How much is my timeshare worth on the resale market?
This is an interesting and loaded question for many reasons, and it’s one that’s actually fairly complicated to answer. Just why is it so difficult? The primary factor is that there really is no secondary resale market for timeshares, of the sort that we see with comparable consumer goods (like automobiles, for instance).
While an aftermarket exists for other luxury vacation commodities, like boats or campers – in the form of “used-only” dealerships or vehicle auction houses, just as you might see with cars – timeshare developers have long maintained a tight-fisted control over their markets, not permitting a viable secondary market to exist out of fear for their bottom line.
Bear in mind that we’re not just speculating about this: Indeed, every one of the timeshare developers who file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to support their public filing requirements have included language that specifically addresses the secondary resale market as a threat to their industry’s profitability.
With all of this taken into consideration, we can now address the meat of the question.
The bad news is that virtually all “points-based” or “right-to-use” timeshare obligations have little to no value in a re-sale scenario, as many consumers have discovered when trying to get out of their contracts.
What is the value of a used timeshare?
Just how little value does a “used” timeshare have? It’s not uncommon to see timeshares listed on eBay for as little as $1, with the seller even offering to pay for transfer or closing fees. There is also an industry of timeshare redemption companies that serve to transfer unwanted timeshares back to the travel clubs, resorts, and inventory aggregates by means of exclusive partnerships and deals – for an upfront fee.
As our own Michael D. Finn told Credit Card Guide: “In the timeshare world, the seller pays the buyer… That speaks volumes about the value.”
What about timeshare resale scams? How do I avoid them?
To make matters worse, “timeshare resale scams” have cropped up over the years. These scams claim to offer desperate timeshare owners a way to recoup their money and make a quick sale to eager buyers. By offering up the tempting (and, in reality, non-existent) prospect of a lucrative sale – and then requesting exorbitant fees and sensitive information upfront – these scam artists have managed to dupe some timeshare owners out of thousands of dollars.
In short, the timeshare resale market can easily become a complicated, expensive quagmire, fraught with scammers eager to make a quick buck from your eagerness to sell. Is there another alternative?
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.