So, a few years back, my wife and I were lured into an outfit called Direct Buy. Now, Direct Buy may or may not exist in a location near you, but I expect there are other outfits similar in the way they operate. Those who are older and already sufficiently jaded by outrageous marketing tactics may look upon businesses like this and immediately recognize them for what they are, however, I imagine there are still some doe eyed potential customers who see offers like these as great 'opportunities'.It all started with a ‘special offer’. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that one of the most foul words in advertising is ‘special’. Don’t let them hook you with special. They will allow any fool to give them money. There is no requirement for you or the offer to truly be special in any regard.Direct Buy gets you in the door, shows you a whole whack of wonderful products, and insists you make the decision regarding paying the ‘one time’ membership fee to join the ‘special’ people who’ve done so before you. They are essentially a wholesaler that can provide you with good quality, to be sure, name brand products, at wholesale prices. We’ve bought our bathroom cabinetry through them, as well as the bathtub and even some nice tiles. Certainly there were savings, however, we never saved enough to justify the initial membership fee, not even close.A lot of the stuff they sell is indeed high end stuff, unlike the cabinetry we felt suitable or in any way practical for our townhome. Their promotions and advertising pitch on the day you take the tour give examples of people saving $30,000 on their kitchen cabinets. As I’ve pointed out before, we’re middle income folks, what kind of cabinets are these people buying that they are “saving” $30,000 on them? Are they laced with gold and diamonds?Anyways, where you get burned with Direct Buy is the spiel that they give you that explains this is your one chance. They explain that the law dictates they cannot make another offer to you for one year if you walk out that door as a condition of this kind of promotion. Timeshare sales work the same way. Whatever offer comes your way and comes with this condition, stay the heck away! What isn’t immediately obvious is that you pay for shipping whatever wholesale products you buy through them. If, like us, you could find something comparable at IKEA, Walmart, or Costco your cost through Direct Buy will be greater on anything you buy, once you factor in shipping costs passed on to you. Big retailers can beat the pants off you in this regard.Ultimately, if you are wealthy, and you would be buying cabinetry made from wood from the magical forests of Andor, perhaps Direct Buy is for you. I’d be interested if this has been anyone’s personal experience. However, for regular middle class folks, this opportunity is a bust. Granted, it’s not nearly as horrible a bust as a Timeshare, however, an unnecessary waste of money all the same, as most wastes of money are if you just take the time to think about it. If they don’t give you time to think about it, there’s a reason.Duke
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