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Timeshare Industry Parallels Barter Industry In Some Respects

A recent Tuesday Report article, “Plan Ahead When Bartering Your Timeshare Week,” brought some interesting and informative feedback from our readers:

  • While a timeshare, a form of vacation property ownership, is usually a condominium vacation resort (the use and costs of running the resort being shared among the owners), developers have also applied the timeshare model to houseboats, yachts, campgrounds, and motor homes.

  • Today’s timeshare industry includes over 5,000 resorts worldwide, with a total of 11 million timeshare “intervals” that have been individually sold to nearly 7 million families.

  • Timeshares sales, globally, total over $9 billion annually.

  • There exists a resale industry for the resale of timeshare intervals. The bartering of timeshare units is also available through the commercial barter industry.

  • The two largest exchange agencies are Resort Condominiums International (RCI) and Interval International, plus there are several independent exchange agencies. Both have resort affiliate programs and members can only exchange to affiliate resorts.

  • It is rare to find a dual affiliate resort, it is more common for a resort to be affiliated with only one of the larger exchange agencies.

  • RCI represents over 3,800 resorts, and Interval has in excess of 2,000 resorts.

  • The timeshare industry can be viewed as an example of a highly successful, single channel barter system. Single channel because there are no reciprocal agreements between either the major players (RCI and Interval) or the smaller players (lesser known agencies).

  • It is important when considering timeshare ownership to determine which locations and resorts you may want to travel to trade for, before making your purchase. Because the timeshare resort you purchase will determine which of the major exchange companies you can work through.

  • Owners of time shares who wish to have the opportunity to swap accommodations pay an additional fee...over and above the annual membership/maintenance fee.

  • The exchange agencies bar members from subrenting weeks they have acquired in a trade.

  • Timeshare owners may arrange a direct exchange. This, of course, requires locating a timeshare owner with mutually acceptable location and weeks. Until recently, such exchanges were quite rare. But with the burgeoning use of the Internet that will change, saving owners the additional fee required when trading through exchange agencies.

Here are some sites to check out:




http://www.greatrentals.com and http://www.choice1.com.