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Fool me twice, shame on me

Discussion in 'New to Timesharing? Look Here!' started by ForgetNet, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. ForgetNet

    ForgetNet Guest

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    So I'm twice a sucker, shame on me. TL;DR at bottom, otherwise enjoy the story and I'll happily answer any questions!

    I purchased a Woodstone weeks unit pre-construction about a year ago for just over $13k with a $355-ish maintenance fee.

    As many of you probably did, I went in uninformed, and "negotiated" the price down from ~$26k, Massanutten gold card to be included without any fees (they claimed there were some, I have no idea if that's true), and an annual RCI bonus week. I've since enjoyed a week stay at Massanutten using my deeded week as well as using the bonus week in FL. Both vacations were quite enjoyable and cheap, if you don't include the initial timeshare cost and maintenance fees, of course.

    During my week stay at Massanutten, I went into the apparently-required owner's update meeting mostly uninformed with no intentions of buying a damn thing. Of course, I ended up leaving said meeting with upgrading to the a Regal Vista deeded POINTS unit for a grand total of $23k (including the equity from trading in my $13k unit, so I paid an extra $10k + closing costs). I was very interested in the points program and honestly feel it is a better program for how I tend to vacation -- fairly spontaneous trips I can use anywhere at near any time, which is what I was told would be possible with points (hopefully it's true). I was sold when I was told my old Woodstone unit could be converted to points for ~$3k or so and would only receive somewhere around 15,000 RCI Points (give or take, I don't remember the exact number), whereas they had a Regal Vista foreclosure unit available with 58k points for only $10k more! I was told this is a great amount of RCI points, it's a steal, I'm so lucky to get the deal, all the usual mumbo jumbo -- I'm pretty sure none of this is true after doing a little research.

    Unfortunately with my busy schedule at Massanutten between being sick (bleh) and enjoying the plentiful things to do, I didn't even consider researching my poor investment until after returning home, and am no longer in the window to rescind my purchase. If only I had found Tug sooner and/or bothered researching after getting swindled the first time! That said, I am hoping to get some advice as to how I can make the best of my purchase. Details of said purchase are as follows:

    >Massanutten Regal Vista (2BR)
    >Week: 4
    >Total Price: $23,500 ($24,244 if you include closing costs)
    >Maintenance Fee: $469/year
    >Annual RCI Points: 58,000
    >Maintain the annual 1 RCI Bonus Week
    >Upgraded to Regal Vista Gold Cards with all fees waived, which I believe is pretty much worthless.

    Moral of the story is don't go in uninformed, and from what I've been seeing literally everywhere on this site is simply don't buy retail!

    Also, out of curiosity, how badly was I screwed in my decision compared to simply keeping my original Week 4 weeks unit (I believe it had 9 TPU)?

    TL;DR - I was stupidly swindled again, traded in my old Massanutten weeks unit (week 4 - paid $13k) for a new Massanutten points unit (week 4, 58k points/yr - paid $24k, which includes the $13k from my original unit). Too late to rescind. Looking to make the best of my mistakes!
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  2. Ty1on

    Ty1on TUG Member

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    Upside, you like the experiences the purschases have gotten you so far. Downside, you paid healthy tuition to learn to do your research before attending a sales presentation. Beginning with the fact that an "Owner Update" is not mandatory unless they are giving you some promotional consideration for it. Next time when they tell you you must attend, tell them they should pound sand.
     
  3. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I am very sorry you are feeling robbed. They didn't use a gun, but it feels about the same, well, maybe worse, because I would never $23K on my person. You paid $23K for something not worth even a dime on the resale market. That is no exaggeration. You bought off-season, and in an area that is overbuilt with timeshares.

    I wish you well. Learn to use what you bought, and in 20 years, you will be talking about your past vacations, and the purchase price won't sting as much as it does now. We bought two timeshares years ago, literally 3+ decades ago, and we have our regrets for depriving our young family in lieu of high timeshare payments, but we know much more now and have made some great decisions in recent years.
     
