5/23/2005

DirectBuy

I’ve seen the infomercials on Sunday morning television for Direct Buy. People claim to save thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars of home furnishings and building supplies. I smelt a scam so I decided to give them a call and check it out. The lady on the phone really could answer none of my questions. In fact all she could do is get all my personal information and arrange for a special appointment to check it out. I gave her false information and cut the phone call a bit short. I could just imagine getting there and having a group of high pressure salesmen trying to strongarm me into buying an expensive membership.

35 Comments:

At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Brad. Please remove the official DirectBuy logo off of your site. Written permission is required to use a trademark for your own personal use. Thanking you in advance.

 
At 4:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't bother defending your company or explaining anything about it other then what high pressure, gotta get an appointment to come see crap on your website, NO! bitch about your logo.

 
At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.bcctv.ca/displayresults.jsp?id=/olsen/stories/2005/11/olsen-20051121.htm


http://www.ctv9.ca/olsen.jsp?id=/olsen/stories/2005/11/olsen-20051122.htm


NOTE:
In US, a court found the membership contract "grossly unconscionable" and that "Club membership is nothing more than a cleverly disguised method of selling nothing but hopes and dreams."
http://www.mlmlaw.com/library/cases/mlm/state/nyniemiec.htm

In Canada, a provincial court found the membership agreement untenable and unenforcable because it violated the Consumer Protection Act, the Sales of Goods Act, and The Trade Practice Act. Read this at at paragraphs 13-20 of the ruling.
http://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/judgments/pc/2002/01/p02%5F0197.htm


http://edumacation.com/DirectBuy

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad,
You should try optimism for a change. You distroy any possible outcome by tainting it with your negative attitude. Let me ask, if you found out that many people really liked the membership,would you change your tune? If you discovered that many people had saved many times what it took to join, would you be convinced? Would anything convince you? Is there anything you don't know? If so is it possible your just a raving nut job. You know, if you had any money and had any real purchases to make in the future, you should actually look at membership based on its actual merrits. It dosn't cost much to have a blog, any broke idiot can whine...on and on in cyberspace. It does cost something to attain the benefits of membership....big surprise. The only people that join are people that truely believe that they will save more in the long run. Sounds like the same logic that people use that conclude they should buy a house. Sounds like the same logic that people use to buy a time share. Sounds like the same logic that people use to invest in the stock market.
Get a life....get a job....get real. You called us....you lied about who you are. You lied about what you're doing. You likely lied about how much you make and if you're married or not.
In an court of law there is this thing called credibility of a witness...now were not in court and you're a witness to nothing...but you have no credibility.
Small people, small minds, small dreams. Go away.

 
At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even as you read, this scam, which is nothing more than and a variation of the "Advance Fee Fraud" scheme, is parting yet more of the "something for nothing" crowd from their money.

Here's how it works: a telephone "tickler" call is made to a potential victim and an informative letter is sent afterwards inviting them to an open house so they can see for themselves how much others like them have saved and how much they themselves would save, along with some form of an invitation to join. The letter and subsequent follow-up telephone calls promise rich rewards of savings by buying direct from the manufacturer, at cost, with no Mark Up, No Middleman if only they were "members" of this so called highly esteemed and long time in business organisation. Typically, the pitch at the open house includes mention the so called fact that tens of thousands of other smart and savvy consumers have saved along with a slick selection of what they have saved on -- and you, too, can begin saving as soon as you join this elustrous group by signing a "membership agreement" costing thousands of dollars payable in advance of receiving any benefits - you are told that amount is paltry compared to the savings you will obtain over a 10 year period - and you must sign the contract on a now or never basis. You are even made to feel stupid if you don't sign - only a fool would not take advantage of the savings - spend a little to save a lot sort of thing.

If you're not saying "scam" by now, you should be. Should you agree to participate in this Advance Fee savings scam, something will go wrong. Savings evaporate ... or.. Wrong or defective merchandise will be ordered ... or ... Order delays ... or ... Order mishaps and screw-ups. You will not be allowed to cancel your "membership" and get out of the deal.

If you decide to order merchandise, money from you, in advance of receiving the merchandise -- an insignificant sum, really, in light of the windfall of savings about to land in your lap -- will be required to order merchandise without any written guarantees of actually saving money.. You pay, you wait for the merchandise . . . and all you'll get in return are more excuses about why the order is held up and assurances that everything can be straightened out if you'll just be patient and wait a little while longer or send a bit more to pay for this or that price increase. Once you start making threats, these scammers will threaten to sue you if you don't make good on your end of paying for the membership contract in full.

