Should You Buy A Direct Buy Membership? Is There A Catch?

Those are questions I’ve asked myself over and over — practically every time I see the commercial for DirectBuy on TV.

Jim says we should try it. I’m more hesitant.

I know they offer a "free visitor’s pass" to familiarize you with their club. But I figure it’s more of a ploy to try & sell you a membership on the spot — and their membership fee is probably a few hundred dollars or something.

So I’ve been asking around…

Even though there’s a DirectBuy club near me, most people I’ve asked haven’t really considered visiting. Only one contractor friend of ours knew much about it. He said, "It’s not worth it. I wouldn’t do it." He knows a handful of people who have joined, and he made it sound like they didn’t get too many "great" deals. He said you can find better deals on your own — if you look.

But I recently heard from a reputable source a whole ‘nother take on DirectBuy. This one is a bit more controversial.

I found it quite interesting…

Steve Bass, an Internet and computer pro at PC World magazine recently posted an excellent summary of DirectBuy on his "Tips & Tweaks" blog.

He started out something like this: "I saved $4,300 because I had access to the Internet. How? I didn’t sign up for DirectBuy!"

That got my attention alright. To me, that said a member at DirectBuy costs $4,300. Wow, I didn’t think it would be that much!

So, I read on.

Steve dug around on the Net — he actually did a lot of the legwork for people like you & me who are simply curious about the club. In the end, he found some pretty revealing articles that anyone considering a membership in DirectBuy might want to read first.

From Steve’s article

Here’s a list of sites that talk about DirectBuy. Give them a look, then come to your own conclusions:

…Be sure to click on the links that Steve provided in his article as well!

But, it doesn’t stop there.

Apparently, DirectBuy sent a cease-and-desist letter to at least one site that wrote something bad about them. Then, a non-profit public interest organization stepped in. And things spun out of control from there.

Check out Steve’s links to those stories.

 

More About Direct Buy:

Their tagline is "DirectBuy… The #1 way to buy direct for your home."
They have 130 private members-only showroom throughout North America.
Members have access to approximately 700 brand-name manufacturers and authorized suppliers in the U.S. and more than 500 brand-name manufacturers and authorized suppliers in Canada.
Members have the ability to custom-order furniture and cabinets, as well as arrange for delivery and installation.
There is no obligation associated with attending the Open House (the event that "free visitor’s pass" gets you into).
They ask for your decision (to join) on-the-spot at the end of the Open House event.
They keep the membership dues confidential until you attend an Open House "and take a good, honest look at what DirectBuy has to offer."

Source: DirectBuy FAQs

 

People Are Talking About DirectBuy

For the most part, it appears that you ether love ‘em or you hate ‘em… A number of people seem quite satisfied with their DirectBuy memberships, while a lot of people obviously aren’t.

 

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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  • Anonymous

    [JAN. 15, 2010] I attended a Direct Buy Open House yesterday in Chicago. Here’s my experience and resulting opinions…

    To start, I was completely disappointed and have one word of advise for anyone reading this… If a presenter needs to play a DVD for you, get out! It’s not a meeting and the presenter is a sub-par salesman. Not a surprise in this context but the “meeting” was the furthest thing from an actual Open House. Going into the presentation, I was told that the club would be fully explained and all questions would be answered. Having sat through everything, there wasn’t much emphasis on anything other than how expensive it is to shop retail.

    From the moment that I arrived for the Open House/manager’s presentation, the sales pitch was in line with those early condo time share (or even Cutco) presentations. The manager asked a few loaded questions with insultingly obvious answers and then played a video presentation. And the video is aweful. Oddly enough, the manager came back in the room and, with a straight face said: “Isnt that a great video? I could just watch that all day long and be happy!” Huh???

    Neither the manager nor any of the staff discussed any details regarding the club’s structure, membership types, or rates. Finally, after wasting an hour of my life in this presentation, the manager wrote the cost of a Gold Membership on a dry erase board during the last 5 minutes of the Open House and closed the session, turning the 8-10 of us over to his sales staff. Bottom line, Direct Buy needs 60+ minutes to hammer in how much you pay by buying retail and how much money you can save by going through Direct Buy before they are willing to tell you how expensive the privilege will be.

