runner1_gw

Anyone used Direct Buy?

Runner1
November 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.

Thoughts?

Comments (92)

  • remodelzombie

    I am doing a major remodel. Haven't lived in my house for two years and probably have another year to go....maybe more.....joined Direct Buy 1 1/2 years ago, they are a fierce PAIN, but if you have the time, patience and energy...you CAN save $$$.

    Contractor's don't like the whole Direct Buy scenario...they want to purchase the stuff and add their take....also, it takes too long to receive your product...sometimes 2-3 months...so you really have to plan ahead or be very patient realizing it's going to slow down your project.

    If you have a contractor that will let you buy through Direct Buy and is taking 15 or 20% off of what you purchase at direct buy....plus direct buy adds their 8%...so depends on what you are purchasing (what discount you receive), I've found some things may not be worth it....I've made a deal with my contractor on this.

    Direct Buy is not easy to deal with and generally speaking, the DB workers don't know anything about the products because they have ALOT of products and manufacturers...from low end to very high end. They tell you not to bug the manufacturer...right....I've called just about every manufacturer I've bought from. You do ALL the legwork and research. You search elsewhere for what you want, ask all the questions and then go to Direct Buy to purchase. Sometimes I feel bad because I know I'm not going to purchase from these stores with walls...but the savings has been worth it.
    I bought Pella windows and saved a ton...my discount was less than contractor's pricing. I bought Greentree Exterior Walnut Doors and saved money. I bought 4 fireplaces from Napoleon, Lennox and Majestic and really saved! I'm buying my outdoor/interior lighting, kitchen/bath cabinets, plumbing supplies etc through direct buy. Appliances aren't worth buying there.

    I could have bought my CertainTeed Cement siding through DB, but they were too much of a pain to deal with...

  • remodelzombie

    Ah, just read a few of these other postings as well....not only do Contractor's hate clients to use DB, but also Interior Designer's....they can't get their cut.

    Untrue about kitchen design also...I've worked hours with a fabulous DB kitchen designer...and I worked with a couple of other kitchen designers previously and had a few quotes done..... so I feel that I know what I'm talking about there, however, I haven't ordered the kitchen cabinets yet, so the jury is out....

  • Related Discussions

    Has anyone ordered flooring from Build Direct? Are they reputable?

    Q

    Comments (17)
    NO BUILDDIRECT IS NOT REPUTABLE. I purchased over $10,000 worth of their wood flooring which delaminated (plies came apart). A certified wood flooring inspector (also certified as an expert witness in the NV state court system) wrote in his written report that the delamination was caused by, and I quote from the report, "manufacturing responsibility." BuildDirect refused to honor their 25 yr structural warranty. I attempted to sue BuildDirect and learned that their Terms of Use WAIVES the consumers right to sue them in small claims court. Additionally BuildDirect hides behind legal roadblocks that REQUIRES that consumers use an arbitration firm the BUILDDIRECT chooses (you think they can be unbiased when Builddirect pays their bills?). Additionally, you MUST TRAVEL TO CANADA to participate in the biased arbitration process. Lastly their wood flooring warranty is a SCAM since it requires the consumer to maintain their home at 35-55% humidity at all times. Guess what? Virtually no home in the United States can maintain this requirement at all times. Don't believe me? Please google the humidity levels in your city during the day, night and different seasons (site like Cityratings.com). You will find there is NOT A SINGLE CITY IN THE US that will not deviate from the requirements to maintain the warranty. BUILDDIRECTS WARRANTY IS A SCAM!!!! Do yourself a favor, avoid a nightmare like I have experienced, and buy from an American company that can be held to U.S. consumer protection laws. The photos shows some of the $10,000 worth of defective BuildDirect flooring that had to be ripped out and replaced with another manufacturer's flooring product. Total cost of project to rip out and reinstall flooring was about $50,000 when the original project was budgeted at $17,000.
    ...See More

    Anyone use US appliance to buy any appliances??

    Q

    Comments (1)
    Google their name with the word "reviews" behind it. Good prices are one thing but good customer service makes all the difference when things go wrong.
    ...See More

    Anyone know where I can buy this light fixture?

    Q

    Comments (2)
    I think the most updated and versatile is cheaper and more style, than lusting over one you can't afford https://www.circalighting.com/index.php/darlana-mini-lantern-chc2175/?gclid=CJm8843p7NMCFdG3wAodoCwCmQ
    ...See More

    Anyone buy a gas fireplace for a new room addition online?

    Q

    Comments (7)
    Have you talked to your builder about this? Often the builder gets a contractors price and will pass that onto the homeowner, too. And often the builder doesn't like to outsource as they are giving you a warranty on the house and if you have an issue with a product not from one of their sources they don't want to be chasing it down to get it fixed. I've known builders to not offer a warranty on the house if the homeowner strays from their sources. Just make sure your builder is on the same page. If he is like most builders and you start wanting to outsource stuff, he isn't going to be happy for many reasons.
    ...See More
  • gt78

    They sent me a tour pass and I felt suspicious when it was required that both husband and wife must go to the appointment together. Huh? What if I'm single? I just called and the sales rep kept cutting in and asking me to hold. Taking my business elsewhere.

