Direct vs Resale

I hear the terms Direct and Resale. What do they mean?

There are essentially two ways to purchase a DVC contract:

  • "Direct" contracts are named this way becuase they are puchased directly from Disney. While Disney would prefer to sell you the currently open resort, you can purchase a direct contract at any existing DVC resort for the right price. To do this, Disney has to have a contract available to sell so the buyer sometimes needs to go on a waitlist, but they buy back some contracts to fulfill these requests. A few resorts (Grand Californian and Beach Club) has such demand Disney will sometimes tell buyers that they cannot even waitlist for these resorts. 
  • "Resale" contracts are contracts that are purchased through a third party. There are many different resale companies, but they essentially perform as real estate agents between a prospective buyer and the seller, much like if you were to sell your house. Contracts bought through resale work at the home resort of the buyer exactly as a direct contract does, but there are many benefits that are no longer available to the resale buyer - which will be outlined below.

Why should I buy a direct contract? / What are the member benefits of buying direct? And what does a "Blue Card" member mean?

  • Benefits. There are many benefits that are no longer available to resale buyers that direct buyers receive. These are:
    • Trading points for various other uses, such as Disney Cruise Lines, Adventures By Disney, Other Disney Hotels, and Disney Concierge Collections. These are generally considered a poor use of points because most of them will cost the same or slightly more than paying full cash prices. This benefit was removed from resale on March 21, 2011.
    • Member Benefits as defined by DVC also known as "Blue Card" benefits for the blue membership card that members receive. Resale members that purchased before April 4, 2016 also get the "Blue Card" benefits. Currently as of June 2021, a minimum of 150 direct points needs to be purchased in order to get member benefits. These include:
      • Annual Pass discounts, including the ability to buy the lower cost Gold AP that only Florida Residents can get.
      • Dining discounts on many TS restaurants of 10% or more.
      • Merchandise discounts of 20% on most Disney merchandise locations
      • Special DCL cruises and other related events.
      • Access to the DVC Lounge in Epcot.
      • Access to Top of the World lounge at Bay Lake Tower @ Contemporary Resort (Converted to member only July 10, 2022.) 
      • Access to moonlight magic events at the various theme parks which are exclusive evenings only eligible to DVC members
      • Access to special smaller events such as wine tastings, excercise classes, special dining events and the like.
      • A full list of the member benefits is available on the DVC website at THIS LINK.
      • It is important to know that member benefits are subject to change at any time and are not guaranteed for the life of the contract. 
    • Access to the full list of all DVC resorts. This newest restriction was put in place January 19. 2019. Any resale buyers that buy today;
      • Buying resale at any resort opened before January 2019 (all but Riviera) you will have access to all resorts at the 7-month window EXCEPT those opened after January 2019.
      • Buying resale at Riviera restricts you to only using your points at Riviera. The same will go for any future resorts that open.
  • Speed. In addition to benefits, a direct contract can be finalized in a matter of a few days with points being loaded into your account usually within 24 business hours. Resale contracts typically take up to two to three months. This is partly because of the transaction sales time, but mostly because of Disney's Right of First Refusal, or ROFR. For more infomation on ROFR - follow this link.

So why should I buy a resale contract?

The answer is simple. Saving money. Even with ROFR, resale contracts tend to hover around 30%-40% less than the cost of Direct contracts. This difference can add up to significant money depending on how many points the buyer is looking at. Smaller contracts (less than 100 points) tend to go for more money on the resale market then larger contracts. But even so, a 200 point contract might save $10,000 or more on the resale contract. And at the heart of what DVC is - a discount access to deluxe accomodations at Walt Disney World and elsehwere - the benefit to the buyer is the same regardless. If you are buying for the discount room and not for the perks, then this is the primary benefit. 

With all those differences - what is the same between resale and direct?

  • The 11-month booking window at home resorts. Both resale and direct owners can book rooms at their home resort 11-months in advance of their travel dates. 
  • For resale owners at all resorts opened before Riviera, the 7-month booking window for non-home resorts is still available for those 14 resorts.
  • Exchange through RCI - though all other exchanges are blocked, both resale and direct owners can exchange their points through RCI. (An world-wide timeshare exchange source.) 
  • Parking - all DVC owners get free parking at the resorts as well as free parking at the parks.
  • Top of World Lounge - because of the way Top of World Lounge is paid for - all members whether resale or direct have access.
  • Resort amenities - All resort amenities that are listed as available to members as part of their dues are available regardless.
  Disney Direct Purchase Resale After March 21, 2011 Resale After April 4, 2016 Resale After February 25, 2018 Resale After January 19, 2019 Resale After October 19, 2020 Resale After June 3, 2021
Banking & Borrowing of Points              
11 & 7 Month Booking Windows              
Concierge Collection              
Disney Collection              
Adventures By Disney              
RCI Exchanges              
Pool Hopping              
Top of The World Lounge              
Membership Extras (Ticket and dining discounts, Epcot Lounge, Moonlight Magic, etc.) Yes, with at least a 150 point purchase
Effective 06/03/21
  Yes, with at least 25 points purchased Direct Yes, with at least 75 points purchased Direct Yes, with at least 100 points purcahsed Direct
Effective 9/17/19
Yes, with at least 125 points purcahsed Direct
Effective 10/19/20
Yes, with at least 150 points purcahsed Direct
Effective 06/03/21
Exchange Points within the 14 current DVC Resorts              
Exchange Points at the new resorts (Riviera, Reflections, etc.)              

Should I buy resale or direct?

This is not for DVCHelp to recommend. Many members prefer to benefits of full membership and are willing to pay extra for it. Other members prefer to take the discount and receive less benefits. The only thing to mention is that many members combine the best of both worlds by buying a minimum point contract direct (As of October 2020 this is 125 points) and then purchse the remainder of their points through resale for the savings. However, though this gets the member the "blue card" benefits, the resale points are still not eligible to use in all the resorts or through other resources.

Can I pay Disney to convert my resale points to direct points?

As of this writing, no.  There is always a possibility that this could happen in the future. 

Can I finance Direct or Resale sales?

Yes and yes. Direct finance must be done through Disney's finance company unless you obtain the money independently. For resale their are several companies that will finance your property with minimum approval. Interested rates in both cases are typically 10-12%.