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
Timeshares sales, globally, total over $9
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: