Direct Buy?

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Posted by: from Coquitlam
1/12/2008 at 10:42:54 PM

We are adding a major addition incl kitchen, bedrooms and garage. Is being a member of Direct Buy worth it? Is anyone a member?


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CP Contracting Services in London
Date/Time1/14/2008 at 12:49:29 AM

Hi, The Direct buy membership would be a good choice here. I am a local contractor in the London area and I've worked for a few people whom have purchased the Direct buy membership. The membership fee sounds high but when you think in terms of building materials for a job of this size you could possibly recover the membership cost from the savings they offer. If you have a small job to do, your better off saving your money instead.

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Renpro General Contracting in Oshawa
Date/Time1/16/2008 at 11:07:37 PM

We have just wrapped up a very large renovation to a home in which the clients used Direct Buy for a majority of their finishes. One of the main problems with a service such as this is alot of what you are buying comes directly out of a catalogue. In many cases, the clients where extremely displeased with the products they ordered. For the most part, the ended up using our suppliers, got better pricing, and more personable service.

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time1/17/2008 at 12:08:26 PM

Hi Julie, Traci Levy from Arrow Contracting. I have to agree with one of the other comments - you are selecting out of a catalogue so many of your items are not going to be what you expect. Colours and quality will not be as they appear in a picture, so really what good is saving the money to take a chance like that. The membership to Direct Buy is upwards of $2000.00 as one of my customers had mentioned, and really if you know how to haggle your prices a little, smaller stores, and cabinetry companies will come down somewhat. Your general contractor will also have suppliers that they deal with on a regular basis as I know we do, and this can also lower your costs significantly. You have to ask yourself do you take a chance and hope that you like it when it arrives or do you potentially spend a little more and know you will love it! Good luck and I hope all goes well.

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Sandy in Markham
Date/Time2/2/2008 at 12:04:54 PM

I have to agree that Direct Buy is not a good idea. For a couple of reasons.

1. As mentioned it is merely catalogue buying. Fine for clothing and household goods but not major purchases in my opinion.

2. Lead time. I have a couple of friends who use Direct Buy and both have said you need months of lead time. My friend bought a BBQ in the spring and got it in late fall. Missed the entire season.

I have also been told that Direct Buy only offers upscale items. Very pricey. Even with their 'discount'.

PS. Did you know that if you visit Direct Buy and don't buy a membership they actually ban you from buying one for the next 6 or so years?

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Julie in Coquitlam
Date/Time2/2/2008 at 3:26:30 PM

geez, thanks for all of the advice, I think I will pass on the direct buy thing!

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Andre in Calgary
Date/Time4/12/2008 at 9:26:58 PM

Well, I have to disagree. i have been a member for over 1 year and the only complaint I have is the wait time for stuff you order. I orderd a shower system , soaker tub, 2 vanities and a tolilt , plus all the shower fittings in Jan and it has still not arrived yet. Latest date in next week. keeping fingers crossed as it is holding up my renovation project. Their prices are actually pretty hard to beat for alot of things and others maybe not so much. a far as shopping out of a cataolgue yeah it has drawbacks,but most times I can find what I am plannig on buying at a retail location and see it there if I need to. This is what I did for all of my bathroom and from the prices I seen at this one store for what I bought from Kohler I saved upward of 8k which covered the now much more expensive 6k membership fee.

I also bought a complete top of the line home theatre package for approx 4k and compared to the retailers I went to and seen the actual items saved over 2500 on that, The list goes on. As far as the perception that it is not worth the price unless you are doing some major renovations. The mebership is for 5 years and then I think it is about 180/year for life. So in your lifetime I am sure you will repplace your TV (likely a few times the way things change and last these days), Fridge, stove, window blinds, sofa, bedroom set, flooring, countertops, appliacnces , tires for your car. They do carry alot of manufacturers and you can pretty much go see the frigidaire model xxxx at many stores. Window blinds are actually the highest marked up product I have seen yet. I reduced the 3 estimates I recieved to do all our house from over 15k down to less than 6k which included a directbuy consultant coming to my house to measure. They also have a list of member contractors who do almost every trade and you get a meber discount if you decide to use their service. I think it is a great idea and is making improvements every day., Dont let the big membership fee scare you off! I saved that alone on my bathroom renovation.

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Ruby in Scarborough
Date/Time4/16/2008 at 9:58:43 AM

Membership fee is quite high so this would probably be a drawback. Generally though, the services they offer are good. However, if you are not really into catalog buying, you have to look for other options.

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Amanda in Stoney Creek
Date/Time9/26/2008 at 12:49:06 PM

I have to disagree with a lot of what has been said. Yes, the membership cost is steep, but as the poster above has stated, when it comes to home renos, you most definitely recoup those funds in savings.

As for "catalogue shopping" when it comes to kitchen supplies, in my Direct Buy, this is not the case.

The kitchen portion of the show room is set up exactly like Home Depot has their Kitchen section set up. There are cupboard displays (an entire kitchen set up in one style, and all other styles and colours set up on single cupboard panels). Same with counter tops, hardwood, laminate, and ceramic flooring, window treatments,even siding. I have never had a problem when it comes to seeing and feeling exactly what Im buying. There are even contractors, who are usually members themselves, who do work and installations at a discounted rate for them. (I got tires and a paint job for my car this way) Yes, you have to buy furniture, electronics, etc from the catalogue, but again, as the poster above stated, I usually go to a store that carries the brand Im looking at and get a good look that way.

One thing that you have to remember is that Direct Buy is a franchised store, so not all will be the same. Best thing for anyone to do, once they know the cost of joining, is to take the tour, and see what is available to you in your local showroom and make the decision that way.

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Lynn in North Vancouver
Date/Time12/1/2008 at 7:26:20 PM

If you're doing all that stuff you'd be silly not to do it through Direct Buy. Contractors who are not members wouldn't send you to Direct Buy, they lose money like the retail places do. My husbands a Contractor and before we saved the money we did HATED direct buy. I had to pleed with him to come see and it was the best thing we ever did. We saved 17g on our kitchen reno and our friends who told us to go check them out saved 35g on a much bigger kitchen reno. We don't do all our shopping there but we did most of our renos there and saved well over the membership fees. We've been a member for almost 3 years...infact I have to head over there to order some tires!

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Lynn in North Vancouver
Date/Time12/1/2008 at 7:32:24 PM

Oh and to add to the comment above.. same with my Center in Coquitlam..there's a great kitchen design team very helpful and we didn't order the cabinets from a catalog. They were all custom made.

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