A few years ago, we got a mailer from a company called DirectBuy. It sounded a bit like a Costco or Sam’s Club for home builders, designers, or remodelers. I’ve been a happy customer of Costco for years and thought I’d give it a try.
First, I googled for info about the company. What I found was not encouraging. There were myriad complaints about the high price of membership coupled with the lack of real savings and the limited availability of products. And nearly every single such post with an open comment option had a very suspicious, repetitious rebuttal. “I love Direct Buy. I saved a gazillion dollars. But it’s not for everyone. It’s for those who are building high-end homes with quality interiors. So it’s probably not a fit for you schmucks who just want cheap crap.”
Still, I decided to get a closer look before deciding. I can have an open mind!
I went to their website, per the mailer directions, and signed up. A few days later, I got a phone call. I was a bit annoyed at all the conditions, such as the demand that my spouse be there if I was married. It started to sound like a timeshare sales pitch.
The real roadblock came when I asked the salesman questions, such as:
- How much is the membership fee?
- Can I bring a list of specific items we’ll be purchasing and get your prices on them, before signing up?
- Must I sign up when I come in or can I go home and think about it?
The answers I got were:
- That is set by the individual store. (And I’m not telling you more than that!)
- You must sign up when you come in.
And when I balked, the guy got downright belligerent. And he called back to berate me. Very professional.
If you need more reasons not to go, Steve Bass has plenty.