anyone used direct buy?

Runner1November 15, 2005

Has anyone used Direct Buy? The company that runs infomercials and used to be called United Consumer Club? Has anyone used this company/club? The concept is that you cut out the middleman and save a lot of money.

Best case: it makes a TON of sense and if you are doing a major home renovation or in the market for a lot of purchases, then you could make your up-front investment of membership pay off.

Worst case: Between smart shopping on your own and the handling fees that are assessed to some purchases via Direct Buy (as well as fees for delivery -- in some cases), etc. etc. the actual savings never quite pay off.

Bottom line: for the concept to indeed save you money, you have to save what you invest in the membership -- which isn't a small number.


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This question pops up every 3 months or so. The general consensus is that Direct Buy is a bad deal for a number of reasons. My advice is to stay away from them, but do your own homework, including a search of this forum. The old threads may have fallen off, but I'll bet if you search "Direct Buy" on Google, you'll get a lot of results.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 10:49AM
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This is timely as I was planning on starting another thread when I saw that most of the old ones have fallen off. We are building a new home and joined DirectBuy in Sept. Unfortunately, I did not do enough research beforehand and thought it sounded like a great deal. If I had known then what I know today, I wouldn't have joined so I'll share my experience.

Before anyone think that I'm about to embark on a bashing session, let me say that It's not a total loss because when it comes to ordering furniture, I will save at least the membership fee. On my Dining Room set alone, I will save about $2700 over retail. This is even counting the handling and delivery fees so I'm not going to bash them but there are some things that they definitely need to work on.

For one, the sales pitch doesn't include the fact that there is an 8% handling charge on anything that is breakable and even though they say they that they don't make any money off of your order, the shipping they charge seems to be excessive. I ordered several faucets from them and my order weighed about 25 lbs. They charged me $183 for shipping from NC to TN. By the time all costs were considered, I could've gotten them for the same price at my local plumbing supplier. Another issue is that things take so long to be delivered (anywhere from 4 wks to 10 wks) so you have to be really organized and ready to order quite a while before you need it.

As far as customer service goes, it's so-so but I'm sure this can vary depending on which center you use. We tried to get a quote for a garage door and had so much trouble getting the quote that we had to order from somewhere else. The customer service people were unresponsive and when I asked them to contact the manufacturer they wouldn't do it.

Selection of items was another thing we found surprising. While there are a lot of manufacturers they work with, not all product lines for a particular mfg are available. For instance, knowing that they carried Stanley Furniture, I chose a Dining room set off of Stanley's website. However, after making that choice I found out that they don't carry that line. Slightly frustrating but there were plenty more items to choose from and we found something we liked just as much. A small side note to that: they do have a website where you can browse their "virtual showroom" but the website runs so slowly that more often then not I give up in frustration.

One last thing to be aware of: In my subsequent research, I found that they have been able to win most lawsuits against them because in the contract that you sign, DirectBuy doesn't actually make any promises about what they will do for you so it is very difficult to get your money back if you find you are not getting what you thought. You should also beware that the contract gives you 3 days to cancel however, they don't allow you to use the center until the 4th day. Their excuse is that it takes that long to get all of your info into the system. If I had done my research, I would've demanded that they let me browse the catalogs
before then as I had actually paid the fee.

I'm sorry to have made this so long but I wish I would've gotten this info before I joined. I know this is the furniture forum and the truth is that you will save a lot on furniture. If however, you are joining for everything else and don't have much furniture to buy, you just need to decide if the hassles are worth it. Like I said, I'm not too disappointed because I have a whole house to fill.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 12:15AM
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Can you say how much the membership costs? I was thinking about joining as I am planning a bathroom remogle, large amountof new carpeting and a new bedromm set and some family room chairs. But after reading this I'd really think twice.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 5:48AM
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Sounds like a bad deal to me.

