Flutterby™! : Condos and Mechanical stuff

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Condos and Mechanical stuff

2004-06-25 15:18:51.962794+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Thursday is a scheduled "out carousing" night for me. Yesterday Charlene said "I'm coming into the city tomorrow, and I'd like to meet up with you if you run late". I only had Phil and Ruby for company, and neither of them wanted to make it a later evening, so I grabbed the F line up to the Fisherman's Warf[Wiki] area around 7, called Charlene, got no answer, and wandered into the Musee Mecanique for a while. Highly recommended if you're into mechanical coolness.

It turns out that the reason she didn't want to say what she was doing was that she was getting the "free cruise of the bay" (and assorted other goodies) from a TrendWest[Wiki] timeshare condo presentation. And she was, as the receptionist euphemistically put it when I got in touch with her a bit later and wandered up to their offices, a "tortoise".

[Edit: Want to make it plain that she was hanging around because she wanted to check it out with me, and had as much fun looking at the sales techniques as I did.]

I present to you: Dan and Charlene go Timeshare Shopping.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Bay Area Consumerism and advertising Real Estate ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-25 16:23:55.283025+00 by: Shawn

[Sales] pitches always leave me feeling slimed. And, as you note, these people are some at the top of the game. I didn't enjoy our experience at all, but then I'm not able to detach around things like this.

In the end, we bought in (hook, line and sinker) by convincing ourselves that we could make it a business asset (we had just established an S-Corp).

My contribution to the "you need to know" list would be that you can get out of these things if it comes down to it. You'll get a lot of harrassment (even years later, when they come looking for some $12 balance you supposedly owe them), but it can be done.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-25 17:08:42.167625+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, the pitch was effective enough that I'm actually wondering if we found an outfit that had condos somewhere we want to go[1] whether buying the shares second-hand would necessarily be a bad deal. All of these things can't be a completely bad deal, right? One of the "gotchas" however is that you don't really know what the accomodations look like, and I know enough of photography that I can figure out that what shows up on the brochure isn't necessarily how it'll look when we get there.

But I'd also need to go through the blackout periods and how many "credits" the rooms really cost and what the charter says about changing room costs and such, because that could easily be paying $5k for the opportunity to rent a room for $90/night in places where the economy off-season is $40/night.

It's nice to not be married, because then that clause that says you've gotta attend with your spouse doesn't apply and you can have one person come in skeptical. Although Charlene was pretty clear at that point that she was hanging around because it was such a fascinating process, and even when I shop at Nordstrom I feel like the pressure to catering ratio is higher than here. They were really good at going out of their way to cater.

[1] Given the current economy of Las Vegas[Wiki] it's no cheaper to base out of a condo there than to get a hotel room or even rent an efficiency for a month, and while some of the Hawaii and Oregon coast opportunities looked good I'm fairly sure Branson, Missouri won't be on my list any time soon. And some of the area around Lake Tahoe is pretty beautiful, but I've seen about as much of South Lake Tahoe as I need to.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-26 00:40:57.224586+00 by: Shawn

One can still be the skeptical when married. Partly from upbringing, I generally have a hostile mindset towards these kinds of things, but K. can have a real blind spot there, so I occasionally get sucked into attending these pitches.

The type of communication involved in sales/marketing/socials/etc. is not part of my personality matrix, so I don't pick up on the kinds of things you noticed. However, our assigned salesperson (sounds like your setup was engineered to appear more casual than ours) took one look at us and said, "All right, which one said 'whatever they say, we're not buying anything' before you came here?"

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-26 16:02:26.227207+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh, the not-married thing isn't about the skepticism, it's about me missing the first 90 minutes so coming into the negotiation phase without being softened up by an hour and a half of smiling happy people in beautiful places.

Had I gotten that I could have been very close to signing too.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-26 18:30:47.956526+00 by: Shawn

Ah, I'm with ya now.