Beware that the Membership Agreement is in reality nothing more than a legally binding sales contract that may have been glossed over in light of all the savings you are excited about expecting. Carefully look at it - it contains NO GUARANTEES OF SAVINGS - instead there is a "NO ORAL PROMISES" clause: "No oral promises or statements not contained in this Membership Agreement shall bind or obligate the club." It's like a get out of jail free card - they can tell you anything pie in the sky in the open house tour or over the phone to get you to join, but once you sign the sales or Membership Agreement, you agree to the NO ORAL PROMISES clause! So what happens if it turns out not to be what you expected? Ouch. Too late. You're stuck. That NO ORAL PROMISES clause comes back and bites you. Want a refund? Beware that the Membership Agreement states: "Members understand this program is not sold on a trial basis and that no refund of membership fees will be made." So you only partially paid on your contract and think that you're just not going to pay the rest of the contracted amount? -- beware that the Membership Agreement states further: "Members do not have the right to terminate the Membership Agreement without paying the amount remaining for this Membership." And if you think you're going to get a refund because you never found anything cheaper and therefore didn't use the club, think again. There's a clause in the Membership Agreement about this too: "The Membership Agreement is not conditioned on the use of this Membership."

In a nutshell, the con works by blinding the victim with promises of an unimaginable fortune of what others like them have saved, what they could have saved if only they joined earlier, and what they can expect to save by joining now. Once the sucker is excited and sufficiently glittery-eyed over the prospect of what he or she would do with all the money he will save, he is then squeezed for however much membership fee in full at the time of "joining" or have the sales contract balance immediately financed by a separate finance company, actually a subsidiary of the parent scam company. The money the victim parts with willingly, thinking "What's $5,000 here when I'm going to end up saving over $50,000 when this is all done?" He fails to realize during the sting that he's never going to actually get the promised savings because all of savings are expressly disclaimed in the fine print of the contracts and merchandise ordering materials. The very sales contract, which the victim was at first eager to sign, now comes back to bite him with all those adverse terms and conditions. All of this messing around is designed to part him from his money.

Once the scam is explained, it seems so obvious a con that you'd wonder who would fall for it. Yet fall for it people do because they're mesmerized by the wealth that will soon be theirs in the form of all the savings by not paying any markup or middleman costs - and how smart they are by taking advantage of the join now or never opportunity. They also fail to realize there's a hook hanging just out of sight; at first all they see is that others are getting savings and they want to join this cadre, thus they're ill-prepared to mentally shift gears when the con artists turns the tables. Because the premise of "saving tons of money" is wholeheartedly swallowed early on, it's not at a later point questioned when things begin to go wrong with the transaction and the dupes who have been targeted find out the hard way that there is a no refund policy on all the money they have paid in advance of receiving these now questionable "savings."

Beware paying in advance for something for nothing - no written guarantees of promises made should send you running - especially in light of the tactics of "Be like me, I've saved money."

http://edumacation.com/DirectBuy

 
At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

F@ck directbuy! I am a very pissed member in Atlanta. I totally agree with other members with regards to the lies they feed you at the presentation. We figured it would
work for us since we have a kitchen and 2.5 baths to equip in our new home. At least we figured on saving on the cabinets and counter-top to cover most of the membership cost. We
were very wrong. They told us that the middle line of cabinets called brookwood were comprable to Kraftmaid. My wife like the cabinets so after looking around some more whilst being pressured to fork over almost $4000 we succumbed.

What happened then is we waited for to get an appointment with the cabinet designer. After we did they ordered a plan for the Omega cabinets rather than Brookwood so another few weeks passed intil we finally got the drawings and quote. Well our price is $15,000! That is over twice what Kraftmaid cabinets cost at Home Depot! Did I mention that we can't live in our house until we get a certificate of occupancy from the city!

I will also add that we have had order screw-ups on pricing inquiries
of items that do not have directbuy prices in the catalogs and our toilet order has been screwed up for the better part of a month.
Finally the prices are not that great since you have to realize that
most stores don't charge MSRP anyway. I say shop online at Brandsmart (if one is close) or Home
Depot and save yourself the frustration of buying direct!

