Purchasing a timeshare on the resale market can be difficult solely because there are so many timeshares to purchase. Picking out the right timeshare for the right price is not an easy endeavor. As I state many times before, all timeshares are not equal. There are some great timeshares and their are some truly awful ones.
There are many places to purchase timeshares but one of my favorite places is actually eBay. eBay is a legitimate marketplace to buy and sell just about anything and timeshares are no exception. I actually recommend using eBay to determine what your timeshares is potentially worth.
Are eBay Purchases Legitimate?
eBay has a vast amount of timeshares being offered with many with a list price of $1.00, (yes One Dollar), or even one cent ($.01). The question is whether these are legitimate purchases.
The answer is that they are generally legitimate but you NEED to read the fine print. While the auction for the timeshare may be for that low price, the eBay description might have various other details that will cause the "purchase price" to skyrocket way beyond the winning price.
For example, the timeshare purchase could require the buyer to pay many years of maintenance fees, pay off loans, closing costs, future maintenance fees and so on.
The actual price for the timeshare may be thousands of dollars even if you ended up winning the auction for a $1.00.
Here is a screen shot showing some recent listings of timeshares on eBay. As you can see, all these offered timeshares having selling prices for $1.00
Some of these timeshares are legitimately selling for a $1.00 and DO NOT have any "catches". Unfortunately, despite what you may think, the resale value of some timeshares is almost completely worthless and selling for $1.00 may actually be the fair market value for these items.
As discussed many times, sometimes timeshares simply do not have any resale market despite their initial purchase price. There are NO buyers for these timeshares which is why a vast majority of them sell for $1.00 or are at least offered for $1.00. There are even plenty of timeshares where people will PAY YOU money to take them.
Why Purchase a Timeshare?
While many timeshares are essentially worthless, there are plenty of others that will retain some value or at a minimum, be able to sell them when you are done using them. The timeshares from the main timeshare brands (Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, Starwood / Vistana, etc.) all tend to retain some value where you should be able to sell them or give them away without too much effort. The key is to purchase them at the "right" price, use them and understand how to maximize their value!
The problem is that there are a lot of smaller / independent timeshares where there simply isn't a resale market or enough buyers to create one. There are not too many buyers looking to purchase one week at one location anymore. While all of the timeshares can usually be exchanged, these smaller / independent ones do not trade that well.
These types of timeshares give timeshares a very bad name as many owners are disgruntled about having these items where they don't use them, can't get rid of them for any price and they continue to have to pay maintenance fees.
While buying a timeshare for $1.00 can look like a good deal, a lot of these "deals" are not really deals at all as once you take them over, at some time in the future, you may be the one trying to sell it for $1.00. There are always some diamonds in the rough and there could be some fantastic timeshares out there selling for $1.00 but my recommendation would be to always stay with the big name timeshare brands.
The big name timeshares will not hold their value but they usually will retain some value which will make them worthwhile to somebody, someday. They have more brand awareness so it will be easier to try to find someone to buy them.
eBay is a great place to find and purchase timeshares. However, you need to carefully review the description to fully understand what you are getting. You also need to fully review the timeshare that you are purchasing and make sure that you understand how it works, how it trades and how you will use it. If you purchase something and you don't use it, you can get yourself stuck with a ongoing bill that is tough to get rid of.
Have you purchased a $1.00 timeshare and if so, what has your experience been?