eBay is a Powerhouse; But Not When it Comes to Timeshare Resales
Saturday, February 9, 2008
In a very short time, eBay has created a powerful, effective global marketplace that serves as yard sale, antique auction, real estate showcase, trading post, and memorabilia collector’s paradise. Old, new, valuable, eclectic, or pure junk, you can find it all on eBay…including timeshare resales.
Beyond creating a worldwide flea market, eBay has also afforded a way for people to supplement their incomes or even build small (and sometimes not so small) businesses. eBay entrepreneurs are a whole new category of business people, so much so, that the eBay empire has also established eBay University to train aspiring merchants in their structure and business model.
When You Sell Timeshare or Buy Timeshare Through an Online Auction
Yes, you can even buy timeshare or sell timeshare on eBay. When you sell timeshare through eBay, you have the choice to handle the sale yourself or to go through an eBay store that resells timeshare. Selling your timeshare weeks this way may work for some people, but online auctions are truly a situation of both buyer beware and seller beware.
For example, I just checked today’s timeshare resort properties advertised on eBay and found timeshare weeks listed at a starting bid of one cent—that’s right—one penny. Some have a reserve amount on them, meaning the timeshare will not be sold until a minimum price is met, but others are sold without the reserve. This is potentially a one-penny selling price; received after you (the timeshare seller) pay a fee to advertise your timeshare resale on eBay. And as a timeshare buyer, don’t assume that these rock bottom prices are actually the amount that you are required to come up with at the close of the auction. Instead, be sure you read all the fine print, because you are sure to be hit with closing costs, maybe advance or past maintenance fees, and other costs that turn your penny-priced property into a much larger expenditure. Additionally, as a timeshare buyer, you may not be given the choice of which timeshare closing company you wish to use to finalize your transaction, giving you even less control of the final dollar amount your budget priced timeshare deal will cost.
A timeshare owner posting on the TUG website recently observed: “Did you see the auction on eBay, a small 1 br gold week so that was an original Starwood went for the whopping amount of $3.25. Yes the decimal point is in the right spot.”
Another reason to be cautious in any online auction is that there is often nothing to standardize the information provided about the timeshare resale. If a timeshare seller knowingly or unknowingly, misrepresents the facts about the timeshare weeks he or she owns, the prospective buyer has no real way of sorting out fact from fiction. Important details about the timeshare weeks being advertised can be omitted or misstated. As a timeshare buyer, your risk can be great. As a timeshare owner who wants to sell timeshare, you will find the timeshare resort ad you credibly present is competing with ads that may promise amenities or terms they cannot deliver.
The Challenges of Buying and Selling Timeshare Resales on Auction
When you try to sell timeshare in an online auction, you are attempting to sell timeshare in a marketplace that contains timeshare properties owned by people who are apparently willing to pay to give them away! Combine that with how quickly eBay’s ads expire and you have a tough way to sell timeshare unless you too, are ready to pay someone to let you give them your vacation property.
In an interesting move this week, eBay announced that beginning in May, sellers will not be allowed to leave negative comments about their customers. They will still be permitted to leave positive ones. According to eBay spokesperson, Usher Lieberman, “The No. 1 reason buyers cited for decreasing or ceasing their activity on eBay was negative unwarranted retaliatory feedback they received from sellers.”
Remember that no one solution is best for every person who wants to sell timeshare or buy timeshare. Your needs and your objectives are unique. But before you turn to any online auction to buy or sell timeshare, consider all your options. An online auction is truly a case of caveat emptor…buyer beware…and sometimes, it is “seller beware” as well.
To learn more about safe, effective ways to sell timeshare or buy timeshare resales, visit Sell My Timeshare NOW.