How to dump an unwanted timeshare

Maybe the fun of your timeshare is over, Maybe the fun of your timeshare is over, but the fees and carrying charges aren't, so face it: most people lose money on timeshares. Photo Credit: iStock photo

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1. Check the fine print

If you just bought the timeshare, many states have a mandatory "cooling off" period, when you can undo the deal and demand a return of your payment. These periods are usually only a week or 10 days (not months), so they relieve only short-term buyers' remorse.

 

2. Try a buyback

Contact the resort or program management office and ask if either will make an offer on the property. This may not work unless the resort involved is actually sold out or close to full. Still, it's worth a try.

 

3. Rent it

Try renting your timeshare for as much as you can get. While you may not be able to cover all your fees, you will at least offset them a bit.

 

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4. Advertise

Among the recommended sites for advertising your interval or timeshare points are redweek.com and Timesharing Today (tstoday.com). You can post a listing on free or low-cost sites (eBay, Craigslist) - but keep in mind that many owners who post on these sites ask very little for their timeshares.

5. Join a group

All timeshare owners should become members of a timeshare-owners association. The National Timeshare Owners Association (nationaltimeshareowners assoc.com) is a good resource. Members are often interested in each other's timeshares, either on a rental or sale basis.

 

6. Donate time

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See if you can find a local charity or school that would accept your interval or points as a donation.

 

7. Use caution

Don't list the timeshare for sale through any agency or Web site that charges a big upfront fee to the tune of several hundred dollars. Even if an agency "guarantees" to sell your timeshare, those offers are generally bogus.

 

8. Bail out

If you can't get anything for your interval or points and you're really desperate to get out of a bad-fee situation, you may have to list your timeshare as "free" to anyone who agrees to take over your contract.

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