 
At 3:05 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

I am employed by Directbuy. I just returned from our annual sales and service conference in Phoenix Arizona, celebrating 35 years. 2,050 other employees also attended. Last year our members purchased $558,000,000 worth of merchandise. We are up to 130 clubs across the US & Canada with an estimated 1.2 million members. There are 18 new clubs schedule to open next year.
How can anyone in their right mind call this a scam? One out of every 200 members may experience some problems. How is that different from any business. The fact is happy members don't complain. I saved $2,711.00 on my very first purchase. Lets be real, it's your money. If you think it is smarter to spent upwards of 40% for the things you need and want for your home, theres's nothing we can do to help you. Good Luck.

 
At 3:20 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

If any of you think the membership is expensive, try calculating retail markup. You will spend our dues over and over again in retail stores. If directbuy is a scam, how come the authorities have not done anything about it. This crusade to tarnish the image of directbuy is a complete waste of time. When retail stores screw you over day after day we never hear about it. Seek and you shall find, knock and a door will be opened. Yell under water, no one will hear you.

 
At 3:23 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

Hey Brad,

What have directbuy ever done to you?

 
At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

To ANONYMOUS, who supposedly is a member in Atlanta:

First, you have the relative quality backwards about Omega vs. Kraftmaid. Consumer Reports ranked Kraftmaid as exactly middle-of-the-road of the dozen or so brands they ranked for quality, price, value, etc., and Omega was ranked as #1: top-of-the-line, fully customizable, etc.

So you priced an Omega (extremely high quality) cabinetry kitchen at DirectBuy vs. a Kraftmaid (middle of the road) cabinetry quote in a retail store, and your price was $15,000 at DirectBuy. And you say this is more than twice your Home Depot quote for Kraftmaid for the same cabinet design?

First, you're either mistaken, or you're significantly misrepresenting your experience, and you know it. Your quote at Home Depot was not half of what your DirectBuy quote was; I've priced cabinets at Home Depot, and I've bought cabinets through DirectBuy. If you got a $15,000 quote for Omega (top of the line) at DirectBuy, and equivalent Kraftmaid (middle of the road) quote at Home Depot, your Kraftmaid quote was slightly higher, or just about the same. And you don't say what that Omega quote would have been at Home Deopt. That's a very important thing to consider, don't you think? From the pricing I did before I bought cabinets, a $15,000 quote on Omega from Directbuy would be no less than $45,000 at Home Depot. That's a ridiculous amount of money to spend, but that's what the amounts your talking about actually work out to. But let's put that aside and consider the real flaw in your argument: you're not comparing equal items.

I just looked up the prices of two 4-door sedans, brand new, similarly equipped. So, just like your kitchen quote, we are looking at two similar products by two different companies, featuring different levels of quality, etc. They are similar mostly in the fact that they are both cars, about the same size, and have the same features, much like your Kraftmaid and your Omega cabinets are similar in that they are both cabinets, and they both go in the kitchen.

So the two cabinets must be the same, just like the cars, right? But the Chevy I'm looking at costs significantly less than the Lexus I'm comparing it to. Now, I'm not talking about a couple of hundred dollars, but several thousand dollars. Of course, as anyone knows, there's a significant difference in quality of the cars, just as anyone without a bone to pick would admit that there are differences in quality of the cabinets as well. Chevy is fine, Lexus is fine. People buy both depending on what they want and what they need. The same thing with cabinets. Pressboard/plywood/laminate, vs. solid wood, under-drawer glides, quiet-close, customization, etc. Both are fine, and people buy both as they work with their needs and wants. But to complain that you have to pay different amounts for each is ridiculous. You can't buy a Lexus for a Chevy price. Everyone knows that and everyone agrees that's acceptable.

So why would you feel like its a valid argument that your Kraftmaid quote should be anywhere close to your Omega quote? When I priced Omega vs. Kraftmaid at Home Depot, Omega was three times more expensive. Both lines, same store. A fair comparison.

So I'm having a lot of trouble seeing where your complaint is. Is it that you decided to buy something of a much nicer quality for about the same price, or is it that you just don't really understand what you're talking about? You paid roughly the same price at DirectBuy for something that is three-times more expensive at Home Depot. So please, help me understand, what the actual problem is.

