I promote timeshare in Las Vegas and I’ve been doing it for nearly 13 years. During this time I’ve been asked over and over again, “how does a Las Vegas timeshare promoter actually get paid?”
The answer will probably surprise you, and this page will help you avoid being scammed by a Las Vegas timeshare promoter.
How Giving you LESS Makes a Timeshare Promoter MORE
The truth is, in most cases a Las Vegas timeshare promoter (also known as an OPC or off property consultant) gets paid by not giving you gifts… You read that correctly, they are paid to short change you, their guests.
This causes a bit of a problem. The bigger the gift the promoter or OPC gives you, the less money they make as a commission. So what do you do to ensure that you don’t get scammed by a timeshare promoter in Las Vegas?
Understanding how exactly timeshare promoters in Las Vegas get paid
When it comes to giving out free gifts in Las Vegas, most timeshare promoters go by a simple equation it looks like this:
At the end of this equation, whatever they have left over from their budget they get to take home as a commission. This is important to understand as we continue along this article, so keep this in mind and let’s move on…
Big timeshare companies vs small timeshare promoters
There are two types of ways to get signed up for a timeshare while in Las Vegas.
The first involves getting signed up in a big Casino where a large company like Wyndham or Westgate spend literally tens of thousands of dollars (more than $100,000 in some cases) a month on-location rental costs and hiring on the clock employees.
The second involves running into an independent promoter working for a brokerage somewhere in Las Vegas, usually outside of a casino.
These agents outside of the casinos are indeed licensed with the real estate division, and are perfectly LEGITIMATE.
How they operate differs, and sometimes agents can make giant offers that may be too good to be true, as you will soon learn here.
The big corporation with a booth inside the casino
In most cases, companies working inside casinos will give you purely legitimate gifts for you don’t have to come out of pocket, the only trade off being that you may have to pay a deposit as in cash or credit card up front…
… Also, sometimes if the gifts are very valuable like Cirque du Soleil tickets, you may not get the tickets totally for free.
Small timeshare promoters workout outside the casinos
Small timeshare promoters working on public streets in Las Vegas on the other hand, have more freedom and what they can give but also can be more inclined to play tricks when signing you up and offering you free gift packages.
The secret ways Las Vegas timeshare promoters can rip you off
Independent timeshare promoters are given a giant list of things to offer you as an incentive to do a timeshare tour.
Oftentimes, gifts will range from promotional gambling credits that cost the agent only a few dollars to give out, to Cirque du Soleil tickets what you lost almost their entire budget.
If you remember the budget minus gifts equation we talked about above, you can see how timeshare OPC or agent in Las Vegas can be motivated to tell you half or total mistruths about your gifts.
What can you do to make sure that you’re not getting a Las Vegas timeshare agent?
Follow a few simple rules to make sure that you’re getting a good deal from a Las Vegas timeshare agent. This list is a good collection of tips to get the best deal that you can from a timeshare tour.
Is the deal too good to be true?
If an agent is offering you a set of show tickets and at dinner are the major Casino, there’s a good chance that you’re getting yourself a good legitimate deal or you won’t have to pay anything out of your own pocket.
If however, the agent starts offering you gambling money as well as Show tickets and dining comps and then tell you things about the gambling money like “you can cash this out of the machine for real money,” you are most likely being lied to.
Unlike before the 2008 economic recession, casinos have stopped offering slot play where you can get cash out of machines.
Table chips are also incredibly hard to come by on timeshare tours in Las Vegas these days. You can get one or $200 to gamble with but don’t believe for a second that you can get cash out of the machines and walk away with hundreds of dollars of real currency in your hands.
Main Takeaway - if an agent offers you things that seem fishy, they probably are. If they start telling you that you can get cash for promotional items, you cant.
ask up front if you’ll have to pay anything for your gifts
Ask your agent if you’ll have to pay any deposit and if you have to pay, will it be non-refundable.
Non-Refundable? Wait… what?
Non-refundable deposits mean that you are essentially paying for your gifts, and there is no refund.
