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  Timeshare Presentations: Scams or Opportunities
by Dana Sanders

Timeshare presentations are tricky animals. They can either be an excellent method of obtaining expensive vacations for nothing more than a couple of hours of your time or they can turn into pricey burdens on your budget. Depending on your approach, timeshare presentations can either work for you or against you - the trick is making it worth your time.

Many travelers find themselves in a budget situation where they have more time than money. Before you plan your next vacation, seek out timeshare presentations in the area. Often, these companies offer hefty incentives for attending their presentations. These incentives can range from free nights at luxury resorts to expensive electronics or gift certificates. Many families choose to attend these presentations to offset the cost of expensive attractions, such as Walt Disney World theme parks or Universal Studios. Quite often, timeshare companies entice attendants into their presentation with free or deeply discounted attraction tickets. Others choose to take long weekends at luxury resorts, often within driving distance of their homes. When choosing timeshare incentives that deal with free or discounted hotels or resorts, think carefully about your proximity to the property. If the gift is four nights at a Caribbean resort in exchange for sitting through a timeshare presentation and you live in New England, the freebie may not be worth your while. However, evaluate your need or want based on your desired vacation spots. If you are planning a vacation to Hawaii, then the presentation that offers a free weekend in a beach-front hotel may prove quite interesting.

Before you embark on your vacation, search out interesting timeshare presentations that offer incentives appropriate to that area and your interests. Many timeshare companies require reservations or only offer presentations certain on certain days of the week. For this reason, you should contact the company and let them know of your interest in their property and the dates you will be in town to attend the presentation. This is an excellent opportunity to find out exactly what the presentation entails, an estimated time of the presentation, and the details of the incentives. The best way for you to escape unscathed with a positive experience of your timeshare presentation is to know what you're getting before you attend. Be leery of incentives that revolve around sweepstakes or contest entries. The best timeshare presentations to look for are ones that will provide you with something more than a chance to win a prize.

Other people choose to use timeshare presentations as a way to view properties they may be interested in purchasing. Usually, the presentation gives you an in-depth tour of the grounds, amenities, and properties available. Many individuals interested in purchasing a timeshare may wish to attend these presentations as an introduction to different types of properties in the area of interest, and the incentives are perks of the deal. The salesmen will be proficient in their job and may weave a convincing tale. Be warned before you sign any paperwork - these timeshare companies often grossly overcharge for their properties. If you are genuinely interested in purchasing a timeshare, take the time to review the secondary market. Often, timeshares can be purchased from a current owner for thousands of dollars less than buying the same timeshare at the presentation.

The most important way to make sure timeshare presentations are an opportunity instead of a scam is to discuss your options before attending a presentation. If your main reason for sitting through the sales pitch is the incentive at the end of the talk, then keep that in mind. The salesmen are often talented individuals who can convince all who sit through their pitches that the best way to vacation is a timeshare. Far too many people feel pressured into a purchasing a timeshare when they have no need nor budget for a timeshare. If you are interested in purchasing a timeshare, remember the consequences of purchasing from a high-pressure salesman.

To find more information about timeshare presentations, just log on to the Internet and visit locations such as www.atimesharesz.com/dir/timesharepresentations to do a thorough search. If you conduct the proper research and remember your expectations and budget, you can easily turn a timeshare presentation into an excellent opportunity for budget-friendly vacationing.

Copyright 2005 by Dana Sanders. All rights reserved.

   

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