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Old May 12, 2008, 10:21 AM   #1
Zoog
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Newbie question about las vegas

Hi guys,
I'm a total newbie to timeshares and I've never even attended a presentation. My wife and I are going to the HGVC in las vegas and she's freaking out and driving me crazy. Just as an example: she wants to bring our tax returns from the last two years to prove our income is above 70K. I want to tell her to relax, but I don't even know what these presentations are like. It'd be great if someone who's sat in the LV presentation could give me a breakdown of what it's like, from beginning to end so I can tell her to relax and leave our tax returns home
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Old May 12, 2008, 10:33 AM   #2
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All you need is a picture ID - if that.

What ever you do, do not buy anything, not matter what the sales person says. Note the time obligation for the presentation (usually 90 minutes), do not ask any questions, give yes and no answers, and tell the sales rep you are ready to collect your incentive and that you are ready to go when the 90 minutes are up. At that point, they may bring in one or two rounds of "big guns" to do some arm twisting, make more promises, and they may take a demeaning attitude towards you when it is clear that you do not want to buy. Just keep saying that you are done and want to collect your incentive and leave.

Time share presentations are usually awful experiences.

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Last edited by CMF; May 12, 2008 at 11:41 AM. Reason: added missing word
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Old May 12, 2008, 10:46 AM   #3
Bill4728
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They don't care what your income is. But they don't want you to say I only make $30K/year and can't afford it. So don't worry about the income thing.

HGVC treats it's resale buyers almost as good as the buyers who bought direct from HGVC. Therefore there is almost never a good reason to buy direct from Hilton. As an example, HGVC will ask you to pay about $30,000 for a 2 bedroom platinum season TS in LV. The exact same TS can be bought from several web based TS resellers for about $13K-$14K. So by buying resale you can save $15,000. They will offer you bonus points and possible elite status to buy direct from them but it is worth maybe $1,000 not $15,000.

Listen, be nice but BUY RESALE!!

PS if they do talk you into buying from them, you have 5 days to change your mind and get all your money back( it is called "rescinding" ).
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Old May 12, 2008, 10:57 AM   #4
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Thank you so much for the advice. I'm a little bit scared though because I easily give in to pressure. Are these things in groups or one on one? Because if it's a group, then maybe I can take the heat better.
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Old May 12, 2008, 11:00 AM   #5
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Most of your meeting will be one on one.

It will be very easy to get excited about the possibility of buying and owning - while you are there. Please, please, please stand firm and do not buy that day.

They may well tell you that the deal you are offered is valid that day only. Don't believe it. You can go back the next day or a week later and get the same deal.

No matter. You can buy the same timeshare on the resale market for a fraction of what you would pay the developer during that presentation.

So go to the presentation, leave your tax returns home, refuse to succumb to the pressure to buy and then come back here to get advice on buying for much less - if that's the right timeshare for you.

Also, timesharing is not for everyone. As just one example, many people can't plan vacations far enough in advance (typically a year or more) to maximize the benefits from timesharing.
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Old May 12, 2008, 01:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Zoog View Post
Thank you so much for the advice. I'm a little bit scared though because I easily give in to pressure. Are these things in groups or one on one? Because if it's a group, then maybe I can take the heat better.
"The undiscerning mind is like the root of a tree--it absorbs equally all that it touches--even the poison that would kill it." -- TV Show: Kung Fu (1972-1975)

They will sit you down at a table by yourselves with a con artist who will say just about anything to make a sale. They will tell you something to humanize themselves, so you will think of them as a real person. They will ask you about yourselves, as if they think of you as a real person and not just a mark. Then, they'll question you about how often and where you vacation... just making conversation.

They'll use that information to compare how much you spend on your own travel and how much you stand to "save" by buying a T/S. They'll show you that calculation in big, black numbers (often with a magic marker). DON'T BELIEVE IT FOR A MINUTE.

They usually "forget" to include the annual maintenance fees, which alone would cover a one-week stay in a decent (3*) hotel. For the purchase price, you will get a few nice extras, like a kitchen, a bedroom or two, and a jacuzzi, but its not really a "savings." Consider it a donation to the developers capital account. By holding out and waiting to buy resale, you will pay the ~real~ value of those nice extras, and not for the developer's own vacations.

My Approach: Go in with the attitude that the next 2-4 hours of your life are going to be a waste of time, but that you will be patient, let them run thru their script (they all use the same playbook), and wait till they run out of "deals" to throw at you. Do not even nibble at the bait, no matter how tasty it might seem at the time.

Take your own calculator and run some numbers of your own, like amortizing the total cost to own, including maintenance fees and the loss of earnings from a "real" investment vehicle, over a realistic travel life, to come up with the true cost of each year's vacation.