This is common practice with large timeshare companies who want to offset their costs by essentially selling you a part of your gifts (which is UNFAIR)…
…but it can also happen if your gifts are very expensive and exceed the cost of the budget the agent has (so the agent does not lose money and go negative on sending you on your tour).
A refundable deposit if taken it all, means that you’re simply paying to hold your seats and ensure that you’ll show up for your tour…
…but you’ll get your money back after completing your tour, and will essentially have no out of pocket expenses for doing your timeshare tour.
Main Take Away - ask your agent if there are any deposits involved in taking the tour, and be sure to ask if they are refundable or non refundable. Do not be fooled by big companies in casinos with flashy booths that require a NON-REFUNDABLE deposit to complete your tour, these are usually not needed!
where is the location of the tour?
There are several timeshare properties located right on the Strip, unfortunately many of these properties will send you into shuttle bus to a different location to take the actual timeshare tour.
These off property tour locations can be several miles off the main tourist strip.
This means you will have to rely on the timeshare company themselves to provide you a ride back unless you want to pay out-of-pocket for a taxi or Uber or Lyft ride.
This puts you at a disadvantage because you can’t simply walk out after the promised time has passed with your gifts in hand.
We have had feedback from guests who tell us horror stories about shuttle buses that are never available and sales managers that are brought out in the meantime to lower the price just one more time.
Main Take Away - If your tour involves taking a shuttle, chances are that you will be an extra hour or more IN ADDITION TO your tour time. Always ask where the tour actually takes place.
is there food provided? Is it a real meal?
If your agent offers you a meal to go along with the tour, be sure to ask if it’s a real meal or if it’s simply snacks like popcorn.
Honest agents will tell you the truth, whereas dishonest agents will tell you it’s a full buffet and a hot meal just to get you in the door.
After checking in if there’s no food and you feel like you need to eat, it’s going to make your tour all that much more difficult. If you’re ever in doubt, make sure to turn down the tour or get food for yourself before you show up for your timeshare tour. Also regarding food, ask the agent if the food is allotted in the tour time.
If an agent tells you it to her is 90 minutes in length, does that include the food offered? Or are you going to sit down and eat before you start the tour.
I discovered the hard way that the Westgate company was telling agents that food was included in the tour time, but this was not true and the tour started AFTER a guest ate their breakfast or lunch.
Main Take Away - if food is promised, make sure that you learn what type of food, and if this is part of the promised tour time. Eat if you need to, you do not want to do a tour on an empty stomach, right?
how long is the tour, really?
Timeshare tours differ from company to company. They are not always the same length, and your agent or promoter should know how long the tour is.
Unfortunately, many timeshare agents or promoters will tell you a shorter tour time in order to get you to agree to taking the tour, which can cause you problems if you have things scheduled later in the day.
Take a look at the paperwork you get from the agent.
All timeshare paperwork (also called invitations) will have a tour time listed, and that will always be the time you are expected to stay in order to get your free gifts.
If an agent tells you otherwise, they are not telling you the truth!
When it comes down to it, the timeshare company will always refer to this paperwork, so if an agent tells you otherwise, be prepared to stay the length of time listed on that invitation.
Main Take Away - Be aware of the time on the paperwork your agent gives you. This is the REAL time you need to stay for the presentation. Presentation lenghts vary by company, so be sure to look at the details on your paperwork!
You CAN have a GREAT Experience at a Las Vegas Timeshare Presentation
Remember to always use your built-in alert system and follow these simple guidelines.
Use your own good intuition you should be able to avoid getting a bad deal from a timeshare agent in Las Vegas.
It should be stressed that most timeshare agents in Las Vegas are well-intentioned.
Some agents are new and inexperienced, and they rely on information provided to them from their brokerage company who has a deal with the timeshare.
We here at Vegas for free now provide gift packages consisting of real cash, real Cirque du Soleil tickets, or other major shows as well as real dining certificates that can be used anywhere.
If you’re interested in doing the timeshare tour and are here in Las Vegas, send us an email using the form below and get started getting paid in Las Vegas.