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Daves' DVC Rentals - What's the catch?

Glen B

New Member
Original Poster
I've seen numerous posts about Dave's DVC rentals and their prices. I finally went to their website to compare prices and was astonished at the major price discount vs. booking through Disney. My first thought was, "Is this too good to be true?" Besides the no refund policy, what other factors are out there to not jump on these deals?
If anyone has used them, I would like to hear your experiences both favorably and unfavorably. We are planning a mid October trip, if that matters.
 

nickys

Premium Member
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I've seen numerous posts about Dave's DVC rentals and their prices. I finally went to their website to compare prices and was astonished at the major price discount vs. booking through Disney. My first thought was, "Is this too good to be true?" Besides the no refund policy, what other factors are out there to not jump on these deals?
If anyone has used them, I would like to hear your experiences both favorably and unfavorably. We are planning a mid October trip, if that matters.
This year? This is one of the problems, availability.

DVC owners can book at their home resort at 11 months out. And from mid September to marathon weekend in January is termed “Fall Frenzy” in DVC. Availability is slim, certain room types at specific resorts will go right on the dot.

For mid October now, the only resort with availability for a full week in a studio is at Saratoga. There are some 1 and 2 beds available elsewhere. However this is transient, and we have no way to see if that’s one studio or 10.

And David’s (and any broker) needs owners to offer their points for rent. Many owners will rent out privately. I have just rented my points out through David’s as a newbie renter - they do all the checking and take the risks. They rented within 2 days of me listing them, such is the demand. The demand for points far outstrips the number of points owners list with the brokers.

Also the no cancellation policy.... this is also a no changes policy, no dates change, no resort change, no room change. If you rent privately a member may try to work with you if you can’t get that week off work, or baby arrives early. But points have to be used by a certain time and there’s few exceptions made by DVC towards owners except in the case of hurricanes, for example.

All that said, if they have what you want, I imagine David’s are great to work with. They certainly were for me as an owner. They answered my questions courteously, however dumb they may have been. Every email was acknowledged with a thank you. I would absolutely recommend them to anyone.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
You have to get your resort/room type request in as early as possible though.
...which also means committing to a no-cancellation reservation before you have all of the relevant information. If you book Saturday to Saturday and then Southwest releases fares that would save you $500 if you flew Sunday to Sunday instead, too bad. If you book at a 20% discount and then Disney publishes a 30% off promotion, too bad. If your kid's school has a bunch of snow days over the winter and the makeup days interfere with your trip, too bad. If you planned to go in October to avoid the Galaxy's Edge crowds and Disney moves the opening forward, too bad.

People complain about six month dining reservations or 60 day FastPasses, but at least those don't have any financial consequences if things change. I can't recommend committing thousands of dollars based on absolute certainty of your plans 11 months in advance, especially if you have children.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
As the others said, you'll want to get your request in ASAP if you're only a few months out from your vacation, and be as flexible as possible (with second, third, and fourth choices queued up). The biggest downsides to DVC rental are: (1) the requirement of immediate payment in full once the reservation is secured, and its non-refundability, which my family has typically accounted for by purchasing vacation insurance; and (2) you won't be eligible for any Disney special offers (e.g., room discounts, "free" dining offers) that come out for your dates.

We've rented from David's for 3 stays: one at Wilderness Lodge in a 2-bedroom DVC villa (saved ~40% off of rack rate); one at Beach Club in a studio villa (saved ~50% off of rack rate); and one at the Polynesian in a studio villa (saved ~33% off of rack rate). Each time, I made the request at 11 months out. In each case, David's didn't instantly have a member with the points needed for our request (and with the right "home resort"), but each time, I asked that they hold onto our reservation request in case somebody listed the points we needed.

For those three resorts, within a few days (and in the case of the VWL request, a couple of weeks) David's got a member with the right resort/points, and secured our reservation. After that, all arrangements went flawlessly. We linked the reservation numbers to MDE and proceeded as normal. (If you want the DDP, you will have to arrange for the member from whom you're renting to set that up for you.) When I had questions, I called David's and could immediately connect to a representative who was friendly, knowledgeable, and on-site (not somebody in a call center in Bombay).

The only time David's wasn't able to satisfy a request, we had wanted to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge in a very limited room category. David's couldn't satisfy it immediately, and the category was fully booked within a few days. (One important thing to understand about DVC rentals is the difference between your desired room being unavailable -- that is, fully booked so nobody can reserve there -- and your desired room being available, but the DVC agent simply hasn't had a member list points that are appropriate to your resort/dates/request size yet.) David's let us know the room category was unavailable, and offered some alternatives. When we declined those, our deposit was immediately and cheerfully refunded.