 
At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick says -

Last year our members purchased $558,000,000 worth of merchandise. We are up to 130 clubs across the US & Canada with an estimated 1.2 million members. There are 18 new clubs schedule to open next year.
How can anyone in their right mind call this a scam?
,

haha, the Cos brainwashing cult supposedly has TENS of millions of members worldwide, with members bilked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars - each. The direct buy scam is small potatoes compared to the scientology scam.

http://www.xenu.net/

 
At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting how similar this directbuy scam org operates in a very similar manner to brainwashing cults, such as heavens gate, scientology or the like...

http://www.cultfaq.org/cultfaq-answers-brainwashing.html

 
At 7:25 AM, Anonymous SK said...

For you defending this crap, you say people join because they HOPE to save money; however, they DON'T. I know someone who got sucked in, paid a large membership fee, went to the warehouse and found crap at the warehouse that costed way more than stuff in Sears, Home Depot, etc. They could get NOTHING for a bargain. Even the cheap stuff was more expensive. People save your money and your time. Hopes and dreams is all it is. Nothing is for free and you get what you pay for.

 
At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

zI am a member of Direct Buy and luckily have had no problems yet. I saved about 1/2 on my kitchen cabinets and over $900 on a kitchen island. We are doing our kitchen over, including floor, counterstops, appliances (which I saved about $1000 on total),cabinets etc. If you aren't doing a major renovation then no, I don't think that it's worth it. And for those who don't like warehouse clubs, don't join! I did a lot of research before going to the appointment (of which I called them, they didn't call me), I felt no pressure to join. One couple did walk out when they heard they had to join that day, but shame on them for not knowing that before they went. I know that I have already saved 4x's my membership fee and have been pleased. After this project will I continue to renew my membership, probably not but they helped me now and for that I'm happy. Yes I also belong to BJ's and enjoy shopping there too. It's all in what you make of it and I do think that the Direct Buy near me is luckily well run. But unless you have shopped there you have no right to either promote or denounce them.

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think it's very important to note that many things are listed at msrp or "list price". rarely is anything sold at either of those prices. i work for a kitchen design firm. if you go to almost any kitchen and bath store (including home depot or lowes) they will show you a "list price" for your cabinets. based on their buying power and mark up, they then discount that list price. it's called a multiplier. for instance, if cabinet company a gives you a 60% discount, that would be a .40 multiplier. if you're price matching the same cabinet from two different places, ask them what their multiplier is. they will probably avoid telling you. it's just one of those industry things.
for instance, direct buy sells a line of vanities from Ambella. Neiman Marcus sells the same line. If you look in Direct Buy's member catalog you'll see it priced way under the "msrp" or "list" price. they then advertise it as being "60% OFF". so they CAN say that they just saved you x amount of dollars. but in reality, no one would sell it at that list or msrp price.

as far as direct buy, we deal with a lot of customers from there. as far as i can tell, most of them are not happy. it's a very awkward experience when they realize that it's not as great of a deal as they thought.

i agree that you would be much better off doing the searching and hard work of looking for deals yourself. as for kitchen and bath cabinets, it pays to work with a professional designer who know what they are doing. remember, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.

 
At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Charles said...

I'm having a big laughing out loud here.

I just got off the phone with Direct-buy and poked through their story (easy to do as many have seen). They said "The other day somebody saved $700 on their new plasma TV. Instead of spending $2995 they bought it for less than $2300 dollars from Direct Buy". Since bargaining on plasma TV's is something I do often and well, I got curious. "What model?" I asked. She hinted at what it would be. The prices however she mentioned were comparison to MSRP, NOT the real-world prices. I could have gotten this same TV for $2050 with some bargaining.

I reminded the DirectBuy sales woman that I'm not interested and will not attend one of their "special meetings". It reminds me too much of watching cop-dramas where they pressure their victims to cave in.

Who the heck would fall for this scam? It's fun to have companies like this around, otherwise it would be a boring world. I just feel sad that not everybody immediately realizes this. Must be the same people who buy cars at MSRP and interpret the car sales-man pitch as "he's so friendly".

...I on the other hand makes car sales-man cry and have never paid above above dealer-cost on a car.

Getting good pricing on material takes work, research and haggling, you can't buy it for $5000.

(still laughing! :)

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger Heather Anderson said...

Thank you to Jeremy for your explanation to "Anonymous" in Atlanta. I was thinking the SAME thing. "He's not comparing the same product!!"

We did a kitchen remodel and saved BIG TIME on cabinetry through DB. We sold that house and made every bit of our money back in the kitchen (and then some) because of the high-end custom cabinetry among other things. Now we've moved and are doing another kitchen remodel (fun!) :)

I priced stock (w/ NO upgrades or custom options) KraftMaid cabinets at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. and priced semi-custom cabinets at DB. The semi-custom, higher-quality cabinets from DB were significantly less expensive than the HD and Lowe's stock cabinets!!!

