How To Exchange Your Timeshare: The 2 Most Misunderstood Words That Keep You From Getting Good Exchanges

There are 2 words that many timeshare owners fail to understand that keeps them from getting good exchanges with RCI and Interval International.
How many times have you requested an exchange only to have them tell you that it’s “not available?”  Well, if you’re typical, then probably the majority of the time. Many people interpret “not  available” to mean that it will never be available.  So they hang up the phone thinking that the exchange process doesn’t work and the whole thing is a scam.  Their frustration stems from the fact that their salesperson made it sound like doing an exchange would be just as easy as reserving a hotel room. But it’s not!
It’s much easier getting hotel rooms because there are so many of them and they are generally only 65% occupied. More importantly, hotels know their availability in advance unlike RCI and Interval International.  
But doing a timeshare exchange isn’t the same as reserving a hotel. As timeshare owners we trade off the ease, availability and expense of reserving a hotel room to get larger more comfortable condos for our family.  And when a timeshare exchange is done right, we get to stay in really nice resorts for a fraction of what we would normally have to pay.
But neither RCI nor Interval International know the availability of any timeshare resort in advance.  They have to wait until the owners in the timeshare resorts deposit their weeks into their exchange pools before they can offer it us.  
If every timeshare owner deposited their weeks on or before Jan 1 of each year, then doing a timeshare exchange would be easier and more like making a reservation in a hotel.  But in the real world both exchange companies receive deposits throughout the entire year and not all at one time.  
That’s the reason that owners are told that their request is “not available” nearly every time they want to do a timeshare exchange.   The important thing to understand is that just because you’re request isn’t available the day you ask doesn’t mean it won’t become available at a later date.
You see “not available” in timeshare speak really means that there’s a waiting list of people who have already requested the EXACT same thing as you.  So whenever you hear “not available” you should immediately ask to be put on the waiting list.  RCI and Interval International call that doing a pending search or request.
Now, WHETHER your request becomes available will depend on WHERE you come in on that waiting list and is another very important aspect of doing a timeshare exchange.
So one of the keys to getting a good timeshare exchange is in understanding that there will ALWAYS be a waiting list for the best resorts and/or peak travel periods.  Rather than being frustrated with it, accept it and learn how to work it to your benefit.  Frankly, the more people that don’t understand what “not available” really means, the better your chances of getting what you want on exchange.

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