How to Beat a Timeshare Sales Pitch

We're living in a tourist town, Cabo San Lucas. We're only here for a month or so, and ever now and then we have to shop where the tourists frequent (we try to avoid it as best as possible) However there we were shopping in the walmart and being pitched to come to a timeshare presentation.

So, we went to a Cabo resort time share sales pitch.

I know you are thinking, "Wow, what a waste of time!"  or "what were you thinking?"

We had done 2 other time share presentations in the US... both simply for the free stuff promised.  One went very well, we listened for an hour, they accepted our "no" and gave us our free items and we were on our way. The other time share/vacation sales pitch was terrible.  They wouldn't take no for an answer and though we pushed for our freebies, they were stonewalling us.  We finally decided to leave without anything 3 hrs later.

So, when presented with the promise of free activities here in Cabo we thought we'd give it another try. We wanted to help the kids have fun passing the time until the dogs were ready to leave.  We did our research (very normal for us) and got some tips on getting through a timeshare sales pitch smoothly. The tips were GOLD!!! Here's our basic summary and what we stuck to:

  1. Don't make small talk.  Stay stone faced (or bored) and answer as curtly as possible and offer no extra information. Any personal information you offer will be used against you! Oh and if you are boring the sales person they'll want to finish with you. They enjoy the chase and the process. Offering them nothing to chase or nothing to work with stops them.
  2. Hold them to the time commitment. Get each person in the process to write down on the invite how long the presentation is for, and what time you will be done. Have them print and sign their name next to it. There's no law holding them to this, but you can stick it into their face and explain that they lied to you. You do not purchase anything from liars. Insist upon your freebies at that point.
  3. Tell your presenter immediately upon meeting that you are not going to buy and that you are simply here for the free things promised. It's about being honest with them. You're not trying to mislead them into thinking they have a potential buyer. Instead explain why you are here and that you are not interested in purchasing, just in receiving what you were promised.

So, we prepped the kids to be as quiet and unfriendly as possible.  The big kids understood easily, and we decided to bribe the two littles with cookies! :)

It worked like a charm!

We arrived at 7:30, had a short breakfast, informed our salesman why we were there and with 4 little kids in tow (ages 9, 8, 5 and 3) he knew we were serious. He started skipping parts of the tours by asking "you're not even interested in seeing a room are you?" He even skipped the part where he calls his manager over. Instead we were brought to the next room where we had to "complete a survey" which was indeed another sales pitch. After beating that one too (by not offering up any information)  we were brought to the place where we could pick up our freebies. Two hours, we were only supposed to be there for 75 minutes, but we gave them a 10 minute grace period and the ticket booth lady was swamped with "regular people" buying tickets so that didn't count.

Our freebies?

  • A 3 day pass to the resort pool
  • A dinner cruise on the "Cabo Ledged" a pirate ship!
  • A tour on one of the glass bottomed boats.

Beating the Timeshare sales pitch is Easy Peasy!

So, we spent the next 3 days laying around and swimming at The Villa Palmar kid's pool.  Fabulous!  Nothing like poolside waiters who bring whatever you want to help pass the time in Cabo!

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Swim break on our 3 day pool-side adventure! Our server, Liz (pictured above Alia) was so attentive and friendly!

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We had an ocean view while the kids played in the pool. The kid's pool was warmer than the other pools...these resorts think of EVERYTHING!!!

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Panoramic of the ocean beach in front of the resort.

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Alia and Daddy on a chess date!

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Paul's office view for 3 days!

Just because we spent three days at a resort doesn't mean that Paul could stop working. It was kinda funny to be around a bunch of people on vacation while we were not on vacation. Paul was able to work a couple hours each day and swim/play as well. All in all not a bad deal!

We met some pretty great people who were staying at the resort.  The Carpenters from Montana and Baileys from Rhode Island were such fun!  Our kids played together for 3 days and we helped each other out with kid supervision.  It was nice to hang out with other families that were like minded. We shared all our swimming/snorkeling paraphernalia, our lunch food, and tips about everything from natural remedies for sunburn to new smart phone apps that we hadn't heard of.  We had A LOT in common and enjoyed spending time with them!  When Paul had to take a phone call, Jeremy was on hand to give our little boys rides across the pool on his back and when the 4 big kids wanted to go to the slide, I took them and Jennifer watched the littles.  Paul and I even got a "date hour" in one afternoon...Thanks Jennifer!

