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Direct Buy Membership Cost
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I recently joined Direct Buy after reading all the warnings about joining. I thought I could beat the odds because I recently purchased an old house that I am totally renovating. I have saved but no where near the level promised or expected.

Here’s the deal with Direct Buy. The only real savings you will see is on appliances. I recently bought 7 appliances - all GE profile. Fridge (PGS1PJXSS), wall oven (PCT916SMSS), microwave with trim kit (JEB186SCNSS), Electric cook top (JCP346SMSS), dishwasher (GLD8312PSS), warming drawer (PTD915SMSS)....Total price $7066 taxes included. Retail, these might be around $14000...but you might decrease this to about $9K if you catch the sales or go to a store like TASCO or Appliance Canada. So at least on paper, I got the membership fee back, but I spent days on end going back and forth between Direct Buy and retail stores. I am a bargain hunter so I didn’t mind this so much, but if you value your time this is costly. In fact, if I were to put a cost to my time, I spent retail.

I originally purchased JENNAIR appliances and a week later found out that 3 of them were not in stock or discontinued. So even though my kitchen was designed around JENNAIR products I had to literally sit there and select new products all the while checking to make sure that they fit with the specs for the kitchen (this took me about 6 hours). Here's another significant problem; although they deal with appliance manufacturers like Kitchen Aid or Jennair, they never have access to the full line of products. So you won’t be able to get a wall oven from Kitchen Aide or a black fridge from Jennair, even though you see it in retail stores.
If you are not buying appliances, don't even bother joining. The best you could hope for is to pay the same money for a slightly better product or a larger variety of products. The one good thing I will say is that if you like upper-end products at the prices you will pay normally, this is the place for you. In many cases, on the products you might really want, you will never see the savings they promise in their advertising. Plus in most cases they slap on an 8% handling fee that brings you right back to retail. This is a business that is NOT ONLY based on your hard earned $5000.00 but the handling fee. Part of their pitch is to knock retail stores or the big box stores, suggesting that they are ripping you off with their 30 to 60% mark up, but they are a retailer too and a very inefficient one at that.

When I joined, they promised a 63% saving off retail (not a specific brand) on my kitchen. I got 3 quotes prior to Joining ($19K, $19K, $25K). Two were from custom cabinet makers, the other from LOWES. At Direct Buy they carry 3 brands Cabico, Kitchen Kraft, and Kraft Maid. Cabico was equivalent to the cabinets I wanted. After the kitchen was designed the cost came to $15,700 +designer fee of $1350 + a handling fee of $1200 +installation of $2500 = $20750. Because I had already paid for the membership and the designer fee....I decided cut back on the kitchen and take out some components and proceeded with the order $12, 700 +designer fee of $1350 + a handling fee of $1000 +installation of $2500 = $17, 550. For all the trouble, the unavailability of the designer, and the delay in the delivery of the kitchen, I should have just gone with one of the other 2 companies.

After complaining about the cost and delays in delivery time and the unfulfilled promises of Direct Buy, the manager and the operations manager started giving me the cold shoulder. I even went in to talk to the operations manager about the delivery time on the cabinets and the recent changes to my appliances, and got a total brush off (she told her customer service representative she has nothing to do with kitchens and that I should speak to the designer). It’s a really small shop so they gossip like nobody's business. So once you make a stink, everyone knows about it or hears you while you do it. At least at Home Depot you complain to a manager they have to listen and they take you seriously. After Direct Buy gets your membership fee you are on your own.

When you pay $5000.00 for a membership you expect superior service…..NOT AT DIRECT BUY. If you complain, they totally just side with one another….they don’t even listen to a legitimate concern. They have a price match guarantee, but you will never see it because they carry brands that you rarely see anywhere else. I bought pot lights....the customer service representative misread the I missed her oversight and waited 4 weeks only to find out I got 5 pot lights instead of 30. When I ran out to Home Depot they had a different brand at a much lower price $8.00 lower. They would not do the price match because the price match has to be done when you submit the order.

I wanted hardwood...but found a better deal outside. It’s not so much that they didn’t have a wide selection of hardwood, but they don’t carry all brands and the cost is sometime more than you will get with a sale.
Right now I am ahead about $4000.00 and in a better position than most. Never-the-less, I would not recommend going down this road if you are a bargain hunter.

Direct Buy has some of the poorest customer service I have ever experienced. Home Depot may be cheap and common but they assist you and they treat you nicely. Furthermore, the ability to see a product in real life and time, point to it, order it, and have it delivered or picked up the same day is PRICELESS.

Make you own minds up.....but consider all I have said in the e-mail
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Harassed by Store Manager at DirectBuy Showroom
Posted by on
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA -- This complaint is about the violation of basic consumer right at DirectBuy. I and my wife saw an advertisement inviting us to visit the showroom at DirectBuy. When we got there, we were treated like prisoners. The basic right of a consumer to walk around a showroom to look at displays was denied us. When challenged, the store manager resorted to brute force in an attempt to kick us out. The incident occurred at the DirectBuy store in Mountain View, California on 12/6/08.

We are in the middle of adding a second story to our house. We saw an advertisement of DirectBuy on TV and decided to visit their showroom to gather ideas on how to decorate our house and to find out what DirectBuy has to offer for our project. We arrived at DirectBuy and were greeted by a host and the store manager. Then we were shown to a desk by the host for a short interview and to wait for the start of the infomercial presentation. As our host talked, both I and my wife noticed the hardwood-floor display behind him and imagined how it might look in our house.

