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Exchange Questions from a Newbie

Discussion in 'Exchanging Timeshares' started by Fatbaby52, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Fatbaby52

    Fatbaby52 TUG Member

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    I apologize if these questions are addressed elsewhere. I've been reading forums for a couple hours now but there's a decent chance I missed them.

    As some quick background, I'm considering purchasing a resale at the Sheraton Desert Oasis in Scottsdale, AZ. I've stayed there before and my kids, wife, and I loved the property and location. So being stuck there every other year for baseball spring training wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. I am curious about whether an exchange adds enough value to convince us to pull the trigger, though.

    I've been to a lot of timeshare sales pitches; one thing that the salesmen like to highlight is II and RCI membership. They both have these firesale vacation weeks that seem too good to be true. One guy claimed to have a week in Cabo for $380, another one had a week in Tahoe for $450, etc.

    Anyway, my questions are this:
    1. Is there a way to see what's available via RCI or II on the "cash vacation" side before buying a timeshare and paying for those services? If not, do you all have experience booking these? Are they much better than what you can do through AirBNB, VRBO, or sites like Hotwire?

    2. Is there a way to see what the Sheraton Desert Oasis would be worth on these exchanges ahead of time? As I understand things, a "week is a week" with this property- apparently everyone has the right to book 12 months ahead of time for their unit size. There's no platinum vs. gold vs. silver season stuff. So am I right to assume that if I book Christmas or Spring training that will be worth more than if I book the middle of the summer?
     
  2. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    SDO is a tiger trader. I used to own two of them and traded into other Vistana properties in Hawaii (Westin Maui and Princeville). One can still do those trades during shoulder season and low season.

    Interval gives Vistana units a preference for Vistana-to-Vistana trades, so you would have a serious advantage in getting those weeks. Cost: about $80-100 annual for the Interval membership + about $215 per trade (which gives you the ability to re-trade). This requires some time, effort, and advance planning, but getting a $2,500/week unit by trading something with MF's of one third that amount is always fun.

    I cannot speak about Getaways (or anything involving RCI). But if you are looking for advantaged trading, SDO is a very good choice.
     
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  3. Fatbaby52

    Fatbaby52 TUG Member

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    When you owned SDO, how hard was it to book spring training (late feb to march) weeks? A while back, I spoke with an agent who was listing a property there and he said it was no problem at all to book, but obviously he had an interest in us buying.
     
  4. Theiggy

    Theiggy TUG Member

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    I have no experience trading SDO, I own Marriott, but I bet you can get good trades with it!
    As far as cheap vacations go, I only know about Interval International aka II (called Getaways) but I know RCI has them too (called Last Calls I believe). With II yes you can get super cheap weeks especially last minute, and off season. As a member of II you also periodically get accommodation certificates (called ACs on here) which you can cash in for about $299 for an entire week, many times is beautiful resorts! I used one this summer for a summer week in a 2 bedroom in a great resort in Hershey, PA. I don’t think you can preview what is available if not a member but I have been very happy with the finds on trades, getaways and ACs on II.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  5. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    The trick is to make your reservation exactly twelve months in advance (i.e. online at midnight eastern standard time). Yes, it is a PITA, but it works. You will get the week you want if you do this.
     
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  6. JohnB3

    JohnB3 TUG Member

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    I own a few timeshares and belong to and trade in both RCI and II. The inexpensive weeks are real, as long as you are flexible on dates and willing to take weeks that are offseason. I've got a week at the Marriott Willow ridge in a two bedroom for the third week of december that I booked for ~$300 (Using an AC). RCI and II both have discounted last minute type deals but again all to less desirable places/times or overbuilt areas. I get a great deal of value from the exchange companies but its a game for me and I'm a planner. YMMV
     
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  7. Fatbaby52

    Fatbaby52 TUG Member

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    It sounds like I would be out of luck if I tried to book 9-10 months ahead of time? Sorry for the redundant questions, I know that relative to other properties I'm talking about a relatively inexpensive property, but the idea of signing up for a lifetime of fees and then racing to book like Black Friday every year kind of sucks.

    Thank you, I'm glad to hear that you get some value out of that, that's encouraging.
     