I'm a member -- and I'm a believer.

Now, the people who actually work AT the Direct Buy could stand to be a little more helpful, but other than that, I'm happy with my membership.

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger adamdenver said...

I'm a direct Buy member in Denver Colorado. My membership has paid for itself many many times over. I've built two houses for myself and one for my parents. Saved ten of thousands of dollars. I've had a few problems with damaged merchandise but that happens everywhere. Any problems I've had have always been dealt with in a fast and professional manner. I don't go in there screaming at them. I just explain my problem and they resolve it. Several of my friends have also joined and love it also. Be aware that to save the money you are acting as your own sales rep and you need to be informed when looking at products. The one person I read about earlier with the Omega cabinets. Omega is the top end cabinet they sell, Kraft Made isn't even in the same league. I know for a fact that Home Depot cannot compare like ti like with Direct buy on cabinets especially. If you are building a house and buying a kitchen the money you save on cabinets alone will pay for your membership. Adam

 
At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your an Idiot the manufacturers don't allow us to give out that information prior to the open house tour, sorry we didn't cater to you..... Oh and for the cabinet guy it is called an apples to apples comparison not an apple to orange your a moron to.
PS I am sorry you are such a spinless bitch that if you walked in and decided it was not for you could not just say no and leave. Thank you to all of our members for your support! Keep Saving money let these losers go broke!

 
At 3:00 AM, Blogger Shon Bi said...

Hello. I find your blog very interesting. I bought a few appliance items from Direct Buy some time ago and I must say that I am completely satisfied. It has been a year since I have been using them and still no problems, no repairs, service men and the like. These products have 2 years warranty, so I should not worry. I learned about the company on this great site www.pisseconsumer.com.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Ed said...

Ah, yes! Brad, a legend in his own mind! There is NO PRESSURE to join - not one iota of pressure, and the savings are TRULY in the thousands of dollars!

 
At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Mr. Moo said...

Can anyone tell me what kind of vacuums Direct Buy sells?

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, let me add some info. I just became a member and I think both sides have a very valid point. We almost didn't join because some jerk from the Thousand Oaks location who liked the sound of his own voice so much that he couldn't understand why my mother, who lives with us, had to come to the “open house”. By the way, “open house” is totally pretentious and lame. He called the day before and canceled on us, and when I called and complained, I never got a call back. So FYI, Tim the sales guy from Thousand Oaks is a true representation of what direct buy sales buys are like.

Eventually, we did join at another location and the people there pretty much let you find your own perks. The only reason why it was worth it was because we were redoing our kitchen and our $15,000 Lowe's Schuler kitchen was only $10,000 through them for Omega, which actually uses wood inside their cabinets and hardware that is steal and not tin.

The whole process was painful, but there is a significant savings. It's all up to the person who joins to make up the membership cost. I would save it for a big change in your life. For example, if you are going to buy a house and need to furnish everything, do it. If you want to just replace your broken fridge, not. Just don't expect anyone to be nice to you, help you, or treat you like your big investment in the membership is worth anything at all.

 
At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Andrzej said...

Not a DB member but reading all comments especially DB employees I doubt they are honest and DB business is honest.

Comparing prices and which brand is better does not make any sense to me. Mark-up on all merchandise is over the roof these days. Savings you can get doing little home work is tremendous.
On 25k new Kitchen quote you can save 18k using stores like IKEA, Sears Outlet (appliances). Shocking isn't. You buy cabinets with very good quality solid wood faces from IKEA for 4-5k ( 27 ft kitchen for 4500CAD$) and add all the decorative frills afterwards - may even hire installer who will do finishing touch-up for you. And you will be proud, designing it with IKEA software, getting all parts without even one screw missing and on time. Believe me no better satisfaction and saving.

 
At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who installs direct buy cabinets? What happens if there is a screwed up cabinet? Does direct buy handle all the details or are you the homeowner left to deal with the manufacturer?

Here is one real important question. Who is responsible for measurements? What happens if it doesn't fit?

If you add in the labor to install and the direct buy membership fee and the shipping fees....how much have you saved now?

 
At 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wha total scam. In a way its Darwins survival of the fitest (which he never coined) but you know what I mean. Exploitation of the working/middle class by total shameless evil people with no morals. Just a thirst for cash at any cost. When you look back "Patrick" I hope you think for just one second - "I did something really wrong".