We learned about the Refuge Foundation in Montana (An awesome place in Montana where they take care of ministers/pastors and leaders of non-profits) And discovered that we have a place to stay in Rhode Island if we ever find ourselves there! :D

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Kortmans on the left, Baileys in the middle and the Carpenters on the right. This evening we stayed at the resort for a buffet dinner and show.

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The Bailey's passed out glow sticks for all the kids!

Before the Bailey's flew back to the US they were able to stop at our RV park to see Gracie!  What fun to make new friends!

Score one for the time share sales pitch!

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Becky Kortman

I'm a homeschooling, world traveling, Jesus follower who is a wife and mom of 4 kids, In all my travels, I am looking for places that fit with my soul and feel as much like 'home' as they can this side of heaven.

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14 Comments

  1. Cyril

    Sure wish I had read this years ago. I took my first wife Laura to Florida during the later stages of cancer. Sat through the presentation and purchased the timeshare hoping to make plans for the future. Years later I no longer go to the timeshare but keep paying every year! Any advice on how to get out of a timeshare! Good job, they deserve having people come out on top of things.

    Reply
    • Paul Kortman

      Oh man, I’m so sorry Cyril.

      Can you rent out your timeshare? Like on Airbnb or something like that?

      I’ve heard that other people have been successful at sub-letting their timeshares, but I’ve also heard that the Florida timeshare market is flooded. I’m sure you;ve looked into it, but maybe there’s a way to switch it to another one of their resorts? Perhaps to a location you could lease out faster or a location you’d like to visit?

      Reply
    • lance clara

      Donate it to a çharity of your choice. Tax wŕite off.

      Reply
  2. Dave Meekhof

    Great blog Becky!
    Love your “Vacation Hack”. We’ve done this in Florida and St. John while camping in Cinnamon Bay National Park.

    Reply
    • Paul Kortman

      Yeah, if someone is going to offer me free stuff in an effort to lure me into something I don’t want to do then yes I’ll hack my way through that. However we’re only 2 for 3. I wish we had known these tips that one time in Michigan… could have done a whole lot better that time around!

      Reply
  3. Jim Bob

    Great tips. And a great 3-day “vacation”. Glad you had a great time and met some great people.

    Reply
    • Paul Kortman

      Yeah, it’s amazing what a chance meeting and a 2 hour investment of time will give you in friendships and more!

      Reply
  4. Dona Meyers

    Hello thanks for share, i had a bad experience years ago with royal holiday in mexico , but in change we bought a timeshare..yes i know, after months we notice the high rates of the maintenance fees, so we decided to cancel it , and believe me was a very difficult task , the only people that really helped us was Mexican timeshare solutions, after looked for many ways to rid off , so just if someone are thinking to acquire a timeshare think it twice please, timeshare field is a tricky thing ,just avoid the timeshare presentations.

    Reply
    • Paul Kortman

      Exactly Dona, I would never recommend buying a timeshare. I have met a few people who like them, but on the whole people are “suckered” into them through aggressive sales tactics. It’s really really hard to say no when someone is that aggressive. However if you know you’re not going to buy no matter what they offer (we didn’t have cash or credit cards with us!) then you’ll be able to come out okay with the tips above.

      Reply
  5. Mike Puylara

    Do people really spend 2 hours of precious family time, on vacation, sitting through a sales presentation, just to get a couple gifts?

    Reply
    • Paul Kortman

      Yes! 2 hours is worth it depending on the gifts. In our case three days at the pool were totally worth it!

      Reply
  6. Ron nub

    You are so smart and glad someone figured how to do this! You are a great example to your kids.

    Reply
    • Paul Kortman

      I sense some bitterness! — Hey there’s nothing I agreed to saying I would enjoy it or that I was interested in buying. The whole Time Share sales pitch “we’ll give you something free for sitting through the pitch” is jsut that, you want people whom you think you can sell to, and I want the free stuff. So I’ll gladly sit through a sales pitch in order to provide the kids with three free pool days… the kids still have fond memories of those three days! So yeah I do feel I’m being a good example to my kids and I’m glad we did it and that we were able to spend those three days at the pool making new friends!

      Reply

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