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II Depositing Strategy - How to deal w Lockoffs

Cerk

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I'm somewhat new to the timeshare thing and a little unclear on what the best strategy is for deposits into II. I have a Platinum and a Gold week at Canyon Villas. Currently, we're depositing each for points every other year and usually trading/depositing the other years to go to a different Marriott resort thru II (we now live in Phoenix area so aren't too interested in vacationing there). This allows us to accumulate some points for some big trips in the future (Australia, Africa, China) while still doing some annual vacationing in the mean time.

After reading many of the posts, I've seen recommendations that basically involve various combinations of renting, points accumulation, depositing, etc. What I'm not clear on is how to best structure deposits within II to maximize trading value as well as attain AC's thru the process. Specifically, I'm interested in whether I should deposit the entire Platinum or Gold 2BR unit (reserved first for a specific week thru Marriott) including the lockoff or to first arrange separate Marriott reservations into a 1 BR unit and a separate lockoff unit and then deposit both of these separately into II? Which of these alternatives give us the most trading value within II and/or chance for AC's? Should this decision vary depending on whether it is a Platinum or Gold week we're depositing, and if so, how? Or should we also consider renting the lockoff separately without depositing it in II first if the money is more valuable to us than an additional week of vacation? Also, if you have recommendations that would be better for us to consider rather than banking every other year for points, I'd be interested in your views.

Thanks.
 

Cerk

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Another follow up question

Just another follow up question re: deposits into II. For trading value, is it better to reserve a Platinum week in January or Oct/Nov at Canyon Villas? I've currently got a Jan 18th week reserved for 2009 (not deposited) that I probably won't use but am thinking about changing that to an Oct/Nov week instead to give me and II more time to arrange an exchange. Is this a wise decision?
 

Dave M

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For trading value, is it better to reserve a Platinum week in January or Oct/Nov at Canyon Villas?
You can see for yourself which weeks in your season have the highest trading power. Go to your resort's page at the II website. Then click on the "Travel Demand Index" on the right side of the page. The further to the right the black squares are, the better the trading strength, generally.
 

Dave M

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There's no single all-purpose best answer to the questions in your first post.

In general, a 2BR would have more trading strength than a 1BR. But the downside is that you get only one week of vacation if you deposit the 2BR as a single week rather than locking off and depositing both halves. And only you can decide whether it's worth more to you to try to rent part of your unit instead of using it yourself.

As for ACs, the lockoff studio won't qualify. Either the 1BR or the 2BR should qualify if II is offering ACs for your weeks. You can determine ahead of depositing whether II is prepared to offer an AC.

Although it may great idea to trade weeks for points to use for future vacations, you should keep in mind that Marriott regularly devalues points. Thus, it will cost more in the future for the same Marriott Rewards vacations that you can get today. That makes trading for points much less attractive, unless you expect to use the points within the next few years.
 

Latravel

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Since you don't want to actually stay in your resort, I would definitely take DaveM's advice and check the demand index. Reserve the most in demand week you can in order to give you the most trading power. For our Shadow Ridge unit, I checked the demand index and reserved in March, which was their most in demand time, though I knew I could not go since my kids are in school. I then deposited this week in II.

One new method I learned is to immediately request a resort that I would like to visit as soon as I deposit so II has longer time to search. It seems the best way to get the resort you want is either to request a year in advance, or last minute during flexchange.

We also use your strategy of trading one of our units for points and with the points we get from our Visa, we can go on a summer European vacation each year in addition to our timeshare stays. This summer we are going to Italy after trading our Timberlodge unit (plus Visa points).
 
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wa.mama

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Since you don't want to actually stay in your resort, I would definitely take DaveM's advice and check the demand index. Reserve the most in demand week you can in order to give you the most trading power. For our Shadow Ridge unit, I checked the demand index and reserved in March, which was their most in demand time, though I knew I could not go since my kids are in school. I then deposited this week in II.

One new method I learned is to immediately request a resort that I would like to visit as soon as I deposit so II has longer time to search. It seems the best way to get the resort you want is either to request a year in advance, or last minute during flexchange.
Please educate me - when you deposit, is it a "request first" or a "real" deposit? I have been doing request first without getting my desired result, and wonder if depositing, then requesting, has higher priority. The week I'm trying to trade is Christmas at Waiohai, which I thought had good trading power.

thanks!
 

applegirl

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For those of you who like to acquire MRPs, don't forget each spouse can buy 50,000 MRPs each year for around $600 I think. This is 100K points each year and of course they don't expire!

Janna
 

thinze3

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Please educate me - when you deposit, is it a "request first" or a "real" deposit? I have been doing request first without getting my desired result, and wonder if depositing, then requesting, has higher priority. The week I'm trying to trade is Christmas at Waiohai, which I thought had good trading power.

thanks!

A "request first" is exactly that. IT is when you request a week before giving up your week. You put your week up as a deposit and only will "give" it up if your trade comes through. For example, you may place a "request first" and also put your week up for rent (independent of Marriott), only to go with the one that happens first for you. You can only request beyond the reservation date of your deposit by using a Marriott "Internal" request (but still a "request first").


A "deposit first" means that you will give up your week to II and it is forever gone. You then have two years from the date of your reservation to use that week. This way generaly lets your put in a "search" much further out than a "request first" does.

If ALL other things are equal, it has been stated here on Tug that a "deposit first" wins out verses a "deposit first" on trading power.


Terry


PS - What week and resort are you looking for?
 

Dave M

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If ALL other things are equal, it has been stated here on Tug that a "deposit first" wins out verses a "deposit first" on trading power.
I think Terry meant to say, "If ALL other things are equal, it has been stated here on Tug that a "deposit first" wins out verses a "request first" on trading power.
 

wa.mama

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Thanks for clarifying. I thought that when you deposited first, the week went into some big black hole and I just got in line behind everyone else. It's hard to let go of Christmas week.
 

