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SFX

Discussion in 'Exchanging Timeshares' started by easyrider, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Yeah, I can't think of a reason a MVC owner would deposit to SFX, which explains why they have no Marriott inventory. I could see maybe if a MVC owner wanted HGVC on the big Island.

    I'm very curious how the math pencils out for SFX vs II for a Grand Luxxe trade.

    For my next Grand Luxxe trade through II I paid or will pay:

    $209 exchange fee + $59 size upgrade + 640 Vidanta fee.

    SFX has the $99 fee, but their exchange fees and upgrade fees are more, plus iirc they charge an "elite" upgrade fee to access Grand Luxxe. I'm not positive about those fees but I think it's around $249 exchange + $99 size upgrade + $299 luxury upgrade + $75 vidanta fee.

    That's less but not dramatically so, and ii has gotten me a 2 bedroom GL over my spring break, and 4 bedrooms in the fall. Do you think SFX would be able to get a 2 bedroom over spring break?
     
  2. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Hilton ought to move to II, so owners don't feel they have such limited Gold Crown choices in RCI. I still cannot believe Disney left II. It's so much better for Disney matches.
     
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  3. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    I agree, but now that MVC owns II, that'll never happen unless MVC buys HGV, which would probably face regulatory scrutiny (apparently HGV is up for sale, LOL).
     
  4. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    Yes, the SFX math you list above is about right for a non-Diamond member. I would pay $149 exchange fee, free upgrade, and $299 upgrade +75. Although I'd have to factor in my 2,400 point Vegas Hilton exchange vs. my 2 BR II deposit, but everyone's mileage will vary on what they own and their MF/costs are.

    My HGV is about $0.18/point for MF, so my "true" SFX GL cost would be:
    2400 HGV point = $432 plus the $67 booking fee and $52 Guest cert? = $531
    SFX Exchange fee of $149, plus $299 + $75 = $523
    Total: $1,054

    Now, if I did II:
    $950 is my MF for my 2 BR week
    $179 II membership fee (I think that's a 1 year membership? or was that two?)
    $209 II booking fee
    $640 Vidanta fee (since II is like for like, I'm depositing a 2 BR and getting a 2 BR)
    Total: $1,978 (maybe a smidgen less if I got the II membership fee wrong)

    I'm not counting SFX membership fee because I've already broken even/come out ahead with what I paid and what I've saved, so basically for the next 10 years my fee is "paid for". Although even if I didn't fact that in, it would've been $50/year

    but again, YMMV and your HGV points may be a higher or lower MF (I think the lowest we've seen is like $0.12/point MF for Hilton). But some are higher are like $0.30 (ouch)

    Go with what works well for you. Try to stay at the Nuevo Vallarta location because the Riviera Maya location totally discriminates against ALL exchangers into Grand Bliss/GL units (even a Vidanta owner using their SFX bonus week gets discriminated against). By discriminated against, I mean you will *not* have access to the Riviera Maya Grand Luxxe Pool, the Beach Club, or the Burger custom Made restaurant. Unless you want to endure the 4+ hour "sales presentation".
     
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  5. heathpack

    heathpack Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Sheraton Broadway Plantation
    I have had SFX deposits expire and then had to pay to extend my membership and/or make another deposit to to bring my deposit back to life.

    I have also been charged an exchange fee for a match I couldn’t use. This was something that was on my list for an OGS and I had an unexpected conflict at work with my dates after I made the request. I was out of luck, paid $189 I think but I don’t 100% remember.

    My deposits have all been shoulder season 1BR Hyatt units. I have made nice trades into Grand Luxxe and Grand Mayan 2BR units (prior to the luxury exchange fee), which were very good value trades. I’ve also traded into a studio at Club Donatello in San Francisco, 2BR Sedona Summit over Thanksgiving (twice), and a 2BR Ridge Tahoe late September (not prime season but exact dates I need to be there for an upcoming conference). These latter trades were all fair trades IMO but not blazing upgrades.

    Overall I think SFX is ok if you are fine with Mexico as a fall back position. SFX is not as desirable to me since they initiated the luxury exchange fee for Grand Luxxe because previously I knew I’d always be able to get something great with them. Now it’s a little too much of a crapshoot for me, so I’ve used my last two deposits and don’t intend to renew.

