It’s time for another mistake.

Actually, I’m not planning on making another mistake, this is a mistake I already made.

If you missed part 1, be sure to check it out here. And read Part 3 here.

Last time, I wrote about my failed ventures in network marketing. today we are talking about a money mistake I made in my first year of marriage.

My wife and I decided to join a wholesale warehouse. Direct Buy to be exact. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

It cost us a lot of money (I’ll tell you how much in a moment), but I’m still glad we did it, here’s why…

The High Cost of Saving Little

My wife and I had only been married for a few months when we received a postcard from Direct Buy, offering a free tour of their showroom.

A free tour? That sounded painless, so I called to schedule it and a few days later we were there.

As we walked into the showroom, we saw all kinds of furniture, home products and basically anything you could imagine that would build or furnish a home.

We looked around for a while, then they brought us into a room for a video presentation of what exactly Direct Buy could do for us.

It sounded amazing. You pay your membership dues (which surely couldn’t be that much), then you have access to all of these amazing prices.

The people in the video were saving $50,000 and $75,000 on remodeling. Sign me up!

And then, like anything that you have to be talked into buying (but probably shouldn’t), they took us to the sales floor. You know, the awkward place where they ask you if you want something to drink, try to become your friend and then act like you wasted everyone in the world’s time if you don’t buy what they’re selling.

Wholesale Club Mistake

But let’s be honest, we were basically sold on the idea before we even made it to the sales floor.

And then we heard the price…

Total Cost: Over $5,000

You Only Have One Shot

$5,000? That seems like a lot of money to pay, just to save money.

And that’s just for the first few years? It gets worse…

Right after we were trying to decide if we were ready to dish out that kind of money, they said “oh, and you have to make your decision today. Once you leave, you can’t come back to buy the membership. You only have one shot.”

Bring on the sick feeling in our stomachs.

We decided that between the 20 minutes on the showroom floor, the 15 minute video and the 10 minute sales pitch, we were ready to buy.

We spent almost all of our savings that day. We paid cash. We made an emotional decision, and a bad one at that.

A $5,000 Baby Crib

So now you’re thinking, what all did you buy with this amazing membership?

A crib. One lousy crib.

Direct Buy Mistake

At first, we tried to buy all kinds of stuff, but it was either out of stock, on back order (and I mean really on back order, like months and months away) or cheaper somewhere else.

Cheaper somewhere else? That’s right. They told us that occasionally, places like Walmart may have an item or two that would be cheaper than Direct Buy, but it would be so rare that we might as well not even compare the prices.

We still compared prices with every purchase. That crib was the only thing that was cheaper from Direct Buy then anywhere else. And the sad part is, once we paid for shipping, it really wasn’t cheaper.

Lessons Learned

I’m still glad that we literally wasted that $5,000. For several reasons. I learned a thing or two…

  • If you can’t sleep on a financial decision, the answer is no. I actually heard this in a financial talk, after we already made this purchase. Anytime you have to make a decision today, that means that they are forced to pressure you, just to get you to buy. Which means it’s not a good idea. After all, if you show up the next day with $5,000, do you really think they are going to say “nope, you had your chance, we don’t want your money today”?
  • Now I can tell people the truth about Direct Buy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they are an evil company. If you’re building a $500,000 home and you plan on buying every piece of it from Direct Buy, you may save some money. If you aren’t building a home or don’t plan on spending over $100,000 there, I would reconsider. Please feel free to contact me if you are considering joining and I will answer any specific questions.
  • Don’t buy something that someone else has to sell you on. You can always do your own research, like reading this article. Get other opinions and viewpoints. And don’t make a large financial decision on a saleroom floor.
  • I learned to admit when I made a big mistake. I finally had to stop justifying the purchase and accept the fact that I made a mistake. It was a bad purchase. If I would have kept justifying it, I may have made a similar mistake later, on the same principles.

Final Words

Like I said, I’m not telling you not to join their club, but I am telling you to do some research on your major purchases.

You shouldn’t buy anything over $500 without doing some serious research.

Also, as I said all through part 1, to learn from your mistakes. I try to learn from mine and tell you about them so you can learn from my mistakes too! You’re welcome.

Always look for the positive in situations and learn from everything you do.

Check out Part 3. And seriously, go back and read part 1, if you missed it. 🙂

Photo Credit: Todd Quackenbush, Luke Chesser