    So just how much is the club membership? Well, there are four tiers.
    On the lower end, there was a Silver Membership for around $3500 but it only gives you access to the single $ “value” (i.e. cheap) items. And really, who is going to pay that much money so that they can be limited to poor-quality items? A Free 30-Day Trial Membership at the Silver level. $6499 for the Gold Membership with a $1000 discount if you sign up on the spot. On the higher end, there is a “Concierge-Level” Platinum Membership that costs around $9300 and a $1500 discount for signing up on the spot.

    Despite the amazingly high pricetags, the cost quoted on any of the membership packages only covers a 3-year club membership!!! After that, membership costs $200/year (regardless of level) for years 4-10. Finally, on year 11, membership fees adjust to whatever they have risen to by then. From that point on, member rates adjust automatically whenever there is a price hike. (According to my sales rep, there have been 3 price hikes since the $75 membership fee approximately 10 years ago.)

    On top of membership fees, club members still pay the sales tax and are charged an additional 8% fee for shipping furniture and other large items. Consequently, unless you spend $20,000+ on top of the cost of a Gold Membership through Direct Buy within the first 3 years, it is unlikely that you will break even let alone save serious money within that time frame. Obviously the promise they make is for the long-term in which case it is easier to save money. The question is do you want to pay the $6,500 now in a horrible economy or be a little more frugal, save your money, and possibly even reconsider this club when our jobs and investments are a little more certain?

    By the way, if you don’t sign up for a membership immediately following your Open House, my sales rep sternly explained that the company will not allow you back for 7 years. What kind of business model is that?!? This seems like a pretty obvious attempt at strong-arming people to join except that the rationale it relies on is pretty bizarre. Such manipulative B.S.!

    So how much money can a club member expect to save in the long-term? The “conservative” figure that my presenter arrived at for a 10-20 year savings time block was around $48,000. This sounds good but breaks down to around $2-4,000/year. It also assumes that you are spending 3-4 times that amount through the club. In other words, if you are an aggressive buyer, remember to make all purchases though the club, and if the sales manager/presenter is right, you might average a couple thousand dollars in annual savings for the next 10-20 years. That’s nice but isn’t a gamble I’m comfortable making until (a.) I have foreseeable purchases that warrant this type of spending AND (b.) I know that Direct Buy has exactly what I want. I also don’t want to feel obligated to buy a ton of things I don’t need just to feel like I’m seeing the value of a DB membership.

    More importantly. the presenting manager repeatedly scoffed at retail prices marked down 50-70% during the Open House because “retailers never really tell you what they paid.” Fair enough. Unfortunately, he never gave an example that truly showed how much more advantageous it is for the consumer to buy from Direct Buy rather than simply buying sale items. Instead, he’d do something like show us a dining set that cost $5600, was reduced to a retail sale price of $5100 ($500 reduction) and then a Direct Buy rate on the same item of around $2700 ($2900 below retail) and say something like how this it was 100% savings because we could have bought 2 through Direct Buy and still had cash in our pocket compared to the original retail price. Guess what? In addition to the blaring flaws in his logic, that’s still roughly a 50% savings and most stores drop their prices that much periodically throughout the year. I’m sure there are better examples but nothing he showed successfully justified the membership costs.

    Ironically, I like the concept of Direct Buy and simply think that it’s overpriced, particularly for this economy.

    Before leaving I asked about financing options because I was curious to see what they offered, not that I’d ever use theirs, but wanted to see if that lightened the load. No surprise there, Direct Buy Financing automaticaly charges the new standard credit card rate of 18%. Consequently, I ran the numbers and over the first 36 months and this amounts almost perfectly negates the $1000 discount they give for signing up on the spot, so they really are doing everything they can to get $6499 out of you. This was thinly masked by showing me several monthly payment options based on my making an initial deposit on the spot.

