Have you tried the direct buy warehouse? I hear the radio commercial about
saving thousands on a single purchase. If you've tried it or know someone
who has, what's been the experience? Positive? Negative? It seems like
another type of Costco to me.
It's not. It's the latest incarnation of the old United Consumers Club
franchise. They suck you into a high pressure, you must sign up tonight or be
forever banned from ever joining visit to their showroom. The membership costs
whatever they think they can get out of you - between $5000 - $8000. They show
you lots of catalogs you can order from with an emphasis on furniture and other
items that can't easily be compared, even if they let you have time to do
comparison shopping before joining.
Learn more by Googling on DirectBuy or United Consumers Club.
I bought 10 lightbulbs once, and saved 2000 dollars over the regular
Hmmm. They don't tell you how much it costs on their webpage, so it
must be expensive.
Sometimes I call a store and they won't quote a price on the phone,
and so I say, You must be expensive if you won't tell me the price.
They usually tell me after I say that.
I read a few of the comments at that site:
"The salesman, Kevin, seemed condescending when we asked him for some
time to mull it over. He told us that maybe this is not for us, then
showed us the door. Rude."
Not neccesarily "rude". I'm not in sales, but on a occasion I have
seen sales-technique presentations. Using words like "perhaps this
isn't for you", said in just the right way, can make a prospect feel
like the salesperson doesn't think they are "good enough" for the
product. The prospect doesn't want to feel degraded and tries to prove
to the salesman that they "deserve" the product just as much as the
next guy. It's part of the Negative Sell technique.
"if you don't sign-up tonight, you CANNOT come back, it is now or
Do sales people actually still try that tactic? With all the press
about the "you must buy now" words, and how fast you should run away
from it, do people still fall for it?
"the salesmen sold me when he explained I would make up the membership
fee and begin saving immediately with the amount of money I was going
to spend anyway to renovate my new home"
My response would have been: "That sounds great. Let me put together
my order, get the price for all my items and then we'll add on the
membership fee. If it's better than I can do elsewhere, we've got a
deal." Obviously, the salesguy will balk. When he does, I'd simply ask
him to suggest another way to prove his statement that "I would make
up the membership fee". Since he can't/won't I think the meeting would
be pretty much over at that point.
"stuff I bought was real close to what I would have paid for it at the
store. The difference is I can sit on it, touch it, feel it, think
Maybe it's just me, but I don't see how a person can spend thousands
of dollars on something like a couch or other furniture - something
that they are going to sit on, sleep on, make love on, whatever -
without actually seeing it, sitting on it, lying on it, etc. What good
is a couch, reagardless of the price, if nobody wants to sit on it?
...other comments from DB comments site elided...
My guess would be most of the yuppies suckered into this deal will use
the facilities of the various other brick-n-mortar stores in town as a
showroom then go order--still another mark against both the store and
the clientele imo.
That's assuming you can actually compare what they offer with hard-
assets in a local store. Considering that they apparently don't allow
you do that *before* paying the admission fee, them there yuppies
would be taking a rather significant risk.
I get a different impression. I think the marketing is aimed at those
who think they breathe better air and are above mingling with the
masses. To solve all that you join your own little club called "direct
buy" reserved for special people just like you..
Thus my earlier comment about the use of the "negative sell"
"Maybe this isn't right for you...it's only for the more
"Hey wait...that's me. I'm not a slug. Where do I sign?"
I could see how that might appeal to some people.
On the whole however I've never understood these buying clubs - like
Sam's for instance. I know the answer is always MONEY, but it seems
to me a place like Sam's (I think Costco might be another example of
the clubs) would make more money if they did away with the membership
fee and exclusivity and just let everyone shop there.
Also re you comment about mingling with the masses, I think that is
also the main difference between many restaurants. I consider myself
a college educated blue collar worker, yet I am occasionally willing
to pay more money so I will not have to eat with the "masses."
I like the idea of being able to take the family to a restaurant where
people actually shower and dress nicely before going. I like the idea
of being able to eat a meal without having to look at grungy people or
someone with a hat on or a T-shirt of two pigs having sex with a
caption that states "Making Bacon."
I decided this when I went to eat at a place where you get up and go
get your food Buffet Style. When I came back there were 2 kids
climbing on my table rolling little cars on the plates. And as I sat
down to eat I saw this guy with open wounds on an arm from his wrist
up. I said "This is the last time."
And as far as shopping, the last time I went to Wally's World, I
passed this woman that looked like she got up in the middle of the
night to go to the john and decided to come shopping (except it was
5pm) She had on what looked like a nightgown, a house coat, curlers
in her hair and bedroom slippers that looked as if they had competed
in several marathons. And she had this Star Trek looking device
attached to her ear. I once saw this mother and teenage daughter
while shopping. They both were dressed the same and both had cell
phones and were talking a mile a minute ( I assume to someone else.)
Kind of made me feel bad because I don't have people that I can talk
Maybe I should call up a crises hotline next time I go shopping so
I'll look important.
And lastly, once while shopping the cashier was one the phone the
entire time she rang me up. Then she told the person she was speaking
with that she had to go so she could finish ringing "me" up.
I told the girl I was sorry for making her get off the phone and she
just said "Don't worry about it."
So yeah, I might be willing to pay more if I didn't have to deal with
"I use to own Kit the car.""
For the longest time I thought it was silly to spend money to join a club to
spend more money. Then I went to a BJ's once and I've been a happy member
for many years now. While it costs $40 to join, I save that many times
over. When I bought my TV, it was $100 cheaper than any of the discounters
like Best Buy. Every time I fill a propane tank, I save $7 over the local
places. I can save a bundle on quality meats compared to the supermarket.
