We bought a timeshare at Hilton a couple of years ago. I was really unhappy with this shopping for a while.
As you know, there are thousands of negative reviews about timeshare. I can agree with those negative feelings, anger, disappointment, etc.
But I decided to find a good side of a timeshare because I can’t change the past. Being pessimistic is unhealthy. Let’s find hope.
This week, I’ll share 2 of my experience with a timeshare:
- Timeshare presentation experience at Hilton
- Positive experiences with timeshare ownership
Today, I’ll talk about timeshare presentation experience at Hilton. Learn from our mistakes!
First, what is a timeshare?
We bought a timeshare from Hilton. It called Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC). So, I’ll talk about HGVC here.
HGVC is a points-based reservation and timeshare ownership program by Hilton. You can stay at a luxury or condo-style hotel for an affordable price.
How much is it? The average purchase price for a new buyer is around $22,000. The price varies depending on the location and club points.
Where is it? There are nearly 50 HGVC properties in the world. In the US, you’ll find properties in California, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas, New York, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington, D.C. Internationally, there are properties in Barbados, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, and the U.K.
How does it work? Every year, you will have a specific allowance of club points to use. You can use the points to book your timeshare property for a 1-7 night complimentary. You can also use points to book a different location for 3-7 nights, but it’s not free. You need to pay reservation fees between $39-$69. (Reservation fees vary depending on location) Moreover, you are sharing timeshare ownership with others. You can’t reserve the room if someone already booked. It’s like first come, first served.
Any hidden fees? You need to pay the maintenance fees as long as you own the timeshare. The maintenance fees are also depending on location. Maintenance fees and reservation fees keep increasing every year.
Yes, there are so many fees with HGVC… That’s one of the biggest complaints from customers.
But why people (including me) bought it even though there are so many fees? I have an answer!
My Hilton Grand Vacations Timeshare Presentation Experience
Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC) fully prepared to sell this timeshare ownership program with the professional sales team. It also depends on the location, but the Las Vegas sales team was an excellent seller.
Timeshare presentation was high-pressure sales tactics, mind games, and possibly a little bit of brainwash.
At first, Hilton offered us a free night stay at Elara Las Vegas in exchange for participating timeshare presentation. My husband loves freebies. He immediately signed up without knowing it was a trap.
We enjoyed staying at Elara Las Vegas. It was a very nice experience. This was the room we stayed in. No casino, but pretty convenient location.
The problem was the next day.
When we walked into the office, we met our salesperson. We started by chatting for 10-15 minutes. He asked us about jobs, household annual income, family structures, how often we travel, etc. I thought he is trying to find out how much money he can pull from us. Yup, I became nervous.
I answered questions with as few words as possible. I was trying not to give him an opportunity to engage with me. BUT my husband. He started to enjoy having conversations with the salesperson.
After watching a short movie about Hilton Grand Vacations Club, we moved to the salesperson’s desk.
His desk and the office located in a nice place with amazing views. Free coffee and food (breakfast wraps, muffins, fruits, snacks, etc.) were available.
Our sales rep said, “Help yourself, these muffins are amazing! Make yourself comfortable.”
It was obvious that the sales team trying to soften their high-pressure sales tactics by providing a nice environment as much as possible.
Nice luxe sofa, free food & coffee as well as amazing views. I could hear my husband’s heartbeat. He was so excited.
Our personal sales rep sat on a luxe sofa with us and use a new iPad to explain how the HGVC can elevate our vacation trip. He also took us to a room in the hotel that was part of the program.
“Here is your new vacation home. You can stay in these types of rooms everywhere you go!”
It was a luxurious room with so many amenities like a full kitchen, jacuzzi, refrigerator, dryer, and of course stunning views.
Again, my husband was so excited. He was like a kid, touching everything, dive into the king bed, keep saying “wow, it’s cool.”
At this point, my husband was highly motivated to purchase a timeshare. Once he decided, he will never change his mind.
I didn’t want to buy timeshare. But also, I didn’t want to fight with my husband in Las Vegas during the vacation trip. I switched my mind and tried my best to minimize financial damage.
We selected the cheapest property and also asked about hidden fees.
Remember, always almost every salesperson is not telling you everything. They tend to only show the best-case examples.
The salesperson explained all the various fees and maintenance costs of owning a timeshare with a tone like “it’s not a big deal.”
The cost of owning a timeshare is a lot. It’s not a one-time payment. Owners need to pay the fees as long as they own the timeshare.
I said, “Wow, that’s a lot of fees. I don’t think we can save money with a timeshare.”
Our sales rep immediately responded, “Yes, you can save a lot of money with timeshare! If you bought it today, I can give you bonus points too! “
Bonus points are another currency of the club program and a way to reward Hilton’s members. These points are valid for a maximum of two years and may be used toward reservations for Club Partner Perks, reservations at hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio of brands, RCI Exchange vacations, and reservations at Club resorts during the Home Resort and Club Reservation windows.
My husband loves these points. He got hooked!
3 Tips to Survive a Timeshare Presentation
To Survive a timeshare presentation:
- Have a strategy meeting with your partner before going to the presentation. “Survive a Timeshare” needs teamwork.
- Do not give too much information about yourself, especially household income and your job. And keep your answers as much as short. Do not give the salesperson an opportunity to ask more questions.
- Be honest. “I have no money. I’m only here for the free stay.” Tell them like that. If they believe you, they’ll get through the pitch quickly. They want to get the next person who might actually purchase the timeshare.
A lot of people complained that it is nearly impossible to sell a timeshare. You need to pay maintenance fees every year until you die. And the maintenance fees would keep increase. That sounds a real nightmare.
Our sales rep said that timeshare is an “investment.” No, it is not. A timeshare is not an investment. There is no value as “property.” I think timeshares are like swimming pools. You are owning it for fun, not because you expect to make a profit. It pricey entertainment!
The next article will be the benefits of timeshare ownership. I see a lot of “Does anyone know anyone who has had a positive experience owning a timeshare?” types of questions on the internet. So, I’ll answer it (: Because a timeshare actually has a good side too.