Timeshares are normally considered a bad purchase. Many of these companies get you to come stay for a low price and then pressure you to buy in at prices of $10,000 or more, sometimes much more.
Fortunately there is a much cheaper way to buy timeshares. People who have bought them resell them on eBay or other online sites. Unlike traditional real estate, timeshare prices depreciate immediately after purchase. Some of these sell on eBay for as low as $1.00 US. This is because you might also be required to pay the current year’s maintenance fee at purchase time, or possibly closing costs and transfer fees. All these costs might also be covered by the seller, it depends on the auction.
Concerned about having to stay at the same place every year? You could join RCI or Interval International. These companies allow you to convert your timeshare to a points value depending on the supply and demand of your resort. These points can then be used to stay at other timeshares in the program. RCI is so commonplace that the eBay auctions often have the points value included in the listing.
When bidding, look for “deeded” properties as these will give you ownership of the week, registered similar to real estate. The owner can sell, rent and will the property to others. I would suggest not getting “right to use” properties as these are a lease until a certain date.
Before purchasing a timeshare, you might want to consider joining the Timeshare Users Group. This website costs $15 to join but will give you ratings and reviews from other timeshare owners.