    The funniest part was that at one point I asked my sales rep to show me one of their pricing catalogs and he changed the subject. I asked again and he ignored the question. I finally said, that I really wanted to see a specific one and the catalog I was shown didn’t have any prices in it.

    Conclusion: I feel like I’ve become a more knowledgeable consumer by not buying a Direct Buy membership. I fully appreciate the importance of doing research before any major purchase but also think that I do pretty well between my Costco membership and established spending habits.

  • Anonymous

    [JAN. 15, 2010] I attended a Direct Buy Open House yesterday in Chicago. Here’s my experience and resulting opinions…

    To start, I was completely disappointed and have one word of advise for anyone reading this… If a presenter needs to play a DVD for you, get out! It’s not a meeting and the presenter is a sub-par salesman. Not a surprise in this context but the “meeting” was the furthest thing from an actual Open House. Going into the presentation, I was told that the club would be fully explained and all questions would be answered. Having sat through everything, there wasn’t much emphasis on anything other than how expensive it is to shop retail.

    From the moment that I arrived for the Open House/manager’s presentation, the sales pitch was in line with those early condo time share (or even Cutco) presentations. The manager asked a few loaded questions with insultingly obvious answers and then played a video presentation. And the video is aweful. Oddly enough, the manager came back in the room and, with a straight face said: “Isnt that a great video? I could just watch that all day long and be happy!” Huh???

    Neither the manager nor any of the staff discussed any details regarding the club’s structure, membership types, or rates. Finally, after wasting an hour of my life in this presentation, the manager wrote the cost of a Gold Membership on a dry erase board during the last 5 minutes of the Open House and closed the session, turning the 8-10 of us over to his sales staff. Bottom line, Direct Buy needs 60+ minutes to hammer in how much you pay by buying retail and how much money you can save by going through Direct Buy before they are willing to tell you how expensive the privilege will be.

    So just how much is the club membership? Well, there are four tiers.
    On the lower end, there was a Silver Membership for around $3500 but it only gives you access to the single $ “value” (i.e. cheap) items. And really, who is going to pay that much money so that they can be limited to poor-quality items? A Free 30-Day Trial Membership at the Silver level. $6499 for the Gold Membership with a $1000 discount if you sign up on the spot. On the higher end, there is a “Concierge-Level” Platinum Membership that costs around $9300 and a $1500 discount for signing up on the spot.

    Despite the amazingly high pricetags, the cost quoted on any of the membership packages only covers a 3-year club membership!!! After that, membership costs $200/year (regardless of level) for years 4-10. Finally, on year 11, membership fees adjust to whatever they have risen to by then. From that point on, member rates adjust automatically whenever there is a price hike. (According to my sales rep, there have been 3 price hikes since the $75 membership fee approximately 10 years ago.)

    On top of membership fees, club members still pay the sales tax and are charged an additional 8% fee for shipping furniture and other large items. Consequently, unless you spend $20,000+ on top of the cost of a Gold Membership through Direct Buy within the first 3 years, it is unlikely that you will break even let alone save serious money within that time frame. Obviously the promise they make is for the long-term in which case it is easier to save money. The question is do you want to pay the $6,500 now in a horrible economy or be a little more frugal, save your money, and possibly even reconsider this club when our jobs and investments are a little more certain?

    By the way, if you don’t sign up for a membership immediately following your Open House, my sales rep sternly explained that the company will not allow you back for 7 years. What kind of business model is that?!? This seems like a pretty obvious attempt at strong-arming people to join except that the rationale it relies on is pretty bizarre. Such manipulative B.S.!

    So how much money can a club member expect to save in the long-term? The “conservative” figure that my presenter arrived at for a 10-20 year savings time block was around $48,000. This sounds good but breaks down to around $2-4,000/year. It also assumes that you are spending 3-4 times that amount through the club. In other words, if you are an aggressive buyer, remember to make all purchases though the club, and if the sales manager/presenter is right, you might average a couple thousand dollars in annual savings for the next 10-20 years. That’s nice but isn’t a gamble I’m comfortable making until (a.) I have foreseeable purchases that warrant this type of spending AND (b.) I know that Direct Buy has exactly what I want. I also don’t want to feel obligated to buy a ton of things I don’t need just to feel like I’m seeing the value of a DB membership.

