For a dozen years Alexandra Olson was a top producer selling timeshares in Sedona.
In 2017, when one of her long-time clients became terminally ill, he reached out to her to help him sell his timeshare units.
“He was a timeshare collector,” Olson said. “He had 25 timeshares. He and his son traveled the world. They were avid scuba divers. When he got sick, his son didn’t want to inherit that much timeshare.”
Being in the business, Olson had heard the horror stories of people being scammed when they tried to get rid of their timeshares, and didn’t want that to happen to her client.
She figured it would take a quick Google search to find a company that didn’t charge thousands of dollars in
upfront fees. What she found surprised her.
“If you’re paying upfront, you can bet on it being a scam,” Olson said. “There is no good reason a company
can’t wait a few weeks to get paid.”
That’s when she discovered Scottsdale-based Give Up My Timeshare, a business that finds buyers to take over
the timeshare’s title and membership as well as the obligations to maintenance fees. The company partners
with travel clubs and vacation rental companies to outsource the inventory and cover the long-term costs of
Olson began working with the company in 2017 and by 2019 was named CEO.
How did you end up working with Give Up My Timeshare? Sadly, there has been a shift that has occurred in
the last few years in the timeshare industry in general. Unfortunately, what has come into the industry was a lot
of fraud and bad sales practices. It wasn’t a good feeling anymore. I was offered an opportunity with Give Up
My Timeshare to help out at seminars. I decided it was worth it to me to make the switch to being back in the
How did you transition to CEO? I owned seven boutiques in Arizona called Allie Ollie. I’ve had huge amounts of
management experience so it’s hard for me to sit back and not jump to the lead. That’s always been the case
even from the second grade when I always ended up being the group leader. It started out as, “I’ll just make
some extra money helping with presentations” that turned into me holding the reins. Now I’m feeling good I’m
back to helping people.
Why do people want out of their timeshares? Unfortunately, what most of the consumers don’t understand is
all the rules and hoops to secure a reservation when they want to go traveling. The booking process is the main
reason people want out of their timeshare. In timeshare, to get a reservation, you are booking one to two years
in advance. That’s not a typical traveler. Most want to book online for this weekend.
What are some of the timeshare selling scams you’ve seen? You pay someone to market your timeshare for
sale. There isn’t a resale market for these because very few people are trying to acquire a timeshare. It’s not a scam, but it’s not effective. One scam is companies charging thousands of dollars and are never heard from
again. For me, I couldn’t understand why someone would need to be paid upfront if they were really
performing the service. It’s a straightforward real estate transaction. It’s like paying a Realtor before they sold
your house. Another scam is when attorney groups tell people not to pay maintenance fees to try to force the
resort to foreclose. They tell them nothing happens to their credit if they don’t pay maintenance fees. Attorney
groups [in some cases] have been disbarred and jailed and made to pay damages.
How has Covid-19 impacted the company? We have seen a 300% jump in calls and website visitors since the
Covid-19 outbreak. As the coronavirus spread, for people over 65, their travel plans changed a lot.
Will you ever sell timeshares again? No.
Company: Give Up My Timeshare
Family: Daughter Juju, 10
Best part of your job: The final closing call, hearing the joy and relief in our clients’ voice when they’ve
officially been “freed” of their obligation of timeshare.
Worst part of your job: Hearing horror stories from previously scammed clients who gave thousands of dollars
of their savings to companies they trusted, only to realize they’ve been scammed months and years later. This
especially breaks my heart hearing stories from seniors.