I prefer open-market, competitive pricing from sources like ebay, amazon, overstock, etc. I have bought stone, marble, faucets, sinks, vanities, lighting from ebay! even towels...

why would you pay and sign a contract when you can get much more variety and better pricing and no contracts?

apart from costco, membership type stores seem outdated...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 7:21PM
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Since the day I bought into it, I felt I was pushed by the strong sales pitch up front. Caught me at weak moment. So far it has cost me nothing but money. I bought one small appliance which after shipping cost me more than retail. I priced a bed but the shipping charges turned me off the deal. Only sign up if you are building a house and have to buy a large amount at once, or if you are in the market for quality and have time to shop and compare.
All in all I figure I threw away $3000.00 and my renewal fee of $170.00 is coming up. Do I pay so I don't feel I've wasted the $3000 or cut my losses and run??????.
This may be a shopping method for people who have a lot of cash to buy big ticket items but for a middle class family man with normal bills and mortgage payments it's not worth it, as smart shopping locally at big box stores will probably get you the same.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 8:59PM
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I feel for you NewTNgirlIÂve been a member for 5 years now and DirectBuy has been a godsend. In the 5 years IÂve been married and unfortunately divorced and relocated to another part of the country. So far my major life experiences have cost a lot of money, but IÂve been able to not take it so hard; especially on a single income just under 40k.

I saved $1800 on my sofa, loveseat and chair (just about ½) and $2000 on the entertainment center. They arenÂt the highest end furniture out on the market, but nice for being a 20something woman. I didnÂt do so hot on the appliances, but I was told when I joined that there wouldnÂt be a significant savings on electronics unless I bought high-end. Even things like the carbon for the water dispenser in the fridge I saved over half onÂsimply amazing.

I wonder if the sales pitch is different depending on which center you go to. I was told about the handling fee, but I like the peace of mind that if something should ever come in damaged, IÂm not paying for the replacement. Like pharaoh I thought I could save a buck or two on Ebay and without even thinking of Direct Buy I went and purchased a globe on ebay. I got just the one I wanted, I wasnÂt in a bidding war with anyone. I got the globe in a couple weeksÂthen when I went to direct buy a few months later for some carpeting that had that darn globe and I still would have saved 40% from ebay. I was ready to kick myself. Ebay is great though for the things that Direct Buy doesnÂt carry.

The center that I belong to now had IÂm sorry to say bad member service and at one point had found out that they delayed in placing my order for a bed by two weeks. When youÂre sleeping on a couch my frusteration got the best of me, but I found out that they were replacing many of the service staff reps because of such instances. The new staff they have now is amazing and even the new people know me by name when I go in. In a new state that I know no one, itÂs nice to still feel like family when I go inÂwhich I havenÂt even gotten from my favorite retailer yet.

Martin you brought up a great point about cutting the losses. When I was relocating I was terrified that there wouldnÂt be a center within a reasonable distance and I had asked about it. At least the center that I went into originally said that if I was outside of 50miles from the showroom I could put my account on "freeze" and then when I relocate back home again I can "reactivate" my account where I left off. On a side note, I didnÂt use the membership the second and third year and didnÂt pay the renewal; then with the divorce and needing new furniture all I had to do was pay back the years that I missed and I was good to go.

Likry IÂd like to say how much the membership costs, I paid $2100, but that was also 5 years ago. IÂm sure with time the fees go up. At some point I found out that they were franchises like McDonaldÂsÂso each center might set their own price.

In all, IÂm happy with my membership. I owned a home before I went in and didnÂt have any real purchases coming up. I joined off of the fact that they had been in business for almost 30 years, and I figured if they were going to be around for another 30 years (even 10 years) IÂd make the money back in the long run. Good luck to everyone. IÂd say even if your unsure to at least go in and see what they have to say. Weather or not the membership is for you, at least when you leave youÂll have peace of mind when you make the next purchase if you made the choice that was best for you.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 12:43PM
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I went into the Austin center last night and was running a few minutes late. The girl information me that I was late, so I couldn't participate in their "orientation." Which was probably a good thing, because I called a couple of friends to tell them, and one of my friends knew someone who was pressured into signing up for a $4,000+ membership fee and $99 a month. I did a Google search and found an article which mentions a $4,200 membership fee. I kept asking the girl last night "what's the catch," and she said there was NONE! I guess she doesn't count the $4,200 fee as a catch...but my parents taught me you don't get something for nothing, so at least I was skeptical enough to question.

