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Old October 26, 2008, 10:05 PM   #1
bpljr
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[2008] Timeshare sale through MGM Universal Timeshare

Hello,

I recently received a call from MGM Universal Timeshare http://www.mgmuniversaltimeshare.com offering to sell or rent my timeshare. The timeshare is in Hawaii and I purchased it during construction almost 3 yrs ago. MGM states that I should be able to get almost twice what I had paid for it. After reading on the TUB boards I was expecting to be offered about half of what I paid as I did not purchase resale.

MGM requires a flat fee of around $1,800.00 to sell my timeshare - no other fees or closing costs. They state that they will sell it in a similar manner to the way in which I purchased it and that they pre-qualify their buyers. They say there sales technique is different from most other companies that just list the timeshare in an ad. They have a 90 day guarantee, quoted below.

From the FAQ on their site:
"Our advertising agents will do a comparative market analysis to price your property for sale or rent. Keep in mind MGM UNIVERSAL TIMESHARE does not take on any properties that we do not believe will sell within the next 90 days. If for some reason your timeshare doesn't sell within the 90 days, MGM UNIVERSAL TIMESHARE will continue your advertisement at the company's expense. We know what it takes. With over 50 years experience, and offices worldwide to assisted individual owners in selling their timeshare properties. Our timeshare sales have closed with buyers and sellers from all 50 states and 85 countries at over 1,250 resorts located in 47 states and 29 countries. Thousands of resort properties have already sold! We attract buyers worldwide through extensive advertising and marketing efforts."

They have a "B" rating on the LA Better Business Bureau site: http://www.la.bbb.org/BusinessReport...anyID=13102950 and appear to be a legitimate operation. Can someone please provide some insight into this? Are they legitimate? Does this sound reasonable? What can I do to be sure I don't get scammed by this company? Has anyone here ever done business with this company?

Also, over the past couple of months I have been receiving a lot of phone calls from companies interested in having me sell my timeshare. Is this normal?

Thanks!
Brian
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Old October 26, 2008, 10:40 PM   #2
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Read "How to Sell Your Timeshare" in the sticky at the top. Rule 1 is DON'T PAY ANYONE TO SELL IT. If you really want to sell it, there are many many sites to list it on, noted in that sticky and thru Google searches, to sell your timeshare. Best of luck!
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Old October 26, 2008, 10:48 PM   #3
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They may be legit. They certaijnly make some nice, self-serving statements on their website. But I have serious reservations and doubt that you'd ever see anywhere near the return you expect.

First, do not let your guard down just 'cuz they have a fancy name. It has nothing to do with MGM Studios, MGM Mirage, NBC-Universal, or Universal Studios. That they attempt to trade on these names raises alarm bells with me.

Secondly, if your TS is going to return such a profit, why wouldn't they be willing to sign a standard brokerage agreement in which they take their commission out of the proceeds.

Thirdly, what happens when they say, "We haven't found a buyer for you at that price, but we'll keep looking... like forever and maybe list it on their website 1x a year for 1-week? And then: "Well, it turns out we could only get 1/4 what you paid?" In the meantime, you're out $1800 for the price of their listing it on their website and maybe once on e-bay.

If you're primed for a fleecing, there are less expensive ways of going about it.
Look at what units like yours sell for on e-bay, and you'll get an idea what you can do.

Last edited by Talent312; October 26, 2008 at 11:02 PM.
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Old October 27, 2008, 07:06 AM   #4
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Talent312,

I have been wondering about their affiliation with MGM & Universal. You state very clearly that they are not affiliated. How do you know this? There are links on their page to Universal Studios in Orlando, http://www.universalorlando.com/ I would also think that if they are not affiliated the real MGM Universal would have a problem with their name as it would be very misleading.

I have read the how to sell your timeshare FAQ which is one of the reason's I'm not convinced this company is the way to go. However, I've also previously read that I will never get what I paid for the timeshare is because I cannot put on the type of presentation the timeshare company did when I purchased it. I believe that is just what this company does. I do not want to get ripped off again (like when I purchased this timeshare), however, I would like to sell the timeshare at a profit or at least for as much as I paid. I am looking for an unbiased way to determine if this company is legit or not.

Is there any other way to do a "market analysis" on the property other than eBay? I would like to see the property's real value for myself but have only been able to locate 2 listings on eBay and they are both for a 1 week rental only at my resort.

Thanks for the responses.