  • mlopezcarib

    I visited today DirectBuy in Orlando with my wife... It was so funny to really see face-to-face how these morons (Brian and Jake) were trying to rip me and my wife off. The minute I started to go "in depht" with questions about their DB membership levels, the brands/manufacturers available to members,and to inquire about the real prices of many things I had in mind and for which I had good information and made good research about, they closed their books and told us that apparently DB was not good for us. Brian & Jake, thanks for the favor of escorting us out of DB... I can use those $5,000.00 you wanted to get from me for a stupid membership in many other good stuff at great prices, specially now thanks to the how the U.S. economy is at the moment. Don't even visit them.....it may be a legal business, but definitely an un-ethical one. As many above already mentioned RUN LIKE HELL AWAY FROM THEM!!!

  • shipshape

    I haven't joined or considered joining DB. I got great prices on everything I bought for a kitchen remodel by using the Internet, waiting for sales at HD and Lowe's, and doing a lot of price comparison.
    The thing that amazed me the most was how I could get major appliances at below retail prices, with no tax and FREE shipping to my door using the online appliance retailers like AJ Madison and USAppliance, even Amazon.com.

    It seems like DirectBuy is pushing a membership/snob appeal to people who have too much money. I'd rather pay high markup to a kitchen designer or contractor who works for me than join a membership buying club like DB. Just my opinion.

  • brickeyee

    "no tax "

    You're state does not have a 'use tax'?

    Almost all of them do for items purchased out of state that have not already had a sales tax applied.

  • tool_fool

    "I could have bought my CertainTeed Cement siding through DB, but they were too much of a pain to deal with..."

    I have a friend who asked me to go with him to his DB open-house and I agreed. He had the foresight to call them and advise them that he was bringing me. I am married and we have twins that are a year old. They told him that I MIGHT be able to attend with him IF I called and asked 1st but no children were allowed. I could understand a policy of 1 child per adult PLEASE. But NO KIDS?! Screw them. I'll spend my $ someplace where my family isn't such a liability. He called me last night to tell me how it went and to offer me to buy into his membership. He had to buy it because if you leave, you can't return for "7 years". Wow. No pressure. When I asked how much it cost to join his words were, "Are you sitting down?" $6,000 for 2 years then the annual fees after that. He's going to cancel it within 3 days unless I want to split it with him. They are too much of a pain to use to purchase an item as large and as expensive as siding? And this from the only good review they got here? AND my family isn't welcome? No thanks.

  • Ayusufov_gmail_com

    I was willing to give DirectBuy a shot. I've read the reviews but figured everyone has some bad luck with things. We have two kids and my wife stays home with them when we can't get a babysitter. Interestingly enough, DirectBuy must be doing so well financially that they can afford to tell me that they are canceling my appointment because my wife cannot come to the showroom with me for the open house visit. First time in my life I've been turned away for such a dumb reason. It wouldn't be much trouble to reschedule and find a sitter for another time but won't even think about it because they were so incredibly rude and ridiculous. Stay away. Sure as heck I will.

  • steve_o

    DirectBuy must be doing so well financially that they can afford to tell me that they are canceling my appointment because my wife cannot come to the showroom with me for the open house visit.

    Allen, DB is trying to avoid a couple playing "good cop/bad cop" -- they want you both there so you either agree or walk away, but they don't face the "gee, it sounds good, but I gotta ask my wife/husband" objection or stall.

    The whole thing just reeks of hard sell. I need no part of it.

  • mom9908_gmail_com

    I wish I had read these comments befor I got sucked in to sign up.
    After coming home I looked at everything carefully and decided to cancel. Naturally they had not provided me with cancellation slip. I had to drive 20 miles again to get , sign and personally hand it over.
    I was told that I will get the money back within 10 days, Now it is almost a month and there is no sign of refund.

    Customer service stinks, nobody is willing to talk, salespeople are busy selling and I am told that only bookkeeper can handle this so keep calling till we find her.
    If I can not get a decent answer this week, I will be sure to pay another visit and let all 'prospective clients' know the truth about them. Next step will be going on facebook and BBB.
    DO NOT GET IN THEIR TRAP AND WASTE YOUR MONEY.

  • Dubaday

    Did my homework before our appointment. Asked to see and was shown cabinet insert catalog. Joined that night, remodeled kitchen 7 months later, saved over $10,000 JUST on my cabinets. Savings does not include flooring, paint, quartz countertops, ALL new appliances (compared to retailer we have used for the past 20 years, saved $1200 just on appliances), cabinet hardware, light fixtures. YOU HAVE TO BE EDUCATED ON WHAT YOU ARE BUYING. Do your homwework. I have consistantly found a savings of 50% to 60% or more over any online or local retailer. Maybe some of the owners are unethical. The DB we work with have been fabulous. For example, whenever I had a question or concern about my cabinet planning or order, my "cabinet Guru" as I call him either called me with the answer or responded by email within 1 business day. When my cabinets were installed, there weree a few quality control issues. I called then emailed pictures of the issues to my "Guru" and within 1 week the cabinet manufacturer's customer service rep was at my house checking the problems and ALL of the issues were resolved within 2 weeks. I have had nothing but exceptional service from the North Seattle DB staff, from the owners to the warehouse workers. You have to read the catalogs and information on delivery times and charges and PLAN ACCORDINGLY. Overall we saved about $25,000 on our kitchen remodel. Now planning the master bath!