    I think for us they could work ok- we’d go for Mexico, San Francisco, Sedona or maybe the Monterey area. They also seem to have ok access in Spain. I might be willing to try for HGVC with them, maybe Scotland. But overall, I can get all of those locales in more of a surefire way- II exchange for Mexico, Marriott DC points for San Francisco, Hyatt for Sedona, Marriott for Spain, Hyatt for Carmel, etc. Probably if I wanted HGVC I’d just try for a private TUG exchange these days.
     
  6. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    Solaz is a timeshare, but their primary exchange is Third Home. They were originally listed as a future resort for Registry, but dropped off there about a year ago. They're also affiliated with RCI as well; I saw one exchange week there about six months ago, but none since, though they have some extra vacation weeks available for a better price then the SFX one.
     
  7. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    Let me move my Third Home and Solaz stuff out of this thread, so I stop hijacking it, LOL
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  8. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    So reading what people have deposited in SFX - Silver Vegas HGV, shoulder Hyatt, and my gold season Bay Club its no wonder people can’t get prime exchanges. We can’t all expect to exchange mud seasons for four seasons.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  9. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I deposited my SoCal beach weeks - Seapointe week 32 and Coronado week 37, both 1 bedrooms. I also deposited the Donatello and Maui Lea when I owned there.
     
  10. jackio

    jackio Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I have made a couple of deposits. My first one expired, unused. My second one (HICV Las Vegas, New Years) exchanged for a 1BR Manhattan Club July 4th week, which had no resort fees. I deposited that same unit again and had the previous unused deposit reinstated but couldn't use it. I now have a request in for several areas in summer 2020. We will see if they come through.
     
  11. heathpack

    heathpack Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    However I was not expecting prime exchanges. Tahoe the last week of September, Sedona in November, a 1BR unit for a studio- none of them were prime exchanges. They were, as I described them, fair exchanges.

    I’ve evolved over time into ownerships that provide more expensive solutions to getting those same locales in nicer units and with a better guarantee of results- owning a couple of Marriott units, Destination Club points, a couple of Hyatt units, Disney points, a Vistana II trader- which is also fair enough. SFX can’t as reliably deliver as I can using MVCI, HRC, DVC, and II. So that’s where I play these days.

    I think it’s tough with SFXs model to really take that leap and deposit something truly prime. Because you have no idea what they might be able to get you. So the whole situation becomes self reinforcing- they don’t reliably deliver because people don’t give them great deposits, and then people don’t make great deposits because they don’t reliably deliver.

    I had a Memorial Day week at Barony that I decided not to use. In the end, I rented it for a small profit. But when I considered depositing in II, where I knew I could likely get a great exchange, vs SFX which is just an unknown- of course I couldn’t really consider SFX out of concern for wasting the deposit.

    I don’t know the solution. Maybe there doesn’t really need to be one. SFX works for some people better than others, and I’m probably just not one of those people who it works well for. Which is not a complaint as much as a fact.
     
  12. presley

    presley TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    This thread has prompted me to look at my SFX history, since there was only one time that I didn't get what I wanted and that was because it was within a very short window. I think I was looking about 6 weeks out at the time. These are the exchanges that I got and a couple are rentals that I purchased, but they were available for exchange if I wanted to do that instead.

    Pine Acres Lodge
    Grand Pacific Palisades
    San Francisco Suites
    WM Oceanside
    Villa L'auberge x2
    Marriott DSV x2
    Carlsbad Inn
    Powell Place
    Riviera Beach and Spa
    Manhattan Club
    Carlsbad Seapointe Resort

    I always deposited high demand weeks. My resorts were Grand Pacific Resorts, WM and HGVC. I always deposited holiday and summer weeks.
     
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  13. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    This reminded me of one of the few times I spoke with a rep, Elena I think. I asked her if she had any HGVC requests because I was getting ready to make a deposit, may be able to make a match. She thought it was a good idea but didn’t seem to have a way to check. At least with RCI/II I know an OGS has a chance of an automatic match to a new deposit. With SFX it must be manual, and once again no transparency on how that occurs.

    Instead of having a list of what they never have, a way to know what other TUGers deposit seems more useful, but then we already have that with Wish Ads in the Marketplace.

    For me SFX will remain a place to purchase cash getaways, which has become my preferred travel method as my timeshare ownership has evolved.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  14. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    TUG has a huge membership. If only we could all trade via the Marketplace (in a better format), we could save a lot of money. But I see why people don't do it. If I have a week at Hono Koa to trade, I want something pretty great for it. Fees are now $1,900 with taxes for that unit. But I would never give it to II. So I rent it less than my fees. I have to. It's not fancy, but it is oceanfront, 40 feet to the water. Not many like that.

