Thursday, September 17, 2009

Semi-finalist for a $25,000 home makeover!

I just got a phone call in which a woman told me I had been selected as a semi-finalist for a


from DirectBuy. The woman, who was very nice, told me that she just had to confirm my name and address, and then would be sending me an information package with a key. I would then go to the store and try the key in some door, and if it opened... HOLY %##%$ I JUST WON A

$25,000 HOME MAKEOVER!!!

What if it doesn't open the door? Well, something to do with two other prizes from the list: $500, a 52" flat TV, a set of luggage, a Dell computer, etc. I can't remember the specific wording... it sounded like I'd get one of those, but I'm sure the true meaning was a lot more subtle.

What is DirectBuy? It seems to me that it's a Costo-like store, but for home improvement. And the dollar-values are proportionately larger (if you've ever owned a fixer-upper house, you know what I mean). Here is something that makes me uncomfortable; their web page prominently features a "Testimonials" link. Another red flag is that I can't easily find a listing of the membership fees. If memory serves, it's on the order of thousands of dollars! Let me know if you can find the fees anywhere.

I asked her what the fees were, and added that I'd been called before and thought the membership fee was far too expensive (something like $2500 / year). She said that there are different levels of membership, and then reminded me about the


I thanked her for her call, and wished her the best of luck.

Maybe I just passed up a huge opportunity. But most likely I avoided getting fleeced.


  1. About a year ago my wife and I received an invite from DirectBuy to attend a meeting - by special invitation only. By becoming a member of DirectBuy we would be able to renovate our house through special deals. Just previous to this we had obtained estimates from another company to renovate two washrooms the costs were $19,000 for one and $23,000 for the other (rather high we thought with a bit of sweat equity). Membership in DirectBuy might have served us well in a thorough house upgrade but for the two washrooms only the membership fees were much more than seemed reasonable. The DirectBuy salesperson agreed with our evaluation.
    I think you made the right decision.

  2. There was a Marketplace special on the 'Direct Buy' should be able to find it online - with Wendy Mesley.

  3. Thanks KatyP... I located that episode of Marketplace. It certainly confirms what I suspected. Thanks for that.