Shake your head and say, "No," firmly, as many times as it takes, even if your spouse says, "But dear..." Then, collect your incentive and head for the nearest coffee shop or pub to decompress, content in knowing that you managed to escape with you wallet intact.

Last edited by Talent312; May 12, 2008 at 02:49 PM. Reason: Format
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Old May 12, 2008, 01:36 PM   #7
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When we did our original HGVC Strip presentation, we were in the middle of home remodling projects and there was no way I was going to spend ANY money on a t/s. I was very firm in my convictions.

At one point they asked if they "gave" us the t/s for free would we be interested. Once you say yes, then the only issue is what price/value they can convince you to do so.

Expect them to offer you multiple pricing and make you feel a little silly for not jumping at their offers. Expect that you will deal with a rep for most of your presentation who will ask about how often and what type of vacations you take, and then for them to break down the costs of those vacations and how buying from them will save you all sorts of $$.

Expect you will be passed on to his manager to "see how he was doing", which is really another HGVC sales type taking another attempt at selling you. He may offer you better pricing or even a resale unit at another HGVC resort. Resale in this case means they bought it off another owner and are offering to you with a markup. They may offer you LOTS of bonus points in their offers.

Expect after you finish with this guy "...that someone from 'corporate' will need to ask you a few questions..." before collecting your gift. Once again he will likely "verify" you are saying no and will take one more crack at getting you to buy. As a last ditch effort, they may offer you a "trial" membership, where for a couple thousand $ you can buy a set amount of points, good for a few years that you can use to book a vacation, with the catch you must sit through another presentation at whatever resort(s) you stay at, where they take another try at you.

Stand firm, just say no. If you don't think you or your wife can do that, don't go. The gifting usually is worth $100 or less for your time, and you can expect your 90 minutes to stretch to a couple hours...at which time you have to figure if it's all worth it. However, the strip property is very nice and the excercise is a good introduction to time share sales. After you own someplace, they call these little exchanges "owners updates".

After getting back from one of these trips, I searched e-bay on a hunch for HGVC and found MUCH better pricing. In fact, you may want to go check EBAY and do a search for HGVC so you have an idea what open market resale pricing is these days. Some keep a printout of recent strip sales with them to shoot down the rep if they get too annoying.

IF for some reason you loose your senses and buy, know there is a recision period of a few days where you can cancel it out. There is a sheet somewhere in your exit packet (should you buy) that tells you where to send your letter of recision. Hopefully you'll be so well prepared you won't have to do this, but it exists if you buy from them...and you only have a few days.

I must admit, after having sat through several of these now I still am amazed how good a job they do at tugging at my emotions to buy. I'd be very happy never doing another of these buy my wife always gets me to go. She stumbled across a "Shell Vacation Club" table yesterday at the movies and called me to see if I was interested. I can't belive she asks!

I hope this helps.

Last edited by UWSurfer; May 12, 2008 at 01:43 PM. Reason: recision extra
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Old May 12, 2008, 01:46 PM   #8
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Don't Haggle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talent312 View Post
Take your own calculator and run some numbers of your own, like amortizing the total cost to own, including maintenance fees and the loss of earnings from a "real" investment vehicle, over a realistic travel life, to come up with the true cost of each year's vacation.
Don't talk numbers with them. They'll wear you down and beat you at the numbers game every time. Just say no and walk away. The more you try to argue/reason with them, the longer the so called presentation will last. They are trained professionals.

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Old May 12, 2008, 01:59 PM   #9
limin
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Good Grief

Most of the advice given above is pretty good.

However, the HGVC salespeople really are not aliens from another planet hired by Hilton to steal your money and make you feel like scum in doing so. Yes, they can be pushy. But most sales people are pushy. How else are they going to make a sale? If it weren't for T/S salespeople none of us would own a T/S. It has to start someplace. If the developers didn't develop, and the T/S salespeople didn't sell, then there would be NO resale market.

So please folks, treat them as people trying to earn a living just like the rest of us.

There is nothing wrong with buying direct if you have the money to burn. Its very convenient and fast. If you are like most of us, it would make much more sense to save $15,000 to $30,000 by purchasing on the resale market.

In any event, enjoy your time in Las Vegas and I hope you join me as a happy HGVC member that has never planned a vacation more than 9 months in advance.
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Old May 12, 2008, 08:25 PM   #10
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... the HGVC salespeople really are not aliens from another planet hired by Hilton to steal your money ... <snip>
That only goes to show how well they are at impersonating actual human beings. In their Playbook, it says: "... The more the Earthlings like you, the less likely they are to notice your horns and webbed fingers."

