When we hear the words vacation ownership, we think of happy families sharing memories together year after year. The biggest names in hospitality have been in the timeshare industry for decades, recognizing the opportunity to provide their guests with family-friendly accommodations and long term vacation benefits. 

If timeshare was a scam, would companies like Disney, Marriott, Hilton and Wyndham ever want to be associated with it?  Would they risk their reputations on it?

When we think of these brands, we picture images of magic, comfort or quality. These companies have thousands of employees that work tirelessly every single day to ensure guests and owners are well taken care of.  They all sell their own versions of timeshare ownership or vacation club membership.  They have developed members-only benefits programs, offering discounts and savings on more than just accommodations.

It is up to each customer to decide if ownership is right for them, and to plan their vacations in order to get the most out of their timeshare.  Value is in the eye of the beholder. There is nothing deceiving about what timeshare resorts stand for or the product they present.

Timeshare Caught a Bad Rep

While timeshare itself is not a scam, the timeshare industry does seem to attract fraudsters every now and then. We have been in business for 25 years as a trusted timeshare resale service provider, and have heard our fair share of horror stories from clients falling victim to fraud. For most people, it can be tough navigating the resale market–how can you tell the legitimate timeshare resale companies from the scam artists?  How do you know who can really help you exit your timeshare, cancel your timeshare or sell your timeshare?

It can be especially confusing when the media and pop culture takes individual cases of fraud and paint a picture of the entire industry. The timeshare industry has come a long way since the days of high-pressure sales tactics and misleading statements from timeshare developers. Vacation ownership clubs and resort developers want a positive reputation and satisfied customers, especially after seeing the long term value in satisfied members.  Image is everything and these developers strive to represent value, trust and luxury. Even the resale market has seen legislature passed to regulate what companies can and can’t say to consumers.  While these regulations do keep consumers protected and the industry honest, there are always going to be “bad apples” out there. 

How can you tell the difference between fraud and legitimate companies?

For 25 years we have provided legitimate assistance to timeshare owners looking to sell their properties and have seen many conned in the process. Our owner, Bert Blicher, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) for his works to impose legislature that protects timeshare consumers. His passion for bringing stability and honesty to the resale market has been instilled across our team and is one of the main reasons why developers refer their owners to us.

One of the best places to start when you are researching how to sell your timeshare is by asking your resort or HOA. Even if you are behind on your payments, they would rather help you find a legitimate resale service than become a victim of timeshare fraud.

Who can I trust to help me sell my timeshare?

With all of these scams out there, the first reputable source to trust is your developer. These companies are usually large, publicly-traded entities with laws they must follow and shareholders to answer to.  They care about their brand, image and reputation.  They have taken the time to thoroughly vet industry partners prior to ever forming a relationship or referring their owners to a third party.

If you are not interested in owning your timeshare anymore, ask your developer or HOA where you should start. Some companies even have their own in-house programs, like Wyndham Cares, which offers multiple free options for Wyndham owners who no longer want or use their timeshare. 

There are also additional resources for timeshare owners through the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). This organization was established as a governing authority to regulate developers and protect consumers.  ARDA has done this by establishing a strict code-of-ethics all members are required to abide by. Our owner, Bert Blicher, is the former Chairman of ARDA, making it his life’s mission to promote a timeshare resale marketplace filled with integrity and honesty. 

Finally, if you feel that you have been a part of a scam, contact your local authorities to file a report, reach out to the state attorney general and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. ARDA encourages timeshare owners to be careful and to thoroughly research any company before doing business with them or paying any upfront closing costs.

Author

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Lisa is no stranger to the ins and outs of timeshare! From the exciting vacation opportunities of timeshare ownership to help with alleviating the expenses that they carry, she shares her expertise as a featured writer on the Timeshares Only blog. Lisa lives in Orlando with her husband and young daughter. Her favorite staycation/weekend getaway spots are St. Augustine (for the lighthouse) Savannah, Georgia (for the southern beauty) and Jekyll Island, Georgia (for the historic charm). Having been blessed with the ability to travel internationally, Lisa enjoys Northern Europe more than any other international destination. Mostly untouched by the first and second World Wars, the cobblestone streets of Tallinn, Estonia date back to the 1400's! Leading to a beautifully ornamental water fountain at the city center, it's no wonder it is her favorite.

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