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The timeshare resale market is overflowing with inventory. Meanwhile, developers and sales reps are scrambling for buyers. What are the pros and cons of buying a used timeshare? Let’s find out.
First, there’s not really any such thing as a “used timeshare”. Technically, if the unit was new construction and you had the first week, then you’d be staying in a “new” timeshare. But after that week, it would no longer be new. So, the concept of a used timeshare isn’t really a thing. However, you do have two main options: buying a timeshare from a developer, which most people consider new, and buying on the secondary market from an existing owner. That’s a “used timeshare.” But the thing that you’re buying is essentially the same.
The biggest reason people buy “used timeshares” on the resale market is price. In 2017, the average cost of a timeshare purchased from a developer was $22,180. By contrast, you can find timeshares on eBay for $1. Buying a $1 timeshare is probably not a great idea but you can find resale options for 5-10% of the original price. That’s a significant savings. So, it’s easy to see why people would look to resale when they want a bargain.
Developers and sales reps are notorious for offering incentives to consumers in exchange for listening to their sales presentation. These incentives might be dinner coupons, vacation discounts, or even cash. The value of these incentives is typically less than a $200. Not nothing but nothing compared to the thousands of dollars saved on the resale market. And the resale market is not without its own incentives. Because there are so many listings, sellers often offer their own incentives. If you shop around, you might find sellers willing to pay your closing fees or even your first year of maintenance fees.
As you might imagine, developers and resorts do not like the resale market. After all, why would anyone buy from them for thousands of dollars when they could pay almost nothing? So, they do what they can to discourage people from using it. Some companies do not extend all owner benefits to timeshares purchased on the secondary market. For example, you may not be eligible for exchange programs. They may also exercise their Right of First Refusal (ROFR) and swoop in and buy a timeshare out from under you.
No matter where you buy your timeshare, you’re still buying into the timeshare trap. Even cheap timeshares come with maintenance fees, special assessments, and other liabilities that you’ll be paying forever. You’ll also be locked into the same week or same location unless you buy into the exchange programs for additional fees. Where timeshares are concerned, the buy-in price is the tip of the iceberg. This is why you can find so many timeshares for pennies on the resale market: people are desperate to get out. They are so desperate they’ll do anything.
Did you find this out the hard way and are now stuck in a timeshare that no longer works for you? We help people like you every day. Contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help you get out of your timeshare.
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