You can buy nearly anything you want on ebay these days – ugly dolls, collectibles no one wants, clothes, and even coupons. But did you know that you can buy a timeshare for $1?
I certainly didn’t until I stumbled upon pages of timeshares on ebay the other day, many of which were for sale for $1 or $5. I was obviously intrigued, so I scanned a few of them to see what was up with the low, low price tag.
I knew timeshares weren’t a great investment, but it seems like they would be worth more than $1, doesn’t it?
Why Do People Buy Timeshares in the First Place?
Personally, I don’t see why anyone would even want a timeshare. I love to travel, but I would never want to limit myself to certain destinations or resorts for the rest of my life. And I guess I’m not the only one who feels that way- with so many timeshares for sale on ebay and craiglist for under $5, it seems pretty obvious that a lot of people who buy timeshares eventually live to regret the decision.
So, why do people sell timeshares for $1? Here’s why:
- The fees are too high. When you buy a timeshare, you’re basically purchasing a certain amount of time (usually a week or two) at a certain resort or family of resorts each year. The thing is, you’re also on the hook for certain fees for upkeep in addition to the fee for the timeshare itself, and in some cases, the fees are cost-prohibitive. Take this 2 bed/2 bath condo in Kissimmee, Florida, for example. The annual maintenance fee is $879, plus the closing fees for the sale are up to $500. Why would anyone commit to paying $879 annually for a week in a condo when they could easily find something comparable on AirBNB.com?
- The commitment. Buying a timeshare is a lifetime commitment, and it seems to be a commitment that many people genuinely want to get out of. When you look at the timeshares for sale online, you can tell these people are desperate to unload them. In addition to selling them for $1, many sellers are offering to pay all of the closing and transfer costs as well as the dues for 2015. That’s never a good sign.
- Someone else is in control. When you buy a timeshare, you’re basically buying a slice of an investment that someone else is ultimately in charge of. Not only can your maintenance fees climb year over year, but you can also get stuck with special assessments. It seems like a really bad idea to buy a piece of a property when all of the real decisions are being made by a third party.
- Their resale value is terrible. I’m sure it sucks to buy a timeshare for $10,000 only to realize that you can’t even give it away. Because that’s basically what the people who are selling their timeshares for $1 are doing- they’re just handing them over to someone else. To me, buying a timeshare seems a lot like buying a new car – eventually it will be worth nothing. The only difference is, with a timeshare, the monthly maintenance payment can literally be a lifetime sentence. No thank you.
We travel a lot and we have been asked to sit through a timeshare presentation countless times. The last thing in the world I want to do on vacation is sit through a presentation, so I always say “no.”
From the looks of it, that seems like a good idea. When you’re trying to sell something for $1, and can’t get anyone to bite, that’s a sign that your timeshare is basically worthless.
Do you know anyone who has tried to sell a timeshare? Would you ever consider buying a timeshare for $1?