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Buying a Timeshare – Resale or Developer?

published on April 28, 2014 by

Are you thinking about taking the plunge and becoming an owner at your favorite resort? Before signing the paperwork, there’s a few decisions that warrant serious thought. First and foremost, do you buy straight from the resort or consider a by-owner resale? There are camps in favor of both options, and certainly the different sale methods each have their own advantages and disadvantages; but which is right for you?

Resort developers do all in their power to make the promise of ownership exciting. Those tours and presentations that are so notorious in the timeshare industry are intended to pump you up and paint a picture of how luxurious ownership at that particular resort can be. Developers will often further lure in buyers with promises of gifts and extra freebies. These can range from the underwhelming – tote bags or a bottle of wine – to the extravagant, like park tickets or spa trips. Sometimes, a purchase isn’t necessary; just arriving and sitting out the presentation is enough to qualify for the extras.

Many of the larger resorts also tend to include extra perks, programs and benefits to owners who purchase a “new” timeshare directly from them. These sorts of perks were implemented to directly combat the blossoming resale market and can be very tempting. Exclusive treatment can make your vacation more enjoyable and make you feel amazing, but can it offset the price markup that we so often see in direct sales?

Though resort developers try to keep the resale market under wraps, it continues to grow and flourish as time goes on. It’s not hard to see why; the sheer price difference between resale and direct sale is staggering. It’s not uncommon to see a resort-priced ownership of $12,000 on the resale market for a much more affordable $3,000. This phenomenon is often compared to the difference between buying a new and a used car. New cars come at high prices, while a lightly-used car hits the market at a far lower price even if it can rival the new car in terms of condition. The moment the product has been signed over and used – be it car or timeshare – the value drops significantly.

This makes resales quite the steal for new timeshare buyers. Unlike a car, “used” resale timeshares rarely deteriorate in condition as time goes on – the resort staff still takes care of upkeep and maintenance. Furthermore, private owners also tend to be a bit more upfront about what buyers will be receiving. They don’t rely on exciting and hyping the buyer to secure a sale – the price does that for them.

Ultimately, the decision falls upon one conflict – price versus convenience. Resales are undoubtedly more affordable for the majority of potential buyers, and a much more straightforward approach with the owner eliminates much of the post-sales regret that all too many new owners experience after walking away from the resort. If price is truly no object, the direct sale approach can secure you quite a few benefits to make the deal a bit sweeter.