How can I get rid of a time share?
August 23, 2014 11:49 AM   Subscribe

I have a time share I want to get rid of. I don't care about getting back any of my "investment." I just want to get rid of the thing. Getting a bit of money for it would be nice. What's the best way for me to get rid of it? Should I sell it or give it back? And if I should sell it, how?

Other possibly relevant details: I live in the US. The timeshare is in Mexico. It's not a big corporate timeshare like Sundance Vacations or Wyndham Vacation Resorts. It's just a timeshare in this one hotel, and is completely managed from that hotel in Mexico. I don't have a membership in any of the trading networks.

I really don't care about getting any of the initial "investment" money back (scare quotes because I know it's not an investment). I just want out.
posted by OrangeDisk to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Where are your copies of the documents associated with the time share? Do the documents say anything about "termination" or similar?

Can you call the hotel in Mexico and just ask how this sort of thing is normally done?
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 11:58 AM on August 23, 2014

What does your contract say?
posted by J. Wilson at 12:20 PM on August 23, 2014

Best answer: You should probably read this.

First order of business is to 100% establish that you CAN transfer/sell it. Sometimes you can't. Contact whoever is listed on the documents, get that sorted, and then ask about how a person would transfer the timeshare.

Do NOT say sell because sometimes selling is a no-no, but transferring is okay. Like, you can transfer to only family members but nobody else, and you don't want to put on their radar that you're selling. They don't need to know that.

Also, there are usually transfer fees, up to over $1,000, unless the transfer is to a family member.

The absolutely best way to sell/transfer the property is to list it on eBay. You're going to see a LOT of timeshares listed for $1 because so many people want to unload their investment.

You will not get back anything remotely close to your investment, sorry.

Good luck.
posted by kinetic at 12:28 PM on August 23, 2014

Best answer: A great place to learn about timeshares and to trade/buy/sell/rent timeshares is Timeshare Users Group.

Good luck!
posted by ethidda at 1:02 PM on August 23, 2014

A friend of a friend donated their timeshare to a charity and wrote off the original purchase value on their taxes. I'd check with a tax accountant on that move, first, especially on the amount you can legally write off.
posted by homodachi at 7:09 PM on August 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

About donating to charity: most non-profits work with Donate for a Cause, and you will have to pay them up front to unload the timeshare.

They're also highly selective about what properties they accept, and from your description that yours isn't linked to a larger company where a person could trade the weeks, they probably won't want yours.
posted by kinetic at 3:19 AM on August 24, 2014

Some companies accept back 1-2 units a year. I would check with the company.

Someone told me to transfer it to a company and fold the company. I don't know if that is likely, but I did mention it to my cousins who are stuck with a timeshare.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 11:52 PM on August 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm just updating this post to share my experience, in case others search for information on timeshares in the future. We told the timeshare we wanted to give up our ownership. They did about 5 minutes worth of work to try and talk us out of it, then said ok. We wrote a letter saying why we wanted to relinquish our ownership and cancel our contract -- the reason we gave is that we cannot afford it. They gave us a letter confirming our cancellation.

We of course lost the upfront purchase costs. My parents were the original owners of the timeshare and I don't even know how much they paid for us. We are fine with losing that.

Overall, it was very easy and painless, although we ended up feeling like we had walked away from the only honest timeshare in existence.
posted by OrangeDisk at 10:09 AM on December 2, 2014

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