    SFX needs to change something. I was able to get Four Seasons Aviara for 12/8-12/15 from Hawaiian. It was just sitting online. Would I know to request such a specific unit as Four Seasons from SFX? But it was there because their online inventory shows up. It's a one bedroom that sleeps up to six people. Different from what we stayed, but it was Four Seasons.

    Ka'anapali Beach Club has been abundant in HTSE about once a year. You can get a large variety of dates, and since RCI never puts those bulk bankings out there anymore, it's a good way to catch something great.

    Other exchange companies have "gold" as well, just sitting online. Platinum Interchange is another really worthwhile exchange company, and of course Trading Places Maui.
     
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  15. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I agree with everything that you have said, and I like you, really enjoy seeing what is online and letting that determine where we will vacation next. Trading Places International also has some nice inventory.

    I did a direct exchange once, with SilentG and it really worked out great. We were both happy with our exchanges. But I ran into a potential problem between the time that we agreed to our exchange and the dates of the exchange. My husband was diagnosed with cancer *and* his company closed the local office and everyone was given the option to move to Washington or get laid off. We didn't know until about a month before our exchange if we would be able to go. I never told Terry because it was our problem, not hers. I wasn't sure if my travel insurance would have covered this at all because no money exchanged hands. My plan was to go if we could, and if not, let Terry know so that she could deposit the week somewhere and try to salvage some value from the week. (In an odd coincidence, our exchanged weeks were close together - I think mine was a week 24 and hers was a week 23, iirc, so there wasn't any way for her to use it herself). At least an exchange company gives you some options - including the possibility to be covered by insurance. Does anyone have any ideas to protect ourselves financially in the situation of a direct exchange?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  16. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I still wish that I knew what requests SFX cannot fufill, even with a full year lead time. For example, if was Whispering Woods in Oregon, I will know to not even bother trying SFX. I will look into other options. I am just trying to maximize my chances of getting a match with my one remaining deposit in SFX.
     
  17. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Having nine deposits left in their system is really awful. Four expire very soon. I could ask for an extension and may do that. The thing is, I don't know what to ask for, and my trips are planned very far in advance. I could take Orlando for next December. I just don't want anything but Hilton, and they have a tough time giving me two weeks at the same resort for the same dates. It's part of their policy to not give two exchanges for the same date.

    Is it Nathan Reynolds that moved up in the company and can no longer help with requests? I mean, he deserves a promotion, he really is good at what he does.

    Elena was good.

    I gave them a lot of Peacock Suites because some of the dates I could get were within their highest season, supposedly, like Thanksgiving. But they don't credit them in that way, when the deposits are older. I gave them 2-3 bedrooms!

    It could be that they really would rather take care of newer customers with newer deposits. I can always just request Anaheim any time of year and just go because we have annual passes. I could even take pretty last-minute stuff.
     
  18. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    Totally agree with Cindy about the TUG marketplace/direct exchange stuff. But that poor horse has been beat to death so many times.

    Cindy's got some good pointers for Hawaii though from HTSE (I didn't know they existed) and Trading Places Maui, which is good to know if one is looking for Hawaii and wants to maximize their exchange ability.
     
  19. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    When you put your request in, did the SFX rep not tell you (I think their online system does tell you) that in order to increase your chances, you should have as wide an area as possible, along with date ranges?

    I mean, sometimes I want/need a specific resort for a specific week, but I know that in doing so, I'm tremendously limiting my chances (even with RCI/II) of getting anything.

    I know in the past, when I've called SFX to put a request in, they tell me right off the bat, that I'll increase my chances if i say, expanded to other areas, or something.

    I doubt that the reps will be able to tell you things they *don't* get. They don't have a crystal ball to know what someone will or will not deposit, IMO.

    But it probably can't hurt to ask if it's likely they'll see XYZ if you need only XYZ for a specific time.
     
  20. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    Yeah, Nathan moved up. I think he took a handful of accounts "with him" to manage. He's my favorite, LOL!
    I wanna say Anne Fleming was really good to work with as well, but not sure what her position in the company is.

    I have an old email for SFX "marketing/communication" person. I'd be happy to forward any feedback (just a word of advice, try to keep it constructive) if anyone wants to PM me and I'll pass along or give you the contact info. I've had *mostly* good success (some things you just can't change, LOL).

