There is an old saying,

"God created the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona."

One trip to Sedona and you know it has to be true.

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Sedona Timeshare Presentation 101

Go to any resort town and you will see salesmen hanging out of doorways offering you a map, asking if you want discounts on tours, where are you from,etc. Beware my friend. They are not just friendly people, they are going to lure you in and get you to agree to a "short 90 minute presentation" in exchange for discounts, dinners,etc.

I can tell you I have attended many "short presentations" and they are never 90 minutes. Most of the time they come and pick you up with a bus and drive you to their location. Serve you some water or coffee and have you sit in a holding room until the presentation begins. Then you will be taken in a room (usually) for a video to show you how wonderful the resort is and how you really need this. After you will be escorted out and you will meet your assigned sales man/woman.

He will go over all the reasons why you and your family can't live without this. Then if you say no, off he goes and will come back with the big dog boss who will offer you a better deal, more perks,etc. Naturally this "great offer" is only for today and "no" you can't go home and think about it. You have to decide NOW.
That in itself should be a good enough reason why you need to just collect your free dinner certificate and head out the door.

There are many, many other places you can buy discounted timeshares from. Ebay has many, many reputable dealers that you can buy them at about 1-10% of the price. I know the one we were suckered into at Los Abrigados I could have bought a week every year instead of every other year for under $1,000 and we paid over 10K for a studio, every other year! On Ebay we could get a 1 bedroom, every year for under $1,000.

The other place is from Licensed Timeshare Resale Companies. You can pick them up there for 50-80% off the original price. We sold a Princeville, Kauai (Hawaii) 5 star resort that we had paid $25,000 for (every other year) for $10,000 and we were thrilled to get rid of it for that much.

Also, never buy a timeshare from anyone that deals with points (RCI) You will buy a set amount of points and they will promise you the world and as soon as YOU own it, you will discover that you need to buy more and more points. They keep raising the amount of points you need. So my personal opinion is stay away from points (RCI) and look for one that deals with Interval International.

Los Abrigados uses Interval International which is the better company to deal with. Now Los Abrigados tells you they give you "passport weeks" with your unit each year as a special bonus. Which is supposedly a discounted rate at world class reports. Let me tell you, the minute we got back from our Sedona vacation we called to book a few passport weeks. Now mind you this was off season.

Nothing was available, and they were trying to get us to change the dates, change the destination and the places they had available in other areas they were pushing on us were 2 star at best. It's just another"perk" that they make you think you are getting and they are not a deal and not world class. When we finally were able to talk to the girl (after numerous attempts) and said OK to a different time then we wanted, and a different location the prices we were quoted were higher than what I could have gotten it on my own.

Plus with Los Abrigados, once you sign on that dotted line. They are horrible about returning calls, or you call and they are at lunch, out of the office,etc. There is one person is in change of the "passport weeks" and she must just spend a lot of time out of the office. It took us days to get in touch with her.

I would never suggest buying a timeshare directly from them. BUT you can pick up a Los Abrigados timeshare, annual and floating weeks, for under $1,000 on eBay or probably for a couple thousand from a Timeshare Resale company.

What does annual/floating mean? Well, you can buy a floating week or a fixed week. Floating means you can use it anytime of the year based on availability. Fixed means you can only use it for that particular week. If you can't use it, you either lose it or need to deposit it with Interval International and they will find someone to use it. In exchange for your deposited week, you will be able to select another resort to use. But that will cost you an additional fee of around $140.

Now your salesman will tell you that you can go anywhere in the world, well I am here to tell you it is not that easy. Year after year I would try to book somewhere else and get nothing. Remember someone has to deposit a week for you to be able to you one. I would be depositing a Hawaii week and asking for a Florida week and couldn't get anything. The only thing they had was Orlando. Well I didn't want to go to Orlando!

It works like this, if you want to go stay at Silver Springs Resort in Texas, someone who owns a weeks at that resort has to deposit a week so that you can get it. Or say you want to go to Hawaii? An owner of that resort needs to deposit that exact week and you have to just be lucky and on the phone with an agent and then you would get it. Chances? Well, let's just say this, if you had a Timeshare in Hawaii, wouldn't you want to be going to it yourself?

We used to own one in Hawaii and our maintenance fees were $750 a year for a one bedroom, every other year. We paid $25,000 for it and after the fees kept going up and up we decided to sell and it took us 2 years and we jumped at the chance to dump it for $10,000. So that should tell you how cheap you can get them for.

Now we have one at Los Abrigados because we travel to Sedona frequently and they have a great gym/pool/spa so while the rooms are about a 3 star, the gym is worth it.

How did we sell it? Well first we were scammed again. We owned that the Hanalei Bay Resort in Kauai. They asked us to go to another presentation for $150 gift certificate. So we went. The catch was they were trying to get us to upgrade from a 1bedroom to a 2 bedroom. Naturally we weren't interested. We told the sales man how unhappy we were with Time Shares and he told us he could help us sell it. A " friend" of his sold them and for only $350 they would advertise it and sell it. Once we sold, we would pay them an additional commission. We were so anxious to get out of it that we paid the $350 and never heard from them again.

We finally sold it by contacting a timeshare resale company in the area and they sold it for us. But like I said we $25,000 for it and were happy to get $10,000 back. But this is probably your best option to sell one if you have one to sell.

You can look on ebay and see what they are going for there, but they go so cheap that you won't even get a portion of what you paid. A legitimate timeshare resale place is best but don't be taken again like we were. You do NOT pay anything up front.

Well, with all that said, you probably know by now it is best to rent someone else's timeshare and steer clear from all the snake oil sales men.

If you are still brave enough and know you can say " NO" there you might want to check out this Wyndham deal. Here is a great package for a cheap vacation! Wyndham Resorts is offering to you if you attend their presentation a weekend for $89 and more gifts. I would ask them before you book it if there are any additional fees if you do not buy. Once again, check eBay or the Timeshare Resale Companies first!

Click Here For Wyndham Discount Package Available

This video is about a couple who was trying to sell their timeshare and ended up giving it to a company that will then take over the obligations of that property. I'm showing you this because this should tell you that owning a timeshare is not what the sales people want you to believe. AND most importantly, if you insist on owning one, buy from either a reputable dealer on eBay first or at least a licensed Timeshare Resale company. You will save from 50-80% and have the same benefits.

Click Here For TimeShare Consumer Group Forum

Click Here To Read About The Sunterra Scam Warning

* Note: There are other articles I have written on Timeshares in the archives. Please read them because they have more information about places to go to rent them instead of buying, and places to buy them cheaper.

Here Is A Tieshare Rental In Sedona


TCG said...

Hi! I work over at the Timeshare Consumer Group and caught this on a blog alert...thanks for linking to us. If possible I'd like to quote/link to this insightful entry on the TCG website. If there are any issues with this, drop me a line and let me know:

Thanks again!

Philippe Myer said...

Beware that many owners today are trying to get out of their timeshares. Thus, if you will own one, make sure that it is not because of a high-pressure sales tactics. Rather, it must be your own conscious decision.

Issac Gnuton said...

I own at Los Abrigados (deeded one week/yr 1br). The annual fees are more than what I would spend to stay at an adequate local hotel, where I would get my room made up every night instead of every 3 nights and probably get a free breakfast as well. Paid $11,000 for it in 1993 and could not even GIVE it away for nothing now. Check on and you will see people trying to unload them for nominal amounts like $100 and getting no response to their ads. Stay away from their updates unless you are so desperate to get 50 bucks that you would be willing to subject yourself to high-pressure badgering for 2 1/2 hours.