Free Lunch or Scam? 4 Timeshare Presentation Red Flags

timeshare presentationYou’ve heard the saying: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” In the world of timeshare properties, it’s always true. That’s not to say there aren’t good deals to be had; a timeshare vacation can be a great, affordable way to spend a week or two each year. But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and frequently, a “great deal” can actually be a solid, old-fashioned scam. Before you sign on the dotted line, be on the lookout for the following four red flags during a timeshare presentation:


To a certain extent, all timeshare sales pitches are heavy-handed. They have to be to grab your attention. There is a difference, however, in the tactics of legitimate timeshare companies and those just looking for a sucker. Be on the lookout for promises of big-ticket items. While it’s standard practice for companies to offer incentives to prospective buyers for sitting through a presentation about a timeshare program (like free lodging for a night or a gift card), less scrupulous companies will try to entice you with promises of bigger rewards (like an entire vacation package or a car). Reputable companies don’t promise what they won’t and often can’t deliver.


If a company says that you have to sign a contract before you leave a presentation to secure the terms described, walk away. A credible timeshare company will allow you the opportunity to sleep on things and/or give you time to have a lawyer review documents for timeshare contract loopholes.

Upfront Fees

Companies with ethical practices don’t ask for money upfront. Period. If someone asks you for a deposit to “hold” a property or demands any other type of “sales” or “legal” fee or even simply tries to charge you tax to receive your free gift, he or she is trying to scam you. You should never be asked to put money down for anything!


Trustworthy companies are visible. They provide references and allow you the opportunity to research them. They take you on tours. They don’t just show you photos of a resort or ask you to trust them. They give you facts. And don’t be fooled into thinking that “no news” equals “good news.” If you can’t discover information about the company online and with the BBB, or one of the two main timeshare exchange companies (RCI and Interval International), chances are you’re dealing with people you shouldn’t be doing business with.

The Bottom Line

Buying a timeshare can be a stressful process. Don’t make it more so by falling victim to a scam. Once you sign a contract, it’s hard to get out of timeshare responsibilities without contacting a timeshare cancellation attorney or a specialized timeshare exit company. Read everything. Listen to everything. And trust your instinct. Lunches don’t come free; many times you don’t need anything to point you to what you already can sense!

If it’s too late, and you’ve signed something, and are now wondering how to get rid of a timeshare, contact our team of experts at Step Zero. We can assist you with timeshare contract cancellation and give you back your peace of mind.