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Anyone a "Direct Buy" member?

dlpearson

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Concept sounds good. Does anyone belong to this warehouse club? Is it as good as the ads claim it is? How much is a membership? Can you really save that much (we're mainly looking at appliances--namely Kitchen Aid and/or Wolf, and bathroom air bubbler tub and fixtures, no furniture per se)?

Thanks,
David
 

Icarus

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You know what? It's been discussed several times here, and opinions vary on Direct Buy, from a complete ripoff (hard sell, as with timeshares) to the greatest thing since sliced bread. The regular search doesn't find anything for "Direct Buy", but the google search of tug does. On the archive page in the search results, use your browsers "find in this page" feature to find the "Direct Buy" topics.

http://tug2.net/googlesearchresults.html?cx=partner-pub-5638140788811827:ljt5pmjhar5&cof=FORID:9&ie=ISO-8859-1&q="Direct+Buy"&sa=Search#984

You might want to start with this thread: http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?p=396502

I'm not a member, but I'd have to wonder why they have to sell the concept via infomercials if it was actually such a great deal. Either way, your post is sure to restart the usual debate on Direct Buy.

Though even their supporters will tell you that the savings on appliances are not that great. Furniture, they claim, reaps the largest savings.

From the Consumer Reports blog on Direct Buy that Joan posted:

After the fee disclosure, we discovered that we had to sign up on the spot or never come back. We couldn’t bring DirectBuy’s “confidential” prices elsewhere to comparison shop, the representatives said, because this would likely anger retailers who might then retaliate against the manufacturers by refusing to sell their merchandise.
-David
 
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caribbeansun

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You have to spend a lot to break even. Appliances have the lowest markup along with electronics so it's unlikely you'll come out ahead with what you are mentioning below.

We bought washer, dryer, fridge, stove, microwave, warming drawer, gas cooktop, freezer, wine fridge, BBQ, complete bedroom suite, mattress, box spring, love seat and a couch. I figure we came out ahead by a small margin after paying the signup fee which DW insisted on. We are no longer members.

We found some smaller items were more expensive through Direct Buy due to their add-on costs like shipping and handling. TV's and electronics could be had for less elsewhere as well and I opted to purchase from others rather than DB.

Concept sounds good. Does anyone belong to this warehouse club? Is it as good as the ads claim it is? How much is a membership? Can you really save that much (we're mainly looking at appliances--namely Kitchen Aid and/or Wolf, and bathroom air bubbler tub and fixtures, no furniture per se)?

Thanks,
David
 

Icc5

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Found huge difference

You have to spend a lot to break even. Appliances have the lowest markup along with electronics so it's unlikely you'll come out ahead with what you are mentioning below.

We bought washer, dryer, fridge, stove, microwave, warming drawer, gas cooktop, freezer, wine fridge, BBQ, complete bedroom suite, mattress, box spring, love seat and a couch. I figure we came out ahead by a small margin after paying the signup fee which DW insisted on. We are no longer members.

We found some smaller items were more expensive through Direct Buy due to their add-on costs like shipping and handling. TV's and electronics could be had for less elsewhere as well and I opted to purchase from others rather than DB.
We disagree with the above completly at least for what we have bought.
We remodeled one house so far and have another to go. My wife wanted top of the line appliances (Kitchenaid all the way) and we found we saved a forturne even after paying the membership fees. We also bought granite for the kitchen counters (huge counters in our kitchen) and the bathrooms. The biggest savings she felt were the cabinets which she figures we actually saved $17,000 over what they would have cost. Yes, we did a very expensive remodel and figure the savings at about $22,000.
What we decided when we joined since we had already looked at prices for everything was we could upgrade to the near top of the line and pay the same price others pay for middle of the road or say top of the line at Home Depo. Nothing against Home Depo but for quality you must go somewhere else.
Huge savings also on Toto products, about 50%.
Hope this helps you.
Bart
 

rsnash

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So it sounds like it might be worth it if you are doing a major remodel and/or redecorating job. But not if you just need to buy one or two appliances or pieces of furniture.
 

glenmore

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This is part of an article about Direct Buy from Consumers Report . .

"To evaluate the pitch, we went undercover at two DirectBuy franchises in New York. Both gave us the same hard sell and offers of up to 70 percent off retail prices if we were to join. Only after an hour and a half of sales pitches and video testimonials from members did we learn the membership fee: $4,900 to $4,990 (plus tax) for three years and then $190 a year for seven more. Financing is available at 17.75 percent.

After the fee disclosure, we discovered that we had to sign up on the spot or never come back. We couldn’t bring DirectBuy’s “confidential” prices elsewhere to comparison shop, the representatives said, because this would likely anger retailers who might then retaliate against the manufacturers by refusing to sell their merchandise.

The fine print in the DirectBuy contract says you cannot return items, cancel orders, or terminate your membership. When we asked if, after plunking down $5,000, we could cancel and get a refund, a salesperson said, “You’ll have to check state law.” A review of New York state law revealed that the three-day cooling-off period for canceling contracts wouldn’t apply in this case.

