How Do Timeshares Work? A Guide to Understand

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Before considering buying a timeshare, it is important to understand what a timeshare is, and how it works and the responsibilities that this purchase would imply.

Timeshares can be a terrific purchase for some families, but they can also be a giant rip off for others.

50 years ago, also known as Holiday Home Sharing or timeshare travel, timeshares were created with the idea of offering fully furnished accommodations for a lower price than a full-time ownership.

Nowadays, timeshares have become a very popular vacation option, yet lots of people do not completely understand how they operate.

When considering buying a timeshare, your first question must probably be, “How do timeshares work?” Well, the answer can be really complicated, as it actually comes down to the type of vacation ownership you are considering buying and the terms and conditions of the contract.


How Timeshares Work

Essentially, a timeshare is a vacation property that is owned by several people. Each unit is divided into weeks, which are sold separately.

 Timeshares were first sold as “fixed weeks,” but over the years this has been changing, and some other plans and timeshare promotions have been introduced.

How does a timeshare work? These are the most popular plans:

Fixed Weeks: This is the most basic program. You may use the unit during a specific week of the year

Floating Time: You may use the unit during a certain season of the year. The first person who makes the reservation will be considered to have confirmed it.

Spliced-week: You may split your week into two or more periods on different dates.

Points system: You buy a certain number of timeshare points for sale and exchange them for the right to use a certain unit during a certain period. It is more flexible than the fixed week system.

A timeshare is designed to be owned for a long period -30 years or more- and sometimes it can be inherited by family members.

A Timeshare is a HUGE Financial Commitment!

A timeshare should never be considered a financial investment.

Timeshare owners have many financial obligations attached to the resort.

Besides the initial payment and the total purchase price, there are other fees that will be continuously charged, such as maintenance fees and special assessment fees, which are likely to increase every year.

Another factor to take into consideration is that timeshares do not go up in value, in fact, they lose about 70% of their value when you first buy them.

Reviews and Complaints

Timeshares can be a great option for specific groups of people with specific vacation desires, or they can be a terrible, expensive, and unnecessary purchase.

There are many timeshare owners who feel very happy about their purchase since they are able to use the timeshare every year, but there are still many more who don’t understand how timeshares work and feel their holiday ownership was sold under fraudulent sales practices.

Top 5 timeshare complaints:                                                                                    

Guaranteed Rental Income: During the sales pitch, people are told that there will be a guaranteed rental income for their weeks in case the owner is not able to use the timeshare.

Actually, once they get home, they are referred to a rental agency that will charge large upfront fees to rent the weeks.

Guaranteed Resale of Previously Owned Timeshare: There are people who already own a timeshare and are not interested in buying another one.

Those people are usually told that the resort will sell their old timeshare, but after they decide to sign the new contract, they are referred to timeshare resale agencies.

False Annuity Programs: This is another service that doesn’t exist. The potential purchaser is told that the resort has an agreement with a major bank that will offer an annuity program with which he will get a financial benefit for the use of the timeshare.

Maintenance fees increase continuously.Timeshare maintenance fees are not fixed, in fact, they increase more rapidly than the rate of inflation.

Special Assessment Fees: Beside the maintenance fees, some timeshare companies also implement special assessments fees for special projects or to cover unexpected circumstances.


Over the last few years, and due to the increasing number of complaints and scams perpetuated in the industry, timeshares have often been related to tourist fraud.

Unlike traditional rentals or hotel reservations, where the customer has the option to choose where to stay and how much to pay, timeshares require a large initial payment.

Timeshares are also very criticized for being overpriced and for the ever-increasing maintenance fees, add to that the fact that timeshare reselling is almost impossible.

Nevertheless, what has injured the industry the most are the aggressive sales practices. Timeshare presentations are high-pressure, long-lasting and deceitful.

During a timeshare presentation, it is not recommended to trust on the verbal promises made by the timeshare salesperson because those promises don’t really answer the question, "How do timeshares work?"

Is a Timeshare Right for you?

Timeshares can be good for big families who are used to traveling regularly to the same location and fully understand how timeshares work, but definitely not for people who enjoy traveling spontaneously and without restrictions.

What if you’re Trapped in a Timeshare you Don't Want?

There are a number of solutions regarding unwanted timeshares, but most of them are not viable.

The most effective solution to get rid of a timeshare is by canceling the original contract. Timeshare cancellation is an efficient alternative since the owner will be able to cut all the strings attached to the resort.

Mexican Timeshare Solutions is a legitimate company that assists timeshare purchasers who feel they were scammed by fraudulent salespeople.

Contact Mexican Timeshare Solutions for a free consultation on your timeshare matter; it’s time for you to get away from that contract without having to pay an upfront fee!

To receive more information about how timeshares work and how to cancel your timeshare, send a WhatsApp to +52 1 333 239 6589, fill out the contact form, or call us at +1 714 277 3662

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    Timeshare Complaints: The Top Five
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