Do You Really Save With a Direct Buy Membership?

by Theresa on August 30, 2009 · 8 comments

Direct Buy is a membership program that claims to cut out the retail middleman and save you money on almost anything for the home. Those infomercials are very enticing to say the least.  The pitch, "Learn the secrets retailers don't want you to know" makes you really wonder what information retailers are hiding.  Well just yesterday, I saw a Canadian TV show "Marketplace" where they interviewed five Direct Buy members. They also compared prices from Direct Buy's catalog to similar products you could buy at local retails stores. Here's the real scoop on Direct Buy.

You can watch the Direct Buy show that I saw right here at Marketplace on the CBC website.

What to Expect In the Direct Buy Presentation

  1. You're first offered a free visitors pass to hear a presentation and see the Direct Buy showroom in your area.
  2. Then expect  a brief tour of the facility, slick testimonials and an aggressive sales pitch
  3. You aren’t allowed to see the catalog before you sign up to see the products that they offer.
  4. You are not allowed to ask questions for ALL to hear. Questions you are told will be answered by your "host".
  5. Direct Buy Canada made a brand new corporate policy for a three day cooling off period. So you now have three days after signing the contract where you can review the contract, the  supplier catalogs, and the membership so they can then decide if you really want to keep the contract or cancel it. Direct Buy USA already has this policy in place.
  6. The [tags]direct-buy-membership[/tags]fee is $5000 just to get a membership to shop there.

What to Expect From a Direct Buy Membership

  • The membership is not practical for people making average purchases. Although if you make several substantial purchases, the list of positives will outweigh the negative aspects.
  • If you look at how much you would have to spend over three years to save$ 5,000.00, at a 10% saving it would be $50,000.00 and at a 20% saving it would be $25,000.00. This shows you how much you have to spend to just break even.
  • It does take time to do research before ordering and you are on your own with the manufacturers' catalogs.
  • You'll spend lots of time with the Direct Buy ordering system searching through catalogs, filling out forms, doing retail comparisons for the best buys and then waiting weeks for items to arrive.
  • You don't get the same service as you might expect in retail.
  • If you read the fine print of the contract  the shipping surcharges  can be up to 25 percent of the product purchased.  These include freight, duty, brokerage fees, and handling fees. The product handling fees are up to 8% of price.
  • If you have to return the product you’ll return the product to the manufacturer.

A Direct Buy membership is worthwhile but only if your spending over $20,000 to do your remodeling project. Also, when you sign up you won't know what merchandise is available since you can't look through the catalogs. So if you are ok with all of this Direct Buy may be for you.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beatrice A December 29, 2009

Is the 3 day cooling off period available in Texas?

2 Theresa December 30, 2009

In the Marketplace video they did mention USA has the cooling off period. So I’m assuming that means every single state. I wonder if you could double check with them just in case.. if you do decide to go to their presentation.

3 Theresa January 9, 2010

I had an email from a lady from Texas who mentions that they are not honoring the three day cooling off period in that state. So it looks like it doesn’t seem to apply to all states.

I happened to find someone who had a similar problem as you and actually got his money back. He consulted the Consumer Protection Act of Ontario. Check the link below. I don’t really know who this person (Dave) is who wrote this but I’m thankful he did. He appears he’s a member of the Bahai faith so that’s a good sign.

Here’s the link to the procedures he took to get his money back. (site has now been taken down)

Do a Google search for “Consumer Protection Law Texas” and it will come up with info from the texasbar.com site. For other states, try to do a search for your specific state to find the Consumer Protection Act for it.

I really hope this works so you can get your money back!

4 Christina November 7, 2010

i am unable to opent the link “Here’s the link to the procedures he took to get his money back”

Being in a similar situation in NB, Canada. I am very interested as to what (dave) did to get his $ back

5 Theresa November 15, 2010

Christina, Ahhh darn, it looks like the site has been taken down. I have found another helpful link on how to get out of the agreement. Although this is for the US but it may be worth a try. Start reading at “How to get your money back now”. It may be worth a try.

6 PAUL Eno March 17, 2011

Please cancel my free pass scheduled for March 22. I do not wish to participate.

7 Theresa March 20, 2011

Paul, I don’t blame you for canceling your free pass! Try to call the office directly….

8 Rob G February 14, 2012

They turned me off with the hard sell before I even got there. Things like “If you reschedule chances are you won’t be invited again…” Whatever! You contacted me and want me to be a patron!?! I am not going to kiss your ass to spend my money. Too much competition for this business model to be successful. It’s not SAM’s club!