  • brickeyee

    All anyone ever hears about Direct Buy is anecdotes of huge savings.

    Neither the 'savers' nor direct buy ever documents for examination their 'great deals.'

    The high pressure 'join now or forever be restricted' reeks so badly of huckster that I simply walked out (regretfully I could not get back my 1.5 hours of waster time).

    If DB was such a great deal they would be freely and publicly documenting the great savings, and not demanding outrageous fees up front.

  • OttawaGardener

    Hmm, Dubaday registered the same day as his post, above. I've never heard anything good about Direct Buy - my brother got caught in it, and ALL his comparison shopping showed that DB charges more and has less selection. My brother saved by NOT dealing with DB even though he'd paid the fee.

  • Dubaday

    ottawavalleygardener, Dubaday is a she, and I posted the same day as I registered as I was looking for other information on here regarding an idea I have about my masterbath remodel and saw the derogatory comments about some peoples Direct Buy experience. As you can read from my earlier post, I have had nothing but good experiences with them. So you want some info on prices?? OK, the exact same drawer pulls and knobs I put in my kitchen were 50% less through DB as they were at Home Depot or Lowes. Yes, this included tax AND shipping. The flooring (materials AND contractor installed) again saved me 50% over my local flooring store. All I have to do is DO MY RESEARCH on what I want, prices and then go to DB, look up the item in the catalog and KNOW that even with the sales tax and shipping I will probably still save money. Maybe not every single time, but 90% I will. Say all you want, but I am very happy with DB and have told many prospective customers in the showroom this when I have been there looking up and ordering merchandise that very thing! If you are not afraid to do the research yourself and know what you are really getting, then don't go the Direct Buy route.

  • OttawaGardener

    OK, I apologize for my mistake (we often get spammers in Gardenweb who register, then immediately promote a specific product or company).

    However, my brother definitely found DB limiting in what they could sell him, and they were more expensive for all the products he wanted for his major renovation.

    Can you provide some details about what you bought that saved you $?

  • Dubaday

    ottawavalleygardener,
    I cannot give you specific dollar for dollar details as this would put my DB membership in jeopardy. What I can and will tell you is what I saved when you compare EXACTLY item for item. Here goes:

    Solid wood Hickory Cabinets, includes "super Pantry" swing out storage unit in the tall floor cabinet, BOTTOM roller (not the crappy side mount ones that always break) base cabinet pull-out shelves, crown molding, end pieces. Saved $15,000 over the EXACT same thing retail through Lowes.

    Appliances: All Kitchen Aid brushed stainless steel finish: Convection Microwave/convection oven, 5 burner cooktop with downdraft ventilation, dishwasher and side by side refrigerator. The exact same setup from a local vendor we have previously outfitted 2 kitchens and 2 laundry rooms through would have cost us an additional $2563. Plus we still qualified and received the Mfg's rebates which put an additional $500 in our pocket!

    Quartz Countertops- saved $2500.

    Flooring actually saved us $625. I think I overestimated the savings earlier, but these other numbers should prove my point.

    We also saved $250 on lighting, several hundred on paint. From my notebook I used during the kitchen remodel project I found a list that I quoted from here and it shows a bit over $21,000 in savings over the exact same items at the best sale prices I could find retail. So was our iniitial $5,000 investement worth it??? You bet! My kitchen went from drab 1980's "euro" style to warm and comfy! I spend 80% of my time there on days off nd weekends and now I LOVE being in the kitchen. I could email you a few before and after shots if you are curious. Thanks.

  • brickeyee

    "I cannot give you specific dollar for dollar details as this would put my DB membership in jeopardy."

    This being a part of their grand 'marketing plan' to prevent actual comparisons.

  • clg7067

    I was a member back in the 70's when it was call UCC, United Consumers Club. I stuck it out for about 5 years, but I doubt if I ever made back my membership fee. If you shop around you can match those prices there. Though, I don't count since it was about 30 years ago. ;)

  • Dubaday

    Brickeyee,
    What I am saying, as I did several times already, is that if you KNOW you are going to be doing a specific project and want to see what kind of savings you are actually talking about then have some items you are going to be putting into your home priced out BEFORE you go to the showroom for your first visit. I did and when I asked to see what the difference was between the best price I could find locally AND on the internet for several items I was shown the catalogs and saw for myself what the savings would be (typically at least 40% even with shipping and taxes). If you are happy to spend hours and hours and gallons of gas to "find the best price" on something, I won't think less of you. I just feel that my time and gas are better spent driving to my showroom, going to the catalogs and selecting the items for my home and KNOWING I cannot match this savings elsewhere. I started at DB with a big project. I recouped my membership fee 4 TIMES OVER. I have the kitchen of my dreams and soon the master bathroom too. I cannot go into a Lowes, for example, and say "Hey, I can get this for 50% less than your price because I am a Direct Buy member. So what can you do for me?". That is what they do not want you to do. It doesn't take long when you are pricing things out to see that yea, I might be able to get Hickory cabinets cheaper, BUT are they solid wood plywood boxes, soft close, undermount rollers and with a super-pantry swing-out shelf unit? And what if there is a defect in a cabinet? Will the big box store come out and replace your cabinet part free?? Probably not. My quartz countertops are 1 1/4 inch thick slab. Because of DB I was able to get quartz and not have to "settle" for thinner stone or worse yet, stone-looking laminate. To join or not is a persons choice. Again, one MUST EDUCATE THEMSELVES BEFORE GOING INTO THIER INFORMATIONAL MEETING SO THEY ARE PREPARED TO DETERMINE IF IT IS RIGHT FOR THEM OR NOT. I don't make snotty comments about the crappy service at Lowes or Home Depot, do I? I am at a point in my life where age and education mean something and if I choose to do something others disagree with, too bad.

