Save Money in Cabo through Time Share Presentation
If you’re getting ready to go to Cabo San Lucas, you’ve heard it from everyone–run as fast as you can from the Time Share Hawkers. But I’m here to tell you, they’re your friends, and you can benefit from them. Here’s how to benefit from the Cabo San Lucas Time Share system and save money on your activities.
The Cabo Time Share System
First, you’ve got to understand what the system is. It goes like this:
- You get off the plane in Cabo, clear immigration and customs.
- You enter into this strange white room with lots of Mexicans looking at you.
- You notice white desks all around you.
- And then, a Mexican asks, “Who is picking you up?”
- If you ignore him, you’ll go outside to a giant horde of locals trying to get you into their taxis or sell you things.
- Or, if you pay attention to the questioner, you get swooped into the Time Share Zone.
The Time Share Zone
By answering the hawker’s question, you get swooped into the Time Share Zone. At first, you will think you’re getting some great information. You’ll be asked what you want to do, where you want to go, how you’ll get around, etc. These wonderful beings of information will answer your questions, provide you maps, and give you a ton of good answers to help plan your vacation.
And just when you’ve got your map all marked up, they will sneak into a Time Share pitch.
The Time Share Pitch
The Time Share pitch, at this point, is nothing more than an invite to come to their location to hear a 90-minute pitch on how to make your annual vacations more affordable. In order to get you to come to the presentation, they will use all the activity info you just gave them to your (or their) advantage by offering free taxi rides (value $70!), dinners, drinks, stays, and reduced pricing on whale watching, snorkeling, parasailing, massages, etc.
Just say you’ll be there, and the treasure chest opens up.
They promise that if you say yes, on the day of your presentation, they will pick you up at your hotel, whisk you away to the facility, and start you with a delicious breakfast/lunch/dinner. You’ll tour the property with a nice, affable Mexican, be offered drinks, be passed off to the qualifier, be offered more drinks, be passed to the closer, and be given the final deal. At this point, you can say yes, no, or not sure. If yes, you fill out more paper work, if no, you leave with your gifts, if not sure, they sweeten the deal.
Here’s What Happened to Us in Cabo
My husband, daughter and I got into Cabo an hour before my mom and sister, so we had to sit and wait for their arrival. During our wait, we got to watch the Time Share dance happen to many people. The hawkers target middle-aged couples with or without children. No singles. We were perfect bait. Pancho approached, and being curious, I answered his question.
The Magic at the White Desk
He invited me over to his special desk and proceeded to show a list of all the things we could do in Cabo. Like a kid in a candy store, I checked off snorkeling, glass bottom boat, shopping, whale watching, and massage.
He told me the typical costs for these items:
Glass bottom boat $10,
Whale watching $90,
Next, he asked me where we were staying (Hampton Inn), which would be a $70 cab ride from the airport. Having researched all of these items prior to arriving to Cabo, I knew his prices were a bit high but where definitely in the ball park. By the way, also on the list were horseback riding, car rental, parasailing, sunset cruise, deep sea fishing, and party boat.
Researched rack rates:
Snorkeling (Cabo Escape) $79
Glass bottom boat $10
Whale watching (with r/t transportation, Cabo Expeditions) $79
Massage (5-star, Westin) $150
I told him we were interested in seeing his property. Why not, perhaps I would want a time share in Mexico. It was worth it to me to spend a few hours visiting the property and getting an education in Mexican time shares. The rest of my family was game too. We figured the time-share commitment was in the morning and would only be taking time out from laying by the pool or beach. What did we have to lose?
Our Pitch Deal
We made a deal. If we would come to the property, he would cut the prices substantially off the things we wanted to do. The thought of pre-paying for our week’s activities for five people appealed to us.
He offered up his first round of pricing (the original prices), of which we said no.
Finally, we settled on this pricing:
Glass bottom boat $free,
Shopping $100 gift certificates to Diamonds International,
Whale watching $30,
Taxi to hotel $free,
Taxi to/fro property $free.
On top of this deal, he added in $100 coupon for food/drinks at Guacamales, a wonderful dining adventure frequented by locals. The total value of his offer: $1360. In addition, he told us we would use the same, high-quality vendors we had researched.
Off to the Time Share Deal
On the next day, Pancho picked us up at the hotel and put us in a nice van. We arrived at the property in 20 minutes. There, a hostess checked us in, verifying we were between 25-69, had a credit card and US ID, and were fully employed. She passed us off to Martin who took us on a tour of the beautiful property–pools, rooms, facilities, etc. We had a full breakfast with Martin. Taking us up to the penthouse, we had drinks and were introduced to Carla. She pitched the whole time-share idea, throwing out $61,000 as our 4-week offer. She quickly cut that to $31,000.
Just Say No, Get Pool Time
We said no and were passed to a real jerk whose name I didn’t catch. He basically pushed the button on the elevator and sent us back to the lobby. There, Marco grabbed us and offered us yet another deal–$3600 for 10 years plus $349 a week.
We told him we weren’t sure. In the meantime, my sister had been eyeing the beautiful pool and beach access. So we told him that we needed some time to think about it, and we’d like to hang at the pool with a drink to think. Off to the pool we went for a few hours to drink on their dime and enjoy their pool and beach. While there, we did crunch numbers and realized that the deal being offered by Marco was really the same deal Carla had offered, just presented differently. (Basically.)
The Final, Final Bottom Line
When we were tanned and relaxed, we went back to Marco. He gave us a final deal of $10,000 for four weeks for ten years, with no other fees. Again, we told him no. After honestly thinking about the offers, we realized we just aren’t time-share folks.
Marco then passed us to Lupita who, actually, was quite helpful. She set up our reservations for all of our activities, gave us directions, offered up another two free cab rides, and handed us passes to another pool we could use for the rest of the week, if so inclined.
What It Really Cost Us
Thus, our 90-minute presentation actually took almost six hours, including cab time and personal beach/pool time. Was it worth it?
Well, here’s how I look at it. We had each budgeted $200 for all the activities we had researched, and together we had budgeted $100/day in transportation fees, or a total of $1600 in activities and transportation for the week, not including food.
We actually only spent $540 equivalently. We were able to combine the free transportation with other activities, eliminating extra cab rides. Plus, we got $100 in great food and drink. We didn’t use the Diamond International gift certificates.
Thus, going to the time-share presentation saved us about $1000, taught us something we didn’t know, introduced us to two beautiful properties, got us access to pools and beaches, and gave us quite a few laughs and giggles.
Yup, it was worth it.
So, when the Time Share Hawkers ask you a question at the Cabo airport, answer, listen, negotiate, show up, have fun, laugh, and save. Plus, you might end up with a 10-year vacation! And that’s how to benefit from Cabo San Lucas Time Share system.