    More importantly. the presenting manager repeatedly scoffed at retail prices marked down 50-70% during the Open House because “retailers never really tell you what they paid.” Fair enough. Unfortunately, he never gave an example that truly showed how much more advantageous it is for the consumer to buy from Direct Buy rather than simply buying sale items. Instead, he’d do something like show us a dining set that cost $5600, was reduced to a retail sale price of $5100 ($500 reduction) and then a Direct Buy rate on the same item of around $2700 ($2900 below retail) and say something like how this it was 100% savings because we could have bought 2 through Direct Buy and still had cash in our pocket compared to the original retail price. Guess what? In addition to the blaring flaws in his logic, that’s still roughly a 50% savings and most stores drop their prices that much periodically throughout the year. I’m sure there are better examples but nothing he showed successfully justified the membership costs.

    Ironically, I like the concept of Direct Buy and simply think that it’s overpriced, particularly for this economy.

    Before leaving I asked about financing options because I was curious to see what they offered, not that I’d ever use theirs, but wanted to see if that lightened the load. No surprise there, Direct Buy Financing automaticaly charges the new standard credit card rate of 18%. Consequently, I ran the numbers and over the first 36 months and this amounts almost perfectly negates the $1000 discount they give for signing up on the spot, so they really are doing everything they can to get $6499 out of you. This was thinly masked by showing me several monthly payment options based on my making an initial deposit on the spot.

    The funniest part was that at one point I asked my sales rep to show me one of their pricing catalogs and he changed the subject. I asked again and he ignored the question. I finally said, that I really wanted to see a specific one and the catalog I was shown didn’t have any prices in it.

    Conclusion: I feel like I’ve become a more knowledgeable consumer by not buying a Direct Buy membership. I fully appreciate the importance of doing research before any major purchase but also think that I do pretty well between my Costco membership and established spending habits.

  • Anonymous

    [JAN. 15, 2010] I attended a Direct Buy Open House yesterday in Chicago. Here’s my experience and resulting opinions…

    To start, I was completely disappointed and have one word of advise for anyone reading this… If a presenter needs to play a DVD for you, get out! It’s not a meeting and the presenter is a sub-par salesman. Not a surprise in this context but the “meeting” was the furthest thing from an actual Open House. Going into the presentation, I was told that the club would be fully explained and all questions would be answered. Having sat through everything, there wasn’t much emphasis on anything other than how expensive it is to shop retail.

    From the moment that I arrived for the Open House/manager’s presentation, the sales pitch was in line with those early condo time share (or even Cutco) presentations. The manager asked a few loaded questions with insultingly obvious answers and then played a video presentation. And the video is aweful. Oddly enough, the manager came back in the room and, with a straight face said: “Isnt that a great video? I could just watch that all day long and be happy!” Huh???

    Neither the manager nor any of the staff discussed any details regarding the club’s structure, membership types, or rates. Finally, after wasting an hour of my life in this presentation, the manager wrote the cost of a Gold Membership on a dry erase board during the last 5 minutes of the Open House and closed the session, turning the 8-10 of us over to his sales staff. Bottom line, Direct Buy needs 60+ minutes to hammer in how much you pay by buying retail and how much money you can save by going through Direct Buy before they are willing to tell you how expensive the privilege will be.

    So just how much is the club membership? Well, there are four tiers.
    On the lower end, there was a Silver Membership for around $3500 but it only gives you access to the single $ “value” (i.e. cheap) items. And really, who is going to pay that much money so that they can be limited to poor-quality items? A Free 30-Day Trial Membership at the Silver level. $6499 for the Gold Membership with a $1000 discount if you sign up on the spot. On the higher end, there is a “Concierge-Level” Platinum Membership that costs around $9300 and a $1500 discount for signing up on the spot.

