I’ve written in the past about the reasons why timeshares might not be the best idea for everyone. A lot of the dissatisfaction with timeshares seems to stem from the high upfront costs of ownership, whether or not you’ll actually use the timeshare enough to make it worth it, and the difficulties of selling them when you’re ready to cut ties.
According to the American Resort Development Association, the average price for a timeshare week when you buy at a resort is now approximately $20,020. So it’s easy to see why the tag price and the debt associated with it can be a burden (particularly when you throw in annual maintenance fees on top of that). But I’ve recently heard of several people buying “used” timeshares online, and after looking into it, I cannot understand why anyone would buy directly through a resort.
If you are going to buy a timeshare, here are three reasons you should buy online through the “secondary market”.
1. The upfront cost is significantly less than purchasing directly through a resort.
Prices for timeshares for sale online are often 50-75% less than the price to purchase directly from the resort. How? A significant portion of the selling price of a new resort timeshare is mark-up to cover timeshare sales promotions (I am sure you’ve heard the stories of families who have been lured into lengthy sales presentations with the promise of free theme park tickets or even free vacations). Because timeshares sold by owners online do not include this markup, the properties are often priced very competitively by comparison. Check out SellMyTimeshareNow.com, which is one of the largest online marketplaces for timeshares that I found, to see some timeshares priced for just a few thousand dollars.
2. “Used” timeshares are not inherently any different than “new” timeshares.
There is no material difference in a used or new timeshare. In many cases, the ownership is identical and the vacation units you can stay in are identical. In some rare cases, there are additional benefits that may not transfer to a new owner, but these are often peripheral perks like travel rewards programs.
3. You can shop online and avoid the high-pressure sales tactics common at some resorts.
Other than price, this is probably the best reason to buy a timeshare online. There are tons of horror stories out there about people who have attended timeshare sales presentations and walked away feeling duped. Salespeople at timeshare resorts are great at what they do, and when you are face-to-face with them it can be hard to say no and you may end up buying something you don’t even want or won’t work for your lifestyle. Shopping online allows you to do your research, and take your time to make an informed decision before you sign on the dotted line.
It seems like a non-brainer to me. If you are going to buy a timeshare, buy it online from someone who already owns one rather than paying a marked up cost directly through the resort. You’ll also be helping out someone else who maybe can’t afford their timeshare anymore, is unable to travel, or just never used it in the first place.
Are you interested in timeshares? Why or why not?
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