With inflation on the rise, we are seeing a worrying number of articles written to give the impression that timeshares are a “hedge over” or “beating” inflation. This is categorically not true.
The basis of their argument is that with rising prices of hotel rooms, timeshare owners are getting savings on their timeshare when compared to booking costs today. This argument does sound appealing; however, the truth is more complicated than they lead you to believe. These articles claim that the maintenance fees will be less in a year then the actual cost getting a hotel room. These articles frequently will ignore the upfront cost as a factor and, booking restrictions mean sometimes substandard use or no use on a given year. The most important omission, is that maintenance fees usually also rise with inflation, making their whole point moot anyways.
The truth of all these articles is simple, the timeshare aftermarket companies are using Inflation as a tool for deceptive marketing. While most of these articles are coming out on 3rd party websites, the hotels are not suggesting otherwise. An article from skift.com claims Marriott executives are saying that timeshares are more attractive during inflation we are experiencing. This is due to the false promise of locking in the price of the timeshare. They want you to believe that a timeshare is a safe investment. In reality, it is the opposite of that.
We already have covered this topic on our blog, but we will summarize it here. On average timeshare owners do not get any special perks compared to the normal public. In some cases, you will end up paying between 400%-1000% MORE than someone who books online. The maintenance fees start out affordable, but every year will get more and more expensive. Therefore, a timeshare is not a good investment, you are paying to have debt. This debt will continue for your entire life, meanwhile (unless you keep upgrading) you may have to book up to 11 months in advance just to use the thing.
Timeshares are not an investment, and you should not be misled into believing that they are. At best, you may book a fairly good room. At worst (and most commonly), you are stuck paying maintenance fees on a future room that you must book 11 months in advance and pay way more than the actual booking costs online. In a seminal study by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), reporting on the FTC study, only 3.3 percent of timeshare owners were able to sell in a 20 year period. The truth is, once you sign a timeshare contract, there is a billion-dollar industry that tries to convince you that you made the right choice. Once you find out the truth, there is another million-dollar industry of scammers promising to help you sell or cancel your timeshare. We recommend finding verified legal counsel that will advise you on your options. Furthermore, we recommend never signing a contract for any timeshare before consulting with your attorney.