  • brickeyee

    DB does not carry a lot of higher end stuff.

    The cap they pull about look and buy or forever be banned is a hard sell marketing gimmick to hide the fact they are NOT actually all that effective.

    When I wasted most of Saturday morning listening to their spiel they could not believe I was already getting better prices than they could offer.

    Shop around carefully and it is not all that hard to beat them, let alone with the trade discounts I can get.

    The mere fact that they try to hide the prices says a lot about them.

    Anyone providing as genuine deal would advertise to the hilt.

  • OttawaGardener

    I shopped around for my new Quartz countertop and ended up dealing with Lowes... Dubaday, you must have a very big kitchen to save $2,500! My 36 square feet cost me just under $3,000 (+ taxes - and bear in mind that this is in Canada where we always pay more). This is for a name brand quartz (can't remember the name) that is 3cm throughout (same as yours) and included a nice sink and installation.

    Can you at least give the price per square foot, installed, so we can compare?

  • Dubaday

    Sorry Folks, I am dopne chasing my tail. I do not need to justify to anyone why my hubby and I chose to go the DB route. All I know is I am happy with their products, service and selections as well as the outside services I am able to use at a significant discount. I figured my saviongs info would quiet the yammering about rip offs and such but I was wrong. Oh well......off to plan my master bath remodel. Have fun

  • brickeyee

    "I figured my saviongs info would quiet the yammering about rip offs and such but I was wrong.

    Without actual exact model numbers to compare it is just an anecdote with no real data to back it up.

    Post model numbers and actual costs, including shipping and the DB fee to accept the delivery and you might have a case.

    Without hard numbers it is all BS.

    Glad you think you saved money, but you have yet to show anything.

  • sjterry_earthlink_net

    I wish we would have known about this website before purchasing a $5,000.00 membership. Things to think about:
    1. You pay for shipping and handling.
    2. You must assemble everything
    3. Takes a great deal of time, work, and energy to order
    anything from Direct Buy.
    4. Staff is not very helpful when you go into the stores
    or at least the stores in Florida.
    5. Always check with Direct Buy before ordering anything
    because the vendors often do not post the correct size
    an example: We ordered two $350.00 counter height bar
    stools from AICO which stated 26" seat heighth and the
    total heighth from bottom to top of back was 53". When
    they arrived with the leather seat it was actually 32".
    We are stuck with two very nice bar stools which cost
    us around $750.00 total that we can't use now. On-line
    AICO has the stool listed under 26" bar stools.
    Because their description says 53" total heighth they
    will not take the product back and we are out the money
    and now have two bar stools that will need to be stored
    or resold..... That was not our first experience.
    We bought the membership to remodel our home. Roof,
    guttering, and resurface and tile swimming pool. Not
    one item from that remodel could be purchased at Direct
    Buy. Guttering - no one to do the labor and others
    were not familiar with product vendor. Roofing - same
    situation. So, now pool well, every tile and product
    we chose would either be discontinued, out of stock,
    or would take eight to twelve weeks to deliver. That
    made it hard to contract with a person and impossible
    to get the pool ready by the time the season arrived.

    I seriously do not think Direct Buy is in business to
    help consumers. It seems to be a $5,000. fee for
    a catalog on-line. Don't expect to receive any help,
    return an item, or receive anything in less than two
    months.

    To this date, a year after purchasing a $5,000.00
    membership, we have yet to receive anything and are
    still waiting for a positive experience.

    Next, is kitchen and two bathroom remodels. We will
    try once again and I will keep you posted.

    In the meantime, if anyone knows a lawyer willing to
    take on Class Action Suit against Direct Buy my wife
    and I would be the first to sign up.

    RUNNNNNNNNNN as fast as you can. Trust me they are
    not going to give away a kitchen remodel, so don't
    even darken their doors.

  • OttawaGardener

    My brother now adds his own comments:

    "I am glad you are passing on the word. It would be nice to limit the number of people who are sucked in by them. Their biggest thing is that they tell the truth (that they get discounted prices), but not all the truth (that you can't get many models or companies, that prices are based on one-off purchasing numbers or whatever, that results in their prices being higher, that there is an admin fee, shipping, and brokerage, and that they are shipped to their warehouse, etc)."

  • CEFreeman

    Is that what they charge these days? We joined in November of '05 planning to renovate, and then had a house fire December 3rd. I have no idea what we paid. It's all kind of a blur.

    But between 27 Norcroft cabinets that averaged out to be $139 or so a cabinet, 2800 sq of flooring, Kohler sinks, toilets and faucets, Cifial faucets, all the tile for our MBR & full tiled MB & mud room, cork floring for the kitchen? Our matresses, pillows and beds?

    We saved zillions over the retail costs. I'm grateful for the timing of our membership.

