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On Megarenters - and why hasn't Worldmark fixed this...

ecwinch

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Well, if the members don't want to reallocate, they don't want to reallocate. Still, I suspect reallocation would be more acceptable at some resorts than others. The resorts that offer exceptionally good deals on large units during peak season are probably the ones that are so hard to book. These are the resorts where reallocating makes sense, and these are also the resorts that probably are targeted by people looking for inventory to rent. Resorts that are already expensive aren't going to be desirable for renting, and I would guess these resorts are easier for ordinary owners to book. (Although I don't have enough experience booking high-demand WM reservations to be sure.)
But in terms of availability, I dont see how increasing the cost of the most popular resort/seasons while lowering the cost of off-season does much to improve availability. It is not as if many members who want the high-demand reservation will instead choose the off-season reservation because the credits are lower. Their booking patterns are likely driven by when they can take vacations vs the credit cost. And even if they did, I think they are easily replaced by someone else willing to pay the increased credits.

Maybe everyone else plays the game differently, but given the numerous cash booking options I tend to not use credits for my off-season bookings. Saving them for prime season reservations.

And all cash booking options except BT are using Wyndham credits - either owned or acquired via TS.
 

bizaro86

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I think you (and most of us here) are 10x more savvy than the average owner. I spend lots of time at WM Canmore during white/blue season, and chat with other owners.

Tons of them book using credits, even though Fax is always an option then, and IS and bonus time are also reliably available. I used to point that out to people (trying to be helpful). I only ever received two categories of responses.

1) why would I want to save my credits? I've already paid for them OR I have more than I can use

2) a blank and befuddled stare that can't comprehend cash booking options

My experience is that WM points are a sunk cost fallacy item. People have them, so they use the amount they have for what it can get. If they can't get a prime vacation (either because what they want is booked or they dont have enough credits) they go through other choices until they find something. Even if that something is a lower season week.

So I think if you made W Yellowstone way more expensive in the summer it would still get booked up on credits. But the much lower cost winter weeks would be more likely to get booked then too, because the lower cost would be enticing for someone.
 

ecwinch

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Ok - accepting that as true, doesn’t increased off season utilization result in less availability?
 

easyrider

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I purchased Worldmark recently, and from the short experience I have had with the online system, it's pretty clear that whatever Worldmark has done with housekeeping fees and guest certificate fees - it may have impacted the bottom line of megarenters, but they are just as active now (concluded based on my studying the availability of Hawaii Xmas weeks for 2019) as they ever were. Every morning for the last 5 days, I tried to get a good unit at a good time. But what happens is that between the hours of 6 and 7am, the current date's availability disappears (as expected), but if only one unit was available today, within a half hour, availability for the following 3 days slowly goes from >5 to 0 units available for many unit types - sometimes just for the following day, sometimes for the next 2 days, sometimes for 5 days. If people are only allowed to book from today to 13 months from today, then the availability of units for the following 6 days should only decrease by the number of units that could be booked 13 months from today. It seems Worldmark has some serious glitches in its system. I have not seen anything like this in Vistana. I have read a lot about people doing strange things with waitlists.

It doesn't seem like the problem with the system is megarenters - Worldmark has nothing in its bylaws against renting units out. The problem is with the 13 month rule not being applied equally to all Worldmark owners. Worldmark really needs to fix the situation with 13 month reservation workarounds. Owners are blaming megarenters for the problem - but any owner can do whatever it is a megarenter is doing as soon as an owner figures out how to "beat" the system.


If Worldmark wants to fix the real problem, they need to do something about the reservation rules (and the computer programming - their online system is very glitchy) and the waitlist rules. A small subset of Worldmark owners have the know-how to get reservations booked in advance of 13 months - that's pretty clear. This morning was crazy to watch how the availability for high demand Xmas weeks suddenly disappeared completely - even checking in on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Worldmark has to know what is happening - and the fix seems pretty easy - if two accounts appear to be working together in a fixed pattern - where one cancels, and the other account continuously gets the cancelled units off the waitlist - there is clearly a link between the two accounts, and a problem in the system. If someone at Worldmark took 3 hours to look at the history of waitlist placements and cancellations for Kihei units, they could likely identify a number of people who are using some type of workaround. Worldmark could contact any owners doing this and tell them to stop.

There should at least be a rule in place that says if accounts are found to be connected to create workarounds for creating reservations greater than 13 months in advance for more than "x" units per year, those accounts will lose their current reservations. There could be an additional rule that if those accounts continue to use workarounds, they will no longer be allowed to borrow credits into their account, and not be allowed to make reservations until the 12 (or 11) month window - or... make up a consequence...

I find it difficult to understand why this has gone on for so long. (Based on prior posts - it appears this is something owners have known about for a good number of years.) The average owner should have the same access to high demand weeks as any other owner - and not have to watch availability for checkin dates 13 months +1,2,3 days out disappear between the hours of 6-6:30am. It's crazy!!

It looks like the charge for guest certificates did cause the projected occupancy rate to go down.