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

Let's get this out in the open - I am a retailer of Kraftmaid cabinetry. I am a Platinum dealer in the North East region. The discounts claimed by DirectBuy are ludicrous when it comes to KraftMaid. And the claims that KraftMaid is a 'stock-line' compared to Omega as a 'semi-custom' - lol. Then you are obviously someone who knows nothing about the cabinet industry. KraftMaid is the industry LEADER in "semi-custom" cabinetry and just won the J.D.Powers award for "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Cabinets". Let's be PERFECTLY clear - NO ONE sells KraftMaid cabinetry for LIST or MSRP! Not even Lowes or Home Depot. I work near both, and we beat them all the time, but not by 70%. On top of that - we DESIGN FOR FREE, have FREE DELIVERY, and if there is a problem, THE MFG REP CAN COME DIRECTLY TO THEIR HOME for an inspection. Can DB offer that - no, of course not. You have to pick your cabinets from a magazine, then PAY someone to design them for you. If there is an error - who pays for it? DB or the guy you paid to measure and design THE MOST IMPORTANT ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE!

Here is my challenge. I DARE any DB customer (real customer, no phony employee wannabees) to send me the total price paid for a complete kitchen job of any brand I sell (WoodMode, Decora, KraftMaid, Aristokraft, or Bertch), and I GUARANTEE our normal competitive prices are better than yours. If you think buying a 'cabinet' is the same as buying a KITCHEN, then you probably buy a car 'just cause you like the paint job'. I'll extend the challenge to appliances (whirlpool, maytag, Jenn-air, K.A., and Viking!) Now - play nice - include ALL the charges you had to pay to DB. The delivery, the tax, the design fee, the "handling" charge (8% +/-), etc. And for kicks and giggles - HOW LONG DID YOUR PROCESS TAKE? Guarantee my way is faster!

If you have other questions about kitchen products - look me up on 'ask the experts' website. The name is SCOTT - under construction and kitchens/cabinetry.

 
At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott - you will never get anyone to send you the stuff you need to make a true conparison. I believe everything you say is reasonably true since I have spent months trying to get DB and Pella to connect for my windows order. PAINFUL!! I am convinced it will never happen and if it does I will be taken just as I was (for $5,000) whr I joined DB over year ago. DB is a scam and a huge ripoff. If there is a way I can sue to get my mny back I will.

Papo

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Matt Monson said...

ill post my story but first want to see if it posts after i submit.

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Matt Monson said...

For all the skeptics, here's my story. I was interested in DB after hearing it on a various talk radio ads. i then found out from a friend it was an ok deal and not a scam. i called for an appointment and they said i had to have my wife attend. i told them it was me or nothing. they said ok.
I sat in a presentation for about 3 minutes and then walked out. then i sat down with a list of many products and retail actual pricing i got the day before to compare. the sales guy would only compare 3 items. i told the owner who was there in no uncertain terms that the salesman just wanted my money. i was already committed to joining so i was just messing with them.
I live in Yakima Washington and i am able to use 4 different locations.
I joined because i was about to build my new 8,000 sf home and new i would cover my $5,000 membership with no problem.
the first thing i did was to submit my floor plans. DB sent this off to a lumber yard and another supply company for bid. I also got bids from 3 yakima lumber yards, Probuild, Western material, Hellisums, as well as Bi-Rite lumber in Sunnyside Wa. the bid came back with an $8,000 savings from the nearest bid from Bi-rite. that included the 4% handling. so my membership was paid for in the first transaction.
I am head of aquisitions at a $65,000,000 corporation. Monson Fruit. i negotiate everything. so when it came to putting all the products for the house together i didnt just blindly buy throught DB. i got 3 other bids from others to compare.
Here is a general list of products i purchased through DB.
Lumber package
window package
exterior and interior door
flooring - emser travertine
cabinetry omega
furniture - Aico Michael Amini
whole house audio - Denon
Plasms from 50" -63" Samsung, LG
Lennox fireplace
Kohler Fixtures throughout
Lighting
Martin Garage doors
Patio Furniture - New River
Schlage keyless entry
I have spent nearly $250,000 at the Richland location and $60,000 at the others. when i walk in they all know me and i tell them to get the cookies going. I always get to know the people at the locations because i live so far from any center i have to do most of my orders over the phone through email requests but when i call they all know me.
I have had a few problems. omega screwed up on my custom microwave cabinet and sent the replacement in about 3 weeks which sucked. i had one of my exterior doors go bad and i had several product that was damaged prior to receiving. i did not accept them and new replacements were sent. i didnt get bunched up i just know that it happens.
The only real problem for me is that i have people do all my grunt work and at direct buy there is no way employees can know everything about the 1000s of manufactures products so it becomes my responsibility to gain the knowledge and it is tedious. sometimes its nice to just go to home depot and see something and grab it off the shelf. done.
Here is my advice. if you are buying low end products dont waste your time. you can do better with retail close outs etc. but if you are doing a whole house or high end products then its a no brainer.
I was looking at Maritz projectors which can cost 25,000 at magnolia hifi but 15,000 through db. i decided against that and went with a Runco at $45,000. They dont sale every product so you have to decide what you are willing to settle with. for instant. they dont sale viking or wolf ranges but they do sell 5 star which is up to 60" for less money. they dont sale subzero but they do sale Norland. so pick your fights and get competitive bids from everywhere.
Also, if you need something right now, DB is not your store.
i would be glad to talk to anyone if they wish. 509 / 949 - 7206.
i dont get paid for this.
my house finished cost $650,000 and was appraised at 1,200,000. my estimated savings from DB was $130,000. the rest was my negotiations on everything else and also that i build it myself. i will be selling in 2 years and doing it all over again.
matt Monson