The infomercial was long and boring, but we found out how much the membership would cost. I was almost ready to pay that, if we find the right merchandises in the showroom. After the infomercial, we were walked to the showroom for more presentation on how low prices were at DirectBuy. Surrounded by interesting furniture displays, my wife started walking around to examine them. She did that also to escape the never ending presentations. She was bluntly told by the store manager that she is not allowed to walk around. We were offended by his action. We are not used to being told what to do and what not to do within what we considered our right. Most would agree that a consumer has the right to walk around a showroom to look at displays.

After the presentation, we were told to fill out a survey. I began to feel that we were being herded around like animals. So I told the host and the store manager that we were not going to comply. The manager asked us to leave. We asked if we can visit the showroom to see the merchandises. He said we cannot because there is confidential pricing information there. I told him that I was only interested in looking at the merchandises and will not look up the pricing information in the catalogs which are kept in a separate library. He said no and quickly showed us out of the store.

While at the parking lot, I had a second thought. We spent money and time to arrange for a babysitter, drove the distances to get to the store, and set aside time from our busy schedule, why should we leave without seeing the showroom? I have a free visitor’s pass to DirectBuy’s showroom. I can challenge the store manager. I asked my wife if she wants to go back to see the showroom. She declined. So I went back in by myself and asked to see the showroom as part of the activities DirectBuy invited me to do. He was visibly annoyed by my challenge to his authority as the store manager (I later found that he is also the owner of the store). Without even reasoning with me, he called his security team to throw me out. Two heavy fellows and the head of security came. The heavy fellows grabbed my arms and started removing me from the store. I resisted. Sensing that the manager’s order was inappropriate, the head of security disobeyed him and stopped the forced eviction. He started reasoning with me. I gave my reason and he appeared to have understood it. He seems to be a more reasonable person than the store manager, who appears to be more concern about exerting his absolute power like a dictator. I also sense that he is so concern about his big ego that he is willing to drag down the corporate image of DirectBuy with it.

I told the head of security that he has to call the police to get me out. I ignored their order and walked around the showroom. But needless to say, by that point, I was in no mood to examine any merchandise. I did that just to make a point that a consumer has rights. I don’t know if he called the police or not. I am not a lawyer. I don’t know what the limit of my right is within their store, and I don’t really want to go to court to find that out. So I left after I proved my point.

Most stores treat customers with respect and trust. We can freely walk around almost any stores because the stores trust that we would not do anything inappropriate. All DirectBuy needs to do is to inform visitors that it is not appropriate to look at the confidential pricing information during the visit, and almost all of us would have complied. For the few who do not, a case can be made to kick them out. At DirectBuy, my wife and I were treated like thieves even before we have done anything they considered inappropriate. The so called “confidential pricing information” is just a poor excuse for a brute business practice. I frankly do not see what benefit DirectBuy could derive out of such a practice. That is why I was dumbfounded by DirectBuy’s insistence that they had acted properly when I complained about this instance to the corporate headquarters.

I filed a complaint to the Better Business Bureau and ask for an apology as a settlement. Not only did the store manager refused, he accused me of “trespassing “and “walking around the areas of the building that are off limit to guests”. When DirectBuy invited us to visit its facility and we agreed, we assumed that both parties agreed to be abided by commonly accepted societal rules of conduct. For example, both parties would have understood that private offices are off limit to guest, and bathrooms are not. I continue to challenge DirectBuy’s right to impose a new rule that its showroom is off limit to guests without clear notification in its advertisement that it has unusual requirements beyond standard accepted practices. Also, if the showroom is off limit, then it would be unethical to use it as an advertising tool to entice unsuspecting consumers to visit DirectBuy.

The charge of “trespassing” is another bad excuse for the belligerent conduct. I have not yet left its parking lot and went back to challenge the terms of the visit, all within a period of 3 minutes. Again, common societal rules of conduct would not call this “trespassing”. Instead of trying reason with me, he used “trespassing” as an excuse and ordered my removal by force. Both I and my wife have engaged in many debates, disputes and contests through our career. Challenges and counterchallenges are ways our society uses to settle differences. We have won some disputes and lost many others; but we have not yet met an opponent who would resort to violence to settle differences.

An apology from DirectBuy would be a respectable way to end a bad business practice.
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dan gordon on 01/23/2009:
I've been a wholesale rep for 25 yrs. The reports on this company are similar. There are no secrets. They aren't a wholesale operation. Any carpet or hardwood store is 'factory direct'. The price they pay is the same as your local dealer. Then they make you use their warehousing and delivery for a fixed price. They put a mark up on the goods like any retailer then they add a 7 or 8 % charge so where the big savings? If your a dilligent shopper you can do as well. I've yet to hear from any satisfied customer except for those on their commercials. They used to charge $800 for a membership but now they are out of their minds.
Anonymous on 01/23/2009:
In your scenario that a "consumer has rights" is a popular misconception. If you are asked to leave an establishment and refuse, as you did, YOU are subject to arrest for tresspassing. Direct Buy, as any retailer is, is a private business they can choose who they deal with as long as it is not based on discrimination. Las Vegas casinos were challenged a number of years ago about blacklisting people and denying entry into the establishment all the way to the supreme court. The casinos won as the justices declared that they are a private business. Same applies here. Public access is only subject to places that the government owns ie. Parks, museums. etc. If the police had shown up, you would have been told to leave and not return, if you ever violated that order you would be arrested.

