Timeshare pitches are notorious for being high pressure and for locking people into expensive contracts on the spur of the moment. Timeshare companies aren’t the only ones who use such sales tactics. Travel clubs, buyers clubs, and in-home sales people pitching things like vacuum cleaners and water purification systems all do the same things.
Here are four ways to avoid a high pressure sales pitch and a possible rip-off. Many companies use such pitches because their goods and services are worthless, and they want to trap you into signing a contract before you realize it’s a scam. If you recognize any of these four tactics, turn down the offer.
1) You’re offered a free gift to come to an “informational meeting” or to let someone demonstrate a product in your home. Everyone loves to get something for free, so this method works well. Some of the offers sound very enticing, like a free vacation or a tablet computer.
Unfortunately, you’ll often find that you don’t get the gift during the demonstration. Instead, you get a voucher that you have to mail in with “handling fees” or some other cost that exceeds the gift’s value. For vacation packages, there are usually hidden fees and restrictions that make it nearly impossible to use.
I sometimes sit through a timeshare pitch to earn a free gift, but I ask to see it up front. If the sales person is evasive, I decline to hear the pitch.
2) You’re told your spouse or partner has to be present for the meeting or demonstration. High pressure sales people want both halves of a couple present so you can’t avoid buying the product or service by saying, “I have to check with my wife/husband/partner first.” They do try to give you other excuses, though. I’ve had telemarketers tell me ridiculous things like, “This is such a great offer that it wouldn’t be fair for your spouse to miss out!” That doesn’t even make sense.
3) You’re told the offer is only good that day. The sales person wants you to think it’s a limited time offer because you’re getting such a great deal. In reality, he or she doesn’t want you to go home, think about it, and so some research. Complaints are rife online about buyers clubs, timeshares, vacuums and water purifiers sold door to door, and travel companies. When the glitz of the sales pitch wears off and you see what other people are saying, the sales person knows you’ll never sign on the dotted line.
Many years ago, I remember almost buying a timeshare based on the enticing “today only” bonuses. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and I discovered I could buy it on the secondary market for a fraction of the price. I ended up not buying it at all after seeing so many listings from buyers desperate to unload their units.
4) The sales person insults you. You’d think that a sales person would want to stay on your good side to close the sale, but those from high pressure companies often resort to insults in a last-ditch effort. A vacuum cleaner sales person might say, “So you want to live in filth?” A water purifier representative might say, “Then you’ll be drinking poison.” A buyers club representative might scoff, “Only a fool would pass up our savings. “I laugh when I hear things like that and call them out on the tactic with a line like, “Only a sucker would fall for such a transparent sales trick.”
Companies use high pressure sales tactics for a reason. They’re desperate to reel people in without giving them a chance to rationally consider the purchase. Walk out the door, or kick out the sales person in your home, if you ever find yourself facing any of these four tactics.