Why Are Timeshare Resales So Cheap?

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Timesharing began after World War II and took off in the 1970’s. This form of vacation ownership offered travelers a more convenient, luxurious, and cost-effective way to vacation. Moreover, the original fixed-week model of timeshare ownership offered the peace of mind of a pre-booked vacation at the same time and place every year, letting owners avoid the hassle of last-minute bookings and make annual vacation traditions. The concept of timeshare resales, however, is relatively new in the timeshare industry. This is because timeshares were originally designed to be a lifetime product. Moreover, many timeshare owners would pass them down to their children. But lifetimes end, and lifestyles change, and as timeshare owners aged out, newer, more flexible forms of vacation ownership became available, the timeshare resale market was born out of necessity. But just why are timeshare resales so cheap? Let’s break it down.

What is Timeshare Resale?

Before we get into why timeshare resales are so inexpensive compared to retail timeshares, let’s go over some basics. First, just what is a timeshare resale? A timeshare resale is a timeshare for sale by the owner, as opposed to one for sale by a resort. Owners may want to sell their ownership for various reasons. These can include no longer being able to use the timeshare, no longer being able to afford the annual maintenance fees, wanting to broaden their travel horizons, etc.

What is the Timeshare Resale Market?

Sometimes, resorts offer attractive buyback programs. When they don’t, vacation owners who no longer want their timeshares often put them on the resale market. A vacation owner who wants to sell their timeshare has a few options. They can list it with a real estate broker based in the resort location or let a company specialized in resales market the timeshare. Timeshares sold through either of these methods are part of the timeshare resale market.

Right of First Refusal

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a timeshare resale, keep in mind: every resale is subject to what’s called the right of first refusal. In short, the right of first refusal is the right of the resort to step in and buy back the timeshare, as stipulated in the original purchase agreement. Immediately after a timeshare resale receives an offer, it will go through the right of refusal process. One of two outcomes will follow. Either the resort will allow the sale to go through, or they will buy back the timeshare.

If the resort chooses to exercise the right of first refusal, it can be a disappointing blow to the buyer. The company facilitating their purchase can usually find a comparable resale at the same resort. However, when a resort exercises the right of first refusal on one resale, it usually means they are currently buying back all resales.

For the seller, however, nothing really changes. As per the right of first refusal clause, the resort must honor all the terms of the sale. Say, for example, the original buyer agreed to pay all liens, closing costs, or the rest of the mortgage. Then the resort would have to instead. The only things that will change for the seller are the names of the buyer and title company as listed on the contract.

Why Timeshare Resales Cost So Much Less Than Retail Timeshares

If you’re still here, congratulations! You now know more than most about timeshare resale. But that’s not why you came here, and the question still remains: why are timeshare resales so cheap? We’ve got the answers!

Resorts Have to Spend a Lot to Make a Lot

Sales Presentation

Shopping on the resale market is a great way to save money on your timeshare purchase. But why is a secondhand timeshare so cheap compared to a direct-purchase timeshare? After all, secondhand timeshares aren’t second-rate products. Resorts go to great lengths to maintain their units, and by extension, the reputations of their brands. Not to mention, used timeshares usually come with many of the same benefits as retail timeshares.

The main reason timeshare resale prices are so cheap compared to retail timeshares comes down to the cost of selling a new timeshare. Similar to a car dealership, timeshare resorts spend a lot of time and money on marketing. In addition to online marketing, this can involve offering free weekend stays during which prospective buyers tour the property and attend a timeshare presentation. When a sales representative lands a sale, the resort also pays them a commission.

These marketing and commission costs are recouped in the price of the timeshares sold by the resort. On the resale market, sellers can choose what price they wish to receive for their timeshare when using advertising companies like Timeshares Only. When you account for factors like season, unit size, resort location, and market demand, you can start to get an accurate picture of the price points of individual resale-market timeshares.

You Can Negotiate the Price of a Timeshare Resale

Timeshare Resale Negotiation

Another reason why buying a timeshare on the resale market is so cheap compared to buying from a resort is that you usually can’t negotiate the price of a direct-purchase timeshare. Resorts need to recoup their costs, and even if they do bring the price down, it won’t be by much. Negotiating the price of a timeshare purchased on the resale market, on the other hand, is much easier.