Last edited by Talent312; May 12, 2008 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Format
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Old May 12, 2008, 09:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Zoog View Post
Thank you so much for the advice. I'm a little bit scared though because I easily give in to pressure. Are these things in groups or one on one? Because if it's a group, then maybe I can take the heat better.
Just tell them that the folks at TUG told you not to buy direct and therefore you will only buy resale. Repeat that over and over in a mirror until you have it down.

Then when they throw out what a wonderful value you are buying, say it. When they come back with a huge bargain from a recent default, say it again. When they bring out the closer to hammer you into submission, say it.
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Old May 13, 2008, 07:27 AM   #12
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I, and many of us HGVC-owners, do like the program -- there are many positive things about it -- but occasionally we get sales calls, and I've found that voicing these issues tends to shut them up...

1. HGVC only builds its own units in three places -- Orlando, Vegas & Hawaii. The rest are merely affiliates and, as such, subject to change.
2. Booking thru their website is too limited -- too few locations.
3. Buying another, cheaper T/S would also qualify for RCI exchanges, without having to go thru their call-in reservation system.
4. The number of points (Club or HHonors) for a hotel stay is excessive.
5. Hilton was recently bought out by Blackstone, which may want to make changes in the program. Its better to wait and see.
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Old May 13, 2008, 09:14 AM   #13
limin
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The sales calls are pretty annoying. Fortunately with caller ID I just don't answer them. The website is pretty poor. The information available about its resorts is pathetic and the reservation system is very inadequate. I too wish they would build some resorts in places other than Florida, Nevada, and Hawaii.

In today's world of Web 2.0 one would think that they would put some emphasis on integrating the reservation systems with RCI and others and also allow for immediate online feedback from its owners. Give HGVC owners the ability to "see" availability and make a reservation across systems. It also is a bit irritating that they promote several affiliate resorts that is seems is impossible to actually get a reservation because of the lack of availability.
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Old May 23, 2008, 05:33 PM   #14
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Do Your Homework!

You have received a lot of excellent advice about the art and science of sitting through a time-share sales presentation also known as vacation ownership.
Hopefully you have listened and learned.
Let me add this word of additional caution - do not run out and buy on the resale market either.
Do your homework. Make hard assumptions of how often you plan to vacation and where you want to vacation and how much you can afford to spend on your vacation when you vacation.
IMO, you should be in the market for a time share purchase only if you are comfortable with the risks ahead, for you and your family.
If you successfully budget each year for vacation and spend that money after meeting present and future obligations on your income that must trump your vacation expense (health care, mortgage/rent, tuition, car loan/lease, insurances, repair bills, utility bills, food, entertainment, charity, tax bills, etc. etc.), then you are well positioned for time share vacationing.
You incur another annual financial obligation when you sign that contract whether it be at poolside, on the beach, or over the internet site unseen from a reseller.
Best of luck to ya!
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Old May 23, 2008, 08:46 PM   #15
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Do listen to all the good advice here. We fell under the spell twice in Las Vegas with HGVC. I've had good experiences with HGVC, but any further purchases will be resale.

They do make you feel good during the presentation, so beware.
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Old May 24, 2008, 10:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoog View Post
Thank you so much for the advice. I'm a little bit scared though because I easily give in to pressure. Are these things in groups or one on one? Because if it's a group, then maybe I can take the heat better.
All great advice but you have also indicated you easily give in to pressure and, based on your original post, I have to assume you may be getting pressure from two ends, HGVC and your wife
Quote:
Just as an example: she wants to bring our tax returns from the last two years to prove our income is above 70K
, she will surely love the accomodations (I know my wife did) so you will be in a tough situation, just like I was.

The good news is you have done the smart thing by seeking advice here, so you are in a much better position than I was when I went to Las Vegas (I found this site soon after I got back home after purchasing from Hilton). Here is an option, go along, show interest but don't give in so easy, let them offer you the world, but most important get them to offer you gimmicks you can use for your stay in Vegas, (we got limo rides, free buffet for 4 and gambling money credit, which was actualy cash when submitted the certificates in the casino, ended up gambling it away but...., we didn't push hard, you may get more gimmicks). Then, when you get home rescind the purchase right away (very easy to do). Wife will probably give you grief but then you can show her all you learned here and how you could get the same timeshare through resale at 60-70% off which will make you look like a genius to her (worked for me) that, provided you follow through with buying resale which is what I ended up doing and I am so very happy with my deal.

Heads up, if you use this option, expect to spend 3-4 hours until you complete the paperwork.

Good Luck!!
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