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Cold Hard Facts about Selling your Timeshare!
This web page is one of the most frequently visited by new individuals looking to sell their timeshare and has been read hundreds of thousands of times over the past 10 years.  It still serves as a brisk wake-up call to all individuals who are trying to sell their timeshare!  Unlike other sites, here at TUG you get the TRUTH!

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Cold Hard Facts about Selling Your Timeshare.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but selling a timeshare is very, very difficult and in some cases almost impossible.  Since you are reading this you are likely in the market to sell your timeshare, so please read on for some very enlightening information!  Here you will not read what you want to hear, you wont discover that it is easy to sell your timeshare, or that this is the "best time ever to sell".  You will get the truth and only the truth, and that truth can save you thousands of dollars in wasted fees, not to mention endless headaches surrounding the process of selling your timeshare in the resale market!

Why is selling a Timeshare so tough?

The main reason is supply and demand. The supply of timeshare resales greatly exceeds the demand for resales.  This has always been the case in the timeshare industry due to the fact that so few people even realize you can buy a timeshare resale!  The vast majority of owners only discover (or even think about) selling a timeshare on the resale market, when they are ready to sell!  As a buyer it is common knowledge that you can buy a used car, but for some reason people fail to discover that you can do the exact same thing with timeshares!  It is an even better deal when you consider there is no such thing as a "new" timeshare. Unless you are absolutely the very first person to stay in that room at that resort, someone has been there before you!

With this information and considering the struggling economy in the past years and ever increasing maintenance fees, sellers outnumber buyers by a huge margin.  This has driven the prices of resales down to levels never before seen in this industry.  Some timeshares have depreciated over 99%, and it is more and more common for individuals to actually list their timeshares for a single dollar in hopes that someone will take them! There are hundreds of Timeshares for sale right here on TUG, and eBay from owners who are just looking to get out of their annual Maintenance Fees!  While we are not saying this is the case for all timeshares, it is certainly a much different message than you would read on other resale websites that want nothing more than for you to pay them money in the hopes your timeshare will get sold.

The fact remains that if you do NOT do your research and obtain an accurate and REASONABLE resale price for your timeshare, it simply wont sell...PERIOD.  If someone tells you differently, they are lying to you...and are likely about to ask you to pay them money.  Telling you the TRUTH is not going to get you to part with your money, as who would pay knowing their timeshare has zero chance of selling at a price anywhere near what you paid for it new from the developer!  

Remember how you got involved in timeshares?

It was probably in response to a promotional offering with some type of free gifts or vacations. Then you where probably only informed about the developer's property and prices. Nothing at all about resales, even if they were available at the same resort. The developer spends between 40 and 60% of the selling price of the timeshare just to MARKET each unit at a new resort. Then in spite of the over inflated prices and high pressure sales tactics, many people buy without really knowing what they are getting involved in. Being shown a book full of  thousands of resorts and being told they could trade to any of them they wanted is persuasive and distracts the buyer from reality. No wonder so many timeshare owners get discouraged and want out.... creating the glut of supply.  

When you buy a timeshare, you are not given instructions on how to use it.  You are not told that you can rent it out versus leaving it unused, you are given no explanation the exchanging process detail.  It's like being handed the controls to an airplane and being told to figure it out on your own!  It's no wonder so many people just give up in frustration!  I know TUGGERs who have been doing this for 20 years and still don't know all the ins and outs, so it's absurd to expect someone to just know everything right after they purchase! 

My first timeshare presentation

I know my first presentation was for a free telephone to view what turned out to be a less than desirable resort, where all the salesman talked about was all the other great resorts I could trade for. He even said I would never have to use their resort which was actually a rundown converted hotel, but just trade to all these other places (spending almost 30 minutes just pointing out wonderful resorts in the RCI book) anytime I wanted.

Fortunately, I smelled a rat and didn't buy there. So I know where many of the bad feelings and disillusioned timeshare owners come from. Especially, after finding out that not only could they not trade into all these great resorts but if they wanted to sell their units they would probably only get about half of what they paid for them and that was if they could find a buyer. So much for the great real estate investment angle to the sale presentation. 

The Demand Side

Unfortunately, the demand side is just as bad for timeshare resellers. Most people don't even know there is a resales market available until after they buy from the developer. Those who do know about the resale market are usually more experienced timeshare owners looking for real bargains.  This is furthered by the industry who has zero desire or benefit to promote resales! 

Why would anyone buy new if they could get the exact same week, at the exact same resort, for pennies on the dollar from an existing owner?  

Factors in Selling

So where does that leave the timeshare reseller! Of all the factors (price, location, time of year, amenities, quality of resort, advertising etc.) that determine if and when a timeshare will sell, you can only control two factors .....Advertising & PRICE! Unfortunately you can't spend $1000 on dinner and gifts for your prospects as the developer did for you. The developer is spreading his cost over 100's or 1000's of units and is inflating the price to cover the cost ( which he can get because new buyer don't know any better). On the other hand, you are trying to sell just one unit to someone who knows about resales, is informed about timesharing and is comparison shopping among hundreds of like offers available. 

So what do you do?

First you must price your unit competitively if you really want to sell it. Check the prices of other resales at your resort (the closing sales prices, not the for sales listings), see what the final prices were at the auctions and contact resale brokers for more pricing info about your unit. Check prices listed on our classified ad section and what other brokers might have your units listed for by other sellers. You are competing against all those other sales listing. Think about it from the buyers point of view: they are looking for the best deal and if you want to sell your timeshare, yours must be that best deal! 

