United States-Based Consumer Groups
A substantial World Wide Web presence has given the United States — based consumer groups a broader worldwide following. The good news is that in an effort to grab online readers' attention across the globe, all three of the consumer-based groups listed below make a great deal of their Web site content available for free to nonmembers. This gives you the chance to learn a great deal about timeshares without forking over a single penny, and also to decide which group's information you find most helpful before signing up for their members-only sections. Even better news is that, should you decide to join any of these groups, the membership fees are quite reasonable — in all cases less than $25 and in some cases less than $10.
This quarterly magazine was launched in 2004 with the goal of simplifying timeshare shopping for consumers. It is produced by Bigfish Publications, a six-year-old company in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Its biggest claim to fame thus far is the publication of the
Membership in an online consumer group usually allows you access to online chat rooms where you can talk with other timeshare owners about their personal experiences with specific resorts and exchange companies. In many cases, this is the most honest information you will find anywhere about timeshare use and value.
The Timeshare Beat magazine
This online publication has been on the World Wide Web since 1999. It publishes daily, Monday through Friday, offering news and information about everything from timeshare resorts to new opportunities in timesharing, including boats. The site claims that about 230,000 different people see it every thirty days, for a total of more than 2.7 million individual users per year.
The majority of people reading
Timeshare User's Group
The Timeshare User's Group was started in 1993 by Bill Rogers after he and his wife traded a timeshare unit in a very nice resort for a unit that he describes as being in a “rundown converted motel.” He thought there should be a place where timeshare-unit owners could go to find independent information and talk about their experiences, and so he launched the Web-based group that is now found at
Timeshare User's Group has information about more than 2,000 resorts on its Web site, along with resort ratings, chat rooms, resale values, classified ads for timeshare resales, display ads for timeshare resort services, and more. One of the best things about the site — if you are new to timeshares and have a lot to learn — is that much of its instructional information is viewable for free. You can learn about everything from buying to selling to exchanging your timeshare in articles written by other timeshare-unit owners who have had good and bad experiences alike.
Some other Web-based consumer groups claim that the world's largest exchange company, Resort Condominiums International, gets more than a fair shake on the TUG Web site (with complaints being taken off the chat room listings, and such), but for the most part TUG has an excellent reputation as a source of unbiased, user-friendly timeshare information. The membership fee is $15, which you can pay online, or by telephone, fax, or snail mail.
TimeSharing Today Magazine
This magazine's tagline states that it is “The Trusted Independent Voice of Vacation Ownership Since 1991.”
The TimeSharing Today Web site is chock-full of helpful information, much of it available to nonmembers for free. You can view all the content, including resort reviews and timeshare resale documents, by signing up to receive the magazine (twelve issues for $24) or simply the online edition (nine issues for $12).
The magazine promotes the fact that the major exchange company Resort Condominiums International has banned