Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And The Scams Continue

There seems to be a never-ending supply of greedy, shady companies out there. And with the difficult economic times that some timeshare owners find themselves in, these companies are raking in a fortune.

Recently, a timeshare owner contacted me wanting to know if they should pay a company $2,000 to list their timeshare for sale.

This presented a few “problems”:

· the owner in question lived in Florida---new Florida DBPR regulations expressly forbid the
collection of a “listing fee” for any timeshare owner residing in the state of Florida
· the timeshare in question was located in Florida---ditto on the Florida DPBP regulations
· how did the company in question obtain this owner’s information

I did some checking into the listings that this company had and was astonished…a rare thing for me!

The site had thirty-three (33) timeshares listed from this particular timeshare property, ranging in price from $5,500 for a 1-bedroom to $32,000 (!) for a 2-bedroom. What was even stranger was that the same listing had a 3-bedroom timeshare for “only” $26,000…a steal compared to the 2-bedroom at $32,000!

So why my astonishment? As my regular readers know, I used to be a timeshare salesperson and I used to work for this particular timeshare resort. They are currently selling 2-bedroom timeshare (or the points equivalent) for $17,900. And this resale company had one listed at $32,000!

There is one of two scenarios that happened here…neither was particularly appealing:

1) the company in question got their hands on some owners’ listing and convinced some poor
unsuspecting owner that for “only” $2,000, they would be able to sell their timeshare for
them and get $32,000.
2) the company in question is in fact making up their listings as they go…there is no timeshare
“for sale”, much less one for $32,000

Why is the timeshare resale world even less regulated than the primary timeshare market? There is nothing at all to stop these companies from “listing” fictitious timeshare properties. And nothing to stop them from listing them under various “umbrella” companies. Oftentimes one company will be doing business under various aliases, all listing the same properties.

It is more important than ever for consumers to be wary of these companies which prey on tough times and ignorance. There are legitimate places that consumers can turn to if they are looking to sell their timeshare. And if consumers are in the market to purchase a timeshare on the resale market, don’t make a costly error. Work with a company that has full transparency, that offers a recession period, that has competitive prices, that has a good rating with the Better Business Bureau and that offers a guarantee of a clean title.

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