort.
So I ask, what are your opinions on timeshares from reputable companies? Are they a scam, an investment, or a little of both?