In my last article I talked about what it took to sell my timeshare and I shared 3 different ways to get rid of a timeshare and you can learn more about that by clicking here. In this article I want take things in a different direction and talk about the timeshare resale scams that have plagued the industry.
Here I’ll share what timeshare resale companies are, why I feel they’re scams, how to avoid them, what to look for, and also I’m going to share my story about how I was able to get my money back from timeshare resale scam and how you could possibly do the same.
However before I start I just want to mention that I’m not the only one who believes this. Guys like Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard don’t recommend these companies either.
Here is a quick video from Dave Ramsey you can watch to see what other expert professionals say.
Warning – Read This Whole Article First
Before we jump into the article one thing I do want to do first is give a warning here. if you are someone who is brand-new looking to sell your timeshare and you have been looking at these companies I want you to read this entire article before you do this before you consider a timeshare resale company.
Before you consider the idea of buying into one of these resale companies I want you to fully understand what you’re getting yourself into here before you do it.
I know this from first-hand experience because I’ve dealt with this situation in fact I’ve lost up to $1,100 with these kinds of companies and the last thing I want you to do is to fall into the same trap.
Thankfully as I will share with you later in this article I did get some of my money back however I consider myself lucky in that this isn’t something that everyone’s going to be able to do but it does give a little bit of hope in that if you are someone who has fallen for one of these scammers that this might work for you as well.
So with that said read on.
What is a Timeshare Resale Company and How Do They Work
A timeshare resale company is a company that list timeshare units, whether it be a week a floating or fixed week, for sale and requires an upfront fee in order to list them.
These fees can range from as little as a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars. How these companies come up with the amount of pricing they charge is a complete mystery but once the fee has been paid your timeshare will be listed on their site till it sells.
Side Note: This sounds really attractive to the seller but what you don’t realize is that nobody sells their timeshare with these companies.
In a nutshell that’s pretty much all these companies do, is have you pay a big upfront fee and list timeshares for sale on their website.
This might look like an attractive offer but it just isn’t. To prove why this is read on.
3 Ways to Spot Timeshare Resale Scams
To help you spot these companies and know whether or not you should deal with them I want to share a few things you should look for.
#1 They Require an Upfront Fee
A I’ve mentioned already the first things to look for is if these companies require a big upfront free in order to list your timeshare with them. This fee can range from a few hundred dollar to a few thousand dollars.
The first resale company I bought into cost me $600 and the second cost me $500 in upfront fees. Now you might be thinking when you buy almost anything these days you have to pay upfront.
The problem is selling your timeshare unit should work more like selling a house. For example, when you sell your house a real estate agent will list your house and when someone buys it they get a commission also known as a success fee but only when they sell your house.
Resale companies work in the exact opposite way. They require you to pay an upfront fee to list your timeshare and then when it comes time to sell your timeshare they usually enter the witness protection program never to be seen or heard from again.
#2 They Have No Vested Interest in Helping You Sell Your Timeshare
The second problem with resale companies is that they have no vested interest in helping you sell your unit. Let me explain…
After signing up with two resale companies I called them both and asked them why they weren’t helping me sell my timeshare and both companies came back with the same answer that they only listed the unit for sale as an advertiser.
What this means is that timeshare resale companies are nothing more than an advertising company listing your unit for sale, and they are certainly not a real estate broker trying to help you sell your unit.
Another way to look at this is the newspaper, if you put a listing in your local newspaper to sell your house that newspaper has no vested interest in helping your sell your house. Their money was earned to just to post your ad in their paper and that’s it. What happens after that is up to you.
In the end these companies don’t care if your timeshare unit sells or not and more than likely they won’t because in the few years I had my timeshare listed with these companies I never get got one person offering to buy my unit.
#3 They are Legal
Now for the really bad news that I’m sure you really don’t want to hear and that is that timeshare resale companies are 100% legal.
Yup, you heard me.
What’s not legal are some of the tactics these companies will use to get you to sign up with them. Some of these companies will tell you almost anything to get you to sign up with them.
If you find a company making big promises like this…
- We can sell your timeshare in 2 weeks or less
- We can get ten times what your timeshare is worth
- We have buyers waiting to buy a timeshare unit like yours
Do any of these promises sound familiar?
If you hear a resale company saying anything like this they are completely lying to your face. Stay away from these companies or you could be their next victim.
How I Got My Money Back – A Personal Story
At this point I hope I’ve convinced you enough not to buy into timeshare resale companies or as I call them timeshare resale scams. However if you’re someone who has already bought into one of these companies their may be a small glimmer of hope when it comes to getting your money back.
When I originally bought into one of my very first resale companies and figured out they weren’t there to help me sell my timeshare I decided to take matters into my own hands. To start I called them and asked for my money back.
However as you’ll already know these companies usually have a strict policy that they do not offer refunds. So how do you go about getting your money back you might ask?
The way I’m about to share is not full proof by any means nor is it guaranteed to work. To get my money back I wrote an article on my blog about the company being nothing more than a bunch of scammers. With a little work this article eventually ranked in the top 5 for the name of this company in Google.
With this article ranking well their legal department eventually caught wind of this and sent me a cease and desist letter telling that I needed to take down the article or I would face legal action.
So I called the resale company and told them that if I would get a full refund on what I paid to them I would gladly take the article down. In the end I got my $5oo back and I removed the article.
To be honest to do something like this takes a bit of leg work but it can be done, and one final thing I want to share is that you only want to ask for your money back and that’s it. Asking for more than what you paid could be considered blackmail and I definitely do not support that in any way here.
In the end this may or may not work for you. If the company is a more legit company like the one I was working with they obviously didn’t want any negative publicity and were willing to work out a deal.
However if the company is nothing but a bunch of fly by night scammers from the start then your chances of getting anything back would be much less.
Share Your Story
To wrap this article up I just want to ask, have you ever considered buying into a resale company to sell your timeshare unit or have you been burnt by a timeshare resale scam in the past?
If this has happened to you please share your story so we can all learn from this and work together to avoid this mistake and keep more of our hard earned dollars in our wallets.