At Timeshares Only, our innovative buyer-seller interface lets you interact directly with the existing owner. This opens the door for potential negotiations. Most often, when timeshare owners post their timeshares for sale, it’s because they are looking for an exit. Reasons vary, but usually, it’s because they can no longer afford their timeshare, no longer use it, are looking for a change of vacation scenery, or some combination of these factors. When a timeshare owner is motivated to exit their timeshare, buyers often find they have room to negotiate the price. On Timeshares Only, some owners even state that their price is negotiable.

A Timeshare is Not a Financial Investment

Unlike a piece of traditional real estate, a timeshare typically will not appreciate in value over time. This is especially true for direct-purchase timeshares, due in large part to the markups we discussed earlier. Sometimes, timeshares from highly popular brands or resorts, or timeshares in highly popular locations, can appreciate over time. But these are rare exceptions to the rule. In general, you should think of a timeshare as an investment in your quality of life, not a financial investment.

Timeshare resale prices usually reflect their depreciated value; they can’t be competitive otherwise. Thus, the timeshare resale market offers buyers real value for their dollar.

Some Timeshare Brands Place Internal Exchange Restrictions on Timeshare Resales

Some timeshare brands offer their owners internal exchange opportunities. Disney Vacation Club, Grand Pacific Resorts, and Club Wyndham are all examples of brands with internal exchange programs. With internal exchange, timeshare owners can stay at multiple resorts within their brand. For example, a Grand Pacific Resorts owner could use Grand Pacific Exchange to have a mountain retreat at Vista Mirage Resort one year, and a beach getaway at Grand Pacific Palisades the next.

To dissuade buyers from purchasing their timeshares on the resale market, many timeshare companies place restrictions on resales. These can include internal exchange restrictions. These undesirable restrictions are reflected in the pricing of timeshare resales, making them even cheaper.

Exchange Restriction Hacks for Timeshare Resales

Timeshare Resales Are Eligible for External Exchange

Luckily, there are some clever hacks you can use to get the discounted price without the restrictions. Just as there are internal exchange programs that let you stay at multiple resorts within your brand, external exchange platforms like RCI and Interval International let you trade your ownership for stays at platform-affiliated resorts and hotels. RCI and Interval International are the two biggest vacation exchange companies. Both boast affiliations with top timeshare brands, and thousands of resorts and hotels, around the world. And best of all, for a annual fee, any timeshare owner (resale owners included) can use them to trade for any comparable timeshare on their platform. Thus, a resale owner could technically use their external exchange membership to trade for an otherwise restricted resort in their internal exchange network.

Exchange restrictions, and the price of hacks like external exchange membership fees, are definite things to consider before you buy a timeshare resale. However, many find the net savings of buying on the resale market worth it.

Buy a Timeshare Resale Cheap With Timeshares Only

So, you want to buy a timeshare? Start by browsing the timeshare resale market! When you buy a timeshare resale, you can save thousands of dollars compared to buying directly from the developer. We have thousands of cheap timeshares for sale in our inventory. You’ll find timeshares from top brands like Disney Vacation Club, Hilton Grand Vacations, Club Wyndham, and more. Browse our resale marketplace today and start living your timeshare dreams for less!

Advertise Your Timeshare for Sale With Timeshares Only

Timeshare Resale Ads

Have lifestyle changes caused you not to be able to use or afford your timeshare? Looking for a change of vacation scenery? Whatever your reasons, if you want to sell your timeshare, Timeshares Only can help. Timeshares Only specializes in advertising timeshares on the resale market. We’ll connect with you to get the details of your ownership, turn them into a full-page ad highlighting your timeshare’s best assets, and advertise your timeshare to an audience of thousands of interested buyers.


Using state-of-the-art SEO and a huge, dedicated client base, we can help you get the targeted exposure you deserve. And as ARDA’s Recommended Reseller, we adhere to strict regulatory policies designed to protect your interests and give you peace of mind. Read more to learn about how to sell a timeshare, or call us at 1-800-610-2734 and speak to one of our resale experts today!

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