On the bright side, Dan is 100% correct, DirectBuy is no value and you saved yourself the membership fee
madconsumer on 01/23/2009:
DirectBuy is a private wholesaler, they do not allow people off the street to walk in and browse. membership only.
jktshff1 on 01/23/2009:
First off, by accepting their offer, you agreed to their terms and conditions. Secondly, you made the mistake of returning to escalate the situation, and regardless of the managers actions, you were wrong in doing that. dealerdirect is right, once asked, or being told to leave, not doing it put you in a criminal trespassing mode. You are actually lucky the police weren't called.
Hugh_Jorgen on 01/23/2009:
You need to study the definition of your "rights" a little bit more. When you are on private property, you are subject to the rules set by the owner.
Slimjim on 01/23/2009:
You were lucky you weren't arrested. You have no rights to enter or do anything in someones business against their wishes. "Most would agree that a consumer has the right to walk around a showroom to look at displays." You are not a member and they asked you not to for I'm sure a reason. I for one, do not agree you have the right to do it anyway. Man you some sense of entitlement.
spiderman2 on 01/23/2009:
I'm not a constitutional scholar but I don't think that document guarantees "The basic right of a consumer to walk around a showroom to look at displays." Places of business are private not public places. The management is well within its rights to ask you to leave whether or not you consider that rude. As stated above, you are probably lucky that the police didn't come. They asked you to leave and refused to comply. That is trespassing.
Anonymous on 01/23/2009:
I can't believe that they didn't call the police. I'd say they showed great restraint. In the long run, they probably did the OP a great favor. I don't think you'd ever recoup your membership fee in any kind of savings they might have.
bargod on 01/23/2009:
I agree with slim and everyone else, that's one wicked sense of entitelment.
Anonymous on 01/23/2009:
lol, comments removed. Looks like you two didn't read the terms and conditions! lolololol, Security, remove these two from our showroom!
Anonymous on 01/23/2009:
This Op could rename the store DirectBye.
Anonymous on 01/23/2009:
LOL, Sheriff !
Anonymous on 01/23/2009:
LOL Sheriff.
Anonymous on 01/23/2009:
^^^^^Addy, these people won't stop laughing at me!^^^^^^^^
Slimjim on 01/23/2009:
LMAO Are you guys daring to challenge the terms of your visits here?
Funny, I just had someone challenge their right to be in my business against my wishes. They lost too. This may be a new trend
Chui on 01/29/2009:
The terms of the visit is spelled out in this web advertisement - - where it is stated: "Free visitor's pass today and schedule a tour at your nearest Los Angeles Area DirectBuy showroom". Another advertisement at - – states: “Sign up today for a FREE visitor’s pass to a DirectBuy showroom and design center". When the advertisement says that I can tour a DirectBuy showroom then I am entitled to see the showroom. I thank dealerdirect for pointing out the Supreme Court case for Las Vegas gambler. But the case here is different. DirectBuy have chosen to deal with me by issuing me a pass with my name printed on it. I question whether DirectBuy has the right to suddenly change the terms spelled out in the advertisement and make the showroom off limit to guest. It would be like the casino inviting a gambler to play a game of card. After the card is handed out, in the middle of the game, the casino noticed that it would lose the game. Then it invokes the right to choose who to deal with and kick the gambler out without finishing the game. Again I am not a lawyer, but I think what the Supreme Court meant was that, after the game is over, and the winner or loser determined, then the casino can invoke its right. I was promised a tour of the showroom. As long as I am allowed to look at the displays, I would accept a one-on-one guided tour or a group tour, but I would prefer a self-guided tour. None of these were offered to me.
Slimjim on 01/29/2009:
The "ticket" didn't say anything about an unrestricted self-guided tour, did it. I'm thinking no. So if you have a ticket to tour an aircraft carrier, that gives you the right to go down alone and check out whasup in the reactor room?
I still consider you lucky. You were asked to leave and then committed the cardinal sin of coming back once out. That almost always leads to bad things.
BokiBean on 01/29/2009:
Be grateful you didn't join. Run a search on complaints against Best Buy and you won't have time to read them all. They had a reason for not letting you look at their prices..

Also, I think its hilarious that you challenged their whole herd-the-suckers mentality, but glad you weren't arrested for it.
Chui on 02/01/2009:
I have a comment for Slimjim. You asked whether the “ticket” say anything about an unrestricted self-guided tour. There are many other things that the ticket did not say. It did not say how long the tour is. It did not say what dress you have to wear to attend the tour etc… I don’t think that is the right question to ask. If you were the owner, the question should be: “What is the spirit of the advertisement of DirectBuy? How I can fulfill that spirit to the best of my ability?” I think the spirit of DirectBuy’s visitor tour is to show off the beautiful furniture and home improvement merchandizes that it carries. Offer helps and design ideas for visitor’s home improvement project and explore if DirectBuy’s membership can help them save money. If you were the owner, you can make the tour one second in duration, and claim that you have fulfilled your obligation under the terms of the advertisement. You may even win in the court of law. But you are not conducting your business in good faith.

I sense that there are a number of DirectBuy representatives in this chat room. I welcome the chance to have a civilized discussion with them, which I was not able to do in their showroom. I thank for arranging this opportunity. The following message is for those DirectBuy representatives who might be listening:

First, I am more interested in improving DirectBuy’s business practice than to seek vendetta against your company. I surely do not want another consumer to have to go through what I have gone through in DirectBuy. But since there is a number of discussions about criminal arrest of me and my wife for trespassing, I feel obligated to point out to DirectBuy that the law is not one-sided. There is a good argument for the arrest of the manager for assault and harassment. A store has no right to use violence to settle a contract dispute; this is especially true when the store is being challenged for breach of contract. The store manager should consider himself lucky that he has a security manager who disobeyed the order and stopped the forced eviction. He showed a great sense of what is right and what is wrong. He deserves to be commended. As of now, even though store manager may have committed a chargeable offense, the offense is not egregious enough. I doubt that the district attorney of Mountain View would take up this case unless there are already many other complaints already on file for this individual.
jjudith on 12/31/2009:
I was treated the same way, by the sales person when I did not buy the membership. He literally kicked me out. He was very rude. After they make you sit there for almost two hours, of how great they are. I am glad you stood up for yourself.
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DirectBuy Membership Open House Experience
Posted by on
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE -- Our personal experience with a DirectBuy Open House in Knoxville, TN

