Dear Liz: We bought a time share in Orlando, Fla. We tried to sell it through someone who turned out to be a con artist and lost $2,600 to him. Please help us unload this curse.
Answer: Your first stop should be EBay. Look on the auction site for completed sales of time shares in your development, using the exact name of the property and clicking on the “completed sales” option on the left side of the page. If there have been any sales, you may be able to sell yours on the site, although you’re likely to get at best only a fraction of what you’ve paid. You also could try listing it on sites such as the Timeshare Users Group at tug2.net, Bidshares.com or RedWeek.com.
If you don’t find any completed sales on EBay, however, your time share may have little or no value. You can try contacting the project’s developer to see if you can transfer the time share back. You’re unlikely to get any money from the developer, but you could at least get out from under maintenance and other fees. If you borrowed money to buy this time share, you’ll have to figure out a way to pay off the loan or risk a default that could trash your credit.
What you don’t want to do is pay anyone another big upfront fee. Con artists may insist that fat fees are necessary to “list” your property, or they may even promise that they have a buyer, but they’re only taking advantage of people who are desperate to get rid of money-sucking time shares.