It started with free movie tickets, or an iPod, and next thing you know you’re the ashamed owner of a timeshare in Costa Rica that you’re realizing you can’t actually use. What was sounding like such an incredible deal is chalking up to be a lot of paperwork and hidden terms and conditions? Did you make a mistake? How are you going to get out of this? What happened in there?
At Easy Timeshare Relief we specialize in helping people get out of their timeshare contracts, so we’ve debriefed hundreds of timeshare customers about their experiences.
There are many ways that timeshare salesmen trap unsuspecting victims, so we’ve narrowed it down to the most common strategies to help you find and prevent falling into the trap.
The free stuff they give you serves many purposes. Every single timeshare meeting includes a free gift as a marketing ploy. All you have to do is sit through a one-hour presentation and you’ll get a free restaurant voucher or a gift card or an iPod. It seems simple enough, and too good to be true. In addition, most timeshare pitches include free food, snacks, and marketing swag like pens, bags, or notepads. The first part of this scheme is to lure you in with free stuff. They just need to get you in the room so they can employ their sales strategies, so they entice you with free merchandise. The second piece is that by giving you something they trigger a sense of reciprocity that most humans feel. You subconsciously or consciously feel that you owe them something, which primes you to an agreement.
The next most common ploy used by timeshare sales is to overwhelm you with a barrage of statistics. They’ll make comparisons to hotels, show example purchases, and use percentages that seem to work in your favor. By running quickly through numbers without context they are able to confuse and distract you. You may come out thinking the timeshare will only cost you a few dollars per month when the reality is that it’s a fortune commitment.
You’re likely to hear that the deal they’re offering today is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. If you sign up right now you get 50% off the price! But what you don’t realize is that they’ve actually inflated the price by 150% so that offering that deal seems incredible. They make you feel a sense of scarcity and urgency that can override your common sense and push you to sign faster.
At the beginning that salesperson was friendly, excited, and not at all pushy. Now it’s 10 minutes to the end of the presentation and they’re positively predatory. You’re trapped and experiencing adrenaline. The salesperson can so quickly turn and start using all of these carefully placed dominoes we’ve mentioned to knock you down. All it takes is a little push! They ask you to sign right away to avoid the cooling off period most people experience after feeling an impulse.