...another consideration for you OP, given the timing of your trip. You'll be traveling during Epcot's Food & Wine Festival and the Epcot-area resorts are often packed during that time, which means if you're hoping for an Epcot-area resort (Boardwalk or Beach Club), there's likely to be almost nothing available at those particular resorts by this point.
 
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Ted Daggett

Active Member
Like everyone above already mentioned, in order to get the resort you want you have to reserve FAR in advance, AND there are no refunds.

We have rented points 4 times, 2BR at Old Key West, Studio at BLT, Studio at Saratoga Springs, and we rented for August 2019 at BLT again. Each time went incredibly smoothly, and the reservation quickly links to the My Disney Experience.

Another convenience that they provide is that if you ask for a week at Animal Kingdom Lodge and there is no availability for your week, they will tell you any other resorts where there is availability that week, which usually gets me to switch from a lower priced offer to a higher priced offer....

I was looking at pricing for late August 2019 at Bay Lake Tower for family of 5, and at that time of year the rates are "low" and Disney was offering "free" dining. The total cost of the room and "free dining" was less to purchase thru Disney, than to rent the room and pay for the dining plan. So you need to check to make sure that you are actually getting a good deal.
 

Hcalvert

Well-Known Member
I tried Dave's several times, but they could never fulfill my request. I started renting privately and saved more money that way. I believe Dave's charges $17 per point and a $1 premium fee per point for certain resorts 7+ months in advance. Last year, I rented 150 points for $14 per point to stay at a standard Poly Studio (a total of $2100 for a 7 night stay) right at the 7 month mark. This year, I had to book a one night stay before my actual reservation and got lucky that I connected with a member whose points was expiring the next month after my trip and they had less than 35 points to unload. So, I was able to negotiate $11/point and paid $297 for a Poly studio with lake view (That is all they had at Poly. My other choices were BLT lake and theme park view, AKL savannah view, and a few others). When renting privately, you run the risk of being scammed, but do your due diligence. The owner is able to check availability for you to make a decision on where you want to stay. With Dave's, you do not have to worry about being scammed and you cannot check availability before sending the deposit. There is a minimum point amount in order to rent from that site (44 points), which was not feasible for me this time. I would try Dave's again when I plan to rent a full week or just rent privately again. However, I want to stay at a premium resort (WL) next time and if I wait to book with 7 months or less before my trip, most likely a standard studio will not be available.
 
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aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I had a great experience with David’s and am renting from them again for a trip this spring. They were very helpful in helping me find availability.

There are other sites that arrange DVC rentals as well. DVC store comes to mind.
 

Ted Daggett

Active Member
I tried Dave's several times, but they could never fulfill my request. I started renting privately and saved more money that way. I believe Dave's charges $17 per point and a $1 premium fee per point for certain resorts 7+ months in advance. Last year, I rented 150 points for $14 per point to stay at a standard Poly Studio (a total of $2100 for a 7 night stay) right at the 7 month mark. This year, I had to book a one night stay before my actual reservation and got lucky that I connected with a member whose points was expiring the next month after my trip and they had less than 35 points to unload. So, I was able to negotiate $11/point and paid $297 for a Poly studio with lake view (That is all they had at Poly. My other choices were BLT lake and theme park view, AKL savannah view, and a few others). When renting privately, you run the risk of being scammed, but do your due diligence. The owner is able to check availability for you to make a decision on where you want to stay. With Dave's, you do not have to worry about being scammed and you cannot check availability before sending the deposit. There is a minimum point amount in order to rent from that site (44 points), which was not feasible for me this time. I would try Dave's again when I plan to rent a full week or just rent privately again. However, I want to stay at a premium resort (WL) next time and if I wait to book with 7 months or less before my trip, most likely a standard studio will not be available.
I have booked trips for less than 44 points two times; one time I booked one night studio for about 20 points. I think if under 44 points they cannot guarantee that a DVC member will book for that small amount of points (may not be worth it to them). But if the DVC member is willing, they can do it, so might as well try.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
P.S. There are some slight differences between DVC rooms and regular Disney hotel rooms. DVC rooms are either studios, 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom. The studios have mini-kitchens while the bigger rooms have full kitchens. Also DVC rooms do not get maid service every day.
 

MotherofaPrincessLover

Well-Known Member
I have used them twice and had great luck both times. They are easy to work with and respond fast. I actually have some points I need to rent out and have decided to list them with Dave's since I liked them so much.
 