Another irritating thing...when you go in, you have to fill out this has really stupid questions like "I want to save money on remodeling my home and want to find a place that can help me do it", or something stupid like that. You must circle "I agree" or "I do not agree." I could tell from some of my sales training that these would probably be questions used in a hard close. I also read in one of the articles on the internet that you have to make your decision that day, or else you're blocked from joining for the next 7 years.

A little too high pressure for me!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 4:58PM
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Run, run as fast as you can. I have belonged for 2 years now (still paying for another year $4000.). I have not be able to use it yet. Most items, by the time they add all charges, are more expensive than at the stores. Also you have to wait WEEKS for it to come in and if it isn't right, too bad, you bought it. No refunds. You have to have someone pick it up at the Direct Buy building so now you have to arange a truck or something to get it to your house, more money. Biggest rip off in my life. I am in touch with some others who have also found out what a rip-off it is and we are trying to get a class action lawsuit against them.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 8:34PM
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I am sure the service charges and service varies by centre. We have about 3~5 different centres around our area. I have been to 2 different centres. They are just so different. The one we join is just wonderful, people are friendly. They were very up front about the surcharges. They don't charge any service fee for electornic at all, as they putted, electornic has very little mark-up. However, when we were purchasing our TV, I found out that we were able to buy the same exact TV cheaper than the employee's price from Future Shop (A really good friend works there.)

All I wanted to say is that, you need to be sure to know the centre's surcharge policy before hand. Also, you will still need to do some research and leg work; and that's waht I did. I don't trust the cataloge pictures. I like to see what I am getting. As for price, we did get very good deals through them.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 11:26PM
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THANK YOU THANK YOU! I just left the Direct Buy store--and I am not naming the city, but I am on the Gulf Coast. I am glad I trusted my gut and walked out. I came so close to signing up, but 3 things stopped me: 1. The pressure to sign up on the spot, with no second chances. This is despite the fact that I told them I have a kid in college and own my own business and it is tax time. 2. I caught at least one of the retail prices they show, for a camera, that was already inflated by 30%. 3. This is what really did it: The salesman was smug, arrogant, condescending, impatient, and worst of all, did not listen to me. I told him the fee was a stretch and he acted like he was doing me a favor by setting up a payment plan, a plan on which I would have paid interest. Add all this together, and I finaly said, "I'm just not enjoying this experience". I got up and left and on the way out told the receptionist how I did appreciate how I was treated.

The price was not the biggest issue. I just smelled a rat. And when I am spending my money I want to be treated well, not talked down to.

Then I came home and Googled Direct Buy Reviews and am SO glad I found your forum! Thanks for helping me know I did the right thing. I am a single parent with a kid in a private college and we have medical school to pay for after that. I thought I might save some money but all your posts are reinforcing that Direct Buy is not for me.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 5:29PM
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I was wondering if anyone could tell me what vinyl windows their local DB showrooms carry? My local branch carries Simington and I am curious if other stores carry different windows.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 4:45PM
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I've been a Direct Buy member for 2 years now and I've saved my membership fee 4 times over already. We were doing a remodel on our house, so it was not hard to do, but, my windows in my house were going to be $22,000 from the builders hardware store...I got them from DB for $11,000. My cabinets for my kitchen were going to be $20,000 at a builders hardware store...I got them for $9,000 and the ones from DB were an upgrade with braided rope trim..glazed and have glass doors. My central vac. system was $1,000 less than retail. We also saved on 2 flat screen TVs that you hang on the wall. They delivered and put them on the wall for us. The only problems I had were minor with the ordering and timing of the cabinets. You do have to wait 6 weeks for things, so you have to plan ahead, but if I were doing another remodel...I'd join again. I live in SC...not sure where the rest of you live.
I guess with every are going to have happy and unhappy customers.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:20PM
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Isn't it interesteing that the two people in this thread who LOVE Direct Buy registered for GW on or just before posting? Makes you wonder.....