    Despite the amazingly high pricetags, the cost quoted on any of the membership packages only covers a 3-year club membership!!! After that, membership costs $200/year (regardless of level) for years 4-10. Finally, on year 11, membership fees adjust to whatever they have risen to by then. From that point on, member rates adjust automatically whenever there is a price hike. (According to my sales rep, there have been 3 price hikes since the $75 membership fee approximately 10 years ago.)

    On top of membership fees, club members still pay the sales tax and are charged an additional 8% fee for shipping furniture and other large items. Consequently, unless you spend $20,000+ on top of the cost of a Gold Membership through Direct Buy within the first 3 years, it is unlikely that you will break even let alone save serious money within that time frame. Obviously the promise they make is for the long-term in which case it is easier to save money. The question is do you want to pay the $6,500 now in a horrible economy or be a little more frugal, save your money, and possibly even reconsider this club when our jobs and investments are a little more certain?

    By the way, if you don’t sign up for a membership immediately following your Open House, my sales rep sternly explained that the company will not allow you back for 7 years. What kind of business model is that?!? This seems like a pretty obvious attempt at strong-arming people to join except that the rationale it relies on is pretty bizarre. Such manipulative B.S.!

    So how much money can a club member expect to save in the long-term? The “conservative” figure that my presenter arrived at for a 10-20 year savings time block was around $48,000. This sounds good but breaks down to around $2-4,000/year. It also assumes that you are spending 3-4 times that amount through the club. In other words, if you are an aggressive buyer, remember to make all purchases though the club, and if the sales manager/presenter is right, you might average a couple thousand dollars in annual savings for the next 10-20 years. That’s nice but isn’t a gamble I’m comfortable making until (a.) I have foreseeable purchases that warrant this type of spending AND (b.) I know that Direct Buy has exactly what I want. I also don’t want to feel obligated to buy a ton of things I don’t need just to feel like I’m seeing the value of a DB membership.

    More importantly. the presenting manager repeatedly scoffed at retail prices marked down 50-70% during the Open House because “retailers never really tell you what they paid.” Fair enough. Unfortunately, he never gave an example that truly showed how much more advantageous it is for the consumer to buy from Direct Buy rather than simply buying sale items. Instead, he’d do something like show us a dining set that cost $5600, was reduced to a retail sale price of $5100 ($500 reduction) and then a Direct Buy rate on the same item of around $2700 ($2900 below retail) and say something like how this it was 100% savings because we could have bought 2 through Direct Buy and still had cash in our pocket compared to the original retail price. Guess what? In addition to the blaring flaws in his logic, that’s still roughly a 50% savings and most stores drop their prices that much periodically throughout the year. I’m sure there are better examples but nothing he showed successfully justified the membership costs.

    Ironically, I like the concept of Direct Buy and simply think that it’s overpriced, particularly for this economy.

    Before leaving I asked about financing options because I was curious to see what they offered, not that I’d ever use theirs, but wanted to see if that lightened the load. No surprise there, Direct Buy Financing automaticaly charges the new standard credit card rate of 18%. Consequently, I ran the numbers and over the first 36 months and this amounts almost perfectly negates the $1000 discount they give for signing up on the spot, so they really are doing everything they can to get $6499 out of you. This was thinly masked by showing me several monthly payment options based on my making an initial deposit on the spot.

    The funniest part was that at one point I asked my sales rep to show me one of their pricing catalogs and he changed the subject. I asked again and he ignored the question. I finally said, that I really wanted to see a specific one and the catalog I was shown didn’t have any prices in it.

    Conclusion: I feel like I’ve become a more knowledgeable consumer by not buying a Direct Buy membership. I fully appreciate the importance of doing research before any major purchase but also think that I do pretty well between my Costco membership and established spending habits.

  • Anonymous

    An interesting Consumer Reports testamonial. It’s similar to my experience but in a different region and probably a little less recent:
    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/home/2007/09/with-directbu-1.html

    Enjoy!

  • Anonymous

    An interesting Consumer Reports testamonial. It’s similar to my experience but in a different region and probably a little less recent:
    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/home/2007/09/with-directbu-1.html

    Enjoy!

