How Much Does a DirectBuy Membership Cost?
DirectBuy is a membership buying service headquartered in Indiana that promises customers the lowest price possible because of their ties with the manufacturers. When a customer buys a membership, they are promised lower rates because of these close relationships. DirectBuy sells all sorts of furnishings for your home and office, and the prices are comparatively much lower than your average furniture store. However, these immense discounts come with a price.
How much is it?
- The cost of a DirectBuy membership will depend upon your geographical location and specific DirectBuy location. Since each location is franchised owned, fees will vary. Enrollment fees for DirectBuy, which can cover the first three months, typically cost anywhere from $4,500 to $6,000. After the enrollment period is up, the annual dues will be around $99 to $200 per year on average to take advantage of DirectBuy products and services.
- Some locations offer various memberships that have certain restrictions. For example, one location has three memberships: silver, gold and platinum. The silver is around $1,800; gold is $5,400; and silver is upwards of $7,000 for the initial fee.
- According to Wikipedia.org, they noted that some locations in New York City charged $4,600 to $4,990 for a three-year membership, and after that, a $190 annual fee would apply.
- The Star Tribune noted that it cost $5,490, plus a $199 annual fee to join their local Bloomington location.
What is going to be included?
- When a member pays a significant membership fee, they can shop categories that include home furnishings, home improvement, flooring, accessories, and more. To date, they let customers browse more than 700 name-brand manufacturers.
- As noted above, some stores have multiple memberships available. Depending upon the membership, customers will be restricted on what they can buy. For instance, the silver plan, which is the cheapest option available, may only allow you to buy products that have a single dollar sign on it. However, their premium package, the most expensive option, entitles the customer to anything within the store.
- According to DirectBuy, they can “save you hundreds, even thousands off the national average on indoor and outdoor furniture, appliances, lighting and fans, flooring and tile, and home improvement accessories. You’ll also save on electronics, home décor, sports and recreation equipment, jewelry, and apparel. You save on virtually everything you need for your home design.”
- To join, a potential customer will have to sit through a sales presentation that typically lasts up to two hours. During this presentation, the DirectBuy representative will tell you how the club works, show you video testimonials and answer any questions you may have.
- Members are not able to cancel, return, or terminate their membership.
What are the extra costs?
- As noted above, like any other membership, there will be annual dues that you will have to pay in order to remain active with the program.
- An 8% shipping and handling fee is added to all purchases.
Tips to know
- DirectBuy will only allow you to purchase a membership after they have you to tour the facilities. If you do not agree to buying a membership at that time, you will not be able to do it elsewhere.
- Keep in mind that a DirectBuy membership will only be worth it if you purchase a lot. If you are in the business of home furnishing or office maintenance, then the membership may be worth it. Otherwise, you will end up spending more than you save.
- Since you will not be able to know the prices ahead of time, do keep in mind that you will be joining blind.
- Check with the BBB before considering your local location.
How can I save money?
- Some locations offer free trial purchases, up to $1,000 in purchases. If your local location does something like this, you may want to take advantage of it.
- Some customers noted that it is possible to haggle on the initial pricing that they give you.
- Consumers’ Reports did an actual study regarding the savings. They noted that even if you were able to save 25 percent, you would have to spend more than $25,000 to recoup a lot of your initial investments, making the membership not worth it. However, since all pricing tiers will be different, it is important to crunch the numbers before committing.
- Financing is available to those who do not want to pay in full, but the interest rate is higher than 17 percent. You may be better off to get a small loan from the bank since they will often have a lower interest rate.
- Keep your eyes peeled for special promotions. For instance, some will give you a free gift for going through a sales presentation.
- Many who have joined noted that the internet often has a cheaper sign up alternative.
- While this is discouraged, you could potentially use your membership to purchase things for friends and family and then have them pay you for it. It has been known for extended families to split the cost of membership, put it in one person’s name, and then purchase everything through that person with the intention of paying him back.