I have never heard a good thing about DB and would advise anyone to stay away. I stopped in once and was told to come back with my husband. Excuse me? I'm divorced, make twice as much as my ex ever did and make all the purchasing decisions.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 2:52PM
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"Isn't it interesteing that the two people in this thread who LOVE Direct Buy registered for GW on or just before posting? Makes you wonder....."

Yes, it is interesting and happens all too often.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 7:45PM
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Well dedtired and john, I really dont care what you think. I stated facts about purchases I made at DB. I'm not twisting anyones arms to join DB. The original thread was posted in 05..and I just saw it last I commented. I joined GW because of the Antiques forum and I have to say...they are MUCH nicer in that forum than you are. Think what you want.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 12:06AM
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google infermercial stams and check them out...nothing but BAD news!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 3:35PM
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infermercial stams, I'm assuming these are typos, do you mean

infomercial scams ?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 8:33AM
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Sass2050, sorry if I insulted you. Perhaps you are in fact a legitimate poster. Sounds like you are. However, I think there are people out there who are googling the name of the product they sell, or just promoting something they sell, who join GW just to pitch their product. I see it a lot in different forums.

I apologize if I was unfair to you. I'm really not a meanie.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 1:19PM
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My husband and I just had our 'orientation' last night. My only advice is run... don't walk... run away from this place. We were greated by a sales person, he sat down with us and asked if we had any questions. My first one was 'how much'. He told us that he was a new employee and that we should wait for the video because it expailned the benifits a lot better than he could. We reluctantly watched the video after being hearded into a room with 3 other couples. After listening to the cult like rules that come along with being a member the bomb dropped. The price of membership is $4990 plus tax! My eyes nearly bugged out of my head when I heard that. We were all taken out of the room and shown the catalog area, we weren't allowed to actually check out the prices in them to see if it would be worth it though. After being asked again if we had any questions my husband said that he wanted to talk to the customers in the store. We were told we were not allowed to do that. Now my hubby is a 6'4" stubborn man so he did anyway. One existing customer told us that it is only worth it if you are spending a lot of money. He had to spend $50000 to make it worth it for himself. We got sat down again with the sales guy and I immediately told him that this is not for us. He then explained that if we didn't sign up right then and there we would never be allowed back in the store. He wanted to show us the genorous payment options...ya right. $1700 now, $1700 in 30 days and $1700 in 60 days. Now I don't know about you but I have a lot better things to spend my money on than a piece of paper from DB saying I am a member. Needless to say we walked out and all I can think now is... this is an hour of my life I will never get back.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 5:40PM
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Well Pitchy all I can say was we made our membership fee back in the first month we where members and didn't spend anywhere near 50000. We had just purchased a home built in 1973 and it looked like that was the last time anyone did any work on the inside. The house had all avacodo green appliances and vynal wallpaper everywhere. We got a great deal on the house and I knew I was in for some renovation work to make the wife happy. Anyway we saved the membership fee just on the kitchen renovation and no we didn't go top of the line on the appliances, we also didn't replace the cabinets. Saved $600 on the range top, $900 on the wall mounted oven/microwave, $700 on the fridge, $200 on the vent hood, $150 on lighting fixture, $300 on the dishwasher, $250 on the flooring, $750 on the countertops and sink. Since then we have done the game room, living room, 2.5 bathrooms, and master bedroom. Everything I saved on those projects was pure profit for me. All I can think now is ... look at the thousands of dollars I saved because of that one hour.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 7:57AM
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I used to belong to Direct Buy and while I did save money, the time I had to spend in trying to find what I wanted just wasn't worth the aggravation. Prior to the internet, they were probably a good deal if you were going to be spending more than $15 to 20K on a renovation or home build. But I've found that with research on the internet, I've been able to save thousands of dollars on everything I needed for our new home without being restricted to certain manufacturers as you are with DirectBuy. There is definitely a difference from one "store" to another when it comes to staff and I've heard that from many current and ex-members.