My wife and I went to a DirectBuy warehouse tonight after being invited to attend an open house. The center manager was a really friendly and personable guy from Missouri (the show-me state). We both signed in, received a name badge and were introduced to our "host" who was the center manager's son-in-law. He interviewed us and we shared with him that we were remodeling and would be purchasing carpet, tile, windows, kitchen and bath appliances. He said DirectBuy would be able to save us money and seated us in a room with a TV monitor. There were two other couples in the room and the meeting started out with a seven minute informercial on what DirectBuy does - in short, they claim to save money by bypassing the local retailer and purchasing direct from manufacturer - the proposition sounds cool (emphasis on the word "sounds").

The center manager speaks for a while, shows us another video and then walks over to a wall of consumer product print-outs covered with post-it notes. Each product has two post-it notes with a suggested retail price shown and the DirectBuy price underneath. They showed us furniture, washing machines, pots and pans, vacuums, mattresses etc. The DirectBuy price offered averaged 20-50% less according to the center manager. BUT, I wrote down a few prices and the magic ended when I researched the first item when I got home, a 46" Sony Bravia - the manufacturer's retail price matched DirectBuy's example - MRP $2799 but the actual DirectBuy price of $2251 was still more than my local Circuit City's price, $2099. The second item was a 21.8 cu. ft. refrigerator - the manufacturer's retail price matched DirectBuy's example - MRP $2299 but the DirectBuy claimed price of $1419 was lower than the $1900 retail price shown on the internet. The third item was a Jacuzzi - we were particularly interested in that one since we had priced them two days ago at all the local retailers. DirectBuy's price of $1131 was blown away by Lowe's price of $974. [Note that we didn't know the prices on the TV and refrigerator at the time we were at DirectBuy's office but when we we did know the price of the Jacuzzi] Needless to say, the Jacuzzi sowed some seeds of doubt in the process. And it got worse from there...

After the price game, the TV was switched on again and we were treated with a list of DirectBuy member rules (if we were to join). "Be nice to retailers, don't leverage DirectBuy prices against retailers, blah blah blah and then we got to rule #6. Rule #6 is a slick sales tactic that says, You can only decide to join DirectBuy right now. If you said no today, then it was no forever. DirectBuy said it was to protect their retailers. . . you decide. Not good. But not the end of the world. Maybe they are committed to making me happy. So I asked, about their written Customer Satisfaction Policy - "What happens if I am unhappy with my DirectBuy membership". The answer was that they don't have a satisfaction policy as to your membership. However, they will replace a defective product (well, so will Sam's Club). In my mind, I am thinking - they want me to decide RIGHT NOW and they won't guarantee my happiness. Bummer, could it get any worse? The answer is yes because they finally revealed their membership fee - $4500 for two years. And guess what, they want the $4500 today. In DirectBuy's defense, they did offer 10% down and they would finance the rest with no satisfaction guarantee.

Additional fees revealed by DirectBuy in their example was a $110 delivery fee (based on $70-90 per hour delivery rates) and a "handling fee" which worked out to a little under 9% in their example. The concept of buying at cost is a compelling one - I really would like to buy at cost, but I also don't want to be taken advantage of. So, I figured out a win-win for this bad situation which I offered up to the DirectBuy sales team (the center manager and the son-in-law) I would generate a list of what I wanted to buy with dimensions, stock numbers etc. and they could give me an aggregate price (so they would not have to disclose confidential manufacturer prices). If their aggregate price justified the membership fee, I would join. Not only did they turn me down, but they started getting smartass and asked where I had priced out my Jacuzzi - I told them Lowe's and Home Depot and the son-in-law said, "that explains it - we can't compete against the big box home improvement retailer".

Well that's my experience - The handshake was good as was the soft drink (did I mention they had free soft drinks). And they started out by being very nice.

I would recommend checking them out for yourself ... maybe you will have as much fun as I did.

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tnchuck100 on 12/03/2008:
Excellent review. If only more people would keep their eyes open and see these places for what they really are. Anything that pushes "you must do it right now" is to be walked away from.
Justusryan on 12/03/2008:
That DOES explain it. Typically Dirct Buy prices are higher than retail. Its a scam through and through.
lobo65 on 12/03/2008:
Any time a business says you have to join right now, or not at all, it's time to walk away. I learned that the hard way years ago, and will never repeat that mistake. I guarantee you the minute you start to leave, that threat will instantly disappear. Just make sure you do the same.
Anonymous on 12/03/2008:
DirectBuy reminds me of TimeShare sales, buy now or never show your face again. Excellent review!

I have often heard that DirectBuy might beat a price but by the time they are done with jacking up the price with fee's you're better off buying local.

We have also read (on here) and heard that the membership prices are all over the board. Anyplace from $2,500 to $7,000. All based on what they can get out of you, kind of like TimeShare sales again.
Anonymous on 12/03/2008:
Stevego, Great review. I to have looked at the Direct buy program and have found items cheaper through a regular retailer. I bought a Honda generator for $1700 from a retailer and the exact same product through Direct Buy was $1849 and I didn't have to join some $4500 buyers club.
irvberg on 12/21/2008:
I attended a DirectBuy presentation several years ago and immediately concluded that it had all the earmarks of a scam. Thanks to Stevego for a documentation of that fact.
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DirectBuy - A mistake waiting to happen
Posted by on
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA -- I've noted a large number of complaints against directBuy, as well as a few people claiming they benefited. I recently attended the same Mountain View, CA DirectBuy that another person wrote about in another section.

