The International Commerce Marketing Group (ICM Group, ICMG, ICM Marketing Group), the industry leader in timeshare resale, warns timeshare owners to be on the lookout for scams and other deceptive solicitations when trying to resell their timeshare .
If you are a timeshare owner, you are no stranger to the onslaught of telemarketing attempts to get you to sell your timeshare. Even if you’re in the market to sell, it’s important that you know exactly who and what you’re about to do business with. Below is a list of timeshare scams ICMG suggests you watch out for.
Timeshare Resale Scam #1: “We have a buyer ready for your timeshare.”
This is one of the most used tactics in the timeshare reselling scam toolkit. The company trying to hire you will first ask if you want to sell your timeshare. They will then proceed to tell you that they already have a buyer waiting. The deciding factor for this timeshare resale scam is when the timeshare owner is quoted with an offer that far exceeds the actual value of the property. For a fee of a few hundred dollars, the company tricks the timeshare owner into believing that their property will sell for this inflated asking price.
This timeshare resale scam relies heavily on luring the timeshare owner into believing they are exchanging pennies for dollars by making the fees seem small compared to the promise to make a killing on the sale and a buyer waiting in the wings.
The best way to avoid this timeshare resale scam is to first ask them questions about your timeshare. If they have a buyer waiting, then they should clearly know everything there is to know about their timeshare. If you don’t know the details down to the last point and penny, I can assure you there is no buyer. Make sense? No one is waiting, checkbook in hand, waiting to buy a mystery… ever!
Timeshare Resale Scam #2: “We guarantee to sell your timeshare in X number of days”
What’s better for parting with someone’s hard-earned money than giving them a good, old, time-sensitive warranty? This timeshare resale scam tactic again starts with the phone solicitation for you to sell your timeshare. You see, some timeshare owners want to sell their timeshare. Other timeshare owners need to sell theirs. Putting a date and a deadline on the sale is usually enough to bring down even the toughest skeptic and pay the fees the company requires to sell your timeshare.
Avoiding this timeshare resale scam is as simple as making a clear distinction:
Unless the company is a real estate broker, then they are not selling their timeshare…you are! Also, unless they are a real estate broker, they cannot guarantee that your timeshare will sell or how long it will take. At best, the company can only bring you offers from interested buyers because, by law, they cannot accept them for you.
Also, as a matter of principle, a real estate broker will not guarantee when your timeshare will sell, even if they are the best in the business, so non-brokers should clearly be suspected of making such claims.
Timeshare resale scam n. Tip #3 – Fees to “list” your timeshare for sale by the owner.
This timeshare resale scam starts with the same phone call asking you to sell, as well as some of the tactics we just discussed. During the launch, they will tell you that they have a website that gets a lot of traffic from people who are eager to buy a timeshare every day. For a fee of a few hundred dollars and sometimes more, they will list your timeshare on their site.
Now, this type of service is not completely illegitimate. These companies will list your timeshare for you, but here are some interesting facts to consider before doing business with these listing agencies:
- You can post your own timeshare for sale by owner for free.
- Plus, you can post your timeshare for sale by owner for free every day, until it sells, on http://www.craigslist.org
- Your chances of success will be just as good, if not better, because ultimately Craigslist.org gets more website visitors per day than all of these timeshare listing websites combined. (compare some sites with Craigslist on http://www.Alexa.com )
However, there is only one problem with this strategy…
Timeshares are often an impulse purchase that occurs under intense sales pressure at the resort. While people wake up in the morning wanting to take a vacation, they don’t wake up in the morning to search the internet and buy a timeshare to take that vacation.
Did you buy your timeshare online? Not likely.
Also, because timeshare is a luxury item, it differs significantly from real estate. It is not an item of necessity like a house or a car and therefore should be treated differently. You can list houses and cars on the web and expect to receive offers quickly, but this is not true with timeshares.
Successfully selling your timeshare on the timeshare resale market requires aggressive marketing to a highly qualified and targeted group of people. Nothing less will get the job done in an acceptable time frame with an acceptable offer.
Always be wary of requests for you to sell your timeshare or you may fall victim to one of these timeshare resale scams. Simple logic should tell you that someone asking you to sell is probably more interested in getting a quick rate than finding you a buyer!
A company that asks you to to buy timeshare probably has the seller’s best interest in mind.
The 3 things to look for in a legitimate timeshare resale company are:
- Whether or not they are licensed and bonded in the state from which they operate,
- Do they have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and quickly resolve complaints?
- Does your contract include the state statute required for contractual agreements made over the phone?
If the company does not meet all of the above requirements, do not do business with the company.
ICMG sincerely hopes that this list will help you avoid timeshare resale scams and that you will be successful in reselling your timeshare on the For Sale By Owner market.