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Beginner in exchanging needs basic help!

Discussion in 'Exchanging Timeshares' started by FFC, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. FFC

    FFC TUG Member

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    I’ve never exchanged my timeshare or done anything other than use it for my allotted time. This year, I booked week 30 at my resort (Grand Lodge on Peak 7) and got a two bedroom lockout. I’d like to plan a vacation to Europe or somewhere exotic for next year for my 50th birthday. I am REALLY confused as to whether I search for the right person to exchange with, or deposit my week in II and do a search, or do that thing where you keep your week unless you get an acceptable exchange. In addition, I don’t exactly know how to do any of those things (depositing for points seems pretty self-explanatory. Really wish I could go to Croatia, or Spain, or Eastern Europe. Is there some sort of primer somewhere? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. FFC

    FFC TUG Member

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    I did see the FAQ’s for II, but still confused.
     
  3. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Marriott's Grande Vista
    Marriott's Harbour Lake
    SVV - Bella
    SVV - Key West
    Timeshares in Europe, especially in core urban areas where many Americans want to travel are rare and where they may exist they may not be an easy trade.

    THe actual process of doing a trade is easy, you either deposit your week and then do a trade by searching what is online or you can put in a trade search request. You can also do a request first search where if your trade doesn't come through you can still go to your home resort. If you have no intention of using your home resort weeks, then deposit them in II and start searching.
     
  4. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It really isn't rocket science. You don't need to find someone to exchange with. You simply deposit your week with II (or whatever exchange company you (and/or your resort) are members of. Then you can go to their online site and either choose from their inventory of resorts to exchange into- pay a fee (there's ALWAYS a fee!) and they will confirm both your deposit and the availability of your new reservation and you're good to go. Alternatively, you can make your deposit, then put in a few choices- called an Ongoing Search- (OGS) of resorts you want to go to, and wait for one of these to become available- that way, you're at the head of the line when one of these places becomes available- and before it is ever seen in the online catalog. Usually- but not always, the resorts you see online are 'leftovers' after all the requests ahead of you are reserved.

    Now, as to where you want to go. Tumesharing in Europe is a different breed of cat than in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean. In Europe, people LIVE in the cities, so most of the resorts are in the countryside. They are smaller, more humble type places. There are a couple of exceptions in Spain, And I don't remember seeing any in Croatia or elsewhere in former Yugoslavia for that matter. I have exchanged into Southern Spain and Portugal and some places in Italy, but just know that the big all encompassing resorts like in the US just don't exist to a large degree.

    Jim
     
    Todd Fogelberg and taffy19 like this.
  5. ski_sierra

    ski_sierra TUG Member

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    I just exchanged into the Marriott Marbella resort 3 BR unit using a studio at Marriott Grand Chateau.

    For basics, I found reading this book quite useful.
    https://www.amazon.com/Timeshare-Ow...me+share+game&qid=1565469862&s=gateway&sr=8-4

    I learned all the practical & advanced tricks by reading the threads on this forum. Good luck!

    Here is a good thread.
    https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/how-to-use-interval-international.278844/
     
    mdurette likes this.
  6. alwysonvac

    alwysonvac Sighting Expert TUG Lifetime Member

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    Location:
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    Resorts Owned:
    WorldMark,
    HGVC (Oahu & Vegas),
    VISTANA Mandatory (Orlando & Scottsdale)

    Bought and sold several over the years including Disney & Four Seasons
    Your resort trades with Interval International (link).

    If you have flexible travel dates, I would try for the Marriott resorts in Spain

    Marriott's Marbella Beach Resort (link)
    Marbella, Málaga, Spain

    Marriott's Playa Andaluza (link)
    Estepona, Málaga, Spain

    Marriott’s timeshares in France & Spain -https://www.marriottvacationclub.eu/pdf/MVC_EU_EN_Brochure_2012_EU.pdf


    If these two resorts work for you then you’ll need to get your II membership established and setup an ongoing search request (OGS) soon before you miss the window. Exchange requests should be made as early as possible (typically over a year in advance). You’ll want to be as flexible as possible with your travel dates (requesting anything within a broad range of weeks vs a couple of dates).

    NOTE: There are lots of TUG threads covering these Marriott resorts from trip planning to trip reports. Also take a look at the TUG and TripAdvisor reviews.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
    Beach57, marmite and HudsHut like this.
  7. HudsHut

    HudsHut TUG Member

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    Hi FFC:
    I presume you mean you just reserved Week 30, July 24/25/26, for 2020.
    Within Interval, your deposit has a life of 2 years. You will have until late July 2022 to travel.
    Your trade power is determined by your resort's rating (Premier!), unit size, and Travel Demand Index (TDI) for the week you deposited. Week 30's TDI is slightly above average at 120. The scale is at the bottom of the grid, between 50 (lowest) and 150 (highest). You typically want to reserve the week with the highest TDI in your season, and/or a holiday week.

    Some timeshare systems are allowed to Request First, which allows the member to keep the week outside of Interval until a match is found; others must deposit their week into Interval to set up an ongoing search request.

    Go to the Resort Directory, and jot down the 3-digit resort codes of the resorts that appeal to you. (e.g. MMB, MUZ, MEM)
    Go to Exchange > Vacation Exchange > My Units
    Next to each unit you have available to trade, there is a "Vacation Exchange" button. Select that, and you may search online to see what's out there right now. In the rare instance that the exact resort and date you want is available, you may confirm it online.
    More likely, you will need to "Place Request". You select the unit size on the front screen. Leave the number of adults/children at 1/0.
    Continue.
    Enter each resort code, when the correct resort name appears, select it.
    Enter the date range during which you wish to travel.
    Continue, Continue....until you get to the payment screen.
    You pay the "exchange fee" of $209 to set up the ongoing search. Then Interval's system begins searching for you 24 x 7.