We did not have the problems they had as far as rudeness, or lack of freedom to move about. Maybe the owner got the word from that person's complaints? Regardless, my wife and I came away with a certain amount of leeriness.

The pressure tactics they use are distasteful, to say the least. Any reputable company will not bar you from joining at a later time. Their excuses were, to say the least, thin and flimsy. This is what threw both my wife and I off.
I did manage to get some information regarding 3 items that I did have exact model numbers for. One a refrigerator/freezer. Priced at $1,048 at Lowe's, with free delivery and setup. Same identical model at DirectBuy was $968, delivered to your doorstep. No unpacking or setup. So, for my $6,990, I can save a whopping $80 and no place to turn to if I have any problems or complaints later. Lowe's will back their merchandise, as should any reputable merchant.
I checked on sample flooring. Had a model and brand name. $4.86 per sq ft at Home Depot. Direct Buy was $4.80 per sq ft. Not much of a savings (8 cents per sq ft? Give me a break)
Then, finally, a China hutch at Costco was $929. The same identical one at Direct Buy was $949. Higher cost AND no satisfaction if you have a problem. At least with Costco, if I have a problem with anything I buy, I can just return it and receive a full refund...even up to several months later. Again, Costco is another company that knows how to treat their customers.

So, for the couple that joined Direct Buy, got scared and then backed out. Then you comment that you hope you didn't make a mistake. I can only say you did NOT make a mistake.
There is more to a transaction than saving money. The whole customer satisfaction, which Home Depot, Lowe's, and Costco subscribe to, is way more important than saving a few dollars.

DirectBuy's whole high pressure push of 'join now or forever lose out', is just WRONG!

Plus, DirectBuy doesn't have access to all manufacturer's. There were a few items that I was interested in but was informed by DirectBuy that they didn't carry that manufacturer. Makes you wonder, since they were very high quality manufacturers.

We did not join, nor do we regret it.
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Buyer Beware. They Are Ready To Scam You!!
Posted by on
PENNSYLVANIA -- I contacted DirectBuy for more information. What a mistake. They repeatedly called me worse than a credit card collection dept. Big sales pitch but no usable information. I took the bait and scheduled an appointment to find out more. They subject you to a grueling 90 minute sales presentation and force you to watch a video. They refuse to answer any questions until they complete their sales pitch. These people make a used car salesman look good. Here's the bottom line. It's not pretty.

1.) Membership fee is $5000 to $6000 good for 3 years depending on the franchise.
2.) An additional $190 fee for the next 7 years.
3.) They will be happy to finance this for you at 18% interest.
4.)You must make a decision NOW or you can't apply again for the next 7 years. Pressure tactic.
5.) They charge a 6% fee when you order. Plus shipping, handeling, freight and taxes.
6.) Merchandise may NOT be returned.
7.) The club disclaims all warranties regarding the merchandise.
8.) Only the supplier has the right to cancel an order.
9.) Repairs & Service is the members responsibility.

Do the math. You would have to spend $20,000 just to break even with the membership and fees. Above that there is a possible cost saving with restrictions. Do you really want to take a chance with all of this fine print? I don't. Here's a better way. Do a Google search for what you want to buy. Shop and compare. It's time consuming but you're not paying the huge fees that DirectBuy wants to charge you.

These people are a ripoff and want your money. Be smart, do your homework on pricing and you will come out ahead.

Follow-Up: 1/18/10. I received a sales call from DirectBuy inviting me to one of their showrooms for a membership. I repeated to the agent what you have just read. The high membership fee, the sales pitch where you are not allowed to ask questions while forced to watch a video. The additional fees and requirements. The caller was stunned with my product knowledge. He kept asking me "How do you know this?" I explained that I went to a sales presentation and wasn't buying his slick B.S. He was speechless and hung up on me. BUYER BEWARE. They want uninformed people who they can rip off.
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Buddy01 on 05/07/2009:
Excellent review.
Anonymous on 05/07/2009:
Even though Direct Buy has been running this scheme for years and there are many complaints/informatives about them, it must be working. Most of their customers are satisfied with the service. The demographics show that most customers are female, Caucasian (with Hispanics a close 2nd), aged 35+, income 60k+, and are college graduates.
Ponie on 05/07/2009:
For me, and maybe the majority of our members, this is not a good investment. Heck, I won't even carry a credit card that has an annual fee. However, there *are* people out there who spend this amount of money on renovations, new construction, etc., where it would amount to a saving for them to become members. The poster states it would have to be expenditures of at least $20,000 to break even. I've seen some of the renovation shows on HGTV where this amount is just a splash in the bucket. As far as #4 above, I'd venture a guess if someone decided not join on the first visit but wanted to about a month or two later--an 'exception' would be made. Really doubt they'd let that kind of money just walk out the door. But, I may be wrong...
Mrs. Fantastic on 05/07/2009:
The clients who are satisfied with Direct Buy's service are people who haven't had something go wrong. Example: If you order a $10k bedroom suite from them, it is drop shipped from the manufacturer to your home. YOU get to put the pieces together- where a furniture store would do this for you. Now think of all the complaints on this board where furniture is delivered damaged and their grief is with the retail store. You are now the retail store. Direct Buy is only the middle man. YOU are now responsible to follow up with the manufacturer and repair the items yourself. I have a few friends who this has happened to after using Direct Buy. So long as your items are delivered in perfect shape- you're happy. Let's hope you don't have a warranty issue down the road either.
DebtorBasher on 07/08/2009:
Sorry, no free advertising ...
Barry007 on 02/08/2011:
I find it hard to believe people are still falling for the Direct Buy membership scam. We were building a new home in 2002-2003 and joined Direct Buy, It was helpful for us as we received goods deals on Tile and plumbing fixtures from local distributors- but to actually get a deal through the showroom was a joke. The kitchen appliances we were looking for were 'not made available' to Direct Buy members. An example was the Top end Kitchen aid Ice maker was not available but lesser valued K.A. unit was. We asked why but just got the smoke & mirrors. The one time membership id benefit us but there was no way we would have renewed the membership a second time.
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DirectBuyScam - CAUTION!
Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Stupid is as Stupid does!

