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By the author of The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications and Zombie Choices.
“How is so-and-so?” the conversation began.
“They’re doing alright. They’re over in Georgia right now. They’re trying to get a cheap cruise by going to a timeshare meeting.”
As soon as I heard this, I inwardly groaned.
I’m well familiar with these people and their “talks.”
Let me tell you a bit about what I think.
Growing up, my grandparents got suckered into purchasing a timeshare. The place turned out to be something of a dump, and let’s just say that there’s a reason that there are legal companies specifically tailored to helping people get out of eternal timeshare contracts. It was miserable.
We won’t debate the cost-efficacy of timeshares themselves here. You probably already have an opinion on that. What we’re here to talk about are those free talks that give you a free cruise, heavily discounted amusement park tickets, or some other too-good-to-be-true benefit, all by attending a simple breakfast meeting.
News flash: it’s never just a simple breakfast meeting.
Here are some of my experiences here:
One couple I knew was enticed into attending one of these meetings by a free flight to Hawaii (if I remember the gift correctly). After all, if you show up with the express intention of not purchasing a timeshare, to begin with, you’re really just getting free stuff, right? Aren’t you kind of turning the tables on the timeshare people then and proving that they’re the suckers and not you?
I’ll start by saying that these people are very good at what they do.
They fully know that a lot of people don’t have any intentions of actually purchasing a timeshare at those meetings. But they still offer them.
Why is that? In part, this is because those people are incredible salespeople. They know that some of the people that attend those meetings are going to have the same mindset initially, but they may be able to talk them into the purchase. They’ve studied sales and psychology, and their job is to change your mind. They wouldn’t have a job if they weren’t good at it.
That’s the first caveat.
But secondly, like any brainwasher, they know that time helps with the process.
That couple that went for the timeshare meeting with the free flight to Hawaii went for a simple breakfast. The timeshare people even offered to pick them up from the hotel and drive them to the event.
And the timeshare people didn’t want to leave.
So there that couple was, trapped at a meeting in a place completely foreign to them, and – outside of calling a taxi – they had no way to escape. That simple breakfast turned into an hours-long event.
The same thing happened with the couple in the article’s opening that went to a meeting to get a free cruise. They got their free cruise, alright. But they had to sit through hours of Jedi mind tricks and the like to get it.
It’s these experiences that have led me to believe that these timeshare talks are not worth the money. I don’t think you should let the advertisements of what you can get in exchange for those talks convince you. I don’t believe they’re worth it.
Should you trust a liar?
I had to laugh at another couple’s experience here. They were told that they both had to arrive together as a couple. The husband didn’t want to go. The wife then asked the timeshare lady if she could just go to the meeting.
Timeshare lady responded: “You can only qualify if you go alone as a woman if you agree that you are currently single. You’re obviously not, but I have no problem signing off on our paperwork to say that you are.”
Let me ask you a rhetorical question.
If a company has no moral issues with lying from the get-go, do you think they’re going to be 100% straightforward with you in the meeting where they try to make the sales that allow them to continue to exist?
I don’t think so.
I’ve yet to talk to anybody who has gone to one of them and walked away having had an enjoyable time.
They all come back frazzled and grumpy. Sure, you may come back home that way from your regular job as well – and not having made enough money to warrant a free cruise as well – but to me, this just comes across as playing with fire. Be careful doing so, or you’re liable to get burnt.
You have people who not only want to play salesman mind games with you for hours, but they are literally going to do it for hours. They are not going to let you just get up out of your chair and walk away. The person with the vouchers for whatever it is that you came for is going to be “currently unavailable,” the slideshow is going to be “just another hour, or you’re going to have issues with physically leaving the site of the slideshow at all.
Is that worth a free cruise to you? Free airfare? Not to me, it isn’t. But hey, maybe I’m the weirdo here. Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below. And if you’re really looking to save money on vacation, I recommend reading this article here.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.