4 Things You Need to Know Before Putting Your Timeshare For Sale on eBay

Apr 25, 2018

Putting Your Timeshare For Sale on eBay | eBay Timeshare Resales | Westgate Timeshare
By Rich Weidman

4 Things You Need to Know Before Putting Your Timeshare for Sale on eBay

Although the online auction site eBay can often serve as the ideal platform for selling such commonplace items as consumer electronics, sporting goods, smartphones, video games, textbooks, collectibles, vintage toys and novelty T-shirts, certain more complex transactions – including timeshare resales – may put the seller at significant risk in a variety of ways. Even though eBay timeshare resales have become a common practice over the past few years, before you consider listing your timeshare unit in their online marketplace, you will have to determine based on your individual circumstances if it is indeed worth your time and effort to take this route. Timeshare resale complaints against timeshare resale companies under investigation are on the rise, so at first a self-serve solution might seem attractive. But before you make the decision to put your timeshare for sale on eBay or not, be sure to conduct detailed research about the online auction site in order to make an informed decision on whether eBay is the right choice for you. In particular, here are four things you should take into account when it comes to timeshares for sale on eBay:

  1. Navigating eBay’s Often Complex Policies & Procedures. The world’s largest online marketplace, eBay boasts approximately 170 million active users (according to the most recently available metrics). Originally known as “AuctionWeb,” eBay was launched in 1995 by twenty-eight-year-old computer programmer Pierre Omidyar, whose first listing was a broken laser pointer that a collector purchased for $14.83. (As a side note, Omidyar today boasts an estimated net worth of $10.8 billion.) Although eBay has evolved significantly over the years, it still functions as more of an immense online garage sale (approximately one billion items are listed on eBay at any one time) than a website steadfastly devoted to attracting timeshare buyers to your listing in a fashion more consistent with real estate propsecting and transactions. In fact, navigating your way through eBay’s sometimes complicated rules and regulations can often be a daunting challenge. Therefore, every potential eBay timeshare seller needs to know the ins and outs of the online auction site before listing their timeshare. For example, various fees are associated with selling a timeshare on eBay such as Listing Fees, Final Value Fees, PayPal Fees, Title Transfer Fees and others. In addition, many novice sellers on eBay have a difficult time getting their listing to stand out among thousands of other sellers on the site who are much more versed in eBay’s often complicated policies and procedures. Before diving into the world of digital eBay listings, make sure you know what you're getting into, and if you can even list something within the sale conditions that can be purchased via their online terms and conditions.

  2. Evaluating Your Financial Risk as an eBay Seller. As a timeshare seller on eBay, you may be setting yourself up for serious financial risk if you are not careful. For example, in the event of a dispute, eBay has a reputation for siding with buyers over sellers. By stepping up customer protection over the years, eBay has conversely created a situation where sellers often have little to no protection if any issues arise with a transaction. In 2013, eBay launched a “Money Back Guarantee” policy that promises to refund the buyer in certain situations. However, some unscrupulous buyers have reportedly taken advantage of this policy by filing false or exaggerated claims and using other ways to manipulate the system. Some eBay sellers have taken to online forums to complain about being unjustly penalized by the company. One seller on a user forum even called eBay’s customer service department “an absolute joke” and used the words “rude,” “abrupt” and “evasive” to describe his negative experience with a representative while trying to resolve an issue with a buyer. In other words, don’t expect much in the way of conflict resolution or arbitration if you come across any problems when placing your timeshare for sale on eBay and then the proposed transaction goes wrong in some way. In terms of online marketplace rules and processes, it's typically "seller beware!"

  3. Understanding Guidelines for Timeshare Sales Related to eBay. When deciding to put your timeshare for sale on eBay, you need to first make sure to review your timeshare contract to determine if you have any obligations to the timeshare company. For example, many timeshare companies include a Right of First Refusal (ROFR) clause within the terms of ownership. Therefore, your timeshare company must be notified when you accept an offer to buy your timeshare. The ROFR enables the timeshare company in certain circumstances to purchase the timeshare interest from the owner under the same conditions offered by a prospective buyer. In essence, the timeshare company then becomes the buyer and the owner sells it back to the company at the same agreed-upon price. However, if the timeshare company does not want to purchase your timeshare at the price you negotiated with the eBay buyer, they refuse it and the original deal proceeds. The bottom line is that the process of dealing with ROFRs can slow down the overall process of selling your timeshare on eBay considerably (sometimes even for several months or more). When it comes to listing something as important as a timeshare unit, you never want the sale to "stall", because then you're not receiving any compensation from your unit at all, and (more importantly) your unit is now "tied up" in a sale process that removes it from consideration for other buyers. When it comes to this type of risky (and potentially drawn-out) sales process, it's usually best to steer clear and simply open up a dialogue with the parent company for your timeshare unit to explore other options.

  4. Investigating Alternatives to Ebay Timeshare Resales. Before you attempt to place your timeshare for sale on eBay – with all of the complexity that entails – consider researching all of your available options. For example, you may wish to contact your timeshare company and discover all the ways you can take full advantage of your vacation ownership instead of selling your timeshare. Many owners enjoy the privileges of their vacation ownership year after year but may simply forget that there are certain aspects of usage available to them, while other situations may involve simply re-cultivating a deeper understand of what can be done with the unit, and how rentals and transfers work with regard to the parent company. Westgate Resorts, for instance, treats its owners as part of a vacation family, educating them on how to maximize the many unique benefits of their vacation ownership so they can enjoy travel adventures and create lifelong memories with their family and friends. Learning all about the variety of spacious accommodations, world-class amenities, premier vacation destinations, exclusive discounts and promotions, and vacation exchanges available through your timeshare can help you and your family get the most out of your vacation ownership and set you up for success, armed with a solid understanding of how your vacation ownership works.

If you are considering transitioning out of vacation ownership, the Westgate Legacy Program is here to help you. The Legacy Program has been designed to help assist owners find safe and secure exit options based on their individual circumstance and ownership. It is the only developer-guaranteed release option and will work directly with you to discuss all of your various alternatives.