I just returned from the Local Houston DirectBuy where I had scheduled on-line an "Open House". After about 30 minutes into my visit I was asked to leave because I was not paying attention to the boring mandatory video in which I had no interest but it was being thrust down my throat like a child gagging on medicine!

Now then, I consider myself an intelligent person. I own my own business and hold a patent (Just like the nice man who was assigned to me for my first I felt like we had some common ground.) But now I feel like a complete idiot because I failed to google "DirectBuy Scams" before I went.

You see, I only want ONE thing and one thing only. I am looking for a very compact shower with a small tub that I saw on-line from a Chinese manufacturer. I don't expect to spend more than $1500.00 on my entire project of pulling out an old plastic shower/tub and installing this shower in its place.

Now then...I had 2 separate telephone conversations with a guy who set up my appointment and had a lengthy discussion regarding my very specific need for this one product only. Nowhere in their ad or in these discussions was a Membership fee mentioned MUCH less a caution that perhaps this might not be the avenue for me to pursue since I wasn't planning a big remodel or spending much money at all as I was just looking for this ONE item.

When I called the location in advance to see if I could just "see" if they had this product I was told that they could not discuss this unless I was a member. That's when the red flag first went up.

When I arrived this morning for my tour I arrived 30 minutes early as the appointment guy asked me to do. I sat for 30 minutes doing nothing until my assigned agent came to start the process. Now he was very nice and likable as he filled out an interview profile on my needs and reasons for being there. When he first said that it would take 90 minutes, I politely said that I needed to cut that short and showed him the picture of the ONE item I was looking for. He looked at me and politely informed me that he had to "do his job" and was required to see me through the entire 90 minute presentation and would I be patient with him. He then asked if I wanted to reschedule for another time to which I begrudgingly said no...I was here now.

What he SHOULD HAVE SAID after looking at my picture (and knowing full well that I would not be spending gobs of money there) is to have been honest and tell me right then and there that this does not sound like the right place for me to be. But as honest as this man looked, I know now that he had to be a shyster. When I came home I immediately did what I should have done before...looked up "DIRECTBUY Scams".

Now having said all of that, I am making no claims as to the validity of their promises. I had heard through a friend about a couple who are members and did a complete remodel of their home. I am sure they spent a lot of money as they live in a neighborhood of wealthy homes. And overall I am confident that they probably did save a lot of money.

My complaint is of the company's basic honesty in disclosing exactly what they are all about right up front. To demand 90 minutes of a person's time in this shroud of secrecy only reeks of "Scam".
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Anonymous on 03/11/2009:
I don't know if I would call the salesman dishonest in that the guy is just trying to make a sale. Put food on the table if you will. In sales everybody is a potential customer.

Good review!
dan gordon on 03/11/2009:
spending $5000 to save $ on one item isn't a good use of your money or time. Its been mentioned several times on here what a total waste of time this is. Its not like every item you go to buy has a 300% markup but they sure imply that in their ads. The 'secret' is to do some comparison shopping and avoid this scam.
saj80 on 03/12/2009:
You say you're an intelligent person, but you didn't know what Direct Buy was, or took time to investigate the company?
pennysmom on 03/12/2009:
Crabman & saj80...thanks for the reply. I am in sales too and have won over many customers with honesty.
And regarding my intelligence, I didn't feel very intelligent yesterday when I realized how gullible I was. I only knew from the TV ads that DirectBuy claimed to save you money. But you are so right in that I failed to do my homework beforehand.
But guess what? Today I received a brochure from them and it DID mention that there was a membership fee but was not specific in the amount. Had I just waited a day I might at least have had an inkling of what was to come. Live and learn.
Anonymous on 03/12/2009:
Stick around, pennysmom, none of us found this board by waking up so secure in our consumer savvy that we felt compelled to share it with the world...well, there is one lone defender of Bank of America who cuts the erasers off of their pencils because they don't make mistakes.
Nohandle on 03/12/2009:
Nicely written and informative review. Pennysmom, you in fact did get a recommendation through a friend. As far as research before making a purchase/service, I personally have done some research and still ended up stung before it was all over and I'm not too proud to admit it.

DirectBuy might not fall under this category, but we've heard stories from some members quite pleased with a business in one part of the country and an entirely different take from other members in another area. I personally don't think I would sit around for a 90 minute sales pitch if I wanted to purchase one item.
pennysmom on 03/16/2009:
Continuing my research after-the-fact (when I really have so many better things to do) I looked up DirectBuy on the Houston Better Business Bureau...and guess what??? Their membership has been revoked due to too many complaints!!!
Ponie on 03/16/2009:
My first clue that Direct Buy wasn't for me was the fact that some couple in the TV commercial saved $1,500 in the purchase of their breakfast set! Heck. I didn't pay that much for my pecan wood chairs and table for my dining room. And then there's also the couple who saved on their kitchen cabinets. Was it $15,000 or $35,000? But when you start tossing figures like that around, does it matter? Just viewing the commercials told me it wasn't for me. Now you can get back to the many better things you have to do.
GOLFERPATRICIA on 03/31/2009:
Will you please e-mail me? I am a news reporter in Houston working on a Direct Buy story. I would love to tell your story. Please e-mail me at

