I am a member of DirectBuy and have been for a year and half. I have seen so many complaints on this site but very few compliments and for the life of me I can't figure out why?! First off yes there is a fee to buy a membership and then annual dues after that. But I am a member for life and I can even pass this down a generation. As a member I am now able to buy just about everything I need for my home at cost. So cabinets I would have paid $50k for at Home Depot I got for $28k and actually improved the quality. I saved my membership in one purchase.
I also bought 2 recliners for my in-laws as gifts from a well known company..rhymes with pane. For $350.. My mother went to a store that sold it to check it out and it was priced at $699 for one.. I got 2 for half that. Then all my hardwood floors, tile and carpet I purchased for my house was all at cost and I matched quote with Home Depot again and I saved another $7k.
OK so I may the lucky one because I was building a house. But if you own a home and need to fix it up (which you will sooner or later) why wouldn't want to save all that mark up and buy it at cost. Even will the handling (which is to cover credit card fees imposed by credit card companies and the stores do not gain on this..I asked) and freight charges (again that is part of the cost retail too, you just don't see it broke down like this) you come out ahead.
TUCSON, ARIZONA -- I was curious about DirectBuy ads I had seen. I had been a member of "Consumers Plus" which went out of business in 2006. That club charged about $1500 to join (in the 90s), their yearly dues were $45, and their handling fee was 5%. I saved a lot of money furnishing a new home using their services. I have no complaints about them whatsoever, except that they went out of business. The only problem was that anything I ordered through them could not be returned.
Before I attended the DirectBuy presentation on 12/30/2006, I was first disturbed by the lack of ANY information they were willing to give about their business prior to my "Free Pass by Invitation Only" visit. At the "Invitation Only" visit the visitors were told not to ask questions until the end of their presentation; that is how they had determined that the presentation worked the best (they did not say it worked the best to their benefit). Then before we had a change to utter a single question we were escort out of the meeting room, each visitor having a private sales person to talk to. Therefore, visitors were unable to gain additional knowledge from other visitors questions.
I asked about their prices for about a dozen items which I was in the market to purchase. They were able to only provide a price for one item. They are either extremely disorganized due to incompetence or due to intentionally making sure no prices are available to potential members.
I happened to have a big end of year bonus and thought I could save money with my upcoming purchases so I signed up. The sales person never explained to me that my son would not qualify as a member on my account. He only asked if my son was present and I said he was not. According to the contract a dependent child has to be under 23 and a full time student to be allowed member benefits at the club. The verbal commitment to add my son at a later date was meaningless since the contract voided all verbal promises. So they lied to my about my son being able to have the membership after I passed away was never going to happen.
Since I'm almost 60, I wanted my son to be a member. He is 25, so the huge member fee - about $4600 for 3 years, would not go to waste if I should die in the next few years. But DirectBuy would not work that way. I had also made to believe during the presentation that this company had been around for some 30 years. Yes, maybe, but under various names. Also only the local franchise was responsible for providing any member benefits. Nothing like Costco, where you can travel the country and use your $50/year Costco membership to buy items on the shelf.
For DirectBuy it is specifically stated that if you order an item you have to pay everything up front the cost of the time, taxes, their 8% handling fee and the cost of shipping with is often 15% of the cost of the item. They never counted actual shipping fees but I was able to figure out the rough cost for freight. Then as a final insult if I ordered something, they could change the price afterwards at any time and I would have to pay the additional fees within 7 days. There was no one to lend support at DirectBuy if anything went wrong with the item. The buyer would have to deal with the problem alone.
The membership cost in no way guarantees any savings to the club member. No 110 % price guarantee. Nothing. You pay $4600 just for the right to order items using them as the middle man (no DIRECT BUY here - DirectBuy is an oxymoron), paying them $4600 for the right to place orders there during the first 6 months, then $200/year for the next 7 years. After that you could continue at the then current yearly fee which has been increased at each possible turn. The bottom line is that this is a lucrative business to the owner - very similar to timeshares.
A consumer has to take into account the risk that they never save any money, that the DBA company goes out of business, and that the $4600 invested wisely would provide a substantial income to offset the cost of buying items at retail. Due to all retail stores having sales 40-70% off and the internet becoming a better low cost supplier for all goods there really is no need to join this scam operation to make a few people line their pockets with your money and to get his and her Mercedes Benz as a yearly bonus. I had a feeling this was a sleazy organization due to their red flag tactics but I still wanted to see for myself.
Now that I cancelled my contract it will take them 15 business days to refund me my money!! How true to their business model. It also looks like they are trying to withhold $25 and not refund me the entire cost of the membership which I paid for. They never explained the contract and never pointed to the important information I should read on the back page. I can only blame myself for not reading that. But regardless, I enjoy writing a letter of complaint about this company and its deceiving practices to the BBB and the Camber of Commerce. There is a whole lot more wrong with what they did but I think you get the idea.
We were warned by friends that they were cheated out of about $5,000 for a DirectBuy membership fee. They forked over all that money because DirectBuy told them that they would be able to buy things for their new home at the manufacturers' price -- at a 50% to 60% discount. Little did they know, after DirectBuy tacked on hefty shipping and handling fees, they were able to find most of the items for sale through DirectBuy at the same prices, if not lower prices, at retail stores like Lowe's and Best Buy!!
TEXAS -- I thank Direct Buy for learning about SCAM's with them, that's about the only good thing I can say about it. Every story here about savings not adding up to what they say, poor customer service, is the TRUTH. If you want to learn with at 5000.00 tag this lesson go ahead, they give you all of that.
Ordered ceiling fans, delivery time 3 weeks. Received call it was going to be 3 months, ordered refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, microwave delivery time 6-8 weeks. Received call 1 week before delivery that the refrigerator would take maybe 4 to 6 more weeks. If you shop around you can find as good of deals from retail and not have to wait months to get your mdse. DirectBuy is one of the biggest scams going on.
PHILADELPHIA -- We joined DirectBuy about a month ago. We are remodeling our kitchen. The prices are great and the customer service in the store is excellent. The problem lies, when I order something online, I have to email a service rep, then the person is pretty prompt in giving me the prices. When I say to go ahead and order it, then it takes a while. I have to keep emailing or calling the store. The same goes for my cabinets. I have been trying to get them ordered since last week.