During my trip to the Gold Coast in Australia I remember a street vendor coming up to me and offering free tickets to a nearby amusement park in exchange for a few hours of my time attending a timeshare presentation. I immediately thought “what a rip off,” but I must admit, I was intrigued. What exactly is a timeshare? Is it a good deal? Why was this street vendor able to offer me a $100 ticket? What’s the catch? So many questions yet so few answers. So, I did what most do nowadays, Googled it.
I learned that a timeshare is basically one or two weeks of vacation time at a resort. In many cases you buy the vacation time and then become a partial owner of a unit within a resort. You may then use that unit for the amount of time that you purchased, which is usually one or two weeks. There are many different timeshare related products out there, but this is the general idea of how a timeshare works.
During my research I kept seeing one site in particular at the top of the Google search results. The site was called BuyaTimeshare.com and it advertises timeshares for sale by owner, which is apparently very different from the timeshares sold through the street vendors, resorts and resort development companies. Apparently, when a timeshare is bought or rented from an existing timeshare owner the price is significantly less because the staff overhead, sales commissions and marketing costs such as the $100 amusement park ticket aren’t factored in to the price. Learning this got me thinking. Could a timeshare be a good deal if bought or rented from an existing owner? I had to find out.
As an example I decided to take a look at the timeshares available for rent in Australia. I found a floating one-week timeshare rental at the Beachcomber International Resort near the Gold Coast being advertised for just $400 USD ($526.25 AUD) that seemed like a good deal. A floating week means the timeshare can be used at any week during the year if it is booked early enough. To compare I looked at Hotels.com and this resort typically rents out for around $145 USD ($190.75 AUD) per night in the summer. The timeshare rental on BuyaTimeshare.com is definitely a better deal, but is this site really trustworthy?
In general, I find that websites at the top of the natural Google searches (not the ads) tend to be the most legitimate, but I wanted to do a little more research. I found that the company is affiliated with all of the major industry associations in America (ARDA), Mexico (AMDETUR) and Canada (CRDA) in addition to timeshare owner groups TATOC and NTOA. They’ve also been in business since 2000, which says something about their credibility. That’s good enough for me to say buyatimeshare.com is not a rip off.
And there you have it. A new way to shop for accommodation deals when planning a trip. Hopefully this site can save you some money and enable you to stretch your vacation dollar a little further the next time you take a trip.