Timeshare resale service ads on websites and e-mails might be tempting for those owners who want to get out of their timeshares. But the US Federal Trade Commission and several state attorneys general have issued alerts warning consumers about selling a timeshare through a reseller. They gave similar warnings like you should know who you are dealing with and what you are getting before you sign an agreement.
Take for instance the case of one consumer who was promised of fast cash for selling her timeshare points similar to frequent flyer miles through an unsolicited e-mail. With this tight economy, the deal is tempting. But the agent would take her points from her Florida timeshare and sell them with $1,000 as an upfront fee. There’s also a sample contract attached to the e-mail saying that the upfront fee was to cover marketing costs for 90 days.
Meanwhile, the Florida attorney general’s office said most resale companies require an advance listing fee before the sale can take place. But they strongly recommend choosing a company that collects its fee after the sale goes through.
On the other hand, timeshares are big business. It has total sales of $9.7 billion in 2008 alone. With that amount of money, it’s no wonder scammers look for ways to prey on their victims. However, these can be avoided by following a number of tips from the AGs office. As a rule, don’t give your credit card number or other personal information over the phone. Also, do your research before doing business with any company and compare their offers to industry competition. Moreover, be wary of companies that charge upfront fees and choose a company that offers to sell for a fee only after the vacation property is sold.