What are Timeshare Exchanges?
Timeshare exchange is one of the primary reasons of buying a timeshare for many people because this gives them the flexibility of exchanging their timeshares with other owners principally to visit a different tourist destination each year. Earlier timeshares were not exchangeable. Slowly and steadily things started changing. With the advent of technology and better management tools available today more and more timeshares have the inbuilt feature of timeshare exchange. Though not all timeshares may be exchangeable, it is better to enquire this before buying a timeshare. Most timeshare developers have tie-ups with timeshare exchange companies, so when you buy a timeshare you are automatically enrolled into a timeshare exchange program. The fee for the first year is usually free but you may have to pay the fee from the second year.
A timeshare exchange gives the owner freedom to vacation at any time of the year unlike only at a specific time. Also it gives the freedom from going to the same unit every year. The way it works is the owner trades his/her unit with owners of different timeshare and different resorts. But most of the time there is a requirement that the units should be similar means you can’t trade one bedroom with a two bedroom unit and vice-versa.
A timeshare can not only avail the exchange service through the timeshare developer but can also go directly to a timeshare exchange company. But care should be taken to select a right exchange broker. Do your homework first by researching well about the background of the broker. The timeshare industry is not fully protected against non-scrupulous acts by scammers and frauds. Do not pay huge fees or sign any document unless making sure you are doing the right thing.
A timeshare exchange member usually deposits his/her timeshare unit into the inventory of the timeshare company’s available weeks. It is not a simple transaction. If the week requested by an owner is in the inventory and the week offered by the owner is a good exchangeable week then the exchange takes place. It does not mean that the owner has to wait until the time the exchange company finds an exchange offer for your timeshare. They already decide it after reviewing the timeshare like what season timeshare it is? What location? Those who have timeshares in peak season have more chances of finding a timeshare and they can request exchange both in peak time and off peak time periods. The owners who have off peak timeshares usually get off timeshares, their chances of getting a peak season timeshare are almost zero. But this may vary from resort to resort. Some resorts may be busy all round the year. The owners in these kinds of resorts generally have no problems exchanging timeshares.
If a person cannot find an exchange the exchange company puts you in the waiting list and contacts you whenever an exchange is available and gives you the exchange unit. The owner can also choose in the beginning of the exchange request whether to approve the exchange confirmation at the approval of the owner at least a week before the confirmation or to go ahead and confirm the exchange without the approval. Again keep in mind good planning is necessary to initiate an exchange. If you decide to exchange a timeshare at the last minute, it may not be possible.