Hcalvert

Well-Known Member
I have booked trips for less than 44 points two times; one time I booked one night studio for about 20 points. I think if under 44 points they cannot guarantee that a DVC member will book for that small amount of points (may not be worth it to them). But if the DVC member is willing, they can do it, so might as well try.
I am going by what they have on their site. It does say a 44 point minimum for reservations. Also, the same room I booked would have cost me $497 on Dave's, which is the same price Disney has the room on their site ($422+tax=$497) using the room discount. I rather go with Disney then and be able cancel if needed. To be honest, I didn't even consider Dave's for this one night stay because of the cost per point is too high. I have never paid more than $15 per point.
 

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homerdance

Well-Known Member
The biggest difference is you are renting from another person, and not from Disney. So if there are problems, instead of dealing with Disney, you need to track down the owner and deal with them, or with David's agency. I have never used Davids, but they do provide a "safer" way to rent points for both the renter and the DVC owner. I have rented points privately, and find that is cheaper and gives a little more flexibility vs. David's. You can get scammed with any rental process, but it is much less likely via Davids.

And when you rent from David's, since it is not through Disney, you are generally not allowed to call and discuss any room requests/details of the room as you are not the owner of the points. You can't request adjoining rooms if you are travelling with parties.

The biggest problem with renting from Davids (or any DVC) is you will find yourself running the numbers and trying to figure out how you can buy into DVC. (if you are a frequent traveler to WDW).
 

nickys

Premium Member
And when you rent from David's, since it is not through Disney, you are generally not allowed to call and discuss any room requests/details of the room as you are not the owner of the points. You can't request adjoining rooms if you are travelling with parties.

The biggest problem with renting from Davids (or any DVC) is you will find yourself running the numbers and trying to figure out how you can buy into DVC. (if you are a frequent traveler to WDW).
It is true that by renting you cannot speak to Disney about the reservation, since it is still the owner’s reservation until you check-in even though it is in your name. However you can still do room requests by simply letting David’s know your request, and they contact the owner and ask them to make the request for you.
 

Ted Daggett

Active Member
It is true that by renting you cannot speak to Disney about the reservation, since it is still the owner’s reservation until you check-in even though it is in your name. However you can still do room requests by simply letting David’s know your request, and they contact the owner and ask them to make the request for you.
Once you link your reservation to My Disney Experience you can process your online check in, which gives you the option for room location requests. The DVC member will need to arrange magical express and dining plan.
 

MotherofaPrincessLover

Well-Known Member
Once you link your reservation to My Disney Experience you can process your online check in, which gives you the option for room location requests. The DVC member will need to arrange magical express and dining plan.
I have always been able to make my own Magical Express reservations when using David's and had no issue. Definitely need to go through the owner for dining plan.
 

nickys

Premium Member
Once you link your reservation to My Disney Experience you can process your online check in, which gives you the option for room location requests. The DVC member will need to arrange magical express and dining plan.
Yes you can do online check-in and use those options. However, it is also possible to call Member Services and have a more specific request added, such as “travelling with reservation #. 234637 and would like rooms close to each other” or “would like 3rd floor studio” for the Poly. The kind of request anyone can call in when booking through Disney. That kind of request must be made by the owner, Member Services will not speak to a renter.


I have always been able to make my own Magical Express reservations when using David's and had no issue. Definitely need to go through the owner for dining plan.
You can do it yourself. Or you can do it through Member Services, which is a service David’s specifically offers to renters. I’ve just booked it for the family renting my points in October.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I tried Dave's several times, but they could never fulfill my request. I started renting privately and saved more money that way. I believe Dave's charges $17 per point and a $1 premium fee per point for certain resorts 7+ months in advance. Last year, I rented 150 points for $14 per point to stay at a standard Poly Studio (a total of $2100 for a 7 night stay) right at the 7 month mark. This year, I had to book a one night stay before my actual reservation and got lucky that I connected with a member whose points was expiring the next month after my trip and they had less than 35 points to unload. So, I was able to negotiate $11/point and paid $297 for a Poly studio with lake view (That is all they had at Poly. My other choices were BLT lake and theme park view, AKL savannah view, and a few others). When renting privately, you run the risk of being scammed, but do your due diligence. The owner is able to check availability for you to make a decision on where you want to stay. With Dave's, you do not have to worry about being scammed and you cannot check availability before sending the deposit. There is a minimum point amount in order to rent from that site (44 points), which was not feasible for me this time. I would try Dave's again when I plan to rent a full week or just rent privately again. However, I want to stay at a premium resort (WL) next time and if I wait to book with 7 months or less before my trip, most likely a standard studio will not be available.
WOW, if people are willing to spend up to $14/point, I might start selling my points. The Poly is my home resort.
 
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