• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 30 years!

    Join Tens of Thousands of other Owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered 24 hours a day!
  • TUG started 30 years ago in October 1993 as a group of regular Timeshare owners just like you!

    Read about our 30th anniversary: Happy 30th Birthday TUG!
  • TUG has a YouTube Channel to produce weekly short informative videos on popular Timeshare topics!

    Free memberships for every 50 subscribers!

    Visit TUG on Youtube!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $21,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $21 Million dollars
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free!

    60,000+ subscribing owners! A weekly recap of the best Timeshare resort reviews and the most popular topics discussed by owners!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    All T-shirt options here!
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Disillusioned with this whole timeshare thing...

tzvecl97

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Monmouth Junction, NJ
Hi all--
We've been timeshare owners since 2003 and have had some wonderful vacations. We have two kids and our first 4 exchanges were all wonderful. Our kids were young, so we travelled off peak and pretty much 'fished our wish'. The last couple of years have been more frustrating. We are now tied into school schedules, and thus find our choices limited. We deposited our unit at the end of the summer, and when we go on II to look for exchanges, there are none that appeal to us. We live in NJ, and would ideally go somewhere within an 8-10 hour drive. Loved the thought of Masanusset in West VA...not available. Would settle for something in NH or Vermont...nothing available. North Carolina shores....nothing available. Is there a step I'm missing to get access to my desired location when they don't show up as available currently.

I'm frustrated because although we thought we got a good deal when we bought our Coconut Mallory unit for ~8G for an every other year unit (with supposed yearly accommodation certificates guaranteed for the off year...but that's another story), we now find that between annual maintenance fees, II membership fees, and exchange fees, we are actually paying close to $800+ per vacation. If I wanted to go to Massanuset, there are rentals available for less than that.

Thanks for letting me vent. Any advice? We would consider selling our unit, but it seems like there isn't much market for it.
 

heathpack

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
4,687
Reaction score
3,847
Location
Rural Alabama
Resorts Owned
Hyatt Highland Inn
DVC Grand Californian and Hilton Head Island
Marriott Barony Beach and Mountainside
MVC Points
You need to decide where you want to go, what dates, and put in an exchange request.

Or in future years, try a private exchange on TUG or elsewhere.

H

Hi all--
We've been timeshare owners since 2003 and have had some wonderful vacations. We have two kids and our first 4 exchanges were all wonderful. Our kids were young, so we travelled off peak and pretty much 'fished our wish'. The last couple of years have been more frustrating. We are now tied into school schedules, and thus find our choices limited. We deposited our unit at the end of the summer, and when we go on II to look for exchanges, there are none that appeal to us. We live in NJ, and would ideally go somewhere within an 8-10 hour drive. Loved the thought of Masanusset in West VA...not available. Would settle for something in NH or Vermont...nothing available. North Carolina shores....nothing available. Is there a step I'm missing to get access to my desired location when they don't show up as available currently.

I'm frustrated because although we thought we got a good deal when we bought our Coconut Mallory unit for ~8G for an every other year unit (with supposed yearly accommodation certificates guaranteed for the off year...but that's another story), we now find that between annual maintenance fees, II membership fees, and exchange fees, we are actually paying close to $800+ per vacation. If I wanted to go to Massanuset, there are rentals available for less than that.

Thanks for letting me vent. Any advice? We would consider selling our unit, but it seems like there isn't much market for it.
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,779
Reaction score
17,690
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
I'll 2nd the above. Requests are fulfilled before available weeks are posted, so you have to request the resorts/weeks you want as early as you can. Every other owner/family that is tied to the school schedule is your competition. Of course going through another exchange co. is an option, too. SFX comes to mind.

Jim Ricks
 

ampaholic

TUG Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2010
Messages
2,305
Reaction score
1
Location
Spokane
Just go to Platinum Interchange - lots and lots of VA availability and you are already a member - use them for your exchange. Easy-Peasy :D
 

hajjah

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
1,388
Reaction score
150
Resorts Owned
Marriott Grande Vista
Marriott's Shadow Ridge Enclaves
Resort In Cocoa Beach, FL
We've been owners since about 1998 and I have owned at least 22 timeshares. I am currently down to one after selling some and giving a few away. Timesharing was the best thing going for years and my family has had some great vacations. Now that my Summer Bay Las Vegas is now under the Holiday Inn Group/Orange Lake management, I can no longer get the bang for my points. Gone are the 9,000 points usage within a 45 day window. All I see now are one or two day exchanges at about 20,000 points, depending on where you are going. I have decided to let my week go. RCI has very little availability, even on the weeks side. I have access to both. I never thought that I would be disappointed with RCI. I don't intend to keep my membership when it expires in April. :-(
 

