Timesharing is pitched as a way of ‘owning’
your vacation. Rather than ‘paying rent’ as
you normally do when you get a hotel, you ‘own’
the rights to a particular property. The sales pitch is
that you own your room or condo at a particular resort for
a particular week every year, and it’s yours to use
every year, or to rent out, or you can allow friends to
there are options allowing you to exchange your timeshare
for a different destination. Participation in an exchange
company allows you to exchange your week in Cozumel, for
example, with somebody who owns a week in Cancun that wants
to spend this year’s vacation in Cozumel
Timeshare has passed its infancy and is now joined by some
of the most respected names in the hospitality business,
including Sheraton, Marriott, Disney, and more. The industry
has matured and fly-by-night operators are considerably
fewer and far between. You may encounter other travelers
who own one or as many as 20 timeshare weeks, and many of
them love the concept.
Recently the industry has begun offering ‘fractional
ownership’ options on not only hotel and condo units,
but entire free-standing houses and villas which allow you
to buy an entire month, or (for example) a 1/8 share of
a condo or villa.
For some people, timeshare and fractional ownership
makes sense. For others, it does not. Here are some key
points to consider if thinking about timesharing in Cozumel:
Location: If you like the kind of vacation
where you spend a majority of your time at the resort, hanging
out at the pool or beach, and in general ‘un-winding’
from your normally stressful life, then nearly any location
in Cozumel can fill the bill. Locations further out from
"the Golden Zone" will offer even more relaxation
and ‘peaceful isolation’. If, however, you like
to spend more time out and about, shopping, trying new restaurants,
taking in tours and activities, then consider a location
close to the places you like to visit.
Annual Maintenance Fees: Carefully consider
the cost of annual maintenance in addition to the purchase
price, and check to see that there is a cap on the possible
annual increases to this fee. Nobody should expect a maintenance
fee to remain the same forever regardless of inflation and
rising costs, but it should not out-pace these increases.
Fixed or Floating Week: Are you able to
take your vacation on the exact same week every year? If
so, a fixed week could be fine. Floating weeks offer more
flexibility, but may still require booking your desired
vacation week far in advance.
Exchange Options: There are two major
exchange companies, and each charge an annual membership
fee plus another fee when you actually succeed in exchanging
your week. Considering the amortized price of your timeshare,
plus maintenance fees, plus exchange membership and exchange
fees, you might be better off finding a good hotel deal
on the internet rather than having to fuss with making exchanges.
If you plan to use your timeshare yourselves at the resort
where you purchased it, then disregard this, and don’t
waste your money even bothering to join an exchange company.
Typical Traveling Group: Do you have children
or typically travel with friends? The price of a timeshare
and annual maintenance fees can often represent a great
value when compared to the cost of multiple hotel rooms
in Cozumel. Many timeshares are condo-style, complete with
kitchen, so your timeshare is truly your ‘vacation
Investment Value: There is NO investment
value to a typical timeshare, and your purchase of a timeshare
should not be predicated on the idea that it will provide
positive cash-flow or an increase in value with age. IMMEDIATELY
walk away from any timeshare pitch that tries to show you
how much money you can make with your timeshare. This statement
is backed up by the timeshare industry’s board of
If you are truly looking for an investment, the real estate
climate in Cozumel has been very attractive for the past
several years, and shows no signs of letting up. The purchase
of a full-ownership condo or house here presents a more
expensive, but infinitely more lucrative opportunity for
a vacation residence with positive investment and cash-flow
It is presumed that the investment value on fractional
ownership of free-standing houses and villas might be positive,
since these are typically titled-and-deeded for perpetuity.
However this portion of the industry is too young to be
able to offer any conclusive facts.
If you love Cozumel, and typically vacation here
at least once a year: Timesharing is probably a excellent
option for you. If you have found one particular
area or resort that you especially enjoy, this is the place
to look for a timeshare opportunity for you. There are many
fine and reputable timeshare and fractional ownership options
here, and it will be worth your time to check them out.
about those pesky timeshare ‘sharks’ on the
streets of Cozumel: Yes, they can be annoying
and obnoxious, and they sometimes seem to be. There are
many ‘stores’ that are actual timeshare ‘fronts’.
Everybody, locals and tourists alike, lament their numbers
and tactics, but the industry has strong ties to government
and it must be successful or they wouldn’t remain.
Here are a few of the typical ‘shout outs’
from the ‘sharks’:
“Hey, you guys on your Honeymoon?”
“Where are you going, to the Flea Market?”
“What kind of tours are you looking for today?”
“You want a free jeep rental?”
“Are you from California?” (or any other place,
given a clue by your S.F. Giants hat or Denver Broncos T-shirt)
All of these are designed to elicit ANY reply so that you
get sucked into a ‘friendly’ conversation, which
soon turns into a high-pressure pitch to attend a timeshare
presentation in exchange for free dinners, tours, or even
cash. Most visitors, being friendly and not wanting to appear
rude in a foreign country, get caught up and find they can’t
Even trying to simply ignore them doesn’t work. As
you walk by ignoring the man’s questions, he may retort
“What, you’re too good to talk to a Mexican?”
taking a last stab at roping you in. And once you’ve
been roped, forget what he tells you about a 90-minute presentation.
Yes, you’ll see a beautiful resort and get fed a good
breakfast, but the hard-sell tactics do not end on the street.
There are hundreds of reports (easily found on the internet)
about hard-sell presentations lasting hours and hours, where
even the slightest appearance of interest on your part keeps
you bound to your seats no matter how many times you say
“thank you, but NO” while trying to escape and
collect your “free gift” of a tour or dinners.