Investing in a timeshare can be an incredibly rewarding experience, so long as the process to do so goes smoothly, which is often easier said than done. Timeshare companies are regularly subject to speculation and criticism from the general public, as they have, in the past and today, been strongly associated negative stigmas.

One of the most common complaints people have about working with timeshare companies is the cost, and needing to make a decision that day, or in the sales meeting. Sales pitches and meetings with potential investors very rarely detail the cost of the investment right out of the gate. Salesmen in this field have their jobs for a reason. They are highly skilled at attracting customers without ever mentioning the hidden fees that frequently come with timeshares. Pay close attention to any contracts you are planning on signing. This a case in which you will want to read through thoroughly to avoid falling victim to these unmentioned payments.

Another complaint that is heard quite often is regarding the presentations that salesmen conduct themselves. These can be incredibly time consuming, while also alluring from the start. The most effective salesmen will typically market their presentations with a “complimentary gift” if you attend.

For those who have little to no knowledge on timeshares, cases have come forth in which the salesmen belittle their intelligence, and come off as very insulting. The entire experience can be unsettling for individuals, and will usually lead to more complaints through word of mouth.

Don’t feel as though you are obligated to sit through an entire presentation. If the pitch begins to become aggressive or make you uncomfortable in any way, stand up and leave the room. The worst mistake you can make is agreeing to something simply out of fear.

It is crucial to understand the difference between a legitimately good timeshare salesman, and a scam artist. The first step you can take in doing this is visiting the Better Business Bureau and check for complaints on the company that you are planning on meeting with. Avoid signing anything at the presentation. As mentioned before, hidden fees are common in these, and the best way to avoid them is by refusing to sign a single document until you’ve heard and have read through every detail. Once you have given your signature, make a copy of the document so that the company cannot attempt to change any of the stipulations.

Discuss your experiences with other timeshare owners. Shared information is a surefire way to better understand certain timeshare companies and their practices. Have they experienced any problems themselves with the home or company? Have they had negative experiences with the company’s representatives? These are important questions to ask in order to best avoid a poor investment.

Timeshare companies can be intimidating to many people, in that their processes are often drawn out and expensive. Look for the red flags when considering purchasing or renting a timeshare, and work intelligently to ensure that you are not wasting your money.