  4. presley

    presley TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Rather than feel badly about it, use it and enjoy it.

    Anytime you stay in a timeshare, they will harass you to attend an owner update or a go on a free tour that includes a free gift. Just tell them no. Don't give an explanation as they will use whatever your excuse is to keep harassing you. Just say no or pretend that you don't hear them or can't understand them. When you are in your unit, you can unplug the phone.
     
    Jan M. likes this.
  5. TUGBrian

    TUGBrian Administrator

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    definitely a frustrating story to read :(

    but on the bright side, you are certainly not alone...there are literally hundreds if not thousands of folks here on the forums who all have a similar story!
     
    Jan M. likes this.
  6. MOXJO7282

    MOXJO7282 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I just don't get how this is legal? Can anyone think of anything else that is sold for such a high price that you immediately couldn't sell for $1? For me that should be criminal.

    We bought 4 direct Marriott TSs for a total of $124k. We did receive about $25k in Marriott points but still these units would only sell for probably $60k now so we have about a $40k delta that we'll need to make up over time which is possible and we're closing in on that with over 12 years of ownership but to think you could buy something so expensive one day and not sell it for even a $1 the next day for me should be illegal.
     
  7. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It's ok. Many of us have bought from a developer. We paid even more than you did for our 2 weeks at Smuggs. But because we have owned for 18 years it has paid for itself and then some, even considering maintenance and exchange fees. So- don't sweat it. Just make sure you use it. Enjoy!

    Think of it like a new car purchase. (I realize it is not exactly the same thing). You drive it off the lot and it immediately is worth a lot less. But- you use it because you need or want to. In 10 years it is barely worth anything, but you enjoyed the usage, even though you paid a ton of money for it.

    Have learned so much on TUG and our 2nd timeshare acquisition was free. We intend to have many years of usage there as well, though I am not thinking it will be 18 years as we will be pretty old. LOL!
     
    taffy19 and Jan M. like this.
  8. BobDE

    BobDE Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I have owned at Massanutten since 1991. I held out for the good deal, you know, where they bring in the big guns and tell you that this is the best deal ever! LOL
    I paid way too much, but that ship has sailed. I have enjoyed what I have. We travel 2 times per year, in the spring and fall. I own a 4 bedroom lockout at the Summit and it is normally enough for our needs.
    This year we stayed at the Regal Vistas. We really liked those units. I would say to enjoy what you own and learn how to get the most out of it.
    They were right about one thing. It forces you to vacation!
    Enjoy!
     
    taffy19, mpumilia and Jan M. like this.
  9. theo

    theo TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I don't see how people making poor (but completely voluntary) financial decisions could ever somehow be made "illegal" or "criminal".
    The banner would quickly come out to be waved and paraded, citing "free choice, free enterprise, personal decision, blah, blah, blah".

    However, IMnsHO what should be a legal requirement in any and every developer sale is a stand-alone full disclosure statement, separate and independent from (i.e., not buried in micro-font print somewhere within) the associated contract. This (currently non-existent) separate full disclosure statement would overtly and clearly state in writing the indisputable fact that the product being sold may have absolutely no resale market value after purchase and that it's only value may very well lie solely in the purchaser's own use and enjoyment of the "product".

    That's of course just my own personal pipe dream. ARDA would obviously and adamantly oppose any such requirement for any such clear, separate, full disclosure statement, since it would obviously be directly against developer financial interests to be open and honest about the resale market value (or the potential lack thereof) of whatever timeshare product a developer is peddling.

    Without being "political", I'll note that it is a well established and oft proclaimed fact that the new administration wants to outright abolish the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). Accordingly, by extension, it might also be reasonably assumed that in this current "environment" any prospect of seeing more or better consumer protection laws or regulations anytime in the foreseeable future is very dim --- at best.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  10. Jan M.

