While many people still go through traditional methods of buying timeshares i.e. through timeshare brokers or real estate companies the trend of buying timeshares through Internet auctions is catching up. We hear many horror stories about people being scammed into buying timeshares which do not exist or sometimes are not up to the quality that they were promised or in the wrong location. And these stories cannot be ignored because the number of people that have been cheated is unusually high and increasing by the day. And imagine yourself sitting in a presentation given by timeshare companies to prospective buyers. It is a traumatic experience as you will be subjected to sitting for many hours and listening to the pressure selling techniques of the timeshare companies. They quite literally won’t let you go unless and until you give some kind of commitment or sign some papers!
All these happenings led to the emergence of Internet auction sites for timeshares. Now buyers are free from those unscrupulous sellers who adopt illegal techniques to sell their timeshares. Popular auction sites like eBay.com and bidshares.com allow users to buy and sell timeshares through their website. Although there are many other websites for timeshare auctions eBay.com and bidshares.com are the most reliable and safe websites to conduct timeshare auctions. These sites charge absolutely no upfront fee either to put your timeshare on sale or to bid on timeshare sales. They only charge after the bid is successful.
When bidding on a timeshare a few points have to be kept in mind. Try to establish communication with the seller as soon as possible and decide whether the seller is responding well to your queries or not; if the seller does respond, assess how quickly and whether he is giving you the complete information or not. Internet auctions are also not fool proof against scammers and frauds, so always be alert to this possibilty. The above practice would eliminate a few of the possibilities of you being trapped in some kind of scam. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean that if the seller is not responding he may not be a genuine seller. Some people are not good at written communication; in that case making a phone call to enquire about the timeshare unit is not a bad idea.
One more important point to remember while bidding on a timeshare is to do your homework in advance by finding out complete information about the property. The details would include name and location of the property, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, the name of the exchange company that the seller’s resort deals with, the date by which the property is ready to use, annual maintenance fees of the resort, and sizes of bedrooms and is there any assessment this year. Also do research about the selling price of similar units sold recently in that location. Do not be overly concerned about whether you lose an auction and rush your decision – there may be a better property waiting for you. Also it is not a bad idea if you determine the mode of payment beforehand by contacting the owner. Although there are many methods of payment available a seller may have a specific preference. Also be wary if the owner is not responding to this question. The auction websites provide seller ratings, feedback and transaction histories. This is very important to you as you may not want go to a seller with bad ratings or feedbacks. Also if you miss a bid by a whisker, say $10, don’t be discouraged – you may contact the seller that you are ready to buy the unit just in case the winner retracts his bid. Even if it doesn’t happen you may get another unit if seller has multiple units. But never agree to pay over your bid price which defeats the purpose of an auction which provides an open platform for fair and reasonable bargaining but within the jurisdiction of the system adhering to the rules and regulations.