If you take anything away from this article, please above all read the HOW TO SELL YOUR TIMESHARE article as well, it is a step by step instructional guide on how to sell your timeshare yourself for little or no cost to you, and avoid being scammed!  I cannot tell you how many emails and phone calls I get from people who find TUG AFTER BEING RIPPED OFF!  Be a step ahead of the game and learn.  Knowledge is power!


Then you must use cost effective advertising to inform the public of your offer. If you are reading this article it means you have computer access to the Internet. Post as many ads as you can using the free or low cost outlets mentioned in the HOW TO SELL article above!


Our TUG classifieds is probably one of the best places for timeshare ads (and your ads are free with your membership ) because everyone who reads it is interested in timeshares either for sale or rent ...a major plus. Also check out Ebay and craigslist which have become a very popular place for selling timeshares!  read more here:  Free Timeshare Classified Ads in the TUG Timeshare Marketplace

More Advertising

Also contact your home resort, see if they have a public bulletin board in their lobby or elevators or even a special internal rental or advertising program (upfront fee warning applies here) where you can post a for sale note ... this is very good because any renter using the resort who likes it will be interested in your offer. Check on posting an ad in the resort's newsletter, many happy owners are looking for extra weeks at their home resort if the price is right!

Resale Brokers

Timeshare resale brokers (deal only with licensed real estate brokers, there are many currently advertising in our Business Ads section ) can also get you more exposure but you must pay for it. They will charge  a commission on the sale. Remember, you are paying for the extra exposure and their services,  We recommend that if you are dealing with a timeshare broker that you do it on a commission only basis. That way they will get paid from the proceeds of the sale or rental, just like every other real estate broker.

Remember pricing is the only thing you can control. If you do not price your unit right, no one will ever be able to sell it for you. One of the reasons some brokers charge an upfront fee is that too many owners want to list their units at prices higher than the market and they will never sell. Maybe the broker should tell them it will not sell at that price and have their listings refused instead. No one wants to hear the real truth. So instead, they will go on for months and even years of not selling their properties, until finally they start asking for a realistic fair market price.

I see ads on our TUG classifieds that are just unreal, but for little or no cost, most feel they might get lucky. Then after 3 months of advertising when it comes time to renew, they wonder why they didn't sell their units or only got a few, if any responses from their ad. 

Scams and Semi Rip-Offs

There are many rip-offs in the timeshare resale area with companies asking for HUNDREDS TO THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in upfront advertising, listing or appraisal fees. There should be no need for an appraisal to sell your timeshare. Any timeshare company that is doing their job will be able to give you a good idea as to what similar units are selling for. The only legitimate need for an appraisal would be for estate purposes or charity donation records.  Remember, never pay an upfront fee to sell your timeshare!  This article discusses most current Timeshare Scams

Be very careful about companies wanting to buy your timeshare for their own use and want you to get an appraisal from an independent appraisal company that they recommend. Several of these companies ripped off millions of dollars in appraisal fees before they were finally caught.  The state of Florida and many others are trying to make this illegal. The best way to check on a company would be on our TUGBBS online discussion forums . If it sounds too good to be true, it probably and almost always is.  

Now You Know

I know this article can be depressing for those trying to sell their timeshares, but hopefully by knowing the truth about the situation, you will be able to act accordingly. That may mean just keeping your units and learning how to best use them, or trying to price them more realistically, or increasing your avenues of low cost exposure. Some are offsetting their expenses by renting the use of their timeshare while they try to sell it. Others are even donating them to charities and taking a tax writeoff ( there is another article in our Advice section on donating timeshares to charities ). At least now someone has been honest with you about timeshare resales and you now know where you stand and what must be done. 

We would again like to thank you for your continued support of our Users Group. The TUG website has been a major break through for TUG members and all timeshare owners. It has become the most active timeshare website on the Internet with over 250,000 hits per day. Take advantage of this exposure by advertising your units on our website, but be realistic about your price. Most resales even 10 years ago were lucky to get 50% of what they paid if they bought through the resort initially.  Now with the struggling economy, this has actually fallen to 0-25%!!!!

IT IS NOT SIMPLE, OR EASY TO SELL A TIMESHARE REGARDLESS OF WHAT SOME PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU (usually right before they ask for your credit card information) but it can be done if you take the time to research the resale market and know ahead of time how to spot and avoid the scams!

Now that you have gotten an introduction into what you can expect when entering into this process of selling your timeshare, your next step is to read the "How to sell your timeshare" living article on the TUGBBS forums located here:

How to Sell your Timeshare Article

This thread is an absolute MUST READ for anyone even thinking about selling their timeshare, it is the culmination of hundreds of other timeshare owners just like you who have been in this position and have provided you all the advice they wished they had when trying to sell their first timeshare!

Even if you choose to not become a paying TUG member for access to the ratings and reviews, be sure to register on the TUGBBS online discussion forums, it is absolutely free and is the #1 place on the Internet for timeshare help and advice!  No question goes unanswered, remember there are tens of thousands other timeshare owners just like you who have all had to ask the same questions you have now!  Utilize their knowledge so you dont make the same mistakes!

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