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Brad,
I don't like DirectBuy because first, they sell a lot of low-end brands with a few good brands sprinkled in. Second, A lot of unethical DB customers shop regular retailers' showrooms that pay all the overhead to have a qualified design staff, plus to have product and samples on the sales floors. This is why the design industry and retailers are having such a hard time surviving. If DB customers get ripped off, they get what they deserve.

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Lady in Michigan said...

For whatever it's worth, I just renewed my Direct Buy membership for the 17th year straight. I have an old home that has been under renovation, added on to, etc. for most of those years. Some years I save more than others, and I had trouble with one order. I obviously still feel that the positives outweigh the negatives.

 
At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Chip said...

Wow, I guess you either love 'em, or hate 'em...

I must say I have am in the love 'em group. I have been a member for 4 years, and am ahead by about 10 grand (including the buy in... ~$5200. annual dues ~$220)

I have remodeled my kitchen & Bathroom, replaced about all my major appliances, and bought several large pieces of furniture.
I have also purchased replacement windows and material for a new Deck. My Cabinets alone paid for the membership buy in.

Most of the things I see are brand name, (ie Dyson, GE, LG, Anderson) They typically dont have store brands ie Kenmore. But I would bet they sell much of what you have in your house.

EVERYTHING I have shopped, whether or not I actually bought it from there, has had some savings. I have noticed electronics (ie TVs) you will save only a few $$ and in my case, not worth the wait and/or hassle of pickup.

Major appliances 25% savings on average, Furniture, up to 60% savings.

I tend to research my purchase online, thru the manufactures web site, and review blogs, then if I feel the need to touch/feel the item I will go to a big box store, I will not hound a sales person or otherwise take up their time, then place the order at direct buy. I typically call or email in the order, pay for it on line, and either set up for home delivery (ie cabinets), or go pick up the item from the showroom.

I have had 1 item come in damaged, which was no problem to replace, it just added about another week.

I did find it frustrating with the "Leap-then-Look" club buy in, but since then, I have not looked back.

On average I have saved about 1/3 of what I would have spent in local stores.

Having said that, If I get in my head I 'Need' a new xxx, I find the one I want, shop the best deal, and buy it. I typically will not hold out for the hopes of a sale/clearance/brother-inlaw-hookup.

I have referred 3 people to the club, 2 have joined, and been very pleased, the other did not have a project planned, and would not have 'paid off' the start-up costs. You need to plan on spending $16,000 at Home Depot to break even (~10k to merchandise, ~5k for membership)

Just my $.10

 
At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just completed a total remodel of our kitchen - even moved gas, water and doors and windows and replaced the ceiling and installed hardwood floors. I imagine that is why we recieved an offer from Directbuy Atlanta today.

The offer has scam written all over it. Came in an urgent envelope of the sort you typically get financial things in. It has a 'gift voucher' for an android touchpad with camera and wifi. It does not say the brand or type, and does not mention shipping costs ( research revealed it to be between 40.00 and 70.00 !!!!!!!!) nor does it mention the need to sign up for an internet plan. There is also a gift card for 100.00 at restaurant.com, which may be yet another scam.