Whole pork loins are $1.89, a buck cheaper than Stop & Shop and we use about
one a month for a savings of a bout $8. Not everything is a big savings but
if you know prices and keep an eye out for the right stuff, you can save a
lot of money over a year.
RC, you can walk into any of them with no fee just to check it out. If you
decide you want something, at least at BJ's you can fill your cart then
apply at the checkout (took me all of 2 mins and the fee is for the family
so we have a card for my husband too). When we returned from Sasebo Japan,
it was our first stock up place and of course, our old cards had long
expired but they have our records still and were happy to see a returning
Same here, Ed.
Try beat it by 250$ in our case and that included best price at military
Even the Commisary can seldom beat their meat prices when buying in bulk.
The one drawback is their fish isnt up to my standards unless it's a frozen
I save an average of 40$ a *month* at BJ's. Here's a specific thing:
Victoria Inn french vanilla cappachino (powdered coffee blend). I was going
through a tin a week of the 'general foods gourmet coffee tins' (hey, we all
have our weak spot!). At roughly 2.50 a GF tin, this 6$ huge can equals
about 12 'tins' easily so about 8$ a month savings. Pedigree dog food cans
at almost 1/2 off the price of commisary or petsmart = 12$ a month savings
here. There's 20$ savings just on 2 items
we will buy no matter where we shop.
The difference though is also related to storage. We have a deep chest
freezer in the garage because it's cost of running is considerably lower
than the food dollar savings we get by being able to buy in bulk then
refreeze in 'our family sized portions'. I will spend an average of 20$ a
month at BJ's for meat (pork loin, whole chickens, chicken thighs, chicken
wings) which same cuts and amounts would cost me about 10$ more at the
commisary. Thats got us now up to 30$. (we arent major meatarians here but
that amount is augmented by seafoods at a local asian grocery with
outstanding quality we trust). I save about 1$ a month on flour (I make
most of our bread). I save 1$ a month on ice cream (have a 14YO here).
The remaining 8$ (possibly more) are in laundry soaps, dishwasher soap,
toilet paper, trash bags, and cat litter.
Canned goods for *me* are a break even as commisary runs the same or just a
tiny bit lower, but the gas prices to get to the commisary unless I think of
it on the way home, are about 4$.
Oh, BJ's gas is cheaper than the base gas station but that varies and
generally close prices are involved.
Now on to a *major*. Sun room addition being done. This is a repair of an
existing 'enclosed porch' with a good roof and 2 good walls. Has major mold
damage and structural supports at outer corner of room (holds up the roof!)
are damaged. BJ's membership is getting me one for 10,000$. I spec'd this
out well with several estimates and the next nearest for the same job (with
a lower quality rating and a far lesser guareentee for workmanship) was
4,500$ more. The same company at BJ's said without membership, I'd be
16,000$. I seemed to catch them with a BJ's special <happy grin>. Oh, and
a nice frill was a 25$ gift certificate to BJ's just for asking for a free
estimate for the sunroom which arrived 2 days later and before we had done
more than setup an appointment for the fellow to survey us.
-To bring this to code they are footing the existing slab (if it had been
footed to current code it would be about 2,000$ cheaper but it's an old
house and the codes changed). They are removing all the bad material
including the moldy rug and bringing the whole thing to code spec with
inspections and all that. The first contractor wanted 35,000$ and said it
would go up once he got into it. The next one wanted us to rip out and
dispose of: all the molded materials, the ceiling, the rug, the side fence
to that portion of the house and arrange ourselves for the electrial install
and footing of the slab as it wasnt in their deal (they quoted 18,500$).
The next cheapest wanted 14,500$, uses workers with no insurance and asked
lots of questions about our home owners policy was set to cover if one of
them got hurt.....
So like, how do I add in that particular BJ savings? (happy grin).
If you like high end products, you will not find them at this outfit, as
only authorized dealers are allowed to sell them if you want to have a
warranty. By providing no real comparison in prices to specific product
models you have no idea if it is a deal or not. You will do better by doing
your own searching, shopping and bargaining. That way you know what you are
getting and how the price compares to other outlets.
Hardly a Costco. The membership is thousands of dollars. The savings are
minimal, if any, _unless_ you're someone that normally buys everything
at MSRP from a high end store, and even then it won't benefit you
because they don't sell high end stuff. They charge high shipping and
handling fees on each purchase as well.
The informercials are so distorted that they are amusing. Always avoid
any product that relies on testimonials from clueless people. I.e., as
most people in "alt.home.repair" know, granite is actually one of the
cheapest materials for counter tops, with the massive amounts of Chinese
granite being sold ate very low prices at many smaller building supply
stores. Yet many clueless people buy granite only from stores like
Lowe's, Home Depot, Expo Design, or similar stores that are selling the
same Chinese granite at much, much higher prices (Italian granite is
another story). The DirectBuy informercials have one guy explaining how
thanks to DirectBuy he was able to have granite countertops in his kitchen.
Do they also sell carpet? That's another item where the big box stores
charge far higher prices for the same product than smaller stores.
They suck in clueless consumers with their slick sales presentations.
Our impression; based only on TV advertising, never met anybody who
has actually signed up, is that its a complete antithesis of the idea
of shopping around for the best price and best service!
Sells a sort of a 'snobby' exclusive idea that you are getting a
The amounts of dollars that some, in the adverts, say they have saved
exceed what we would be willing to spend, in total.
Keep looking around! Also tieing oneself to a single supplier doesn't
sound like good business.
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