October 11, 2013 — You may have read this week in ITG (‘Inside The Gate’) that The Timeshare Users Group (TUG) just celebrated their 20th anniversary, having launched the original service and website back in 1993. Kudos to all members who made TUG a success — but I have a huge gripe with El Grupo (which I otherwise support 100%).
So Here’s The Scoop: To cut to the chase, my only complaint about TUG can be found in their very own press release this week where TUG states: “The most common thing we hear from all of our members is: ‘wish I would have found TUG before I bought my first Timeshare!’ “
Now what is wrong with that, you ask? Mostly nothing at all, because TUG provides all sorts of free (or near free) valuable services for their members and as I’ve clearly stated I support the group’s efforts 100% and have done so since I first discovered them in 1997.
But back then, as it is today, my issue with ‘some’ (repeat ‘some’) of the TUGGERS is their invariable whining and their real meaning – in part – about wishing they had discovered TUG “before I bought my first Timeshare!”
You see, what ‘some’ are talking about are the sales & marketing costs associated with the purchase price when buying directly from the developer. Those TUGGERS — then and now — treat developers ‘marketing/sales’ costs as if no other businesses, products/services in the world incur such expenses and THEN pass ALL those costs on to their buyers (consumers).
As an example only — and there’s an endless list to choose from — other things ‘some’ TUGGERS purchase with sales, marketing and production costs, etc. passed on to them (that doesn’t seem to upset them) would be the auto industry.
Just watch any of the nightly TV network news broadcasts right before The Late Night Show with Jay Leno, the Letterman Show, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallen, Conan Obrien, Craig Ferguson, etc.
All those TV commercials that air during the news programs and then during the late night ‘Shows’ are flooded by the auto industry – pick your brand – And those commercials aren’t cheap and they are also part of the overall marketing and sales costs (aka: advertising) – and guess who is ultimately paying those ‘marketing & sales costs’? Right, ‘some’ TUGGERS (and the rest of us)!
And then when the viewing audience wakes up the next morning and while getting ready for work they turn on their televisions for the morning news, weather, etc. – BAM there are those car commercials again and again and again – 24/7/365!
Oh, and when TUGGERS buy that new car, even if they actually believe when purchasing at the “invoice price” they’re getting a steal and/or good deal (not), within that ‘price’ they are also paying the sales reps’ commissions; they are paying for additional ‘local’ advertising (‘marketing’) costs; plus they are contributing to the manufacturers’ retiree pension plans and they are paying the current assembly workers’ health insurance, salary, etc.
And believe me I haven’t even scratched the tip of THAT iceberg which includes other costs in the price of that brand new shiny car that, by the way, depreciates up to 35% the second the TUGGER pulls off the lot — long before they even get home and show & tell with their neighbors, etc.
But back to Timeshare Developers. I have rarely read a TUGGER post about the colossal risks timeshare developers incur up front to acquire the raw land to build a TS project; to get all the permits required by law; to hire the attorneys; the architects to design the proposed project; the construction company to build said resort(s); costs to purchase all the furnishings, have landscaping companies do their ‘thing’, etc., ultimately concluding by opening up a sales center and, with a marketing/sales program, inviting in future TUGGERS to live ‘the good vacation life’…
And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that although developers do play a part in the dismal secondary TS market it has also been many scammers, resale companies and ‘some’ TUGGERS who’ve contributed to the depressed resale market because all the while developers continue to market/sell for a profit at retail prices their counterparts didn’t have the wherewithal or desire to command proven prices that the market would bear.
And lastly: If it hadn’t been for the original timeshare developers and their predecessors (including all their hard working mostly-honest and professional marketing/sales reps, administrative staffs and maintenance personnel who’ve kept the resorts up to standards), those same TUGGERS would have spent the money anyway — except they would have done so on small, cramped, unattractive no frill 200-300 square foot hotel and/or motel rooms without so much as a vacation coffee pot to (_ _ _ _) in!
But please stop with the wishing you had known about TUG before you bought your first timeshare, because the truth is had it not been for the timeshare industry now celebrating our 50th anniversary there would be no TUG in the first place and ‘some’ of you TUGGERS would still be vacationing with good ole Tom Bodett who’ll “leave the light on” while you check into Motel 6 for a relaxing & comfy two-week stay of vacation merry-making with your families.
Good Luck Out There!
© Copyright Inside the Gate. All rights reserved.
Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry, Scoop covers an array of industry related subjects each week including inside information, tips, scandals, interviews, forecasts as well as new (good or bad) products and services--- and, of course, all the 'Good', the 'Bad' and the 'Ugly'.
Stay tuned for what is sure to be a fun ride and check back to Timeshare Scoop du Jour each week for more of the inside scoop.