elaine

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
5,276
Reaction score
2,212
Location
DC
Resorts Owned
HGVC Eagles Nest, DVC-AKV, HHI
you can still do well. It's just harder when you can only travel prime time. I have to guess at our Spring break dates and roll the dice on summer plans/airfare at 18-24 months out. I now get RCI trip insurance for trips 18+ months out---but I get great exchanges--2 weeks this summer in Hawaii at a HGVC, a prime summer week in a 2BR resort in just the spot we want to go to in Germany, and of course, our annual Spring break Orlando trip.
If you are looking at 15+ months out, there are NC summer beach weeks--but maybe too late for this summer.
What I don't understand is the Massanutten. There should be tons of availability. However, if it is gone, you should be able to easily book any week you want for summer 2013. Also, in your area, consider Smugglers Notch-again, start looking at 18 months out.
Most who have a TS spend a good 800+ on a vacation week, esp. when you add exchange fees. With the economy, rentals are easier to find. Elaine
 

tashamen

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
3,337
Reaction score
76
Location
VT
Resorts Owned
Embarc points (former Club Intrawest), Trapp Family Lodge
What I don't understand is the Massanutten. There should be tons of availability. However, if it is gone, you should be able to easily book any week you want for summer 2013. Also, in your area, consider Smugglers Notch-again, start looking at 18 months out.

The OP uses II to exchange, not RCI. Only Mountainside Villas at Massanutten trade through II. Smuggs is not available through II.

I don't think in II you need to request 18 months out since many people deposit much later than they do into RCI. But yes - OP must go with an ongoing request - what you see online are the leftovers after everyone's ongoing requests have been fulfilled. Summer weeks are especially in demand because so many are tied into school schedules, so you will see very few of those units in desirable locations online except at the last minute.
 

DeniseM

Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
58,170
Reaction score
9,771
Location
Northern, CA
Resorts Owned
WKORV, WKV, SDO, 4-Kauai Beach Villas, Island Park Village (Yellowstone), Hyatt High Sierra, Dolphin's Cove (Anaheim) NEW: 2 Lawa'i Beach Resort!
We deposited our unit at the end of the summer, and when we go on II to look for exchanges, there are none that appeal to us. We live in NJ, and would ideally go somewhere within an 8-10 hour drive. Loved the thought of Masanusset in West VA...not available. Would settle for something in NH or Vermont...nothing available. North Carolina shores....nothing available. Is there a step I'm missing to get access to my desired location when they don't show up as available currently.

Are you just looking at the online inventory, or do you have an on-going request in place?

When you look at the online inventory, you are only seeing the LEFTOVERS. On-going requests are filled FIRST - before anything goes into the online inventory.

The most successful strategy for a II exchange includes:

1) Put in an on-going request as early as possible (12 or more mos. out) so it's in place BEFORE the deposits are made, and ahead of other exchangers.

2) Request a wide-range of weeks.

3) Request as many resorts as possible

4) Even though the online inventory is the leftovers, sometimes gems pop up, so it's worthwhile to keep checking it, even when you have an on-going request in place. If you see something you want, you can still grab it online, which will automatically cancel your on-going request.

5) If you need a specific check-in day, you must call II after putting in your request online and specify the day of the week. Otherwise, your on-going request automatically defaults to Thursday, so your check-in day could be Thurs., Fri., Sat., or Sun.

Strategies that will decrease your chances of getting a trade:

1) Only requesting school holidays
2) Only requesting one specific week
3) Only requesting the very top resort in an area (which you may not have the trading power for)
 

timeos2

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
11,183
Reaction score
5
Location
Rochester, NY
Unfortunately while the big two exchange companies have raised fees both for exchange and membership owners have also been hit with rising annual fees. Add in a glut of unwanted time from many financially challenged owners and exchange of your use time - never the best way to get value out - has become far more expensive and allows far less choices than simply renting what you want. Owning to do anything but use has become a liability rather than an inexpensive way to vacation.

You need to decide if owning still makes sense for you. If you know you don't want to visit where you own most use years then you may be way ahead to sell/give it away and simply utilize rentals to enjoy great timeshare resorts many times for less than the annual fees. Even if you pay a small premium over the annual fees renting means you don't have any ongoing obligations or purchase expenses.

Owning to use can still be the best way to go if the resort and use plan fits your needs. If not the world of renting or trading has deteriorated to the point that even getting your annual fees back can be tough. Like so many others you may find owning just isn't a fit for you anymore.
 