  8. mdurette

    mdurette Sighting Expert & TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Your question is about the vacations you can obtain via the trading companies without exchanging your week. I believe with SDO you would only be able to enroll in II (someone will correct me if I'm wrong). Yes, there are great deals out there especially if you are looking in off/shoulder season, last minute or areas with lots of inventory (think Orlando, Williamsburg, Branson). There are MANY times that is simply not worth it to exchange your week and to just buy a getaway instead. The downfall with II and these though is there is a no refund policy - you buy it, it is yours.
     
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  9. Fatbaby52

    Fatbaby52 TUG Member

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    This is a longshot and maybe a question for another forum. We're headed to Paris the week of Thanksgiving, which I think is very off-season over there. Do you think it's realistic to expect there to be a getaway in that period? I'm not even sure we can get enrolled by then.
     
  10. JohnB3

    JohnB3 TUG Member

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    Thanksgiving, that’s Not much lead time nor are there many timeshare in European cities but I will defer to mdurette as they are one of the real experts on TUG


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. Theiggy

    Theiggy TUG Member

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    In Paris the choices are limited in II but there are some Aparthotels I see but not really bargains and I have no idea of the quality- they are not rated. There are Getaways for Marriott in the Disneyland area, 2 bedrooms for around $500 Dec 7,8,9 check in and Nov 3rd check in for around $750/800. ETA the Aparthotels are not at Thanksgiving.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. SteelerGal

    SteelerGal TUG Member

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    I own at SDO. It is a Tiger Trader. To book Spring Training you must book first opening 12mo out. All inventory in March can go in 10min or less. I was able to book first weekend and already planning for 2021.
    Trading. You can trade in II or RCI. I primarily use II. Recently I traded a 2019 small 1bdrm for Hyatt Sedona 2bdrm. I paid a room upgrade fee. So we get to spend Ski Week in Sedona. If we didn’t need a 2bdrm. I could have easily traded into a Marriott or Westin Desert.
    Getaways. I have purchased Getsways from both RCI and II. My most expensive Getaway will be $700 because of a daily resort fee. We still follow school schedule and West Coast.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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  13. mdurette

    mdurette Sighting Expert & TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Correct that this is off season - but Holiday weeks always have more demand and are harder to get into. As others have mentioned, II has very limited Paris options. The only one that regularly shows up (and not quite in the center of it all) is the Marriott: Marriott's Village d'Ile de France , Bailly Romainvilliers , FRANCE , MVF Lots of off season availability and ACs (bonus weeks with II) can also obtain.

    As for the right forum to ask this question...you are correct, there is another section of this board (Sightings) that you can ask people to check on units and many of us post good things we come across. If you become a member of TUG (small cost) you will have access to this area.
     
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  14. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    There are a few spots where you can see some of what is available in RCI as extra vacations or last call weeks without owning a TS. One of them is www.afvacationclub.com, which caters to military and veterans. There are other sites that don’t limit to military, of course, but I don’t remember their URLs. It’s not really necessary to buy a TS in order to access RCI excess inventory.
     
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  15. chalee94

    chalee94 TUG Member

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    To add: this timeshare is not super close to Paris. Like a lot of European timeshares, it's away from the cities where Americans ideally want to be.
     
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  16. toddvb20

    toddvb20 TUG Member

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    What is a “tiger trader”?

    Thanks!
     
  17. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    A tiger trader is a TS with consistently excellent trading power for a low MF.
     
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  18. Fatbaby52

    Fatbaby52 TUG Member

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    Can you think of any other examples of Tiger Traders? I do like the SDO but I'm curious if there's something that I haven't seen yet that might make sense as well.
     
  19. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Also DRI has a Timeshare in Vincennes a short subway ride from central Paris. DRI trades in II.
     
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  20. JohnB3

    JohnB3 TUG Member

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    I think you said SDO was a good choice because you could and would use it. Thats the most important consideration, first rule pick something you can use, trading is a nice benefit but it can change. properties trading value can change even the exchange company the property can change (although with SDO I believe you can enroll it in both, but some years ago Disney switched from II to RCI so change happens). I'd think about trading as the cherry on top of your timeshare.
     
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  21. SteelerGal

    SteelerGal TUG Member

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    I agree. Own where you can use and trade if you can not utilize. We also own at Westin Kierland; however we do not want to pay the 15k resale purchase for Platinum season. SDO still gives us prime season at a great location.
     
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  22. chalee94

    chalee94 TUG Member

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    Experience has taught people to be careful about oversharing about their tiger traders. If too many people buy in and flood II with available weeks, the trade power tends to drop. So it's best to keep an eye out and try to read between the lines...
     
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