    I don't get anything extra out of this, I just hate seeing folks "lose" deposits/exchanges regardless of company (but I only know a few folks at SFX due to how long I've been with them and I'm a tad vocal --mostly in private--haha with them in the past).

    Good luck!
     
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  21. heathpack

    heathpack Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I’ve personally not found the reps to be helpful with specifics. Just the somewhat self-evident comment (which we all already well know) that the more weeks, locales, and resorts you list, the better the chance of matching.

    The problem with this is that you’re being asked to list your plan A, B and C choices right from the outset. Which means you might have been able to get plan A if you’d been willing to wait, but you get plan C right away. If you just request plan A right from the beginning, at what point do you go ahead at list plans B and C as options? You might well get told you’re now making your plans B and C request “too late”. In fact, this exactly what I think happens with SFX a lot when deposits expire.

    Like Smith above, when I first started with SFX, I was willing to book a specific Hyatt week to fill a request they already had. But they said they had no way of doing that.

    I’m not sure how their system works internally. My guess is it’s something like: “Here’s a pile of requests from people who gave us something really prime, let’s do everything we can to find them what they want. Everyone else goes into some kind of automated match system and if something matches automatically, great. Otherwise, those people can either lose their deposit, or extend.”

    I do think there’s maybe a little more to it. A couple of times when I’ve requested Diamond Resorts, my match has come through within a week or so. Maybe they have access to developer units in Diamond, and periodically call? It may be that they only have access to X number of units per year or quarter, because once I made a request for a Diamond resort several months ahead and was told definitively that I was making that request “too late”. Whereas I made the request because the year prior I had requested the same week/Resort from the same rep in that same “a couple of months ahead” timeframe, who took the request without comment and matched within a few days. I had the impression that the first year he knew he could fulfill my request and the second year he knew he couldn’t. I’ve since matched into that same resort/week with SFX (requesting farther out), so it’s not as if their supply dried up completely.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  22. heathpack

    heathpack Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    At some point it’s just easier to use alternative means of exchanging though. At least for me. I really don’t have the interest in massaging and finessing every exchange.

    I just want to understand the system and work within it. If the answer is that I’m to take my highly desirable (and expensive) timeshares and deposit the best (and for Hyatt most expensive) week and hope I get something comparable (without knowing what that might be) if I call a lot and cajole/convince/sweettalk them into a match- Sorry, but that just doesn’t make sense to me or work well with my available time or my personality. I will just accomplish my goals elsewhere. No hard feelings, but it seems like I’m just not SFXs target customer.
     
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  23. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I am not trying to understand SFX's exchanges - I don't think that the exchange companies will ever reveal their secrets. What I am saying is that Bill and Cindy have multiple requests that have been in over a year and remain unfilled and if I knew what they requested, I would stay away from requesting those locations in SFX. For example, with the help of the collective TUG knowledge, we all know that if we request a Marriott DSV1 (dual affiliated) through RCI vs II, the II request will almost certainly be filled, while the RCI request is a long shot, because II has access to developer deposits and RCI only gets owner deposits. I just want to try to figure out if SFX has or doesn't have access to certain places. SFX for sure isn't going to tell me. That said, not everyone wants to share their travel plans and I can respect that.

    Based upon what Heathpack has said, I may do a request with my remaining deposit for a Diamond property to see if it pulls something in Sedona, probably.
     
  24. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I just received communication from SFX and Nathan this morning. I sure like Nathan. Such a nice guy. He asked me to set some ongoing requests for next year with my weeks and that they would not expire any of my weeks. So I will do exactly that. With re-trade on my Interval weeks, I can maybe adjust my current plans with II and try to get something through SFX instead. If I can get 4-5 trades with my 9 remaining weeks, I would be good with it.
     
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  25. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    But isn't the way RCI/II do things as well? If I put in 12 different resorts I'm willing to take, to increase my chances, even though I like 2 of them "better" than the others, it's *my* responsibility to accept the risk that yeah, I didn't get first choice because matching *something* was more important than a specific resort. I don't really see how that's the fault of any exchange company. But perhaps I'm not understanding what your situation is.

    Very odd, although I know 3 years ago when I called, they were able to tell me what their *current* unfulfilled requests were for HGV when I asked about locations/weeks. So it seemed at least then, their system knew what was requested. In fact, I ended up "having" to deposit a 3,400 point week because they had a need for it, and my usual 2,400 point Vegas week was too close to the 60-day mark and they didn't have any requests for it. Which was fine for me, I got a great exchange anyway.
     

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