I'm back with a vengeance, though, because today's tip is a GOOD ONE. Today's tip is...
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TIMESHARE PRESENTATIONS!
If you ask my parents what the most annoying thing in the world is, they would probably tell you timeshare presentations. Yes, they are long. Yes, they can be boring. Yes, it's hard/aggravating to have to say "No!" 5 times to a salesman. BUT - if you can get past this (I promise you can!) then it's worth it! For example...
My husband and I have been married 3 years, and have been to probably 10-15 timeshare presentations. The longest we've ever had to sit was 3 hours, the shortest was about 7 minutes. The end result?
Trip to hawaii
Trips to vegas
Trips to Disneyland
$300 stay at the Anniversary Inn
Free gas cards
Free tickets to the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii ($110 per person value)
Free tickets to swim with sharks in Hawaii ($90 per person value)
Free dinner cruise in Hawaii
Free luau in Hawaii
Discounted stays at resorts/hotels around the world
So, yes, they are annoying. But the payoff? Huge! Here's how we did it:
- A timeshare group (like Wyndham) will get your information (by contacting them, or by giving them your information at a trade show, etc.) and invite you to attend a timeshare presentation. (They originally got our information because we spun a wheel at a movie theater and got a free box of candy.) ATTEND it!
- They will (or SHOULD) always offer you a prize for attending. You really do get the prize they promise.
- Often times there are multiple prizes to choose from, so ask them for all the options before you agree.
- If you act only semi-interested about the prize, they may up the ante a bit, so play hard-ball.
- My disclaimer?...ONLY attend it if you are good at saying no. And by good I mean REALLY good. If you and/or your spouse are easily sold, DON'T GO. They are the best of the best and will get you if you're not careful.
- Plan on being there for up to 3 hours. We have been to lots of presentations and have only been let out early a few times. If you bring a rowdy kid they may let you out early! Haha, I haven't tried this one, though.
- Plan on saying no many times. BE FIRM. Say, "I just came here for the gift" "I'm newly married" "We just bought a house" "I'm a student" say whatever you have to say over and over so they know you mean it. Don't feel bad, they get this all the time and still do it anyway...because the people that DO end up buying pay A LOT for timeshare!
- Expect to have to say no to multiple people. There are often 3 stages of salesmen. Once you say no to the initial guy, they bring in a "manager" who then sweetens the deal for you. He makes it cheaper, makes it in your price range, etc. SAY NO.
- They then will often times send you to a THIRD sales manager, who will give you a "one time offer" that they "can't offer you ever again once you walk away". They are lying, trust me, we have been to lots of these and the deal is just as good each time. SAY NO.
- They will make you feel bad, or act offended sometimes. Sometimes they are nice about it. Either way? They offered you a gift for listening to their presentation. They didn't offer you a gift for BUYING their product, or for making a salesman feel good. You are upholding your end of the bargain. Just remember, many people walk away with the gift only and they still do the presentations anyway. It's worth it for them, so don't feel bad!
- They will most likely call you again. They say you can only attend one every 6 months or 1 year, however, my husband and I were called every few months for a while and we attended each time they called. We got TONS of gifts from this!
- The vacations are really as good as they say, but expect to pay taxes and parking at hotels. The downside to the vacation gifts are that you often have to use them during the week and not on weekends. Sometimes we could make it work, sometimes not...but it was free either way!
- Look for vendors and booths in tourist-y places. We were able to get so many Hawaii perks because while we were vacationing in Maui, we saw lots of booths by the beaches with people trying to get us to attend their presentations. We attended 2 of them and got TONS of free stuff to do in Hawaii! Yes, it took some time away from our vacation, but the money we saved was well worth it.
All-in-all, timeshare presentations are a great way to get some free or cheap vacations! 1) If you can say NO NO NO NO and aren't easily sold, and 2) If you can spare a few ours of your time.
Give it a try!
Happy savings to you :)