Like it has been said, there are limited units available for rent through DVC. and you will pay a TON more to book through WDW. Rack rate plus 12% tax. For example the “From” price for a studio is $225 which is $252 after taxes. You can rent points for the same studio generally $80-100 per night.
There is some risk involved, but really very little, especially if you pay by credit card. You will get a written reservation in your name in about 7-10 days. If you don’t get the reservation, you can have your credit card company challenge the charge and the renter has to prove that they have delivered the reservation as promised. If they don’t you get your money back.
Renting points is REALLY easy. You just have to find a member with points to rent. There are plenty of DVC members who rent point here Trade/Rental requests - MouseBuzz.com and on other boards. MouseOwners.com - The Web’s Most Friendly and Reliable Source for Information on the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is another good place to look.
The main thing you have to remember is that you are renting a timeshare unit, and that if you cancel it’s different that canceling a room. DVC members have Points which are really nothing more than a percentage of use in a timeshare, instead of a fixed annual week like most timeshares. We have a certain number of points which we get to use each year, and generally, they have to be used or lost. So if you rent a weeks worth of points, and your trip is just before the end of our year, then cancel we lose the points. That’s why many rentals are not refundable. Some renters offer or include insurance which allows some type of protection - know that the terms are BEFORE you rent.
Almost all rentals are legit. Some are easier to deal with than others I’m sure. But if you stick with renting from members that are established on a board (check their post count/joined date) then you are pretty safe. If they were sticking it to people you’d know about it - they’d be trashed. I know some people have used Crags List but there is no way to check renters out.
Go for it. You’ll have a geat experience staying deluxe at a bargin price. You might even find you like it so much that you decide to become a member too. Over half of my referrals to DVC that joined rented points first!