    I can tell you that if you do your own due diligence on the products you're interested in, get the item numbers, ck their website (now that sucks) to make certain they carry the manufacturer? You're going to come out ahead. You can decide whether or not it's worth it to you to pay the handling fee.

    The people in our location change more quickly than a hair salon. They seem to pay lint and often get people of that ilk. There are some good people, who actually know how to read & help answer questions, but not too often. But it's a franchise and the one variable cost is payroll. I expected to be on my own because I'm a control freak. This didn't bother me until someone hadn't been "trained" on how to use the system. Thank goodness ours has internet access there in the store.

    We joined for the discounts on things and brands we wanted, and that's what we've used and received. Who cares about anything else?
    And why?

    If you don't like what's on TV change the channel.
    No one forces anyone to join anything and if you're the one who didn't do your (again) due diligence?
    [snort]

  • lxsusan_hotmail_com

    Let me throw in my two cents - after a six-figure renovation, I guess I've earned the right to counter the arguments made by the "high-end" shopper who posted his $6000 DB savings on this forum.

    1. I personally have broken-even, but not without inconvenience, stress and dissatisfaction. I wasn't able to find many things I needed to buy: for example, Pella windows were available only through an affiliated dealer, whose quotes came in 20% higher than Lowes for comparable items (yes, I did speak to a NYC-based Pella dealer, who confirmed that the Pella wooden sliders at Lowes came from the same Pella factory that he ordered from). They do not carry Anderson - the DB sales person lied about that when we joined.
    2. The Boston South location is supposedly one of the better stores in the franchise, but I'd warn you against the vendors and contractors they recommend. Just fishy - we've had poor experiences (disastrous with the floor contractor, whom they defended vigorously. Just seem shady business somehow) and practically no recourse.
    3. $5500 to join, 8% handling fees and 6-12 weeks of lead time; no return policy; you have to buy items unseen.

    When people mention their savings, be careful about the reference price. Thousands of dollars of savings can be based on MSRP, which practically no one pays these days. If you're savvy, you'd shop online, visit Costco, buy through contractors / designers. You'd be better off and save yourself much hassle.

  • brickeyee

    "We saved zillions over the retail costs."

    You likely would have saved the same amount by shopping around without paying DB a penny.

  • GeneBaker39_yahoo_com

    This post deals with Direct Buy, but someone on this page mentioned ordering cabinets & cash back rewards from dynamicshops.com ...I went to the website to check it out, but instead of getting to a company that sells cabinets it is advertising a casino & bingo with a 40% referral bonus ...I thought the subject was supposed to be feedback about Direct Buy & their underhanded methods, not someone advertising a casino/bingo ...
    Getting back to Direct Buy, I had a reservation but something did not ring true when they would not tell me how much is membership, nor tell me a price range of a Queen Sized Bed that I wanted nor if they deliver so I checked things out & read some horror stories & have cancelled my reservation with them ...

  • lv7310

    So, I will tell you all anything you want to know. Give me an item and I will tell you exactly any cost online that DB is offering it for.

    I was interested in purchasing a washing machine and priced it

    5.0 Cu. Ft. Maxima� Front-Load Washer
    Model: MHW6000X

    I was able to find it online w/ free shipping for under $800 through several vendors.

    DB is offering it at

    Subtotal $831.00
    Shipping & Handling $24.93
    Tax $59.92
    Total $915.85
    Pricing shown is the total delivered cost with all applicable shipping, handling, fees, and taxes calculated. If you have questions about any of the charges listed above, please contact your local club.

    Hmmmm. Let me know if anyone else out there is wanting a true DB price.

  • brickeyee

    "I was able to find it online w/ free shipping for under $800 through several vendors. "

    Try getting off you chair and actually doing some shopping at some appliance dealer.

    So much for 'great savings.'

    What about removal and disposal of your old unit?

    Installation?

    Leveling?

    I can call my usual appliance dealer and have the thing delivered, hooked up and running in 24 hours (I use them for my rental properties also).

  • lv7310

    WOW. Were you trying to slam me?

    I was trying to convey that DB was NOT a good deal. I was comparing apples to apples in that I could order a certain product through either DB or another online vendor.

    DB does not offer installation/leveling/disposal. I am not trying to persuade anyone to buy an appliance online as opposed to buying locally. Just giving some honest answers to any curious crowds.

    Maybe you should re-read my post.

  • johnamh_live_com

    The one thing that jumped at me was that this tread of comments goes back 5 years in time and pretty much all postings sound the same. It sucks. would not 5 years of bad reviews compell to anyone that maybe this DB deal is not such a good idea??

    See, after they warned me I could not bring my son with me, I was upset and offended. I looked up some reviews and Voila... The scam is evident. If you need to spend 4,800 dollars to learn from experience rather than from advice, be my guest. I am walking away. Besides, these days everything is on sale everywhere. We just ordered Stainless Steel Samsung Appliances for our new house and spent 6k for washer, dryer, pedestals, stove, side-by-side door refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher from our local Sears... delivered in 72 hours, installed, and with a 5 yr warranty. Their original prices where over 9k. All we had to do was show the guy lower prices for the same items from lowe's and some other internet dealers and they honored them. Some research and the whole thing became a one stop deal. Not only that but the dryer had some minor deffects my wife did not like and they replaced for a new one, within a week, no questions asked and for free... I have yet to see any experiences like that posted here from the "high end buyers" that shop at direct buy... 5k just to limit your choices, stress about Customer Service and logistics, and make ur life miserable?? No thanks, Not for me...