 

sdowner

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Well this thread is a year old now, but I guess it's that time of year again where the issue comes up. So I'm new to the WorldMark beyond 13 month availability game and I'm just trying to figure things out. I'm not quite sure I still fully understand how people are able to guarantee a booking 13-months + 2,3, or 4 days.

Let's say my goal is to get a check-in 12/18/2020 for 7 nights and I'm willing to manipulate through waitlist to get this (Goal Reservation)

On 11/11/2019 I am able to secure many reservations for 12/11/2020-12/19/2020 for 8 nights (Throw-Away Reservation). That takes away all the availability for anyone check-in on 12/18/2020 (let's say the next earliest availabiliy is now on 12/19/2020). On 11/18/2019 I cancel all my Throw-Away Rservations and rebook from 12/18/2020 for 7 nights (Goal Reservation).

But the problem is that anyone else could have put a waitlist request in on day 11/12/19 (for 12/12/20), 11/13/19 (for 12/13/20), etc. and blocked me from rebooking when I cancel my Throw-Away Reservations.

Even if I myself put in a waitlist request on each of those subsequent days, I'm not guaranteed that my waitlist request will be the waitlist request that is next in line to receive an offer. I have no idea where I am in the waitlist line. If there's anyone ahead of me on the waitlist, then that is the person that could end up with my Goal Reservation.

So it seems like the person that gets the desired Goal Reservation may or may not be the person that made the initial Throw-Away Reservations. The person that gets the Goal Reservation is just lucky with the waitlist.

But it doesn't seem that a megarenter would want to risk that. They'd want a way to guarantee that they are the ones to get the Goal Reservation. Can someone help and explain what I'm missing here?
 

chemteach

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I think you have the right idea of what people are trying to do. But I don't think anyone is guaranteed of being first on the waitlist to get a week they want, even the megarenters. But there are people out there who supposedly manage a bunch of different accounts, and put waitlist requests on all the accounts, thus gaining an advantage by having more requests in the system. I also think that no matter how Worldmark might try to change the system to get megarenters from gaming the system, people find workarounds. It's an unfortunate aspect of owning Worldmark.
 

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Thanks for your response. That makes more sense.

Assuming that the waitlist system is fair and goes in a first in first out order (so that earlier waitlists have higher priority), then it seems like getting the multiple waitlist requests in right at 6:00 am is important. But it still seems rather risky, because 1) someone else can always get in even earlier or 2) the system is not prioritizing the requests fairly.

For me, I just want to use the reservation for my own family's use. I guess the best way is to use a lot of throw-away lead-in days before the dates I actually need, and then never cancel. Seems like that's the only way to guarantee the dates I want. In the end, that may be pretty fair after all. Someone else had mentioned raising the high value seasons costs more in order to spread out usage. Using throw-away lead-in days is an implicit way to increase the cost of those desirable high value dates. It just results in wasted (unused) days, but they might have gone used anyways (e.g. first couple of weeks of December).
 

geist1223

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Every time WMTC BOD tries to adjust things to cut down on Megarenters it has a large negative effect on small Account holders. Plus it only has a short time effect on Megarenters.
 

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Well... there's an unexpectedly happy ending to my 2020 booking quest. Someone had reserved the dates over Christmas 2020 (check-in 12/18/2020) that I wanted, so on 11/18/19 (a couple days ago) I put my the waitlist request. I got the waitlist offer just now, called customer service and was able to book my full week. So I guess all that planning and strategizing for next year didn't even turn out to be necessary after all. I didn't even have to wait more than a couple days :)
 

chemteach

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Well... there's an unexpectedly happy ending to my 2020 booking quest. Someone had reserved the dates over Christmas 2020 (check-in 12/18/2020) that I wanted, so on 11/18/19 (a couple days ago) I put my the waitlist request. I got the waitlist offer just now, called customer service and was able to book my full week. So I guess all that planning and strategizing for next year didn't even turn out to be necessary after all. I didn't even have to wait more than a couple days :)
It's likely that you got in ahead of a mega renter :). So glad you got the week you wanted!!!
 

DaveNW

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Well... there's an unexpectedly happy ending to my 2020 booking quest. Someone had reserved the dates over Christmas 2020 (check-in 12/18/2020) that I wanted, so on 11/18/19 (a couple days ago) I put my the waitlist request. I got the waitlist offer just now, called customer service and was able to book my full week. So I guess all that planning and strategizing for next year didn't even turn out to be necessary after all. I didn't even have to wait more than a couple days :)

So are you planning to rent out the week? LOL! :D

Dave
 

sdowner

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Haha. No I definitely would like to use it. I don't have that many vacation days in a year and so Christmas is definitely a time that I want to use for myself and family (have school aged kids). Really relieved that we can have a solid vacation next year!
 

DaveNW

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Haha. No I definitely would like to use it. I don't have that many vacation days in a year and so Christmas is definitely a time that I want to use for myself and family (have school aged kids). Really relieved that we can have a solid vacation next year!
Glad you got what you wanted, and I hope you have a wonderful time. Now that you have the reservation, if you don't mind, which resort is this? If you mentioned it, I missed it.

