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Are All Timeshares Scams? It Depends

Sep 15

Timeshare cancellation has increased in popularity over the past 6 years. According to keyword search data, interest has grown by 3x. With that in mind, its important to answer the question: "are timeshares a scam?"

Maintenance Fees Always Increase

Maintenance fees for timeshares will increase an average of 3% each year.

An example of this is when Wyndham Destinations stated that the initial purchase for a new timeshare owner is normally around $20,000. If, within the span of 20 years, the maintenance fees go up 3% annually, then the timeshare owner would have to pay approximately $20,000 in total for maintenance fees. This is a considerable amount of money.

How To Handle Sales Presentations

Sales staff use various pressure tactics to make you buy things, including making you wait a long time, meeting with several people, and telling you that the offer is only available now. They want to exhaust you so that you'll sign anything just to leave.

The salesperson is trying to pressure you into buying something today without giving you time to think about it. This is a warning sign that you should be careful about what you're getting into.

It is beneficial to inquire about the ability to cancel the contract prior to signing it. This is commonly known as the right of rescission or cooling-off period and refers to the time frame in which you can back out of the agreement after the papers have been signed. The length of this period is typically stipulated by state law or your contract. If you do choose to cancel, it is important to send a letter to the seller via certified mail and request a return receipt.

Avoid Timeshare Resale Scams

While many timeshares are not complete scams, they are often overpriced, according to many sources. Wesley Financial Group, a timeshare cancellation company, provides a thorough answer to whether timeshares are scams on its blog. If you want to learn more, Wesley Financial is one of many excellent resources.

Scammers will call people who have listed their timeshare units for sale online and claim to be real estate brokers. They will try to convince the person to sell the unit right then and say that all they have to do is pay the upfront costs to close the deal. If the person falls for this, they could lose thousands of dollars and still be obligated to make future timeshare payments. If you've been scammed before, you need to be extra careful to avoid being scammed again. Timeshare owners looking for ways to cancel their timeshare or sell it have become targets for scammers pretending to be timeshare resale companies. 

What are some common complaints about timeshares? Timeshare scams are perpetuated by convincing people to buy into the false promises of high returns and low maintenance fees associated with owning a timeshare. Oftentimes, the person agrees to purchase the timeshare without fully understanding the implications and may be required to pay several thousand dollars in fees upfront. These fees are typically mislabeled as “closing costs” or “membership fees.

Vacation Clubs

Before signing up for a vacation club, make sure you understand what you're getting. Even if marketers and salespeople use the same term, vacation club, they might be talking about different things.

If you're considering an exchange program, make sure you understand the details and whether there are any hidden costs.

Make sure you understand the point system if your timeshare or vacation club uses one. They don't all work the same way, and usually, the number of points you need to stay where you want depends on the time of year and how popular the destination is.

You may have to wait a long time for the perfect buyer to come along, and in the meantime, you'll have to keep up with maintenance and repairs. It can be a real headache. 


When you sign a timeshare contract, you're basically paying to be able to use a vacation home for a set amount of time each year. Timeshares are usually located in resorts or condo complexes in desirable vacation spots. To begin with, timeshare owners usually have to pay an initial fee, plus monthly or yearly maintenance fees, in order to keep their ownership. For many people, this can be a significant financial burden and one that they are not always able to meet. This can lead to a number of problems, including the loss of their home or other property.

Why Is It So Hard To Cancel A Timeshare?

Many timeshare resorts make it difficult for owners to leave by protecting themselves financially. This can leave owners feeling helpless and hopeless because they can no longer afford their property costs, but the company does not offer much help in solving these issues.

Timeshare companies make it difficult to cancel your agreement and leave because they know that many people will regret their purchase. This can be costly and time-consuming and be very stressful for you and your family.  It is important to do your research before making any decisions and to be sure that you are getting the best possible deal. There are a lot of things to consider when buying a home, and you don't want to make a mistake.

Timeshare FAQs

In this section, we try to address the most common questions people have surrounding their timeshare purchases.

Do people regret buying timeshares?

The study found that a huge majority of timeshare buyers (85%) end up regretting their purchase for a variety of reasons like expense, maintenance fees, intimidation, and lack of use. Once that regret sets in, it can be very difficult to sell a timeshare since they're notoriously hard to get rid of.

What are the lies about timeshares?

Timeshares very rarely ever have resale value. Another way that timeshare sales teams mislead consumers is by presenting the product as if it were an investment when it really is not. It's not an investment, and you will never be in an advantageous position. Timeshares are actually one of the quickest depreciating products in the marketplace today.

How do you cancel a timeshare?

How to cancel a timeshare? After you first buy a timeshare, you'll have a short cancellation or “cooling off” period. This time frame is required by law in most states. You have to officially notify the seller of your cancellation within that period to get your full deposit back.

Why do people dislike timeshares?

One of the main issues with timeshares is that there is usually no straightforward way to get out of them. You have to keep paying the yearly fees and special charges as long as you own the timeshare, even if you can't use it and even if you're struggling to afford it. This can make it hard to find a buyer when you want to get rid of the property.