So for my January 2024 trip I did just use DVC Shop for the first time (I have always used David’s in the past). As pointed out earlier in this post, they have loads of dedicated reservations, but at a higher price. For better or for worse, I think their method is going to be more lucrative, as I went with them because they had what I wanted and David’s couldn’t get it (one night in the middle of the dates has no availability).
Financially, it cut into the savings (I saved 41% vs the direct from website price; while David’s would have saved me 51%), but I was happy to pay. In the end, I’m assuming the owners are going to get more money too using this “spam and profit” method. It’s a supply/demand game. And for me, I suppose it’s a win for everyone (me, owner, and the DVC Store agent(s)), although I’d still be annoyed if I was a “regular” owner (not buying to the plan to rent).