I already own an ipad. I don't need a knock off of a knock off of the real thing, especially with strings attached.

A visit to websites that deal with advertising scams reveal that people are paying 4000.00 for itchen cabinets that are off brands, and then getting $15,000 bills when they are installed.

I paid about 2000.00 for cabinets we LOVE for our large kitchen ( about 40 feet of cabinets). some were 70% off (when Ikea discontinued their solid wood line) . The sliding glass floor to ceiling doors we used on our 10 foot long pantry were 80% off, and the slide out drawers were too. We bought their top of the line double farm sink for 50% and their top of the line faucet and vent were each 40% off. If you are patient, take time to decide what you want and then watch for it, you can find good deals, though no one else has the deals Ikea offers.

Use your imagination. We used Ikea Pax bedroom closets for our pantry, and LOVE it. Now we have a huge pantry that is better designed than any kitchen cabinets we found, and no doors to swing out and get in the way of a second cook - making it more fun to share the kitchen. We love the sleek look and it's super easy to clean. We're considering backing the semi frosted glass with a pattern - haven't decided yet.

We shopped all the retail stores before deciding on Ikea. We liked some other brands as well initially, but the sizes just didn't fit our vision or the sizes we needed and none of the other brands can be hacked, the way Ikea can. In fact this is done so often that the staff can advise some hacks and there is even a website dedicated to it. If you're spatial you can invent your own hacks - we've done that with great results.

I find it hard to believe peope are paying so much for kitchen remodels - and often getting a lot less than we did for it. And we don't have a piece of trash android to pay inflated shipping costs and wifi service for.

If you get this offer, just ask them if the deal they give you is any better than the shipping on their 'gift', Bwa ha ha ha. Then go find a company that will meet your needs for a fair price.

 
At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a current member of Direct Buy, so let me give you some real info about the actual membership.

First, I will agree with everything that has been posted about their marketing tactics. They are abhorrent and scream "SCAM." I did my research before I went to hear their membership pitch, so I knew what I was in for ... not far off from the pressures of a time share pitch.

However, I had just purchased a condo that needed extensive renovation. I brought with me the best price I could find on some key items I knew I was going to purchase. After the high pressue meeting, they let us look around with free access to actual member pricelists on everything. They did not carry the brand of kitchen appliances I wanted, but I found out that I would save 1/2 the cost of the membership on the wood floors alone. Keep in mind this was for high end, solid wood. The total savings was less on cheaper stuff. Both the solid wood and the cheap stuff were about the same percentage off the best local sale prices I could find, but the dollar amount saved was a lot more on the high end floors since the other stuff was cheaper to begin with.

After ordering only the wood floors for my entire home and new kitchen cabinets (both from the higher end brands) I have more than covered the cost of my membership. Now everything I save over the next 3 years is true savings.

But also be aware in what I'm saving in dollars, I'm paying for in legwork. I've have many conversations about this with my contractor. If I were purchasing through him, I would pay more for the same cabinets, but he would have brought the catalogs to me; I would have pointed at the things I like; and he would have done the rest. With DB, I have lost count of the hours I've spent hours driving back and forth to my local DB to look at samples, pouring through parts lists to find item numbers for all the parts and pieces that make up my fancy new cabinets, and meet with the cabinet designer to enter all this information into the system to generate a quote.

So as a current member, here is my recommendation.

If you are doing major renovations (flooring, cabinets and more), then the membership may be worth it to you. Just go in prepared with some specific items to compare costs.

However, if you are not planning major renovations, it is unlikely you will ever save enough on smaller items to recoup the cost of membership. They will tell you that you can, but I doubt it.

I have definitely saved money on the items I ordered, but I've also tried to buy many other items that either weren't available from DB or that had the same or better prices elsewhere. Other than my 3major purchases (wood floors for my whole condo unit, kitchen cabinets, and custom cabinets installed as a desk in my office) I have probably ordered 100 items including a kitchen faucet, small appliances, bathroom hardware, decorative items and more. The total savings on all of these is less than 20% of the total cost of membership. Like I said, if you're not doing major renovations, a DB membership is probably not going to do you any good.

One final word of advice, if you do decide to join, don't fall for the Platinum Concierge membership. That's the one mistake I made when I joined. The gold membership would have been more than sufficient and would have saved me about 20% on my membership fee. I haven't found any of the concierge services to be useful at all.

 

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