Dean

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I think Terry meant to say, "If ALL other things are equal, it has been stated here on Tug that a "deposit first" wins out verses a "request first" on trading power.
That is not my understanding. They are supposed to be equal with other factors used to distinguish between the 2 such as date of request. But you never know what goes on behind closed doors. I know Craig said it made no difference but I know that was several years ago now.

As for the best trade value, it really does depend. There are a number of factors. I'd see what weeks get a bonus week and make sure you get if for a 1 BR as well as a 2 BR. I'd also determine my needs on exchanging and look at which resorts I expected to trade to and how likely I felt those trades would be to happen. Assuming the dates and all else being equal a 2 BR reservation will save you the lockoff fee and give you a 2 BR deposit and a 2 BR AC. Locking off will give you 2 deposits and 1 AC but the most you'd have is a 1 BR option. The question in this comparison is whether the extra exchange option (studio) is worth the $175 (roughly) extra cost and the mildly lower trade power for the main deposit and the AC.

If you can take that many trips, are planning to trade to places not difficult like Orlando and esp for places that only have 2 BR units, I think the extra exchange option is definitely worth it. OTOH, if you're trying for trades that are more difficult to get, esp for places that have lockoff's, would need or prefer 2 BR units and can't use the extra deposit, it makes no sense to do the lockoff.

I routinely lockoff my trading unit to get the extra trade option. However, I am planning a 2012 HI trip and several of the locations I'd like have lockoff's and while I can make do with 1 BR units, I would much prefer 2 BR units. Thus I'll likely lockoff one year and not another and use 2 years for the trip. IF I go this route, I'll use the 1 BR from 1 year to search for Kauai since one of the resorts only has 2 BR units. I'll use the 2 BR to search for Ko'Olina and Maui so I can specify 2 BR units. OTOH, I am still toying with the idea of trying to get a 1 BR units for Ko'Olina and Maui then trying to get a second unit to have the more space. I feel the chances of success are higher but there are a few more variables and somewhat higher cost though two 1 BR units would be better than a 2 BR for this trip.

The is one other factor that for some may be the most important and that is whether you're able to use these units in conjunction with other MVCI reservations doing the 13 month reservation option. If so, that definitely pushes one to lockoff and start your reservations a week earlier.
 

GetawaysRus

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Cerk's questions interest me as well. The basic issue is how to maximize the value of your timeshare purchase(s). Cerk doesn't say if he/she travels as a couple (just husband and wife) or with kids/family/friends. I think that is an important factor in the equation.

We generally travel as a couple, so a 1BR Master unit is really quite adequate for us. If one were to plan a trip with kids/family/friends, then a 2BR would become a necessity.

Since we are quite pleased with a 1BR, I generally follow a strategy of routinely locking off my 2BR Marriott unit. I do this in alternate years, since we too trade our Marriott unit for Marriott points every other year. Although I know that trading for points is controversial on TUG, this has allowed us to take some very nice international vacations that would otherwise have been so expensive that they might have been out of reach.

Reserving the 2BR unit every other year and then locking if off effectively results in one timeshare vacation per year, since we get 2 weeks of usage from the locked off 2BR. I try to trade with the deposited 1BR one year and then make a trade with the deposited studio in the other year. And we are getting an international vacation (including business class air tickets) roughly every 2-3 years (depending on how we play the points game).

To get maximum trading value from my lock-off, I try to reserve in the weeks that show maximum Travel Demand for my home resort at Interval International. I then deposit the locked off 1 BR Master as well as the studio unit fairly soon (since waiting to deposit may gradually erode the value of the deposits). Interval strongly prefers to trade like for like. So I use the deposited 1BR Master when I am hoping to trade to a location that might be a more difficult trade. And I use the deposited studio when I am trading to a location where I expect a trade to be far easier - examples would include areas where there are alot of timeshares, such as Orlando or Branson or a summertime week in a location that would usually be considered a skiing resort (examples would include summers in Colorado or Utah, when there is lower travel demand). When making the request to trade the studio, I try to select resorts that are popular based on the TUG reviews but which do not have studio units (in other words, we are hoping to trade our studio for a 1 BR Master unit).

The result: so far we have been fairly successful at trading our deposited 1BR Master for a 1BR Master unit at a desirable resort/season. And we are often able to trade/upgrade the deposited studio week for a 1BR Master unit. (The only hitch is that we can be a bit disappointed when we end up staying in a non-Marriott timeshare, since the Marriott resorts do tend to be of higher quality, but getting a 1BR in trade for a studio compensates for that.)

To up the ante a bit further, this year I purchased a 2BR every other year lockoff via resale on eBay at a non-Marriott resort (but still a good resort/location/season). Since this purchase was an EOY resale, my purchase cost was quite low and the additional maintenance fees are low. I hope this will add greater flexibility to my ability to pull off future trades.

If others are playing the timeshare game differently in order to maximize the value of their timeshare purchase, I'm always interested to hear other strategies.
 

kjd

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You are correct about the EOY units. It can be a good thing for EOY owners but I have noticed that Marriott salespeople usually don't like EOY's. They never say why. Maybe it's because some of the EOY units sell for around $5,000 resale.

A few months ago I locked off a two BR MGV unit and deposited both sections with II. Then, a few weeks later traded the studio for a one BR in Gattlenburg and the other for a two BR Hilton Head unit at Marriott Shelter Cove. That's two weeks in the same year for one EOY unit.

Another trade is to lockoff and deposit to II one year in advance and then trade into the off year with one of the deposits. This will give you one week every year. You will probably get the most for your deposit during flextime but some folks can't travel on short notice.
 
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