Differences between buying timeshare from a developer vs. resale?

Ask the Timeshare Crusader / November, 2011

You probably get asked this a lot, but what is the difference between a timeshare that is bought from the developer and one that is bought secondhand?

Thanks for your question. It can be confusing. After all, there is really no such thing as a "new" or "used" timeshare except in the case of buying something pre-construction (which I do NOT recommend).

The biggest difference is of course, the cost. The average timeshare purchased from the developer last year ran a bit over $19,000. Generally, 55% to 65% of that is pure sales and marketing costs. Something that you do not have to pay when buying on the secondary market. Some timeshare resorts have imposed restrictions on anything purchased on the secondary market. These may range from internal points not transferring to a somewhat limited use: Disney Vacation Club for instance will not allow secondary purchasers to use their points towards a Disney cruise.

Generally speaking, these restrictions are not sufficient to exclude most people from purchasing on the secondary market. To use a food analogy, you are buying the cupcake for the cupcake, not the frosting!

I'll be covering this in more detail in my forthcoming book, "Timeshare By The Numbers… A Guide For Consumers" which is slated to be out early 2012.

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Lisa Ann Schreier

Lisa Ann Schreier - The Timeshare Crusdaer aka The Timeshare Crusader

The answer to this question came from Lisa Ann Schreier.

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