With a little time and information from the right sources, it's easy to save money from almost any local store. I presented them with legitimate prices I was able to get from internet sources and in all but one circumstance, they matched them. For instance, a GE Profile refrigerator that was on "sale" everywhere for $1999 was purchased for $1420 from a local store. That was a savings of over $1k from the current MSRP. This was typical of almost every item I purchased whether it was furniture, appliances, carpeting, lighting, etc. I've found most stores would much rather match a sale price and obtain your current business and hope for future business than have you go elsewhere, even if it only means a small profit for them, especially with the way the economy is today. I would also rather purchase from our local small businesses and in many cases, there everyday prices surprised me in how reasonable they were in comparison with the "big box" stores.

The other problem with DirectBuy is their hard sell attitude and threats of not being able to join for a certain number of years if you don't sign up on the spot. I hate that type of tactic and would never have joined at all if that had been the case when we did join. If they would lose that attitude, they'd probably see a big increase in business as I don't know anyone who responds well to threats.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:26PM
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I'm glad I found this to read. We are building in the spring and I can't see spending $5000 for a membership when I need to keep the whole project under $100,000.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 10:41AM
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A law firm is investigating a national class action against DirectBuy. If you believe you have been scammed by DirectBuy, contact: Craig T. Matthews, tel. 937-434-9393, email

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 11:46AM
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I agree with some of the things posted. I would first like to say that DB is very useful for those with high incomes or big projects. However, for us common folks, DB is practicing predatory practices. They use scare tactics, and most importantly they manipulate you to make the membership purchase with no options to cancel. Now what business you know doesn't give you a way out if you find yourself in a financial bind? Even car loans and Mortgages have alternatives; you can sell them and pay off the loan, or you can cut your losses and lose your initial payments.
DB is a corporation and should exemplify more prudence; haven't we suffered enough with the high rise of corporate irresponsibility. We're consumers, we're bound to make mistakes, there's not enough hours in the day to become professionals at everything. And mind you their suppose to make your life easier, well I guess not all our lives.

Class action lawsuit sounds like a great thing to bring some realistic responsibility and compassion for the people their suppose to be helping save time and money.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 1:53AM
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i can't believe they are still in business. as far as i know, even if you do fall for the scam and join the products they sell are junk. my niece and her husband forked over the membership fee (money they definitely could not afford) and bought living room furniture for their new condo. fast forward six years later and it's all falling apart. the frame on the sofa squeaks and sounds as if it would just give out if a heavier person sat on it. the cushions look like pancakes and the fabric is in terrible shape. it looks like it's over 40 years old and as far as i'm concerned it's relatively new!
i don't think it's of use to anyone no matter what your income. who can afford to waste money?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 3:03PM
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kateskouros, DB doesn't make the furniture that they sell.

I know 1 well-known company (and there are others) at DB that have both USA made and their Off-shore offerings.
You cannot blame DB for poor furniture, the choice is the that of the purchaser.
I have been a member of DB for over 10(?) years

I have posted before about the types of people who buy the membership before, and the benefits are there for those who go in prepared with their eyes open, so I will not post my observations here again.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Discussions about DB can get people pretty riled up but I'll chime in and say I've had a membership for about 10 years. I just bought a Rowe sofa upgraded to down-filled cushions for about $500 less than I'd have paid in the store. The cost of my membership was a lot less than what people pay now and I'd say we've gotten our money back. The service at my local center is awesome. The owners are very customer oriented, very professional, and there is a decorator, technicians, and even contractors on staff. I do know that other centers are not as organized or user-friendly and that can make such a huge difference. Even though I'm happy with what I've gotten from DB, when people ask about it I caution them to really think hard before joining. It's not for everybody, it is a shopping style that takes getting used to. Not everyone likes picking items from catalogs or has the time to research. Some people need way more hand holding than I do. I shop at brick and mortar stores too when DB doesn't have what I need, for things I don't want to wait for, etc. It is possible to do well pricewise in many places these days. I look at DB as one more option in the whole continuum. Of course, I can do this because as I said, I paid significantly less 10 years ago, have already amortized my investment, and now pay only annual member fees.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 8:09AM
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In mu opinion the furniture manufacturers on dirct buy are not as much durable as expensive they are. I bought a sofa set from one popular furniture manufacturers at direct buy and it wasnt good as they promise it will. Just a bad experience.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 1:28AM
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well i signed up because we r doing some remolding ill let u guys know how it went