Last edited by bpljr; October 27, 2008 at 07:14 AM.
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Old October 27, 2008, 07:30 AM   #5
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It's a scam. No way are they affiliated with Universal or MGM either.
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Old October 27, 2008, 07:35 AM   #6
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Don't shoot the messenger, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpljr View Post
I would like to sell the timeshare at a profit or at least for as much as I paid...Thanks for the responses.
It appears from your initial post above that you originally purchased developer-direct. If this is the case, even without knowing your particular resort or chain (if "chain" is even applicable to your particular ownership) you are not going to be able to "sell at a profit" under any imaginable circumstances. On the contrary, it is highly likely that the maximum you'll see in the resale marketplace will be 25% of the developer-direct purchase price you paid originally --- quite possibly even less than that.

Last edited by theo; October 27, 2008 at 07:38 AM.
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Old October 27, 2008, 08:45 AM   #7
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I'd recommend extreme caution....

I've never heard of this organization before, which is normally a very bad sign.... They are either very, very new or just have had no past presence in the resale industry or I'd have heard of them previous to this post. Either way, the cost may far exceed the value.

First hint of something smelly- MGM and Universal are two separate movie studios. However, just to err on the side of caution I contacted a friend within the marketing dept of Universal Studios Orlando. She stated that to her knowledge this group is not affiliated with Universal in any way. She has reported the website to their legal department to investigate. She was more interested in the unauthorized links from that page than in the timeshare aspect- since that touches on her field- but it will be interesting to see what Universal can do to sever the "perceived" connection. At least a disclaimer on the site I would assume..

Good luck on your endeavor.. PM me if you'd like cma on your property so you'll have an idea of what resale value it has- if any...
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Old October 27, 2008, 09:23 AM   #8
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Fake Legitimacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpljr View Post
I have been wondering about their affiliation with MGM & Universal. You state very clearly that they are not affiliated. How do you know this? There are links on their page to Universal Studios in Orlando, http://www.universalorlando.com/
Shux, adding Internet links to web sites, blog entries, & even TUG-BBS items is so easy that even I can do it. That is to say, the appearance of a link to some well known legitimate company or organization on a web site is not -- repeat not, as in no way -- any indication of legitimacy of the web site doing the linking & in fact may be the kind of window-dressing fakery specially designed to lure us unsuspectcing doofuses into blowing big bux on scams & ripoffs.

For example, I can add a link right here to Walt Disney Productions. But that doesn't give me the Mickey Mouse Seal Of Approval.

I can add a link to The Marine Corps. But that doesn't make me a Leatherneck.

I can insert an official-looking link to Mad Magazine, but that doesn't mean I'm Alfred E. Neuman. (Even if I look like Alfred E. Neuman. So it goes.)

These so-called MGM Timeshare folks are setting you up for an $1,800 ripoff. They know folks fall for it all too easily, so they go for it.

Sometimes folks who've already been taken on a dubious timeshare deal are so eager to undo the damage that they fall for more scams as they attempt to make up for getting scammed in the 1st place. It's unfortunate, but that's how it is.

Click here & read a hypothetical scenario illustrating multiple layers of compound timeshare scam, & see if any of it has a ring of familiarity to you.

Timeshares are great -- way better than hotels & motels, specially if you can buy cheap on the resale market & thus enjoy luxury vacation accommodations for Motel 6 & Super 8 rates. But timeshares & the timeshare biz, sorry to say, also attract loads of unsavory types who spend all day every day contriving ways to separate folks from their hard-earned money without delivering anything of value.

Be wise & beware -- & don't let the scammers & sharpers & grifters mess up your vacation timeshare enjoyment.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.
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Old October 27, 2008, 09:56 AM   #9
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They're Obviously Just "Borrowing" The Name, But Even So . . .

Quote:
MGM Universal Timeshare
. . . aren't MGM & Universal competitors in the theme-park biz ?

That is, isn't MGM Studios a link in the Disney chain while Universal Studios is way across town at a completely different Orlando theme park ?

Just saying.

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Old October 27, 2008, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpljr View Post
Talent312,