Dave
 

DaveNW

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ecwinch

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The strategy requires someone to control 2 or more WM accounts, and to have a large number of credits. It works best at resorts that have a short peak season and a limited number of units in desirable unit size. Hopefully the BoD will act to close it.
 

sdowner

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The strategy requires someone to control 2 or more WM accounts, and to have a large number of credits. It works best at resorts that have a short peak season and a limited number of units in desirable unit size. Hopefully the BoD will act to close it.
But it doesn't even seem like that great of a strategy if it requires putting in a waitlist request. If I understand things correctly, it's very possible that someone else might have a higher priority on the waitlist. Depending on a waitlist seem to be a major weak point in the method, because there is little control over who is granted a waitlist offer.

I can see how it might increase their chances of landing a good reservation, if they flood the property with waitlist requests around their desired dates. But it still seems like just a gamble to me, because other people will also be submitting waitlist requests.

Maybe they are okay with a less than perfect hit rate? Unlike someone like me that has only one vacation window, they are okay with missing out on a lot of reservations, as long as they land enough so that overall they are profitable over the year?
 

clifffaith

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I've noticed that days you couldn't get at 6am sometimes get thrown back later the same day, so it does pay to look again. I don't know if there is a lag in wait lists starting or what. I built a 6 day vacation in Marina Dunes for next August, when I wasn't even looking for one. I just happened to look one day, and two days were available 13 months out. OK, I'll take them and do a waitlist to see if I can build to at least 4 days. Next day, single day is just sitting there available so I grabbed it. Repeat 3 more days. Don't know what was going on, possibly I was catching a unit that had been removed for a refurb, maybe someone was fiddling with their plans. Don't even have a strong desire to go to MD (we were there in 2018), but it is so hard to get into might as well take it since I basically fell into it.
 

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I just read this strategy on WMowners.com that was posted 18 Dec 2019 by user samehere, and it seems like the strategy that megarenters are doing:

"It seems that the problem is that people make reservations a few days before the prime time period an then use multiple accounts and wait listing to walk the reservations forward into the prime time period. They cancel the reservation from one account, and the cancelled reservation is immediately picked up by the waitlist in their other account. At least, I think this is how it works, since I have never done it. "

https://www.wmowners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=49421&start=30

In an earlier post, I said relying on waitlisting seems to be a major weak point in the walking+waitlist strategy, but seems to be a good way to work around it. But by getting first in line with their waitlist request from a different account, a megarenter can immediately pickup the newly dropped days and jump in front of any other waitlist requests :(

The key seems to be that they start their walking super early, in white season.
 

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THank you for the information
You're welcome. It's my hope that enough people will complain and force the Board to implement rules that prevent this type of gaming. Alternatively, maybe more people will be encouraged to try this method, thereby reducing inventory, and frustrating the megarenters out there.
 

sdowner

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Do Travelshare owners have a more than 13 month window to reserve WM ?

Bill
No. Owners with Travelshare are similarly restricted to the 13 month check-in date limitation at WorldMark properties. Travelshare allows owners to book at Club Wyndham destinations via the Club Pass program. But that only allows a reservation with a check-in at the 9 month mark, so inventory is even worse.
 

geist1223

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Every time the WM BOD has enacted new Rules to try and control Megarenters it has really hurt the small account owners. Renting is allowed in the Founding Documents.
 

sdowner

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Every time the WM BOD has enacted new Rules to try and control Megarenters it has really hurt the small account owners. Renting is allowed in the Founding Documents.
I agree that the solution is not easy, but it doesn't mean that there isn't a workable solution out there. It's really a matter of political will.

No one said renting should be prohibited or that what Megarenters are doing is against the rules. But they are clearly manipulating the system in ways that the average owner cannot.

One proposal I read somewhere, for instance, involved picking waitlist requests out of a lottery. That is, every waitlist request that came in on a certain day would not be prioritized based on the time of the request. Waitlist request submitted on a certain day would not be First In First Out in priority. (That's how megarenters get a jump on the waitlist - they control the timing of when the waitlist becomes open). Instead all the waitlist requests that came in on a certain day would go into a pot that get their priorities randomized within that respective day. The priority then becomes based on day it is made and not by the millisecond a request is entered. Even a Megarenter that controls a thousand accounts cannot match the waitlist requests of ten thousand owners wanting to book Christmas in Hawaii.

Giving ten thousand owners a small chance at getting Christmas in Hawaii seems like a better world to me than letting a few Megarenters grab all the the Christmas in Hawaii inventory for the purpose of maximizing a monetary profit.

Of course, there are certainly unintended consequnces to this strategy that need to be worked out. But it's not my job as the owner to figure it all out. It is my job as the owner to recognize the problem and to complain about it to the Board.

Again my hope is that the more people become aware of the problem, the more pressure the Board will feel do something reasonable.
 
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