and imp thing u can get bargain on the membership prices i dont know how u guys paid but after long bargaining i got him down to 2500.00 good luck

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 3:30AM
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Spent thousands of dollars on membership and have yet to buy anything. Listened to a group presentation of comparisons that you could not verify because if you left and came back they would not allow you to join. Only one day and before you leave the building. Major ripoff as far as I am concerned.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 1:24PM
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I think Direct Buy would do such a service to themselves if they were upfront about what both their pros AND their cons were. We're building a home right now. Our DirectBuy membership cost $3000. We have already more than made up for the initial costs on just plumbing supplies, lighting, and appliances. I am also planning on purchasing window treatments, cabinet hardware and furniture from them down the road. I am definitely saving tons of money. What they don't emphasize at the sales pitch is that you will have to invest TONS of time in order to get the savings. It's not like there's a salesman who's helpfully guiding you through the process. You go there and there's a bunch of binders with catalogs, and you have to cross reference the picture in the catalog, with the model number in another booklet in the binder which has the prices. Sometimes the Direct Buy price is there, and sometimes you have to do some math and multiply the MSRP by .55 or something to get the Direct Buy price. Then there's freight, which is usually no more than a certain percentage. There's typically a 8% handling fee, but it's completely waived if you use a check instead of credit card. And then you have to fill out all the order forms by yourself. Sometimes the manufacturer will deliver to your house, or else just to the DB warehouse, where you have to find a way to get it to your house yourself.

I have loved using Direct Buy. I'm a bit of a control freak, and having access to the complete catalog line, rather than just what's in a particular store is great for a person like me who likes knowing all my options. It takes a ton of time, but all of my kids are in school now, so I have the time and inclination to do it. Direct Buy also has local partners, which is the best of both worlds. You don't get as low prices as using DB yourself, but showing your card makes the salesman at the local store give you a better price than anyone else walking off the street. We used a local partner for both our plumbing supplies and high end appliances, which has been great to be able to get some customer service and feedback on.

So no, I don't think Direct Buy is a rip off. But no, I don't think it's a no brainer either. The questions you should ask yourself are: are you planning on building or remodeling a house so you can get a return on your initial investment? Are you willing on investing the time and research to get the products you want for your home at a significant discount, but with no customer service to guide you along? If you answered yes to both, then you can consider Direct Buy. If you answered no to either, you will probably end up unhappy with it.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 1:54PM
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Let me make this clear for everyone. Direct Buy is nothing more than a scam. I got suckered into joining, and you do not save money. The membership is $5,000, and you are not going to save anywhere near that. Also, it is EXTREMELY difficult to buy anything. There are no samples to see; everything is in huge catalogs that YOU have to sift through for hours trying to find a product. Tell everyone you know to stay as far away from these liars as you can. That is my only advice.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 10:49PM
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my sister got beat for 5,000. membership which "expired" before she bought anything. I think you have to be nuts to join after reading what's been posted all over the web about this company. I can't believe what they do is even legal. There are NO free lunches and when a deal seems too good to be true it usually is.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 6:37PM
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My sister paid $6K for memebership. Boy did they see her coming. She has not purchased a thing!

I needed to replace my entire kitchen appliances so she told me I could use her membership. The short story is that Sears had better deals in most of the items that they carried! Also, Direct Buy is limited to readily available brands -- no high end stuff.

