I own several timeshares. Some have been purchased through developer presentations and others through internet resales.
In February 2010 I spent a week at Rancho Banderas, a timeshare located about 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. During that week I attended a sales presentation at the Grand Mayan, one of several Mayan Resorts properties in Nuevo Vallarta. I received the usual gifts for my participation in this presentation.
My salesman, Carlos is an older gentleman, and his son Carlito also works as a timeshare salesman in Nuevo Vallarta. Carlos was very respectful and informative. As always, Carlos pointed out the beauty of the resort, the financial sound condition of the company, etc.
I had recently redeployed from Iraq, I had an offer to deploy to Afghanistan, and money was not a major issue. Never the less, I was looking for a good deal, and eventually agreed to purchase a re-sale property (the original owners had either lost the property in foreclosure or they had upgraded to a larger unit or more luxurious unit). I purchased this timeshare for a very reasonable price from Carlos. What Carlos didn't know was that already was an owner, as one of the re-sale timeshares I had purchased over the internet was a foreclosure at Mayan Palace. So now my collection of timeshares included a resort at Mayan Palace and another at the Grand Mayan. I went home reasonably happy at the end of my week.
About 6 weeks later, I used one of my newly acquired bonus weeks to stay at the Grand Mayan in Puerto Penasco. As usual, the Concierge steered me toward the owners upgrade information seminar upon check-in. I pointed-out to my sales representative that I had just purchased the timeshare at Grand Mayan and that I had not had sufficient time to evaluate my ownership properties and determine whether I had a need to upgrade. After several hours, I agreed to surrender both Mayan Properties, and upgrade to the Grand Bliss for an additional sum of money. I immediately had buyers remorse, but I did not want a confrontation with the sales staff.
Prior to departing from the resort at the end of the week I prepared a notification of cancellation and addressed the envelope. Immediately prior to checking-out, I sent an email to Mayan Resorts informing them that I was exercising my right to cancel the contract within the 5 day period. I then checked-out about 6:30 AM and began the drive back to Nevada. I stopped in Needles, California and mailed the Notification of Cancellation to Mayan Resorts, then notified my bank that I had exercised my cancellation right.
In April 2011 I returned to Nuevo Vallarta, and again I attended an owners upgrade presentation. This time I surrendered my two Mayan Properties and again upgraded to a Grand Bliss membership. Again, I had buyers remorse. This time I returned to the sales office in Nuevo Vallarta and spoke with Management. I told him I was prepared to exercise my cancellation rights as I really do not need the upgrade. He listened to me and offered to take-back some of my bonus weeks in return for a reduction in the purchase price in excess of $1,700. I accepted the counter-offer and I now own a one bedroom unit at the Grand Bliss.
I have spent a week at the Grand Bliss, and I love the resort. Again, I attended an owners upgrade presentation, and this time I did not further upgrade.
My advise to anyone who attends a timeshare presentation while on vacation in a foreign country is to delay the presentation long enough, so you will return home prior to the 5th business day. If you cannot return home prior to the expiration of your cancellation period, determine the location of the nearest local post-office, and you can send a cancellation "official mail" from the country of origin to the address provided by the developer in the contract. Always ensure you have a complete copy of the contract in-hand prior to departing the sales office. I always also request a PDF copy.
Most sales people do not tell you a lie in the sales presentation. Rather, they have two or more similar products. They realize that mentally you are likely to mix and match the concepts. Their sales presentations are carefully scripted, and they may deceive you. You should always conduct internet research of a company before attending a timeshare sales presentation. If your escort attempts to take you to another resort (other than the resort you researched), make an excuse to delay the presentation until the next day. You should always know if a similar product is available through re-sale on the internet.