  • Anonymous

    For 100 bucks a year just get a COSTCO membership… You can at least buy groceries there!!!

  • Anonymous

    For 100 bucks a year just get a COSTCO membership… You can at least buy groceries there!!!

  • Michelle

    I was curious enough to go and see for myself- AND THEY WOULDN’T LET ME! Since I was married and my husband had no interest in going, they said I couldn’t come WITHOUT MY HUSBAND. What kind of sexist crap is that? Also, are they that high pressure (rumored to be) that they want to make sure you can’t say – I’ll discuss this with my husband first? Very fishy.

    • Anonymous

      Michelle,
      I don’t know about the product you are purchasing but I used to work sales. We did not book an appt. without both spouses present because the person viewing the presentation almost always had to talk with their spouse before making a final decision. This meant a second visit without closing the deal and time is money. Nothing personal or sexist; just business sense.

    • Anonymous

      Michelle,
      I don’t know about the product you are purchasing but I used to work sales. We did not book an appt. without both spouses present because the person viewing the presentation almost always had to talk with their spouse before making a final decision. This meant a second visit without closing the deal and time is money. Nothing personal or sexist; just business sense.

    • Anonymous

      Michelle,
      I don’t know about the product you are purchasing but I used to work sales. We did not book an appt. without both spouses present because the person viewing the presentation almost always had to talk with their spouse before making a final decision. This meant a second visit without closing the deal and time is money. Nothing personal or sexist; just business sense.

  • Joseph

    Thanks,
    I have an appointment sometime next Month and I am leaning towards cancelling. The membership is overpriced compared to the benefits. If the membership was $1000 for the first two years and $150 a year afterwards, they will attract a lot of middle income customers.

  • Joseph

    Thanks,
    I have an appointment sometime next Month and I am leaning towards cancelling. The membership is overpriced compared to the benefits. If the membership was $1000 for the first two years and $150 a year afterwards, they will attract a lot of middle income customers.

  • Joseph

    Thanks,
    I have an appointment sometime next Month and I am leaning towards cancelling. The membership is overpriced compared to the benefits. If the membership was $1000 for the first two years and $150 a year afterwards, they will attract a lot of middle income customers.

  • http://directbuy-membership.info KN in WNY

    I’ve been reading about DirectBuy experiences for the past few days. It sounds like every branch has different membership fees. Some people are very unhappy with their experience or very happy with their experience. The only people I know and have talked to face to face (not online) are my father’s neighbors. They put an addition on their house last year and bought almost all the interior materials and furniture through DirectBuy. They seem happy with everything and said they easily saved over $10,000. They also only paid $2800 for a membership, as opposed to the $4000 some people are posting. I don’t know if there are different levels of membership or something. I am at least going to request some free information from their website before I call and they start with the sales pitches. http://directbuy-membership.info

  • Hollimanjrs

    True, it will not bennefit you if your not buying huge amount. But they still want you to shell out 5 grand. whey not have have fair levels of buying, say 1 garn for 12 grand purchacing and so on giving people a chance to join with out all that doe up front in a stagnit economy. To tell you i get better deal than they can even come close to offerring me . However, if you dont know any better then you think direct buys are great. they are alright at best to me that is anyway. rebay next time u want to save huge money and get what you want to pay for the iteams try online and travel to acutions. ony thing u pay is the premiums 5-15 persent. Irs and goverment auctions some times change no preimuims . I bought 20 grand worth of new kitchen cabinets granite counter tops stainless steel applianices flooring paintings etc… for $2800 all new, included buyers premiums an tax. Try and direct buy that one. and did not have to put up 5 grand to do it . so that means in direct buys language I saved $2200 up front. Oh also did not have to wait or pay some shipping charge or any other gimic they have instore for ya.

  • Honderdonder

    Type your comment here. My husband and I are Direct Buy members and joined in 2003. Our fee was considerably less than $5K and our annual fee is $200. Howevver, unless you have solid plans to build a new custom house and re-furnish it, a DirectBuy membership may not be for you. You really need to shop around and determine if the investment in the membership will be worth while. My husband and I are just now reaping the benefits seven years later and we still have another custom home to build. But for one off purchases or rodels – DirectBuy may not be a cost effective investment.

