You can frequently find timeshares selling for between a 25% to 75% discount on the resale market, and I’ve even seen fire-sale prices discounting from the original developer’s price as much as 90%. You have a variety of options for buying a resale timeshare. Ebay has hundreds of timeshares available on their auction website and it is my favorite place to pick up bargains, but you can also try Craigslist, your local Sunday paper’s real estate section, websites such as Redweek.com and various timeshare forums where owners buy and/or trade with each other.
What you will want to keep in mind is that you don’t want to be paying for the owner’s inflated sense of their timeshare’s value so do some research first. Even if you elect not to go the Ebay route, it pays to check out completed auctions and get an idea of prices for resorts that you might be interested in buying.
Also, if you are shopping on a timeshare resale website, investigate whether they actually make sales. Many timeshare owners hand their timeshares over to what is known as “postcard companies”. These companies charge an upfront fee for the timeshare and then post it on their website with an unrealistic asking price. They often don’t care if they even sell the property because they’ve made their money upfront collecting fees from the owners. If a website’s listings look stale and don’t appear to ever change, it’s best to avoid even bothering to make an offer. You won’t get the best price.
Once you do decide that you’d like to go ahead and buy, remember to negotiate. With the exception of Ebay, you will generally find that buying a timeshare is much like buying a house. The initial asking price is negotiable. I would start my offer at 50% of the asking price and then proceed from there. If the owner is just trying to get out from under an annual maintenance fee and have been trying to sell for quite some time, you just may get a bargain. For that reason, you’ll likely find the best bargains are available in November and December, just before the new year’s maintenance fee is due.