  • brickeyee

    "Some research and the whole thing became a one stop deal."

    When you make a large purchade over multiple manufacturers many appliance sotres can get very good deals.

    While they may not be allowed to lower prices on some brands (a condition of being a dealer and getting access) they can deal on other parts of their line.

    I have gotten some items for the dealers cost (And even slightly lower) with a large order (over $10,000 with a couple high end items that could not be discounted).

    The dealer still made money on the overall price of everything, did not violate their sales agreement, and I got a couple things for VERY good prices.

  • skc_llc_comcast_net

    My husband and I joined last year because we did do the research regarding costs for the various home projects we were considering. The upfront fee for DB is kind of steep, however, the savings are very, very significant if you have remodeling projects or large purchases (furniture, pool tables,high end appliances, etc. -- not toasters and TVs). We broke even (for the membership fee) and saved a lot on the granite counters, cabinets and under-counter LED lighting in our first project and have saved money on several other purchases. Here's the deal: it's a wholesale club where you have to place orders and wait for your products to be delivered -- nothing is off-the-shelf, so if you want instant gratification and limited choice -- go to Home Depot or another big box discount store. I love HD but I know I know their products range in quality and service can be hard to come by at times. At DB just like retail stores -- you can pay for shipping or pick up your items at DB. The people at our local DB Denver franchise are really nice and very helpful -- however, you as the buyer do the research on the products as the DB folks are agnostic about what products you should or should not select. That said, the vendors they use for installation are topnotch and DB has a huge selection of really fine quality products -- don't expect to find the super cheap stuff you might at a big box store. Discounts vary depending on which vendor product you select based on the discount DB has been able to negotiate and this changes over time with volume purchases by members. This is a perfect solution for those who can't afford to or don't want to just use a turnkey remodeling contractor for your home or if you own rental property. I do think you have to be selective about which DB franchise you frequent as experiences can vary but our local DB has been in business for more than 25 years. The high pressure sales approach at the outset can be throttled back if you just stand your ground and tell them to give you the bottom line. They do let you tour the showroom so you get a sense of what's available. Make your own decision about whether you can afford the membership fee based on the scope of projects or purchases you have in mind.

  • brickeyee

    "the savings are very, very significant "

    No better than careful shopping around for the most part.

  • antss

    "I figured my saviongs info would quiet the yammering about rip offs and such but " [sic]

    They might have - but you didn't provide anything CONCRETE or MEASURABLE or VERIFIABLE ! You simple yammer on (as you put it) about how much you saved and when pressed played the oh I'm scared to lose my membership card like the DB gestapo is monitoring this forum looking for rule breakers. You can't or won't provide verifiable #'s on stuff to dispell the naysayers. This is classic deflection technique. If I (really) have the best product or lowest price I'd not be afraid to compare it to anyone else's. If I'm stuck in the middle, I then have to employ sales, advertising and branding techniques to PERSUADE people to part with their cash for my product and/or service. More often than not, sales weasels squirm and bristle when you try and engage them in a discussion on the merits or price of their product/service when theirs doesn't quite cut the mustard on it's own merits.

    "The people in our location change more quickly than a hair salon"

    That's a sign of a well run business for sure! For those who can't recognize a joke when they read it, that was one!

    Direct Buy - you do your employers or client a great job- carefully crafted responses AND a business solicitation wrapped up in it - slick. !.

    Keep in mind that you are violating the forum terms of service and need to stop linking commercial sites and services in your posts. Pay the advertising fees to GW!

    2. You did nothing to help or to explain why "We've noticed a lot of you have had some very opposing experiences " Is that because those people are actually correct and you guys actually do run a high pressure sales outfit - like health/fitness clubs or timeshare firms??? "How'd you like to drive a Cadillac? " for you movie buffs

    3. "However, because all of our brands also still work with retail stores, we have maintained business with them on the grounds that we keep their prices confidential, and ask that our members do the same. " This is pretty much BS- You get the same price as pretty much everyone else because you cannot guarantee manuf. huge sales numbers like Wal_Mart, Home Depot and Lowes can and do.

    4. "Also, many people don't expect to see the shipping, handling, ordering and other miscilaneous fees on pricetags at a retail store. Of course not. If you could see what the actual price of the item was, would you actually buy it? " Can you hear yourself on this one? This is EXACTLY WHY YOU WON"T publish your prices and why you backload and cloud the transaction - so people feel they are getting special prices but still have to pay what it costs for you to sell xyz widget. You guys are no better than many car dealers and their complicated order sheets. Wanna play four square ?

    5. "that are put in place to protect and ensure the quality of your order" can you explain EXACTLY how you guys are accomplishing this? Can you tell me how you are different or better in this than say AJ Madison for items you both carry?

    Thought not !

    6."They do not carry Anderson - the DB sales person lied"

    Care to comment on this practice? This is not the first time this charge has been leveled here, and it is a classic desperation move by inexperienced, and unscrupulous sales weasels. Who are selling a MEMBERSHIP right, not windows or tile or blenders?

