The timeshare industry still suffers from the stigma of being a scam, because people don’t know nor understand what a timeshare actually is and what it can do for you. Many believe that timeshares are just a scam instead of seeing the potential of what it can do for people. Here is all you need to know about timeshare.
Understanding Timeshare Completely
It is easy to understand timeshares completely as a timeshare often refers to a variety of vacation products that can range in price, duration, and forms. What brings all the vacation products under the umbrella of timeshare together is that people are actually purchasing a vacation home that will be shared by multiple owners.
History of Timeshare
Since the latter part of the 80’s timeshares companies have been around. Before that families and friends would purchase a vacation property and share out the time amongst themselves. This was therefore limited to families that could all afford to invest in a second home. The timeshare companies thought this was a great idea and they took the ideal and ran with it, so unrelated parties could purchase a luxurious vacation property, share it with unknown people at more affordable prices. Having a vacation home then became much more accessible to the working man.
Timeshare Week Allotments
When timeshares first started they were usually offered in weekly timeshare allotments where the developers could divide their inventory with ease and they would sell the weekly timeslots for special suites. Fractional timeshares might also be offered in larger blocks of time like a month or a whole season. What happened with the first weekly timeshare slots was that owners would have to visit their property during the same week or weeks each year. As working schedules became more flexible, people demanded more flexibility from their timeshare and the floating timeshare week was introduced so members could reserve the weeks they wanted in the seasons they wanted. Later, the point based timeshares were added, which allowed even greater flexibility to be able to stay for longer or shorter times than a week, depending on your level of membership and number of points.
Exchange Companies Emerged
Timeshare owners were looking for more features and flexibility with their vacation homes, so international companies such as Interval International and RCE emerged. They allowed timeshare members to swap their weeks at their resorts for destinations around the globe. Timeshare really began to become attractive to a greater number of people.
Timeshare Industry Scams
As timeshare companies were starting to come out worldwide during the late 80’s and 90’s, defining their products in line with the laws of the country where they operated, the timeshare industry became vulnerable to scams. Some people complained of unethical selling and high pressured techniques as well as out-and-out scams. Today, there are less timeshare industry scams, because the regulations have become stricter and cooling off periods have been introduced. Timeshare scams are much easier to identify, such as resale scams, cancellation scams and agency scams.
The Types of Timeshares
- Fixed weeks: Fixed is a fixed week timeshare where owners will choose a week and time of the year for their vacation property and they will have that week each year. This was the first type of timeshare offered.
- Floating week: Floating is timeshare weeks that owners can reserve their week during a season of the year to coincide with their needs.
- Flexible points: Points is where you can purchase timeshare points, then uses these points to add amenities to your suite. Owners can also do this at the other resorts owned by the same chain. The points allow owners more flexibility and amenities, which can add longer stays at the resort, so you are not restricted to one week per year.
- Fractional ownership: Fraction is where owners can purchase many weeks or months a year at the vacation property during an entire season and often comes with title deeds to the property.