Save your money and go directly to NC to buy furniture. IMHO.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 5:03PM
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I served overseas buyer since 2000 at worldwide range, direct from Indonesia, all teak hand made furniture and the handicraft also. You could use my service (I got great references for what I have done on this site).
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    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 1:41PM
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We purchased our membership and only used it on a small purchase, we did renew and since then have remodled our bathroom and save more than membership costs. You have to shop the website and look at several brands (service fee and delivery vary greatly from brand to brand. We got such great prices on the cabinets we decided to change the cabinet and counter in our 2nd bathroom.
As for customer service I have no complaints, every one at my local branch were very helpful ( I work for a 1st class hotel chain and know customer service)We even received 2 refund checks as the price for the tile we ordered was actually less then the original price quoted and paid.
However if you are not planning on a major purchase in the very soon then wait to join.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 11:31AM
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My friend and her husband joined Direct Buy and it was very expensive. She ended up getting the same kitchen faucet from Direct Buy that I had and mine was cheaper buying it online. She also said that they would spend hours going through catalogs making list of items they wanted to order and when they were ready to place their order, half of their list had been discontiued.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 11:32AM
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From the Connecticut Post, May 18,2011:
A Connecticut federal judge has rejected as "meager" the proposed settlement of a nationwide, class-action lawsuit against DirectBuy Inc. for fraudulent pricing practices.

"The court cannot conclude that this settlement falls within the range of reasonableness," U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall said yesterday in a written opinion.

Judge Hall explained her decision by noting that the proposed settlement called for DirectBuy to provide free memberships worth some $3,000 each to approximately 800,000 class members.

"The best possible recovery...may amount to well over $2 billion," Judge Hall wrote. "In light of this best possible recovery, the Settlement Agreement -- which the court has calculated as being worth, at most, between $15 million and $27 million -- appears quite small."

In late April, the attorneys general of 27 states, as well as those from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, objected to the proposed settlement, arguing in a 36-page amicus curiae brief that it "offers no real benefits to consumers.

"The proposed settlement is, in essence, a sales vehicle for defendants designed to drive current and former customers into membership renewal contracts and to the same manufacturers and suppliers from whom defendants have acknowledged receiving kickbacks and incentives," the brief stated.

DirectBuy promotes itself as an insider's buyers' club where members can purchase brand-name goods directly from manufacturers at wholesale prices. In addition to annual fees, members pay anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 to join the privately held company's "clubs."

The 2009 lawsuit (Wilson et al v. DirectBuy, Inc., et al) accused the Indiana-based company of fraudulent misrepresentation, alleging it received tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks and incentives from suppliers and manufacturers, inflating the cost of its goods well above the advertised wholesale prices. The lawsuit accused DirectBuy of failing to disclose this arrangement to customers until early 2009.

DirectBuy spokesman Mike Georgeff told Consumer Ally in April the company was confident
Judge Hall would approve the settlement. While yesterday's decision was disappointing, he said it wasn't completely unexpected.

"We were disappointed to learn of Judge Hall's decision, but not entirely surprised given the great deal of publicity that has surrounded this case," Georgeff told Consumer Ally.

"We were hopeful for a quick resolution to this matter which would have ultimately benefited class members. While we disagree with the decision, we look forward to successful closure of the matters at hand, and will continue to work with the attorneys general of any state to ensure we remain compliant with all state consumer protection laws," he added.
The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, which represented a class member who objected to the terms of the proposed settlement, applauded Judge Hall's decision.

Had the proposed settlement stood, the group said a statement, more than 836,000 class members would have been forced to relinquished "a broad set of claims" against the company in exchange for extended DirectBuy memberships.

"We are pleased that the judge agreed with our argument that the proposed settlement was essentially a coupon of little or no value to the class," Michael Kirkpatrick, the Public Citizen attorney representing one of the objecting class members, said in a statement. "Absent class members should not have valuable claims released in exchange for so little."