Carolinian

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
10,743
Reaction score
1,024
Location
eastern Europe
Massanutten is overbuilt and has plenty of supply, but almost all of the resorts there use RCI, so II may not have much. I think only one of the resorts there is member-controlled, and that one I think is dual affiliated. I do not think the others, which are developer-controlled are, however.

II only had one resort on the NC Outer Banks, Sea Ranch II, but it collapsed in a battle between the former developer and the HOA after almost completely rebuilding from hurricane damage and reopening an essentially new resort. Unfortunately, their local former management company played some games with insurance money to the detriment of the former developer (which still owned the commercial space) and the ensuing lawsuit brought down the resort. Some other resorts have dual affiliated with II as a result of member concerns over some of RCI's moves, but only the more informed members who exchange seem aware of all of that, so I don't think II gets that much inventory from them. II really ought to do mass mailings and such to switch members of those resorts.

I don't know if SFX would take your deposit or not, but that might be one option for you to access resorts that are affiliated with RCI. So would other independent exchange companies like DAE, Platinum, HTSE, and Trading Places.

If you like the Massanutten area, you might want to try to find someone who would want to trade deeds, so that you own where you want to vacation rather than playing the exchange game.


Hi all--
We've been timeshare owners since 2003 and have had some wonderful vacations. We have two kids and our first 4 exchanges were all wonderful. Our kids were young, so we travelled off peak and pretty much 'fished our wish'. The last couple of years have been more frustrating. We are now tied into school schedules, and thus find our choices limited. We deposited our unit at the end of the summer, and when we go on II to look for exchanges, there are none that appeal to us. We live in NJ, and would ideally go somewhere within an 8-10 hour drive. Loved the thought of Masanusset in West VA...not available. Would settle for something in NH or Vermont...nothing available. North Carolina shores....nothing available. Is there a step I'm missing to get access to my desired location when they don't show up as available currently.

I'm frustrated because although we thought we got a good deal when we bought our Coconut Mallory unit for ~8G for an every other year unit (with supposed yearly accommodation certificates guaranteed for the off year...but that's another story), we now find that between annual maintenance fees, II membership fees, and exchange fees, we are actually paying close to $800+ per vacation. If I wanted to go to Massanuset, there are rentals available for less than that.

Thanks for letting me vent. Any advice? We would consider selling our unit, but it seems like there isn't much market for it.
 
Last edited:

bogey21

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
9,455
Reaction score
4,664
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
We've been owners since about 1998 and I have owned at least 22 timeshares. I am currently down to one after selling some and giving a few away.

This also has been my answer to the new Time Share environment. I don't think mine ever totaled 22, maybe closer to 15, but I too am down to one. The alternatives today make owning Time Shares less attractive.

George
 

hjtug

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
847
Reaction score
30
We live in NJ, and would ideally go somewhere within an 8-10 hour drive. Loved the thought of Masanusset in West VA...not available. Would settle for something in NH or Vermont...nothing available. North Carolina shores....nothing available. Is there a step I'm missing to get access to my desired location when they don't show up as available currently.

Yes. We live in northwestern VA not far from Massanutten and have thought about trying it out. But it looks like the way to go, short of putting in an ongoing request as suggested by others, is not an II trade but a rental. If you don't mind traveling less than 8 hours, have you considered Willowbrook at Lake Harmony in the Poconos? It seems to be good for adults and kids. We have been there twice and last year we got a week in July via an instant online search.
 

elaine

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
5,276
Reaction score
2,212
Location
DC
Resorts Owned
HGVC Eagles Nest, DVC-AKV, HHI
sorry--I see you are with II. I would try to do a direct trade--do you have a fixed week? If you can book a Jan-April week, you should be able to get a Tugger to trade with you. I would also try an independant exchange company.
You might consider Williamsburg for this year. And for 2013, there will be tons of summer Wllmbg, including Marriotts, which are very nice, but you have to book at about 1 year out to get good summer weeks.
I feel your frustration--for all the grief that RCI gets, I at least have a lot of options. I also have a summer 2011 (5*in II) NC beach week (Atlantic Beach) deposited with II and have found nothing I was interested in either. For the 2010 week, we just used it to go to Orlando---a super easy trade.
 

tzvecl97

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Monmouth Junction, NJ
Thanks for the responses so far. I put in an exchange request, but it didn't let me specify resort, just regional area (ie. West Virginia or Vermont). Also, it seems to only let me request one area at a time...is II logging my multiple requests anywhere?