    7. How is you no return policy better than Lowes or Home Depot's Do everyone a favor and don't even try to answer that!


    I think shelia is probably a DB troll -

  • BobFerret

    DB sounds like the $cientology of home improvement.
    I think ALL of the positive responses to DB are trolls.
    Why would you search for DB unless you wanted to see if they were really a good deal?
    If you were a member and happy with them you wouldn't be doing a search for them.
    Just my 2 cents.

  • my_side_job_adelphia_net

    WOW! Thanks so much for the heads up. My husband and I are getting ready to buy a foreclosure and thought this would help us save on the remodeling. However, we don't have extra money to waste and we definitely do not have $5K to give to a company that won't end up helping us anyway. We live over an hr from our local DB store so if they are not willing to ship to us that alone will cost a fortune! I'm so glad I checked this website...I just hope I won't get hounded on the phone like some of you have stated.

  • Tom_Wonder

    I knew I would be making some large purchases and attended the open house. The presentation was condescending, but I didn't mind if I could save money.

    I was told all of the same things other posts have said about the requirement that I decide that day and I was told they didn't have furnaces, water heaters and other items I needed to buy. I asked for the GE appliance book to check prices and I was told it was in use but they could check prices on any item for me in the computer. I had two model numbers and neither one came up so we decided to check for other models on the Lowe's, and Home Depot web sites. They were unable to find ANY of those model numbers either, although similar sized models were available through DB at roughly the same price as the price at the big box vendors.

    The discount on paint prices was not as good as the discount I already receive on the same brand of paint. I receive that discount because I have a couple of rental properties and qualify for a discount.

    Bottom line: If something is a good deal, it will be a good deal tomorrow. The company's reluctance to let me decide says everything about how they value their product. High pressure tactics are a huge red flag and I'm glad I did my homework and saved 5K.

    Finding this link justifies my decision. Thanks

  • jrp64golf_yahoo_com

    Direct buy is a total rip off. Don't bother with this place. Stay away!

  • clvransom

    I'm glad that I found and read this thread. I'm suppose to go to a local DB club this Friday to look into their free 30 day pass. I will be skipping that presentation/pass due to reading this thread.

  • Lordsknight

    we looked at DirectBuy and decided to go with a company called Team National. The prices were much better with no hassles and it was considerably less to join. Plus i can shop at Home Depot, Walmart, Sears and other great stores and get a check back for rebates...really cool. I can save a ton of money and make money...its a win-win... I can send you a link if you are interested in comparing... God bless!

  • Olychick

    can you buy SPAM through them?

  • robert021

    I am a member for 12 years.In the beginning they were Great
    They tell you a lot of things that they dont live up to.
    First they told me it is a one time membership fee,w an annual fee.Now they tell me they want another 6,000 renewal fee.Thats 800 a year to belong.Plus the 8 percent,Plus the freight,plus sales tax.Once they get your money it is impossible to get any help on purchases.My local club closed because of terrible service,now if I wanted to stay w them I would have to drive an hour just to get to their club.And give them another 6 Grand
    They're prices are ok NO guarantees.
    My opinion is STAY AWAY

  • Fain

    I am ashamed to say I got suckered in but I did. This place is a rip off. I am stuck for 24 months of payments and not one thing I can buy. Things that were represented were not the truth. I thought, after I realized it was not a good deal, that I would buy and sell on e-bay to pay off the contract. Only problem is that everything I could find at Direct Buy to sell on e-bay, I found I could buy it cheaper on e-bay. DO NOT SIGN UP WITH THIS OUTFIT!!!

  • TRL13

    So, I have read several of the posts and for some unknown reason felt compelled to leave my 5c worth of information.
    My wife and I joined direct buy in 2005, and we paid about $3000 for our membership. At first, I was afraid we had made a huge mistake, because the savings with our small purchases were not making up for the membership costs. $100 back then was a lot of money for us; $3000 was a fortune!
    In 2006, we bought a Condo and we re-did one of the bathrooms. Travertine and glass tile, granite countertop, 2 sinks (Kohler), 2 faucets (danze), 2 shower heads and 2 body sprays (Kohler), shower valves and diverters (Danze). I shopped online and found that prices for fixtures were about 40% cheaper at DB, and for granite countertops about 20% cheaper than local quotes. I figured we recouped about $1500 to $2000 that first project. Nevertheless, back then, I often would become frustrated because I would find products which were cheaper or really close to the prices at direct buy elsewhere.

    After the initial 3 years, we began paying $150 per year to keep our membership. We made several small purchases, which did not amount to a whole lot of savings.

    Things really changed in August 2011 when we bought a large foreclosed house, a total gut job. This is our dream home. Our new place has about 10K square feet, 5baths, 2 powder rooms, a sauna with a shower. We purchased through direct buy:
    - all plumbing fixtures (kohler, hansgrohe)
    - tile / marble (emser)
    - hardwood floors (indusparquet and homerwood - $7.80 for solid walnut floors vs $16 per sqf locally)
    - heated floors / heated towel bars (warmly yours / Amba
    - kitchen cabinets (Omega solid walnut)
    - vanities, laundry room cabinets (Brookwood)
    - bar cabinets (Ultracraft)
    - Fireplaces (Regency)
    - Sauna (Amerec)
    - Steam generator (Kohler)
    - appliances for a second kitchen and bar (kitchen aid, marvel, Perlick kegarator, summit)
    - all light fixtures, including trims for recessed lights, LED strips, exterior lights (eurofase, Eglo)
    Direct buy does not offer Thermador, which we bought for our kitchen from Nebraska Furniture Mart.

