Help us not get scammed!
June 10, 2014 10:24 PM   Subscribe

My fiance and I are thinking of renting other people's timeshare units. We notice that there are a number of websites that offer this. We are concerned about getting scammed. How should we go about renting and paying for timeshares without getting scammed in the process?

Also, we typically like to stay in 4 or 5-star resorts. Does anyone have any advice about the best websites to find these types of rentals?

Thanks in advance.
posted by gardenbex to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What do you expect to get out of renting a timeshare specifically that would be better than using airbnb or some other vacation rental service? I just rented a condo in Playa Del Carmen on AirBNB and it couldn't have been easier.
posted by empath at 12:31 AM on June 11, 2014

If you like a resort that's a time share, especially one run by a major hotel chain, you can just reserve just as you always do. I do this all the time. Marriott does it, so does Holiday Inn. You can search the properties on the website. Easy Peasy.

If they're actively selling timeshares at a place (and they always are) you can call their reservation line directly and reserve. They'll offer to discount the price if you'll sit through the pitch, or offer attraction tickets, but just be firm and say no. It's worth it to pay actual money not to do this!

I wouldn't deal with a secondary market or a private owner directly. If you can't reserve with the property directly, and pay with a credit card, forget it. Also, you want to be sure things are as advertised, so hit TripAdvisor for the latest reviews.

FYI, timeshares are different than resorts. There's no maid service, or if there is, you pay extra for it. Timeshares are often owned by families, so expect lots of kids.

I LOVE staying in timeshares on vacation, I like doing my own cooking, I like having room to spread out, I love going places with my friends so we can all hang out together. I find the whole thing very relaxing.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:32 AM on June 11, 2014

I've done this a couple times and it's been great. I rented a disney vacation club unit at disney world a and a westin in Scottsdale. While you can rent on a cash basis, when I rented the disney unit I saved hundreds of dollars a night over the rack rate. Red week is a common place to see timeshare unit rentals. For disney, you can go to the disboards and they have a rental board with a lot of tips for how to safely make the transaction. There are also businesses that facilitate this-I know of David's that rents disney points. The units I've rented have been gorgeous-especially with a group, it's so much nicer and cheaper than a hotel room.
posted by purenitrous at 7:15 AM on June 11, 2014

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