In May of 2005 my wife received a phone call from a large furniture savings club. In exchange for listening to their presentation, they gave us a $100 gift card, diamond tennis bracelet and a chance to win a new car. After reluctantly agreeing to drive out to Knoxville, Tennessee, to be sold something, we made the trip on May 5, 2005, to their showroom in West Knoxville.
Taking the Savings Club Membership Tour and Membership Cost
We walked through several rooms with extravagant kitchens, living rooms, flooring options, even home décor and electronics. During the presentation we were told that members also got deals on tires, mowers, lumber and even roofing. The presentation went on for over an hour and they trumped it up big time before we sat down to discuss cost. A lifetime membership with this discount furniture saving club cost $2,500 plus $100 annually and membership could be reinstated at anytime (we were told) if you hadn’t paid the annual membership fee. Memberships could even passed on to our kids (our daughter was 2 months old). After the tour, even I was convinced that this was a great way to save money and a great investment for future home needs.
What We Really Got with the Discount Furniture Club Membership
We didn’t win the car (not surprised), the tennis bracelet cost $10 (full retail) and the gift card was a gimmick to purchase cheap items on a website with extremely high shipping distributed separately for each item (we never redeemed the gift card). Reality quickly set in when we went to test our new purchasing powers. Not explained in the demonstration was having to call every time I found an item to see if they offered a discount (up to 2 days) and items were shipped to the warehouse (1 hour drive) or pay to get it shipped. Bulky furniture requires a full-size truck or moving van. Only premium items with high mark ups were discounted to a point of noticeable savings. My biggest disappointment other than the inconvenience of the service was the obvious lack in savings that were shown in discount furniture savings club presentation. Reasonably priced items in Ashley and other name brand furniture were not offered or barely discounted. It was hardly worth the $2,500 invested.
Discount Furniture Club Membership Savings on Other Services
We were not ready to make huge home improvements, but I wanted to see the members cost for flooring, electronics and mowers where they offered big savings. Mowers and electronics were very limited and I could almost immediately find cheaper deals online with free shipping on eBay , EBates and other sites. Flooring, like furniture, only offered savings on the most expensive types with savings on basic laminate and tile flooring nonexistent. In fact, flooring on sale at Lowe’s or Home Depot was cheaper.
Bottom Line with Discount Furniture Saving Club Memberships
The discount furniture savings club of Knoxville and Greenville filed bankruptcy years ago, meaning the closest facility to us now is in Columbia, SC. Also, they lied about the many services offered and the $100 membership fee that could be renewed at anytime, changed to having to pay past year’s fees also. Today, it would cost me $700 to reinstate my membership before any discounts. They basically robbed my family of $2,500 and we have nothing to show for it other than a useless contract and a $10 bracelet. I have remodeled my entire home including the roof, floors, decks, appliances and furniture. Nothing we purchased was through our savings club membership. Maybe with several yearly high-end purchases someone could find value in these services, but most families should stay far away.