Some of the primary impediments to the growth of the legitimate timeshare resale marketplace are the rogue companies that are operating timeshare resale scams with no intention of helping owners sell their timeshares. These fraudulent companies use similar tactics to gain the trust of consumers, so BuyaTimeshare.com has created a checklist for owners to use to protect themselves from the overtures of these operators.
State agencies are cracking down on timeshare resale scams, as evidenced by recent legal actions in Las Vegas, Florida and Texas, reaching consumers as far away as Alaska. However, consumers can save themselves thousands of dollars by taking preventative measures to stay away from these companies before they are brought in front of a judge.
Many times, the lack of timeshare resale information leads to consumers unwittingly falling victim to scams, so BuyaTimeshare.com recommends the following tactics when owners consider using a resale company:
- Cold Calling – owners should stay away from companies using cold call tactics. If you have not already contacted a resale company, either through phone, email or website outreach, then avoid them.
- Buyers Waiting – if a company claims to have a buyer waiting to buy your timeshare and wants you to pay a fee first, such as a “closing fee” or “transfer fee”, then stay away from them. Such fees are generally paid by the buyer after a sale has been agreed to, not before.
- Guarantees – no company can guarantee the sale of a timeshare, as there are far too many variables in the marketplace. If a company is guaranteeing a sale, they should be avoided.
- Company Name – a new tactic is when scam operators pose as legitimate companies, making up fake email addresses and using publicly accessible information about that company to win the trust of the owner. One Denver broker had his identity stolen by a fraudster who posed as him to fleece owners. If you see a company using an email address such as Gmail or Yahoo instead of a company email address, be very cautious. If you have any hesitation, contact the company directly to confirm the identity of the caller.
- Written Agreements – does the company put their agreement in writing for you to sign? Florida law mandates that resale companies provide written agreements for resale activities, so if a company does not provide a contract, be very suspicious.
- Data Protection – how does a company handle information such as credit card details? Is it taken over the phone, which is unsecured and can be mishandled? Ask about how personal information is protected.
- Business Details – get the street address and phone number from the company, then call them back to make sure it is actually that business and has someone answering the phone during normal business hours. Don’t settle for PO boxes; scammers are notorious for using them. And make sure the business is registered in the state in which it resides.
- Marketing Support – how does the company find buyers, and can they offer documentation? If they are an online company, can they be found in a simple Google search for buyer-related terms? If you can’t find them online, then neither can a buyer.
This information will go a long way toward providing consumers with the kinds of protection they need to avoid scams when exploring timeshare resale options. Keep in mind that the sale of a timeshare is contingent on other items such as price, resort location and season. But being informed of these tactics will make a major difference in helping you find a legitimate resale company.
To learn more about timeshares, please visit http://buyatimeshare.com
BuyaTimeshare.com is an internet advertising and marketing company for timeshare owners who seek to sell or rent their timeshare. The company has been in business since 2000 and has been ranked twice in Inc. Magazine’s prestigious Inc. 5000 List as one of the fastest-growing, privately held companies in the country. BuyaTimeshare.com was also listed as one of BusinessNH Magazine’s Top 10 Companies to Watch. The company is a Trustee Member of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Resort Development Association (CRDA), a member in good standing with the Mexico Resort Development Association AMDETUR, U.K.-based TATOC the Timeshare Association, and is a preferred resale provider for the National Timeshare Owners Association (NTOA). For more information, please visit http://buyatimeshare.com or call 1-800-640-6886.