Tacked onto the cost of merchandise—which you select from catalogs since DirectBuy has limited showrooms—are a 6 percent handling fee, shipping fees, and tax. Goods are typically shipped only to your local center, so you might pay additional fees to actually get your new stuff home.

Just how good are the prices? We compared them against those of other retailers. Prices for electronics and appliances were often only slightly better than those at online retailers and in some instances higher. For example, a 46-inch JVC flat-screen TV selling for $2,586 on DirectBuy’s site cost $2,095 elsewhere. We did find deep discounts on flooring and high-end furniture. In fact, one member we interviewed estimated that she saved about $50,000 over several years on furniture and a kitchen remodel using DirectBuy. Yet the club did poorly on some basics. We found a Kohler bath faucet for $300 less on a kitchen-and-bath Web site.

Some DirectBuy members complained to us about poor customer service and long waits for merchandise. But since DirectBuy outlets are franchises, service varies by location. Most outlets have a good record with the Better Business Bureau, though some have a poor one or have been suspended from the BBB.

The Bottom Line
The lack of price transparency makes it hard to evaluate whether you’ll save by joining DirectBuy. But even if you were to save 25 percent on purchases after joining, you’d need to spend more than $20,000 just to recoup your membership fee. DirectBuy might save you money if you’re furnishing a house from scratch or doing a major renovation. But since you can’t shop around beforehand, you’ll be joining blind.
 

Wonka

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We disagree with the above completly at least for what we have bought.
We remodeled one house so far and have another to go. My wife wanted top of the line appliances (Kitchenaid all the way) and we found we saved a forturne even after paying the membership fees. We also bought granite for the kitchen counters (huge counters in our kitchen) and the bathrooms. The biggest savings she felt were the cabinets which she figures we actually saved $17,000 over what they would have cost. Yes, we did a very expensive remodel and figure the savings at about $22,000.
What we decided when we joined since we had already looked at prices for everything was we could upgrade to the near top of the line and pay the same price others pay for middle of the road or say top of the line at Home Depo. Nothing against Home Depo but for quality you must go somewhere else.
Huge savings also on Toto products, about 50%.
Hope this helps you.
Bart
I doesn't sound like your disagreeing with "You have to spend a lot to break even."
 

Sandy VDH

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If you have a major renovation, especially kitchen/baths and/or a large furniture purchase that it would be an good deal. There are a lot of people building homes, additions or refurnishing that are members.

We got 8 + 3 piece purchase, 8 piece King Bedroom set from Ashley's (Sleigh bed, 2 night stands, dresser, mirror, bench, and a huge 2 piece armoires) plus a 3 piece high end king Simmons matress set for about the same price as the 4 piece set was from Ashley directly (bed, 1 night stand, dresser and mirror). We also built out a home theater room and required a big furniture purchase for that as well, including build in wall cabinets.

We purchased a Washer and Dryer, and although the saving where trival, I got the washer and dryer I wanted with all the features I wanted, delivered to my home. I did not have to sale shop and take something that was close to what I wanted.

The saying goes if you plug it in you won't get such a great deal, the main reason being is the markup on these units are so low anyway, that it is hard to get a great deal.

If you are a bargin shopper that Direct buy is not for you. If you are particular and want to save some money provided you have the right purchases to make, then Direct Buy could be worth while.

Each person needs to be there own judge. If you are remoted interested, do some homework first before you attend there event. I'm sure if you decided later to join and not when you toured they would take your money.
 

dlpearson

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Thanks everyone for your comments. Sounds like it's not a right match for our needs.......

David
 

caribbeansun

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I'm not sure what exactly it is you are disagreeing with.

If you are saying that there are huge discounts on appliances you are likely comparing Direct Buy pricing to full retail and not considering what you would have actually paid another supplier for a volume purchase of multiple items. Did you actually get a competitive price for the same appliances?

Comparing DB to full retail is of little value and unfortunately DB tries to reinforce this by telling members not to shop the competition and by doing all their advertising and sales pitches using full retail comparisons - compare real prices to DB. In our case it was still better to buy through DB but the savings were not huge.

I calculated our break even point initially at about $13k-$15k and I was very close to the correct number. If you are spending more than that and on higher margin items you can save much more ie. furniture was mentioned and I can attest that we paid far less for furniture through them than we otherwise would have.

Joining to buy a couple of appliances and a tub is not cost effective IMO.

We disagree with the above completly at least for what we have bought.

We remodeled one house so far and have another to go. My wife wanted top of the line appliances (Kitchenaid all the way) and we found we saved a forturne even after paying the membership fees.
 

Icarus

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I'm not sure what exactly it is you are disagreeing with.
Frankly I didn't really understand how somebody could be disagreeing with your actual experience, so I just ignored the rest of that post. Your post seemed fair and balanced to me, and you were just describing your actual experience with DB.

But really, it's just typical of the types of things people have said on both sides of the DB argument in previous threads, and I think you'll find it common on other sites as well.

-David
 
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