I have been wondering about their affiliation with MGM & Universal. You state very clearly that they are not affiliated. How do you know this? There are links on their page to Universal Studios in Orlando, http://www.universalorlando.com/ I would also think that if they are not affiliated the real MGM Universal would have a problem with their name as it would be very misleading..
Since MGM and Universal are two different companies, it's obvious their name is already misleading. One clue could be the fact that MGM Studioes is part of Disney World, while Universal Studios is the competing theme park.
Quote:
I have read the how to sell your timeshare FAQ which is one of the reason's I'm not convinced this company is the way to go. However, I've also previously read that I will never get what I paid for the timeshare is because I cannot put on the type of presentation the timeshare company did when I purchased it. I believe that is just what this company does. I do not want to get ripped off again (like when I purchased this timeshare), however, I would like to sell the timeshare at a profit or at least for as much as I paid. I am looking for an unbiased way to determine if this company is legit or not.
Have you been to one of their presentations? What makes you think they will have a similar presentation? And you think they will do this for $1800? When you were sold your original ownership, the sales staff earned significant chunk of that money - way more than $1800! Who would work for this company, for a share of $1800 per sale, when they have to work even harder than the original sales person, because they can't take their prospects on a tour of the resort?
Quote:
Is there any other way to do a "market analysis" on the property other than eBay? I would like to see the property's real value for myself but have only been able to locate 2 listings on eBay and they are both for a 1 week rental only at my resort.
While an inability to find resales for your resort might seem like they are not out there, perhaps you should check resale prices for similar resorts in the same area. Unfortunately you won't be happy with what you find. Unless there's something really special about your resort, people won't pay $5000 (or more) extra for your week when they can purchase something similar down the street for far less.

As for how legitimate this offer is, consider their guarantee:

If for some reason your timeshare doesn't sell within the 90 days, MGM UNIVERSAL TIMESHARE will continue your advertisement at the company's expense.

They don't offer your money back, just to keep listing it - there is no particular benefit to them for selling within those first 90 days. If they really have a history of selling within 90 days they should have noproblem showing you a list of recently completed sales - but I doubt they have that.

Further, since they claim to do something other than produce listings, you might never see an ad for your timeshare - and it might not even be listed anywhere! I just don't see it working.
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Old October 27, 2008, 11:37 AM   #11
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OP thanks for the link to the BBB rating but I have a couple of questions. How on earth did you find that rating - it is for a different name - just Universal, a different company address than posted on the website and a different 1-800 phone number. Amazing research skills to come up with a BBB rating on a company that way. I am definitely becoming more of a cynic with aging because I am starting to think that this thread may be from a shill. I guess even bad advertising at tug is better than none, got to get those google hits happening somehow.
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Old October 27, 2008, 12:47 PM   #12
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Wow. Breathtaking Scam

Seems very fishy to me.

But I could be wrong.

Last edited by Salisburyfive; October 27, 2008 at 12:50 PM.
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Old October 27, 2008, 08:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpljr View Post
I have been wondering about their affiliation with MGM & Universal. You state very clearly that they are not affiliated. How do you know this? There are links on their page to Universal Studios in Orlando, ... *** Is there any other way to do a "market analysis" on the property other than eBay?
Cutting and pasting web-links and corporate graphics is not rocket science... I do this in my e-mail all the time. If you can find their bogus BBB-rating, you should also be able to do a wikipedia search for MGM and Universal, and see yourself that MGM and Universal have nothing to do with each other, or with the TS business. However, I'm sure that their respective legal depts. might like to know about the misuse of their tradenames.

There are many sources for online listings of TS's for sale, besides e-bay.
I'm sure that if you Goggle the name of your resort and you'll find a few.

Upon reflection, your post reads like shill. But for the sake of civility, I'll assume otherwise. The bottom line is that you are guaranteed nothing and will be dropping $1800 down a dry-well. Someone (it wasn't PT Barnum) said, "There's a sucker born every minute."
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Old October 28, 2008, 06:26 AM   #14
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I'd like to thank all of you for taking the time to reply to my question. I feel very confident that you are right and this is a waste of money. I have chosen not to do business with the company. These boards are a great timeshare resource, I wish I had discovered them before making my initial purchase.

Brian
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Old November 5, 2008, 09:20 PM   #15
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How can this be a "Breathtaking Scam" ??

My husband and I sold our Vacation Village two bedroom through MGM Universal. It took only three weeks, but we did price it down. We have another one at Hotel Galvez in Texas we were thinking of putting with MGM Universal since it was so fast with our VV property. They did ask for money up front, but it's all done in less than a month.

Can you direct me to any legal action or FTC warnings about this company?
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Old November 5, 2008, 10:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Christiane View Post
My husband and I sold our Vacation Village two bedroom through MGM Universal. It took only three weeks, but we did price it down. We have another one at Hotel Galvez in Texas we were thinking of putting with MGM Universal since it was so fast with our VV property. They did ask for money up front, but it's all done in less than a month.

Can you direct me to any legal action or FTC warnings about this company?
You registered today just to make this one post to spew about how great this company was for you?
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Old November 5, 2008, 10:23 PM   #17
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Readers of these forums should be cautious when reading first-time posts by anyone who has good things to say about timeshare-related businesses (such as the one discussed here) that have a business model (e.g., upfront fees) consistent with other businesses that receive many hundreds of consumer complaints on these forums.
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Old November 6, 2008, 10:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Christiane View Post
My husband and I sold our Vacation Village two bedroom through MGM Universal. It took only three weeks, but we did price it down. We have another one at Hotel Galvez in Texas we were thinking of putting with MGM Universal since it was so fast with our VV property. They did ask for money up front, but it's all done in less than a month.