    Jan M. TUG Member

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    As mpumilia said: "Think of it like a new car purchase. (I realize it is not exactly the same thing). You drive it off the lot and it immediately is worth a lot less. But- you use it because you need or want to. In 10 years it is barely worth anything, but you enjoyed the usage, even though you paid a ton of money for it."

    This is an excellent analogy. Especially with many people today paying $30k-$70k for vehicles which if they kept them until they died would only be worth scrap or parts. Hopefully you use that vehicle and may even enjoy having it. Although some people own expensive vehicles that sit in their garages or driveways and rarely if ever get used which unless you are a collector is a waste of money. Owning the timeshare only becomes a waste of money if you don't make good use of it.

    ForgetNet you got off cheap compared to what we spent! When I found TUG and realized buying timeshares on the resale market wasn't a scam I was sick. We spent far more than I like to admit or even think about. An acquaintance advised me to put it behind me and enjoy the heck out of using our timeshare as much as possible. Which we have done. And we do have some benefits from buying from the developer that we wouldn't have gotten buying resale so we try to make good use of them.

    We have owned, developer, for 16 years and now own some resale also thanks to what I learned from TUG. If it weren't for going to the sales presentations and buying developer back then I don't know if we would have ever learned enough about timeshares to ever consider buying resale even years down the road nor would I have found TUG either. We have had far more weeks a year for all these years of amazing vacations that other people, co-workers, friends, family, acquaintances, only dream of having. Plus we have been able to take with us or treat family and close friends to vacations too which would never have been possible without the timeshares.

    Consider the money you spent as money you paid for tuition. Now you have your degree so use it. You can call it a degree from the school of hard knocks or a degree in from a pricey school instead of a community college. I like to refer to the people who learned from TUG before they purchased as getting their degrees on full ride scholarships!

    Are you aware that you can also buy sale weeks with RCI that require no points? RCI frequently has sales for $199-$299 plus tax depending on the resort and unit size. In the past 8 months I've bought those weeks at Grandview Las Vegas and Star Island and Vacation Village at Parkway in Orlando.
     
    mpumilia likes this.
  11. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Found resale ... after attending a Wyndham sales presentation with my sister's in-laws (already Wyndham owners .. all developer brought points 600K worth about $100,000 buy in.

    But I spent 5+ hours riding in the rear of a van ... just thinking, "there has to be a cheaper way" over and over. Became "Where to you buy stuff cheap?" over and over. Then, "cheap stuff is on eBay" ... once. And then, I was itching to get online and check eBay.

    Found eBay .. brought timeshares.
     
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  12. ForgetNet

    ForgetNet Guest

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    Thanks all for the replies! I feel a little better about my mistakes. Are there any suggestions as to how to make the most of my points timeshare + bonus week? Or is it really as simple as "use it"?
     
    TUGBrian and mpumilia like this.
  13. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Bonus weeks are worth what you pay for them. Having an RCI membership can be beneficial for "extra vacations." Using RCI Points is a matter of watching for something you really want, and watching often for anything in points.

    One thing you can get for around 42K points is an off-season Disney brand week. That is a worthy exchange because renting the same thing from Disney would be at least $4,000, even in off-season. If you can get one of those weeks every-other-year, and you actually use the weeks you get yourself, there is great value in those exchanges.

    There are many other great exchanges in RCI. You have to take the time to look at areas you want, and do enter ongoing searches for your dream areas. If you have only one year of points in your account, you cannot get Manhattan Club for a week, so entering a search for things that are too many points, those are just not going to match.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
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  14. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Just know you have to work at it. You have to have the intent to use it and focus on booking. Be conscious of the time frame you have. Plan way ahead. Be organized. Over time you get the hang of it and it becomes second nature to you. You will actually become addicted to it and enjoy the whole process eventually if you are smart and realistic about it.

    Have fun!
     