GOLFERPATRICIA on 03/31/2009:
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Directbuy Is A Scam And A Terrible Company To Do Business With
Posted by on
FLORIDA -- I know an employee that currently works in the Tampa location. She has given me inside scoop on this company. The $50,000.00 giveaway doesn't exist, if anything they will make sure that one of their family members or close friends pretend as though they won but actually didn't. The Owners of the company are very rude and unprofessional. She also stated that they have no respect for their employees. I think any company that does not respect customers enough to give them the option to go home and think about a $5,000.00 purchase has no respect for their customers. Being pressured to make a same day decision for that type of investment is very low class and sounds like a scam to me. The worst part of it is, if you don't decide that day to pay the $5,000.00 membership fee, you are told not to come back for at least 7 years.

This company does not want to give you an opportunity to go home, research the organization and find out all the terrible ratings they have, negative commits/complaints from different customers experiences, rude and unprofessional treatment that they are practicing. So people do your homework before you get scammed.
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Slimjim on 05/23/2008:
Direct Buy is a wholesale buying group. Not being a reseller, one really needs to be in a position for many large purchases to make these things worthwhile.
On another note, you personally never dealt with them so why would you go out of your way and post such inflammatory things on the net? You've put your employee friend's job at risk and possibly (although remote) opened yourself up to suit
Femme208 on 11/10/2008:
The reason you have to make the purchase the same day and you can't come back for 7 years is because Direct Buy has agreements with companies to ensure that Direct Buy pricing doesn't unfairly penalize retail merchants. If they allow people to leave and then come back later to purchase the membership, they open up the manufacturers to issues with the retail merchants, since potential Direct Buy members might use the pricing information from Direct Buy to put pressure on retail outlets (e.g., give me this at a cheaper price or I will purchase a Direct Buy membership and buy it really cheap). This has happened before and is the reason why you can no longer purchase pianos at Direct Buy (or so I was told when I wanted to join Direct Buy years after I had turned down their membership pitch). Forcing people to make a decision that very day ensures that a person can't use any information gained in the presentation to unfairly pressure retail distributors. I know this because I didn't purchase Direct Buy the first time around and had to wait 7 years to purchase it. It was the right decision not to purchase the first time. It was also absolutely the right decision to purchase it later. Like Slimjim says, you have to make large purchases to really get the value out of the service. Everyone should do their homework before putting out thousands of dollars or working for a partiular employer.
DebtorBasher on 07/08/2009:
Sorry, no free advertising, TomRX8...
bob on 01/27/2013:
The company does not let you know that you have to make the decision that day so you can sit down and figure out what you would need to purchase to make the deal worthwhile. It seems to be like health clubs that oversubscribe in the hopes that most people will lose interest
Dilly bar on 06/15/2013:
Sleazy mail bit made to look like an IRS notice / low life salesman / this place should be closed ,,!!!
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Denied Repair Claim
Posted on
Rating: 1/51
N/A -- This company is truly a fraud!!!! They live off the terms and conditions that states that they will not honor "preexisting" conditions but in no way have no true way of confirming whether or not a condition is/was preexisting-despite the complaints found online and on several sites, (always listen to your inner voice) I purchased a warranty from them anyway-my car is 6 years old and only has 71777 miles on it which is in line with the allotted annual miles-I have kept my car in pristine condition since it was purchased in 2010 and always had "on time" check ups that are documented from the dealership, plus the car was still under factory warranty when I purchased the car because of the low miles -my car was 210 miles passed its next oil change when I noticed that it was leaking anti freeze-I scheduled an oil change & tire rotation and asked that the dealership check the leak-found out that the leak was needing a water pump and some other (covered under warranty) maintenance that added up to about 1200.00-The dealership called Directbuy and "surprise" they said it was a "pre-existing" condition-the same line they seem to give every customer when they don't want to honor a warranty-I asked did they request any documentation from the dealership to come to that perception from a non-tech call center representative and of course they did not because it didn't matter! They also stated that it was only 6 days or so that my warranty was active, which is irrelevant when you have deemed yourselves as honorable! I find that this company is a scam and I am not surprise that they are not even sometimes correct the BBB. I caution anyone wanting to purchase a extended warranty outside of the dealership- I have gladly paid the dealership 1200.00 Plus to fix my car and would gladly pay any repair amount than pay a company not worthy of anyone's business!!!

I immediately cancelled my contract and they can keep the 330.00 Plus dollars I paid toward the deposit and prorated 1st month, apparently that is how they make their money is by your deposits!!!!

In addition, if the contract or insurance tells you that they decline any pre-existing conditions "do not purchase" unless they send someone to check out your car or even your health-they will deny you when they think you need them-but surprise to them I don't need you! I am better than bless!
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Good for laughs if your bored one afternoon
Posted by on
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE -- Went to a showroom knowing full well the scam- for giggles one afternoon with a friend, just to experience the fun firsthand. We had to pretend to be a couple to get in- that should be a tipoff to anyone right there who is questioning the legitimacy of DirectBuy. Why do they make you bring your spouse, and refuse to allow kids? Simple, they want to eliminate any excuse you may have for leaving the presentation without dropping 6k- you can't say "we have to leave, little Sara here is tired" or "I have to run this by my husband"- brilliant actually, in its scumminess. I'm surprised they allow people to bring cell phones to the presentation, as you could be texting someone while the con is being laid out. Even timeshares and new car sellers, the previous kings of scumminess, allow you to come in alone, or with kids, or to think about it overnight, but not here. Costco and Sam's Club are a similar type clubs, but why don't they have the same hard sell? Easy, they are legit, Direct Buy is not.