Public Citizen also cited other class-action suits against the company, which alleged a number of abuses, including high-pressure sales tactics to pressure consumers into spending thousands of dollars on DirectBuy memberships, as well as prices that often result in little or no savings compared to traditional or online retailers.

"Within the last several years, a number of lawsuits have been filed in addition to this one, accusing DirectBuy of misrepresentation, fraud, and coercion, " Judge Hall noted in her decision. Consumer Ally wrote about several of the lawsuits in an October 2010 feature on the company.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:34PM
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We have been members for over 5 years and while I was doubtful at first, I'm now very thankful we joined. I tend to comparison shop as much as possible - stores and internet and DB - before making my final decision. DB does not always win the comparisons (especially for appliances, but they told us that up front), but most often they do have the best price. We have ordered a considerable amount from them and have saved thousands and thousands of dollars. BUT I also have to add that we have used DB while building both a cabin and a house. Clearly we were making a lot of purchases - such as kitchen cabinets and rooms of furniture - that we would not normally make. Quantity alone makes the savings add up. I've also used more than one DB and find that, while certain vendors are standard for all, some DB locations are more aggressive in having local vendors give discounts. We are definitely happy with our membership and would join again.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:03PM
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i too am embarrassed to say i am a sucker of direct buy long beach, ca. i went to their open house sales pitch and was convinced that i would save a ton of money by joining as i was in escrow at the time on a vacation home, which my family and i planned to use and rent it out to other vacationers. at their open house they led me to believe that the shopping was an easy process that i could do online as i work 7 days a week. was told that they had a partner warehouse in the next town that would deliver right to the room in the house where ever i wanted. also said that i could make purchases for friends and family and have them shipped any where in the u.s. first off in my defence, let me say that i always do my homework before making purchases, but was told at the open house that its a onetime offer and i had to join now. if i left to think about it, i would no longer be able to join......i know red flag. isnt making someone sign a contract under duress illegal. any way realized right away that you cant shop online, if you want it shipped to another address (vacation home), my reason for joining. JOKE!!! most of us know that when we do any online shopping, we fill out a section for delivery address and a section for billing address. they have no such thing at direct buy. so in my case i only ordered two items because i didnt have time to go into their warehouse and shop in their catalogs. They are all a bunch of damn liars. when i went to order something, i asked who had the fastest turn around time for shipping and delivery, and went with the company that was recommended, which was still 3 to 5 weeks. 8 weeks later still no sign of the bed. kept telling me its been shipped. i work in the transportation business and know that they were all lying. funny thing is, it seems during that time companies have all changed... or i was lied to all along. zippity zip their delivery warehouse in palm desert, is now excel in ontario. so instead of the warehouse being in the next town, its 100 miles away and only delivers out there on thursdays, my busiest day at work. had they not lied to me, i never would have made the purchase. i am so over the top angry with these people, as i see alot of other people are too, im surprised people havent gone postal on them. so i am now going into the 5th month since i ordered the bed, i still do not have it. they tell me that they are now gonna deliver it to their corona store for me to pick up. im a woman in my 50's with no access to a truck.......OR I WOULD HAVE PICKED IT UP 3 MONTHS AGO. SUCH IDIOTS!!! i told them i didnt want it before it even arrived after 8 weeks and they told me that there are no curtesey refunds. so the bottom line is when my pregnant daughter and her husband go out to the house, they have to sleep on a mattress on the floor. plus direct buy has cost me thousands in lost rents. AND thats not to mention the $5,000.00 membership fee. Run as fast as you can and dont look back.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:35PM
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I just found out that DB is franchised. So each store is owned by a unique person(s). The one in my city closed due to unpaid taxes. This was in our local news. Never did get in to see one or join.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 7:32AM
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We joined when doing renovations in 2002. We saved our initiation fees on plumbing fixtures alone. We bought those, furniture, mirage wood floors, granite, tile, karastan oriental style rugs, wall to wall carpets, etc. We saved money but it was a lot of work researching. I resent the yearly fees as we don't use it very often now, but I have kept it up.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:13AM
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