In a tough economy, struggling families look for ways to reduce their expenses. One popular option is to unload any timeshares so they can recoup their investment and stop paying maintenance fees. Many businesses specialize in reselling timeshares, but Better Business Bureau warns that some companies are using deceptive sales tactics to bilk thousands from already cash-strapped timeshare owners.
While timeshare owners are looking to unload the financial burden, unfortunately, not as many vacationers are buying. Timeshare sales dropped 40 percent in 2009, according to the American Resort Development Association. As a result, timeshare owners who are eager to sell are increasingly susceptible to offers that are too good to be true.
“Because of the economy, many timeshare owners want to cash out now but no one is buying,” said Alison Southwick BBB spokesperson. “Unfortunately, some unscrupulous timeshare resellers are taking advantage of the situation by misleading timeshare owners into paying thousands of dollars in the hopes of unloading their timeshare quickly.”
Companies like Resorts Condo Management, Creative Vacation Solutions, Platinum Property Exchange and Premier Timeshare Solutions have earned F ratings with BBB for convincing timeshare owners that they already have interested buyers but require thousands of dollars in upfront fees—such as closing costs—from the sellers and ultimately fail to complete the promised sale.
One man from Lincoln, Nebraska, who complained to BBB was promised by PTS that the business had a buyer for his timeshares, but if the sales did not go through, he would get his money back. He paid PTS a total of $7,710. The sale never went through and he never got his money back, despite the guarantee from the company.
BBB offers the following advice to timeshare owners who are looking for help in selling their timeshare:
For more advice you can trust on how to stretch your dollar in a tough economy, visit bbb.org.