Paying just $1 for a timeshare may still be too much

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If you go to eBay and you type “timeshares” in their search bar, you’ll see tons of search results advertising timeshares in beautiful beach locations, desert spots or mountain hideaways being sold for $1 or $39… or even one penny! What’s going on here?

Simply put, the timeshare business is dead. People are stuck paying big maintenance fees, association dues and assessments, and they’re doing anything to get out of the obligation.

Should you take on a timeshare for $1? Money Adviser, a publication of Consumer Reports, has a simple test to help you know if it’s a deal, or if you’re buying trouble at a discount: Ask this question: What would you pay per year in maintenance fees, and what special assessments have there been?

Let’s say, hypothetically, that by buying a timeshare for $1, you would have to pay $600 for annual maintenance fees for your one vacation week. That’s nearly $90 each night, and that’s just the base rate; it could be much higher. Would you usually pay $90 a night on vacation? I know I wouldn’t.

So if the cost for the week you’re getting equals, exceeds, or comes close to what you could do booking a room as a free agent, then a timeshare –even at a buck– is way too much money.

Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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