I will try platinum exchange and see whats available there.

We have been to Willowbrook in the winter a few years ago and liked it. We are in the Poconos so often though (90 minutes from us), and would ideally go somewhere we haven't been before.

Same goes for Orlando...have done two exchanges there and loved them both, but the wife has vetoed another Disney trip for at least another year:D

Considering checking into a cruise...I think when we looked at that last year, our exchange amounted to around an $800 savings...may or not be worth it.

Question about selling: Is there a market? Will people just 'take it off my hands', take over the deed and now they are responsible for the maintenance fees? I'm hesitant to give up now, because I do feel the timeshare experience itself is great, and as our kids get older, its an inexpensive way for them to each bring a friend along on vacation and still have plenty of room, etc. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of buying in a place that we have no intention of travelling to frequently (Key West).
 

Carol C

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
3,875
Reaction score
266
Location
USA
Try to sell your Key West week on craigslist...I'm betting folks in Orlando or other inland parts of Florida wouldn't mind owning in Key West, especially if your week is floating prime season. Those folks would buy to use, being close enough to drive. But you probably are unlikely to get your purchase price back. Now, if you can sell for around $2K or so you can buy a Marriott to exchange, or buy something like a Wyndham points package to exchange via RCI but mostly to use (great flexibility with the Wyndham pts program). There's also a resort called Foxrun that exchanges in II and many TUGgers have been giving them away, even though the trade power is still excellent and it usually gets an AC when deposited with II. Lots of options out there, but this is a great time to acquire a timeshare (not to sell). Good luck!
 

DeniseM

Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
58,170
Reaction score
9,771
Location
Northern, CA
Resorts Owned
WKORV, WKV, SDO, 4-Kauai Beach Villas, Island Park Village (Yellowstone), Hyatt High Sierra, Dolphin's Cove (Anaheim) NEW: 2 Lawa'i Beach Resort!
Thanks for the responses so far. I put in an exchange request, but it didn't let me specify resort, just regional area (ie. West Virginia or Vermont). Also, it seems to only let me request one area at a time...is II logging my multiple requests anywhere?

I don't think you are putting in an ongoing request - that sounds like an online search. When you put in an ongoing request you have to pay the exchange fee, and you can request multiple resorts and dates.
 

jhac007

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Messages
435
Reaction score
86
Location
West Virginia
Resorts Owned
Ko Olina BC, Waioha BC, Crystal Shores (2 Gold), Kierland (Gold Plus), Ocean Pointe, Eagle's Nest, Vistana BC, Villas at Doral, Mizner Place, Windward Pointe, Star Island
Thanks for the responses so far. I put in an exchange request, but it didn't let me specify resort, just regional area (ie. West Virginia or Vermont). Also, it seems to only let me request one area at a time...is II logging my multiple requests anywhere?

I noticed that twice you have mentioned West Virginia and you make reference to Massanutten. Massanutten is in Virginia and if you are searching by states I don't see how it would show up under West Virginia. correct me if I am taking you wrong!

Jim
 

Carolinian

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
10,743
Reaction score
1,024
Location
eastern Europe
If the cruise ''savings'' is against list price, no one really pays list price. The true comparision is against what the cruise discounters are charging, and often when you add up everything, a ''cruise exchange'' costs more out or pocket, with just the cash portion, nevermind the value of the week you are giving them, than what a cruise discounter would have charged.


Thanks for the responses so far. I put in an exchange request, but it didn't let me specify resort, just regional area (ie. West Virginia or Vermont). Also, it seems to only let me request one area at a time...is II logging my multiple requests anywhere?

I will try platinum exchange and see whats available there.

We have been to Willowbrook in the winter a few years ago and liked it. We are in the Poconos so often though (90 minutes from us), and would ideally go somewhere we haven't been before.

Same goes for Orlando...have done two exchanges there and loved them both, but the wife has vetoed another Disney trip for at least another year:D

Considering checking into a cruise...I think when we looked at that last year, our exchange amounted to around an $800 savings...may or not be worth it.

Question about selling: Is there a market? Will people just 'take it off my hands', take over the deed and now they are responsible for the maintenance fees? I'm hesitant to give up now, because I do feel the timeshare experience itself is great, and as our kids get older, its an inexpensive way for them to each bring a friend along on vacation and still have plenty of room, etc. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of buying in a place that we have no intention of travelling to frequently (Key West).
 

McFail

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
179
Reaction score
0
I agree with what has been said above.

For best results in II you need to pay the exchange fee and put in a request and wait. Doing this you can narrow down to specific resort(s) and weeks if needed.