Can you direct me to any legal action or FTC warnings about this company?
Gee....this doesn't seem like a shill post.
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Old November 6, 2008, 11:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Christiane View Post
My husband and I sold our Vacation Village two bedroom through MGM Universal. It took only three weeks, but we did price it down. We have another one at Hotel Galvez in Texas we were thinking of putting with MGM Universal since it was so fast with our VV property. They did ask for money up front, but it's all done in less than a month.

Can you direct me to any legal action or FTC warnings about this company?
Welcome to TUG Lauren or is it Brian? I challenged Brian to explain to me how he came up with a BBB rating for a company that had a different address, phone number and name from what was originally posted but no response. You indicated that you have used this company with great success - yeh right. The one thing I do know, the BBB rating is for a company located in these apartments.. They have the same address and zip code as the business that you have provided a BBB rating for.

If there are any newbies reading this thread - run, run, run away from these fakes!
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Old November 6, 2008, 02:27 PM   #20
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Look at the MGM logo on these legitimate sites:
http://www.mgmmirage.com/
http://www.mgm.com/
http://www.mgmgrand.com/

Notice no periods between the 3 letters.
MGM would never use periods on their logo in one place but not on another.

Notice no mention of Universal Studios on MGM's sites.

On the site you mention, the font is made to look like Universal Orlando's ad right above it.

In the middle of that same page, there is an M.G.M which has no period after the last M

Again, MGM would never show their logo differently in two places.

Universal has theme parks in Orlando but does not sells any timeshares.

SCAM! Never pay upfront money to sell your timeshare. I'm glad you found TUG before you were ripped off.

Last edited by hudshut; November 6, 2008 at 05:34 PM.
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Old November 13, 2008, 06:00 PM   #21
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Questions are One Thing..

If I do business with MGM Universal again, I'd like to know if you veterans are really timeshare owners and if your claims are valid.

I checked out TimeshareMLS and Timeshares ONLY and something called Seabreeze Advertising. They all had LOTS of complaints. We just opted for MGM Universal because they didn't have any Better Business Bureau complaints.

It is a little bizarre that a group of supposed timeshare owners are posting all over the place about Timeshare sellers/resellers. I suspect these posts aren't from owners but are all from resort and resellers PR departments.

All I can say is that we did have a good experience with MGM Universal.
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Old November 13, 2008, 07:04 PM   #22
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Thumbs down Color me dubious...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Christiane View Post
I checked out TimeshareMLS and Timeshares ONLY and something called Seabreeze Advertising. They all had LOTS of complaints. We just opted for MGM Universal because they didn't have any Better Business Bureau complaints.

All I can say is that we did have a good experience with MGM Universal.
So, in only your second post here, just one week after registering, you somehow feel obligated to openly identify and specifically disparage several (competing) upfront fee entities, while still espousing the alleged virtues of just this particular one, heretofore known to nobody?

My bet is that they are just a "reincarnation" of some other (now defunct) upfront fee parasite operation, having wiped their previous BBB complaint slate clean by mere reinvention and renaming.

While I'm placing bets, my second one (and I'm offering odds here...) is that you are just a shill for this obscure "MGM Universal" outfit and that, further, we won't be seeing a third TUG posting from you unless it's in the form of another phony flag waving gesture for MGM/Universal.

Last edited by theo; November 13, 2008 at 07:22 PM.
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Old November 13, 2008, 07:22 PM   #23
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Ahh, Give'M A Break.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theo View Post
C'mon, any takers?
Clearly they don't know whom they're up against when they try sneaking a little shuck & jive past the hardened timeshare veterans of TUG-BBS.

No harm in letting'm assume they put 1 over on us.

We all know better.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.

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Old November 13, 2008, 08:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwayWeGo View Post
Clearly they don't know whom they're up against when they try sneaking a little shuck & jive past the hardened timeshare veterans of TUG-BBS.

No harm in letting'm assume they put 1 over on us.

We all know better.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.

C'mon Alan you mean you dont buy it that they paid $1800 plus sold it for a high price? Its not that farfetched, is it.
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Old November 13, 2008, 08:49 PM   #25
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Funny Stuff

I didn't pay anywhere near what these resellers are saying I paid. Check with your Better Business Bureau on any company.

The best reference on any company or service is always your state Attorney General Consumer Protection division, as well as the Better Business Bureau.
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