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  15. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    This is just my opinion., this thread should be kept open for anyone interested in purchaseing a timeshare from a developer. Buyers needs to be educated upfront on the pros and cons from buying from a developer.
    Everyone on this website did not buy resale., in the beginning when a resort was brand new or in the new construction phrase there was no resale timeshare market out their. You needed to buy from the developer point blank because there was no timeshare unit up for sale.
     
  16. Tom3928

    Tom3928 Guest

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    It's imperative that you buy them. How else can I make my income?
     
  17. Ty1on

    Ty1on TUG Member

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    Maybe get a job doing something more ethical?
     
  18. Tom3928

    Tom3928 Guest

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    Ethics are arbitrary. Do you really think that we don't know that 99% of you are coming in for the freebie and nothing more? For what it's worth, a large chunk of our sales comes from some of the 99% and not the clueless 1%. Everyone has a role to play. You come for the freebie, that's your roll. We do our stuff to sell you, that's our role. There's only one thing that you've forgotten, and it's why we do as well as we do.
    You come in and do your thing what, once or twice a year? I do my thing 700-1,000 times a year. You don't realize that I'm the one running this little dog and pony show and you're just overmatched. Sure, most of you say no, but a lot of you nearly say yes. Eventually a few of you buy. I close at about 20%. That's not bad when you think that I'm selling someone a mortgage on the spur of the moment. Don't think you're being cute when you fake a seizure or say that you're in bankruptcy. We've seen them all and it comes with the territory.
    Some of you scam the system for a living, but don't think we don't know. Like I said, we're running the show. Did we forget to mention the maintenance fees, taxes, cooling off period...whoopsie. We have our little tricks too.
    For the record though, they are good things to buy for the right sort of person. These people are mostly creatures of habit who like the same place every year and things work out fine. Timeshares are good for such people. I have one myself (one of the things we tell everyone), but I get a discount on the fees and bought mine on the eBay for 1 cent. Thank goodness most people are ignorant of this and can get caught up in the spur of the moment and buy it directly from me and my team at the presentation.
    We have survived for as long as we have for a reason. The freebies are more than compensated for by the few people on each tour who buy. You're simply outgunned and actually think you're in charge.
    One last thing; I have never, ever, lied to a prospect. However, it's not a lie to keep the truth to one'self.
     
  19. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    What comes around, goes around.

    Hope your family has your same point of view.
     
  20. Iggyearl

    Iggyearl TUG Member

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    Tom - were you at this sales meeting?
     
  21. Tom3928

    Tom3928 Guest

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    It was an interesting movie, the Queen of Versailes. It sounds like you support the 99% of the people who come out to waste my waste my day. Would you like it if I came to your job just to waste your time? It happens to me all day, every day. I'm just good at following a procedure that works. If you REALLY want to have the full experience, you should go and see my Mexican counterparts. In fact, I'm sure you've taken the discounted vacation to just get that freebie. Like I said, the free casino chips, show tickets, discounts vacations, etc.....it's just part of the job. If it makes you feel better, I don't get paid on any sale until the recession period passes. When you leave you have the purchase contract in your hands, and time to change your mind. When did I tie your hands and cover your eyes to keep you from even reading the contract?
     
  22. Trudyt623

    Trudyt623 TUG Member

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    Join the club, all of us had a learning curve in the school of hard knocks. But, you said something very important, that you enjoyed your stay there. Make the most of your timeshare and enjoy it!
     
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  23. NYFLTRAVELER

    NYFLTRAVELER TUG Member

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    It's called business........Ever buy a car?
     
  24. Iggyearl

    Iggyearl TUG Member

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    "I have one myself (one of the things we tell everyone), but I get a discount on the fees and bought mine on the eBay for 1 cent."

    Tom, did you - a retail timeshare salesman - say that you bought resale? Would you recommend that procedure to the general public?
     
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  25. Ty1on

    Ty1on TUG Member

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    You know, when your lying parking pass monkey swears to me up and down that it isn't a sales presentation, they want to give me these gifts just to take a survey, don't tell me I'm scamming the system. Scamming the scammer, perhaps.
     
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