II has a lot of inventory that is never seen online for various reasons. My last request I checked online for about a week just cruising and looking at what was showing. When I put in my request I got the match overnight. This has happened to me several times.
 

aboonie

TUG Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
I feel your pain

We bought Williamsburg Plantation in 2002. We had never had an issue with exchanges through II. I would get everything I wanted. Everything changed this year. I didn't matter where I looked for, everything was booked. It was very frustrating. At that point, I decided to sell. The transaction should be completed just in time to avoid maintenance and tax fees.
 

d2r4s

newbie
Joined
May 28, 2010
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
Location
long beach california
Times Shares and trading

When it comes to Time Shares it is like most things and has its good and bad points. Since most people buy on impulse, that often makes considering all the factors unless its not your first purchase.

The rule I follow and one that others seem to consider are these. Locaition, buy where you will go back to since that might be the best alternative at times. Buy where you get good value in trading; a multiple managed resort with internal trading, good trade value in II or RCI or using one of the many other trading groups. Today companies like Diamond, Marriott, Wyndham and others are offtering tours, cruises and other alternatives which makes it more interesting for traveling, caution watch the point values as they can become less valueable overtime as cost increase for these types of useage.

Best would be to research the market and use TUG and other resources to fully evalute the products and options.:doh:
 

momeason

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2007
Messages
1,655
Reaction score
21
Location
Emerald Isle, NC
Ongoing searches and bonus XYZ

I agree with all who said you must submit a search. I have ultimately received every request I have made except NY which I included as an option. ( I did get a desired location. I know it must be more difficult being limited to school vacation time.
What I love about II is I can get more than 1 week for my points which are supposed to be for 1 week. I hope you know that the season does not matter in II. Always do the lowest point deposit for the size unit you want. Size is all the matters, so you can get multiple weeks to search with. Also, when you do get a confirmed exchange you can get another week for the cost of the telephone exchange fee ($170). I own one week and I have 4 vacations booked for 2012 and 4 XYZs available. See the XYZ thread. Maybe grandparents can come stay with the kids and you can take an adult XYZ week off season.
Good luck. It takes time but i still enjoy my timeshare.:cheer:
 

MichaelColey

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
4,927
Reaction score
114
Location
Mansfield, TX
Resorts Owned
Palace View Branson (4 Lockouts), Grandview (Points), CMV (UDI), DVC (SSR 25)
I always find it amazing when people say they can't find good exchanges. With advance planning and even just a little flexibility (either on location/resort or on dates) there are some incredible exchanges out there.

Just looking at the exchanges currently available on RCI Weeks, I see over 165,000 intervals available. When you consider that's only what didn't get grabbed by ongoing searches and many of those intervals reflect multiple units (RCI only shows the count of unique configuration/date combinations and often there are multiple units behind the one you see), that's a LOT of choice.

Even if you can only travel in the USA and need at least a 2BR, that's over 30k intervals. There are even 11 such units still available for a 12/24/11 check in.

Over the past year and a half (since I became a timeshare owner and signed up at RCI), I've searched for (and found) some incredible exchanges. Most required some advance planning and flexibility on dates, but we've exchanged into (all 2BR units unless specified) all but one of the Orlando DVC properties, the Villas at Disney's Grand Californian, summer in Branson, numerous Hawaii properties (Maui Lea, Kings' Land, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Ka'eo Kai, Kauai Beach Villas, Point at Poipu, Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort), Manhattan Club (1BR), the Houses at Summer Bay (3BR), etc.

If I didn't have the flexibility on dates, I'm sure I could do just about as good with a fixed date and some flexibility on locations and resorts. (In fact, I've have several exchanges where I did that.) On some, I even got both the dates and resorts I wanted.

Advanced planning and flexibility are the keys to working exchanges.

FWIW, if you don't have that kind of flexibility, some of the mini-systems (like Wyndham) can be a much better choice.
 

icul8rg8r

TUG Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle area
Regarding school schedules - we pull our kids OUT of school for a week or so, if need be, to travel shoulder and low seasons. Of course they are young, so it's not as big of a deal as a high school student. It's even considered an excused absence. The teachers give us homework to either do in advance, before we leave, or turn in after we return. We also require our kiddos to keep a travel journal (and they both love taking pictures) to share with the teacher and/or class. And we always try to make each vacation "educational" if possible - even Disney (Epcot center "world" section comes to mind).

The day the schools refuse to allow our kids to miss a week or two for family travel, is the day we begin homeschooling!
 
Top