Spring may be a hot time for real estate sales, but unloading a timeshare is not.
Today 9.2 million American households, or about 7.3 percent, own at least one shared vacation product. The U.S. timeshare industry has been growing steadily, to $9.2 billion in 2016 in net sales from $4.63 billion in 2010, according to the American Resort Development Association, the Washington-based organization that represents the vacation ownership and resort development industries.
About 50 percent of all new sales comes from existing owners, who experts say are much easier to upsell than a brand-new buyer.
Those sales pitches can be hard to ignore.
"They give people big incentives to go to these sales presentations, and their salespeople are outstanding," said Jeff Weir, chief correspondent at RedWeek, a platform for selling and renting timeshares. He is also an investigative reporter covering national timeshare legislation, litigation, legacy resorts and developer issues.
"They can seduce anybody into buying a timeshare," Weir said. "It happened to me, and I'm no dummy."