Timeshare in a Down Economy

Tough Times for the Timeshare Developer

When the economy is on a downswing, even slightly, it sends waves through the timeshare industry. One of the first luxuries to be sacrificed when times are tough is travel and vacationing.  In turn, plans of vacation ownership are set aside as well.

Now, the argument could be made that most of the time, people who could afford to be looking at vacation property before the recession, can probably still afford to buy timeshare. This is true, unfortunately the timeshare industry was not built on these people.  If Marriott or Blue Green or Hilton Grand Vacations waited for people who could actually afford timeshare to buy timeshare, timeshare as an industry would not exist.  No, timeshare was built on the backs of people who can’t afford it.  In fact the majority of the money made in the timeshare industry over the last 30 years was not made on the resorts at all, it was made on  the compound interest of the people who bought their dream vacation on credit.

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How are Timeshare Developers Affected?

There are two separate but equally important issues that hit the timeshare resort developer at exactly the same time and with great force during tough economic times.  The first is a lack of leads.  If you are familiar with the history of timeshare marketing you know that vast majority of people who end up taking a timeshare tour are people who are on vacation and wanted a free dinner.  With less casual travelers around there are less people who would be willing to trade some of their time for a free dinner.  Even if the conversion rate per tour stay the same (and it doesn’t, we will cover that next), the gross numbers will be down, which means the operating capital will be down and marketing budgets will get squeezed.  This will lead to even less leads. Etc, etc , etc.  You see where this spiral could end up…with a big flush.

The second problem that presents itself during tough times, especially during times that have been derived from a consumer credit crisis, is…..inability to qualify for credit.  DUH!!!  Remember the timeshare industry was built on people buying things they could not pay for in cash.  So those exact people are the ones who can no longer get credit. The End result of this is a very dismal outlook for people in the business of selling timeshare.

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What About the Timeshare Buyer?

If you are one of the lucky families who are still in the market for timeshare, great for you because there are Timeshare Deals a plenty!! Just like everything else during a recession, it is a buyers market. First of all, the sales offices will do just about anything to get you to visit.  Want to stay for free?  Ask! Want four show tickets? Ask! They need you to tour so it is time to bust out your negotiating skills.

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How do I Get the Most Timeshare for My Money?

If you decide you want to buy timeshare while you are on the tour, ask for everything. They need the business.  Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!  There is no such thing as sticker price.  Remember, if you don’t get the deal you want, there are 5 more resorts that want your business right down the street. Now, here is the real jackpot, timeshare resale!  For every person looking to buy timeshare in a down economy, there are twenty trying to sell their timeshare.  This is where you can get some fantastic deals.  Check EBay, craigslist, some people want to remove a payment from their lives so bad, they may just give it to you to get rid of the maintenance fees.

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