The timeshare industry has long been haunted by a bad reputation. There is a rash of negative media attention despite the positive feedback of long-time timeshare owners. A lot of timeshare owners openly claim that timeshare is a great vacation alternative, yet media do not focus on the raves. There are write-ups after write-ups about how timeshare is a bad investment, when in fact, spending on hotels can even be worse, you just don’t get to read about it.
Recently, there are articles that classify timeshares as a scam and that timeshare seller zones in on helpless customers who do not know how to fend for themselves. They say that timeshare sellers prefer the senior citizens and retirees who can be easily convinced to part with their retirement money. They also say that uneducated buyers are easily convinced to buy a timeshare.
Recently, the timeshare industry’s trade and lobbying group commissioned a survey to get a picture of the people who are timeshare buyers. This survey aims to debunk the myths on who timeshare owners are.
What are these myths:
1. 1. Those who buy timeshares are mostly Senior Citizens.
Truth: It’s true that you will rarely see a teenager attend a timeshare sales presentation. This is because they don’t have the earning capacity yet to afford one. A fair estimate of timeshare owners’ age would be in the mid-50s. This is the age range of those who know the pros and cons of owning a membership. If you will look at a standard sales presentation contract, you will see that participants must be from 25 to 75 years old, with an income of at least $50,000.
2. 2. Timeshare members are from the lower economic bracket.
Truth: The median household income of timeshare members is $81,000. Lower economic bracket, to put it crudely, refers to those who find it difficult to make both ends meet. It defeats logic to say that they will purchase timeshare.
3. 3. The biggest group of timeshare owners is retirees.
Truth: Sixty-seven percent (67%) of timeshare owners are employed full-time or self-employed. Nineteen (19%) of the owners are retirees.
4. 4. Highly educated people do not buy timeshares.
Truth: Forty-two percent (42%) of timeshare owners have a college degree.
5. 5. A lot of timeshare owners opt to get out of their contract.
Truth: About 15% of buyers canceled their purchase days after the sales presentation. In any product or industry, there are buyers who change their mind. It is also true that timeshare owners who want to opt out of their contracts, usually for personal reasons like illness, age, divorce, bankruptcy or any other reason that makes them unable to go on regular holidays. But still, according to the survey, 70% of owners recommend timeshare to others.
Timeshare in an investment in lifestyle; it’s for vacation purposes. This should already tell you that timeshare ownership is not a need, but a want. It’s supposed to make your vacation planning stress-free. To afford such a lifestyle, you need to be at a certain economic status, definitely not low-income bracket. Young adults who are fresh out of college won’t be thinking of regular vacations yet when their focus is on starting a career. On the other hand, senior citizens are no longer that keen on taking regular holidays due to their physical limitations. Drawing a picture of a defenseless individual as a representative of timeshare owners is not an accurate representation at all. We’d like to think that those who buy timeshares do enough due diligence before they cross the Ts and dot the Is.