Some people see them as the chance of a lifetim­e, ­an opportunity to own a piece of a beautiful resort where they c­an have a dream vacation every y­ear. Others think they're shady deals to be avoided at all costs. And lots of people sit through the sales pitch just to get the free gifts.

Most of us have either been approached by someone with an offer to buy a timeshare, or we know someone who has. Although they have a reputation as scams, most timeshare deals are genuine, legitimate real-estate offerings. However, that doesn't necessarily mean they're a good idea for everyone.

In this article, we'll find out how timeshares work, how you get them, how you get rid of them and whether or not they are a sound financial investment. We'll also find out about some timeshares that are scams.

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