    Regarding costs? Our kitchen cabinets were 22K for solid walnut cabinets. 20K local quote for veneer doors; 23K for solid cherry local
    We used Kingston Peninsula 16x32 for 3.50 per sqf, vs $11.40 per sqf at wayfair / walmart, but I think you can find it for around $8 per sqf. Assuming $4 difference, in 5K sqf we saved about 20 grand.

    Now, let's say you shop online or somewhere else and you find a product cheaper than DB's price. It actually happened to me. I was looking at the Hansgrohe raindance imperial 600 ( retail $4500, cheapest online $2700). I actually found one at plumber surplus for $1600. I requested a price check at direct buy (sent internet link, showing lower price and item in stock, available for purchased). Direct buy lowered the price to $1150 (all fees included).

    Is direct buy perfect? Not by a long stretch.
    As other members pointed out, there is little support in terms of selecting or getting info about products. You have to do the leg work yourself, research products online, etcâ¦
    Not all manufacturers ship to home, but nowadays a large number of them do.
    Also, as pointed out earlier, items are not available off the shelf. This is a problem if you need something right away. Our washer broke, and we bought a new one from Lowesâ¦
    All and all, I think direct buy is a really good deal if you have a large project (even a total kitchen redo). It is a bad deal if you require a lot of assistance, are not willing to do the research on products yourself, cannot wait 1 month or more for shipment, and if you are not planning to buy a lot in the near future.
    I hope my experience helps...

  • SLN70

    I joined DirectBuy in 2013. I read up on it, talked to a friend who has a membership and basically did my research before I agreed to join. The day of my appointment, I brought information for a few items that I wanted to purchase with me to research. In most cases, I was able to locate the item at a discounted price in the DirectBuy books at that time.

    When I sat down with the DirectBuy representative, I told him what I was willing to pay for my 3-year membership and that is what I paid. I ended up paying about $3000 for my membership and since that time I have made my membership fee back (and then some) in discounts.

    To be frank, if you are a directbuy member and you find a better price for an item and you don't contact DirectBuy and let them know, you are missing out. They will match the price and mark down at least another 10%.

    Not everything DirectBuy sells is the same model or quality as those offered in appliance stores like Best Buy, Home Depot, etc. If you are looking for base model anything, then DirectBuy is probably not a good option for you. If you are not willing to go pick up the items you purchase, DirectBuy is probably not for you either.

    If you are planning on remodeling an area of your home, then DirectBuy may be a good option for you. It was a good option for me, but primarily for remodel projects.

    DirectBuy will not share membership pricing or DirectBuy pricing for merchandise unless you are a member. If you have a couple hours and you are interested in DirectBuy, just take the time to go listen... You can always say no and walk away, but like I said before, it is worth it for big projects :)

  • gkrichmar

    Hello, I bought my membership a few years ago at $4000. I bought quite a few things for my new house and did save significant amount of money doing that. However, I no longer need to purchase anything, so I would like to sell my membership for half of what I have paid for it. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED TO BUY DIRECT BUY MEMBERSHIP FOR $2K. My email address is yggems@yahoo.com.

  • HU-126572827

    I did a TON of research before I bit the bullet and paid their VERY high membership fee.

    After spending close to $20,000, I ended up receiving several e-mails from different people letting me know that this item or that item was no longer available and to make a different selection. I did, and 2 weeks later found out that item wasn’t available either. For other items, I was given a replacement option that was not even close to the same item. Several items that actually were available, were not in stock, so their estimated delivery was 3-4 months out.

    I placed my full order on May 21st-(bedroom sets, dining table and chairs, sofas and chairs, tables, washer and dryer, dressers, bunk beds, mattresses, etc) today, June 19th the only item I have received is the Washer and Dryer and no one has even contacted me to schedule delivery for any other item.

    I spoke with Drew from the escalations department; I wanted to cancel my remaining items that haven’t shipped, and get my membership refunded. She was completely unwilling to help or understand. She just kept saying "you're past your 30 days to cancel, and there is no one else you can talk to about it." Even though, I was not even notified until after 30 days that the items weren't available or they were delayed.

    She even said they couldn’t tell which items had shipped, and every manufacturer would have to be contacted separately.

    The worst part, I even asked the sales rep before I purchased my membership, if it would be possible to coordinate the delivery for all the items, and he said "he was sure they could, just use the concierge service". This was a LIE! I can't even get furniture items before 3 months, or items fulfilled that aren't discontinued. At this point, coordinated delivery was the least of my concerns, but that was flat out a lie. The sales guys will tell you anything to get you to buy.

    I even asked Drew in the escalations department; “would you really prefer I leave my negative experience on the review websites as opposed to just refunding the membership fee?”

    She said “I hope you wouldn’t do that, but you are past the 30 days so we will not be refunding your fee”.

    Don't fall victim like me. If you are looking to furnish a house, go to a local furniture store, pay a little extra, make a deal with them and get your house furnished in a timely manner; you will save yourself SOOOOOO much hassle, disappointment, stress, etc. Direct Buy savings is not worth your mental health through the process!









Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268