  • Bigm

    DirectBuy is worth it. Consider this: Retail couch- $2,000 on sale. DirectBuy member price $980. Thats one item and savings of $1020. If you think GIVING $1020 away is better than retail is for you, if you think KEEPING $1020 is for you, then you wana buy direct… I am a proud member of DirectBuy of Boston South, and they have excellent customer service. Owner seem to care alot. I live in Scituate, MA and well…Im not wealthy, but having a membership has its advantages over “typical slaes and internet blowouts or costco junk”. I buy what I love at my directbuy… and I always pay less….always…

    • Chuck

      So, at what point did your savings on purchases exceed the cost of membership? Don’t forget to include the annual fees in addition to the initial burden… I mean cost. In other words, how much did you have to spend on purchases before you had “saved” $6,000 + (n years) x ($150/year)?

      (Yes, I know that this is an old thread and yours is an old post. That should have given you more time to recoup your losses and gotten you ever so much closer to a return on your investment.)

      • Bubba

        Chuck,
        We broke even just doing the kitchen…especially cabinets and some commercial grade appliances. The membership fee is good for three years and then the annual kicks in after that. Big savings on furniture plumbing and lighting…hardwood floors and tile as well.

        • Chuck

          Thanks for the info.

  • John

    Went to a direct buy free pass to see their show room. Got a 1.5 hour sales pitch, at the end high preasure to buy the membership for $5800 +or- a few dollors. At the end of the pitch it was if you do not buy today, you will have to wait 7 years to qualify for a membership. Just wanted every one to know. This was at the Bothell Washington store.

  • P E., ASID

    I an a professional interior designer with a studio of several designers. when we inquired about Direct Buy they banned us from their show room. I have had clients join who have paid well more than $4,000 foe their membership. They buy until they feel they paid for their membership and then run as fast as they can to someone who will help witb purchases. it takes a lot of time to make purchases from them because you have to go tp other retailers to see and touch the product. I think you are stealing from other retailers when you use their sales people to answer your questions knowing you have no intention to purchase from that retailer.

    • dressbcbg

      thank you

  • Green_mary8

    Try $6000 for a 3 year membership and $150 a year after that.

  • Janzie Tomlinson

    If you contact Direct Buy and obtain an invitation to visit the showroom, you must commit to a 90 minute appointment and bring your spouse. Otherwise, you will not be given an appointment. This tells me it’s a high-pressure sales pitch. My spouse buys the cars and trips, I buy home-related things, including remodeling. He would never waste 90 minutes on a visit to Direct Buy. I was turned off.

  • Rocketmahn

    Wow! What an education I just got from reading all this today. I was scheduled for a tour of the Direct Buy in Baton Rouge, LA this week, but had NO IDEA their membership fees were in the thousands of dollars!
    I was just looking for new kitchen cabinets, stove, granite counters, new sink and replace the fluorescent lighting. I don’t think I would save enough money for that project—Direct Buy seems much more likely a good deal for people filling a new house full of new furniture or major refurbishments.

    But here is a question: If you are looking for a complete new kitchen (cabinets, counters, gas/electric range, sinks, tile floor, new lighting, etc), can’t you just find a contractor or designer to help you with measurements who HIMSELF has membership to Direct Buy and use HIS membership to buy this stuff, of course with a small markup to help defray his membership fee. But small markup because most of his clients through the years would be using his membership to buy through Direct Buy? Can you get away with this?

    • http://thefuntimesguide.com/ FunTimesGuide

      Great point, Rockemahn. A friend of mine is a General Contractor here in Tennessee. I asked him this exact question about 6 months ago. He was contemplating doing the same thing for one of his clients, but the folks at Direct Buy said NO WAY. Contractors are not allowed to buy for their clients (or even for themselves too frequently). He said once they knew he was a GC, they were not interested in talking to him any further.