    When do you wish to travel?
    Spain is your best bet, as Phyllis described. The Marriotts get lots and lots of deposits; each of the three resorts has about 100 units available online right now. The only difficulty is if you want a prime summer week. Then, you are competing with a lot of other members.

    Interval has very little in Eastern Europe. Turkey has 2 resorts with inventory. Croatia only has 1 resort with 1 week currently online. Greece has 1 resort currently online, but it's all-inclusive. There is another code for that resort which is regular (RIM). Read the reviews, and include it in your search if it appeals to you.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
    SteelerGal and alwysonvac like this.
  8. CPNY

    CPNY TUG Member

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    Take a look into airbnb or vacation rentals. TS in Europe aren’t as plentiful as in the US. You’re money would go a lot further. Plus you can do half weeks in multiple locations.
     
    Todd Fogelberg likes this.
  9. alwysonvac

    alwysonvac Sighting Expert TUG Lifetime Member

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    HGVC (Oahu & Vegas),
    VISTANA Mandatory (Orlando & Scottsdale)

    Bought and sold several over the years including Disney & Four Seasons
    Here are two videos for Interval International.

    This is 2013 video that was produced for a specific resort covering Interval International Basics
    NOTE: Just ignore the contact numbers and prices since this is an old video.


    This is a 2016 video created by Interval International. It walks through the online exchange request process. You can find additional videos by Interval International on their website (link)

     
    SteelerGal likes this.
  10. Robin G

    Robin G TUG Member

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    You can extend it past the two year but I’m not sure the fee and not sure how much extra time it gives you.
    I love II and am glad we never converted to points with our Shell Kona TS as people who did can no longer trade with II .
     
  11. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    I would google Interval International reviews and RCI reviews to get a taste of what you are in for. Maybe stick with your home resort to avoid the hassles many reviewers talk about. Both of these companies sound like the worst possible to partner with when it comes to arranging a vacation.
     
  12. marmite

    marmite TUG Member

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    If "what you are in for" is GREAT vacations and trade possibilities, then YES I agree.

    Do you actually even have a timeshare Todd? Have you ever read and applied the great advice here? :shrug:

    @FFC you have a desirable resort (not sure what season you own), but I think you can do just fine trading now that you are doing some research on how to best use your ownership. The Marriott properties in Spain also end up as "Getaways" on Interval International (where you don't actually trade your weeks, you just pay a very discounted price for an available week). Depending on the dates, there can be good availability and the price might even be more attractive than giving up your unit and it's maintenance fees.

    @alwysonvac had some great suggestions.

    Cheers.
     
  13. chalee94

    chalee94 TUG Member

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    I would bet most/all of those reviewers didn't do their homework before trying to exchange their timeshare. I did and have had some wonderful vacations in St Kitts, Southern California, Hilton Head and just completed my first trip to Kauai in May - it was amazing and the Marriott had smallish rooms for a timeshare but was a perfect location and stunning resort in most respects.

    The OP should understand that a non-Marriott trying to trade for a Marriott is at a disadvantage - as stated, they should not aim for peak summer weeks as Marriott owners get first crack at deposits. But with reasonable expectations and a little bit of research, it's easy to be a very happy timeshare owner and exchanger.
     
  14. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    I read tug reviews in the area of my choice and put in an ongoing search with rci. I exclude the not so nice resorts
     
  15. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    I find that only the whiners and complainers take the time to post reviews on the internet, I don’t think this is a good suggestion at all.

    I’ve had a lot of success trading to nice resorts using Interval.

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
    marmite likes this.
  16. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    It's nice to hear that you've had good luck with your exchanges. Looking at one of my target properties I read many online reviews - very favorable. 4.5 rating. Many happy visitors at Grand Chateau Las Vegas. Not too many whiners and complainers.
     
  17. mcsteve

    mcsteve TUG Member

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    Vacation Village @ Weston
    I would tend to disagree. While the internet is a great source for opinions and individual research (TUG is a great example) I have found I must truly feel comfortable with the individual reviewing before I will trust their perspective. When I first started looking at RCI I found that I was frustrated in almost every search I tried. That was until I did some in depth research myself as to the exchange rules and how the majority of users (fellow TUG’er’s) actually accomplish their exchange needs. I now have “reasonable” expectations on how far in advance I will need to search to accomplish my trading goals. Yes, read the reviews, but also try to get a feel for the individual writing it. Are they one post wonders or have they shown a history of valid and useful information.

    Having said that, with my post count below 50 take what I say with a grain of salt :)
     
  18. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    The fees associated with RCI and II give me pause, on their own. For an electronic transaction like swapping 2 timeshares, the cost is a few $ taking into account technology and personnel costs. The exorbitant fees don't make economic sense, except that they have TS owners by the hook. TUG presents a nice option for exchanges, how does it work if Todd and Bill want to swap their weeks? Do they contact the resort and provide each other's names as the guest that will be checking in?
     
  19. FFC

    FFC TUG Member

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    I appreciate all the advice. The book is also helpful. One question - is there a practical difference in exchanging my week or depositing it for points? Is the points inventory the same as the exchange inventory?
     

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