The first tipoff to the scam were the obvious plants in the presentation who were clearly there to make us think it was legit, which was laughable. Obvious store employees or friends milling about, looking enthused at the "savings". The other two couples eagerly wrote their checks in front of us, I guess to put the "everyone else is doing it, so should I" thought in your head- whatever.

The showroom was also a joke- it looked like props from a cable access cooking show. The catalogs were few and showed no prices. The con that you have to become a member on the spot or risk seven years of banishment "to protect their sellers" is also a joke- who would go to a retail store, with middlemen, and demand prices from an alleged wholesaler, without middlemen? Doesn't make sense, apples and oranges. But that's just the cover to keep you from going home and coming to your senses.

Sat through the standard high pressure sell that I had heard so much about, and yes they can apply the pressure. Told them I had to think about it, got the seven year spiel and said OK and left. I would bet my life if I show up tomorrow with 6k in hand and beg them to lift the seven year ban that they would not turn down my $$.

No mention was made of the 8-10% handling fee, no mention made that you have to pick up items at DirectBuy, no mention that you would have to be planning a six figure remodel to come out even or slightly ahead. A fun afternoon for someone with odd tastes in fun like myself, but also infurating when you think of all the people who don't know any better and fall for the ruse, espcially in these trying times.
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Weedwhacked on 10/26/2010:
Even their commercials sound ridiculous to me.
Ytropious on 10/26/2010:
Nice review. Direct Buy is nothing but an overpriced scam.
tnchuck100 on 10/26/2010:
Years ago I used to do this with time share presentations. My wife and I would get together with another couple and ride our motorcycles to wherever they were presenting their pitch. Never bought. Just went mainly for the ride.

Someone needs to coin a term for this sport.

Anonymous on 10/26/2010:
Direct Buy is sketchy from the top down. Hope you got a good giggle.
Your review is a scam on 11/16/2011:
DirectBuy has been in Business for over 40 years. If there was any scamming involved they wouldn't be in business. I know hundreds of happy, satisfied members in Tucson, AZ. You're entitled to your opinion, but I see first hand the savings people get when they buy directly from the manufacturers at DirectBuy. They've been helping families for over 40 years. You can take that to the bank and save it.
robinator on 03/21/2013:
There supposed to give me a 7" android tablet and a $200 restaurant card. Will they do that? No way I would even consider buying their spiel, but I'll take the swag
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Posted by on
AUSTIN, TX -- I placed and paid for a $1485 order in March. In April, I was notified that delivery had been postponed until May 19. It is now July, I have not received my order, nor have I had any further communication from DirectBuy. DirectBuy does not respond to my email or phone inquiries. You can not reach a real person by phone, but their phone system indicates that they check messages everyday. Maybe so, but they don't return calls! This is not the first difficulty I have had with Direct Buy. I tried to order a sofa in one of their catalogs. They never got the leather samples from the company that I needed to see. They would not respond to my inquiries about that, and I made repeated 140 mile trips trying to get that taken care of. I finally gave up and bought elsewhere. It is hard to get help in the store because the employees are usually too busy trying to recruit new customers or visiting among themselves. You might be able to save some money on some items in the store, but it is like looking for a needle in a haystack and way too much trouble for the amount you can save. When I see potential new members in the store getting the sales pitch, it turns my stomach. I want to scream, "grab your money and run!"
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dan gordon on 07/07/2009:
the only happy people with Direct Buy were in the infomercials. You can't find out anything positive in any internet search. Don't know why people think they are getting a deal especially after you spend $5000 or whatever to join. It was a rip off when it was $600
GenuineNerd on 07/08/2009:
Home improvement stores, contractors, appliance/electronics stores, and furniture stores would provide better value than Direct Buy. And there are no membership fees. There have been many complaints and negative feedback about Direct Buy here and on other consumer complaint websites. I wouldn't be surprised if Direct Buy's suppliers specially tailor merchandise expressly for the company, to give you the illusion that you're buying "manufacturer direct", such as these same manufacturers making "exclusive" models of brand-name merchandise for Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Sam's Club, Costco, etc. Direct Buy is a waste of money-you can do better elsewhere when it comes to home improvement/remodeling, appliance, and big-screen TV purchases.
DebtorBasher on 07/08/2009:
Sorry, no free advertising, TomRX8...
Anonymous on 07/08/2009:
Good catch DB, it sure sounded like a solicitation to me.
Slimjim on 07/08/2009:
Drumming up anything to try to push through another lame class action for Craig's firm to feed off of for a year. TORT REFORM!
Anonymous on 07/08/2009:
Hey, if a class action can put an end to a scam, that is not a bad thing.
Slimjim on 07/08/2009:
Attorney Generals put an end to scams. Class action lawyers sue real companies with money and insurance. I've never seen a class action against a two-bit thief selling fake Rolexs on E-Bay. I've seen them against CocaCola, Wendy's, Wal*Mart, etc.
Anonymous on 07/08/2009:
Slimjim is confused, there was never a class action against McDonald's because their coffee was so ridiculously hot it severely scalded a mother. The damage award amounted to the amount of dollars McDonalds makes in ONE DAY selling coffee! A slap on the wrist. And if he thinks Attorney Generals put an end to scams, he must be living in an amazing state. Complaints against DirectBuy have been filed with Attorney Generals in almost every state. Have they stopped the scam? Nope.
Slimjim on 07/08/2009:
You're right Tom on the coffee. I realized that after I said it and edited it out, probably as you rebutted.
Anonymous on 07/08/2009:
No prob, a lot of folks didn't understand what happened.
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