  • Dgdodd1951

    I believe it cost us 5900.00!!!!VERY HIGH PRESSURE to purchase .We were told that if we didnt join the day we visited,we were NEVER allowed to join later I cant believe I was actually convinced to join……Wanted to save enough on the kitchen remodel to pay for the membership.Unless you buy some very high end stuff that most of us wouldnt buy,this isnt possible.Also if I remember correctly,you have dues every two years…..Dwight

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Farmer/518072951 Mark Farmer

    It Looked Like A Scam When I First Seen It.

    I Did Take A Look At A “Show Room” It Was An Old Broken Down Warehouse

  • Brice789

    In almost 20 years I have spent $150K on merchanidse through directbuy (formerly UCC).  It is one of the best investments I have ever made.  I have easily saved in excess of $50,000!  Clubs I have used include Rochester Hills, MI, Gurnee, IL,  Hoffman Estates, IL and Tucson, AZ.  I saved my membership on one bedroom set and 3 times that on a kitchen renovation.  Amazing savings on lighting, jewelry and even electronics.  I was very skeptical when I signed up,  but this is one of the only things I have seen that is “too good to be true”  but actually is better than what I was sold. 

  • LYC

    Thank You all for the information. I will be canceling my appointment. I am doing a complete redo of my home. Living in a small town I am able to negociate great deals locally. In this economy I am not interested in paying a large membership fee and risk losing it.
    I was already turned off by the sales person’s pushy attitude during our phone conversation. Can only imagine my husband’s reaction if he was told join now or you can’t for seven years. That is not the way to run a business.

  • Suehamann57

    if you bought into directbuy can u cancel within a certain amount of days

    • Raymondgsandoval

       They say you can but NO they will ignore you and then your rights of rescission are expired and you are out $4000.00 plus. Stay away from these people. 

  • Phillips_nicole

    The most recent promotion in our area is for a FREE 30 day membership.  I inquired online, and received a phone call from the rep.  The first red flag was:  “if married, both spouses must attend.”  This is usually a guarantee of a sales pitch asking for a large financial commitment.  So, during my conversation with the rep I expressed our feelings about investing in DB before actually receiving any benefit in return.  (That membership feel only buys a membership–not a new living room set!)   Her response was always “that’s why you really NEED to come in and see the showroom.”  No, we don’t actually!   Knowing how skeptical my husband is of such secretive clubs, and the fact that we want that $5000 to go a long way in our home, I think I’ll stick to my bargain hunting and enjoy the shops in our area that sell good quality products I can see before buying them.

  • Raymondgsandoval

    stay away its a total scam. Don’t even go for the free gift because there is none. You have to pay for it by postage and shipping cost plus its a cheap gift if anything.  STAY AWAY DO YOURSELF THE FAVOR AND SAVE YOURSELF $4000.00 PLUS AND A HEADACHE!!!

  • Bubba

    We are direct buy members as well and I would like to echo what Reba says above. It is not a scam nor are they “thieves.” We have been members for three years and built a house with the membership and saved a lot of money. You do have to spend some money to recoup the benefits, but if you are building or doing substantial remodeling, I would suggest looking into it. Even if you are a savvy internet shopper, you are still not going to beat DB’s prices. I get a 10% discount anytime I walk into Lowes or HD and on average DB still beats that price by 20-40 percent. Moreover, how many times have you gone to a store and found something you really liked but it was too expensive (like that faucet you touch to turn on for example) and ended up buying a similar product because it was cheaper. As members, we have been able to buy exactly what we want and did not have to drive all over town to try and find a good deal.

    My only negative comment on DB was the initial pressure to join once we went to the open house. It is like what many people have posted about…high pressure and I hate that. However, we decided to join anyway…and I am glad we did. We are coming up on a minor renewal fee and we will re-up for sure. My advice is to read the posts from those who are members…not someone who knows a contractor that said it was a bad deal. How do you think contractors make some of their money…they mark up the stuff you are putting into your house! Be informed before you go into a showroom. If you plan to build…it is worth it. My two cents!