For nearly one-hundred years, The Kirby Company has manufactured superior, American-made home cleaning systems. Kirby does not sell directly to the public but continues a long tradition of distributing its home cleaning systems through independent distributors, who are responsible for running their own businesses. Over the years, this distribution system has afforded thousands of men and women the opportunity to live the American dream of owning and operating their own businesses.
Experience has taught us that customers prefer to try our premium cleaning systems in their own homes before purchasing. Customer satisfaction is our top priority. If customers have any questions or concerns regarding the in-home demonstrations of Kirby cleaning systems or the cleaning systems themselves, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 800-494-8586, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., EST.
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First, I'll comment on the salesman experience since that seems to be the main reason Kirby has gotten so many low reviews. Yes, it was very long. I'd say around 4 hours, however, to be fair this vacuum does A LOT so it would be very difficult to see what all it can do in a super short amount of time. The gentleman that did our demonstration was super nice. I'll throw in here that I had 9 kids at the time who were all into the demonstration and he was really cool about it and even let them use it. He was very thorough and in the process vacuumed my sofa, loveseat, walls, curtains, ceiling and mattress as well as cleaned a couple of windows. Even if I hadn't bought it, it was worth the time just to get all that cleaning done for free!
Now, onto what the Kirby can do. What really sold me on it was the fact that I had literally just washed and dried my sofa and loveseat cushion covers and put them back on about 10 minutes before he arrived. The dirt that the Kirby was sucking out when I had just cleaned them really amazed me. It even pulled a tremendous amount of dirt out of the living room area rug I had just bought that day! Besides all that, this vacuum does it all...vacuums, shampoos, air cleaner, inflator, window cleaner, unclogs sinks...you can even paint with it (spray). It has tons of attachments for basically anything you'll ever need to do in the cleaning world. I've kept my vehicle upholstery looking brand new and cleaning curtains while they are still hanging and vacuuming ceilings are a breeze. I have had my Kirby for almost 2 years now and it is by far the smartest purchase I have made for all my cleaning needs.
Hi Rhonda! Thank you so much for your review! We are pleased to hear you had such a positive experience with the independent distributor who demonstrated the Kirby.
Remember family having one that was probably 20 years old when I was 7. They replaced it over something stupid without letting me look at it (I was already repairing lamp cords and other kids toys lol). Found a Heritage II dumped out for the trash 5 years or so ago. This vacuum would have been brand new when I was 7. Couldn’t pass it up. $40 and I did a complete rebuilt including replacing the broken plastic part that connected the bag to the vacuum. This machine blew me away. I have never seen a vacuum work as well as it did. I had a Shark professional that it replaced as a daily cleaner. I had no attachments so I decided to make the plunge and get a new one. Contrary to what rumors spread these can be purchased for a lot less than the price usually seen floating around on reviews.
In comes my Avalir 2. Put it all together and it’s absolutely awesome. It makes a much more stable vacuum when using the hose and not as an upright than the shark. It’s extremely powerful, and even comes with power assist. Using this is nowhere near clunky like a mower. It’s butter smooth requiring you to do absolutely nothing. It has a transmission in it and it senses when you push forward and pull back. It’s literally butter smooth. You don’t know it’s powered. You just click it on and it simple makes the vacuum feel 1/4 the weight it is. The attachments are well thought out and useful rather than some crappy junk thrown together to say it has a bunch of features. The Kirby’s are well designed and useful. I have no problems reaching my 10 foot ceiling without it being uncomfortable. In canister mode it rolls around with me easily I don’t have to constantly pick it up and move it a few feet. The ability to adjust height is great and easy to use.
Needless to say there is no better vacuum made. I’ve seen and or used about all the other so called top of the line ones and they felt cheap and were almost all plastic. When you buy a Kirby, you buy it for life. The maintenance is even simple enough anyone what can change oil would have no trouble at all keeping one going for decades without ever needing serviced at a shop.
Typically I would run my shark over the wood floor and then follow up with a mop. The mop would always be filthy. After a good pas with the Kirby and running the brush quickly around the corners I went back with the mop to shine it and get some stick spots up. The mop was so clean I didn’t have to wash anything off it before putting it up. Basically it just added floor shine and removed some sugary drops that got sticky. I have not received the shampoo, grout and tile, and wood floor cleaning parts, at that point it will replace the old shampooer I have and the little Swiffer like mop. You might think you bought a Cadillac vacuum at 300 bucks, but a Kirby is the Rolls Royce of vacuums, and no you don’t have to pay 3000 dollars for one, you can get one under a grand. They are also extremely nice looking with polished aluminum bodies.
There are two types of people in the world, ones with clean houses and others who don’t yet own a Kirby. It’s worth every cent and it will stay with you for life, and that counts for something today when everything is designed to be disposable. After you buy 2 sharks, you have basically paid for a Kirby. Just get the Kirby.
I cannot rate the salesman service as there weren’t any within 300 miles of me so I had to order it online and assemble it myself, and I don’t get the special Kirby perks. I dont work for Kirby or own Kirby stock. It’s the truth. The Kirby is not all just hype. It’s worth every penny, both my 40 something year old heritage II and the new Avalir 2 both prove it. They are built the same with the same high quality parts. In fact if it wasn’t due to Kirby adding a safety switch on the new model to keep it from turning on the motor without something covering the suction fan all the attachments and heads would be interchangeable. The parts to keep it alive forever are dirt cheap, and easy to change.
Hi Ash, thank you for your review on your Kirby experience! We are pleased to hear you are happy with your new Avalir 2!
I've had my Kirby Sentra for 6 years now. It's the best vacuum cleaner I've ever owned. I've had every other type of big box retail cleaner - Dyson, Shark, Toshiba, Sharp, Bosch, Dirt Devil, Hoover, and every type of shop-vac imaginable - and all have worked fine, however nothing compares to the Kirby. The Kirby is by far, one of the best vacuum cleaners made worldwide.
A few notes; a brand new Kirby is like a brand new Mercedes - they're expensive brand new. If you're looking to buy a Kirby, do what I did and buy a used one from eBay or Amazon. A Kirby is not some Chinese made piece of plastic junk - it'll last a lifetime and there are thousands of testimonials to back that up. It's a solid, heavy duty piece of American made machinery and the company has been in business since 1906. The brand has an international reputation for quality and performance that is over a hundred years old - so for those that don't know the history of the company and product, it's sold on a door-to-door basis, however you can find dealers that repair them and sell used ones.
Many reviewers seem to be in sticker shock at the price of a new Kirby, but put it in perspective. An iPad or tablet computer would set you back the same amount and you'd be lucky if the thing lasted 3 years. Used Kirby's are usually in fantastic shape, however there may be one that was used by some idiot to vacuum gravel driveways, so do your homework just like you would with a used car. Once you've familiarized yourself with your Kirby use it properly - don't lug it up and down the stairs, use the proper disposable cloth bags which do an excellent job of catching dust. The suction power on a Kirby is amazing as well. Once a year, just like your car, take it to a Kirby dealer for a major tune up and cleaning. You'll be glad you did. Your Kirby will last you for much longer than any other vacuum cleaner you've ever bought. I know, because every brand of vacuum cleaner I mentioned above, I don't have anymore. They all broke.
Clearly the reviews other than how Kirby's are sold on here are caused from owner operator. Btw let me begin by saying we had a Dyson, Hoover & Dirt Devil and all are in our dump now. Wife had a Dyson when we married. After owning Kirby of my own for almost 20 years and using my mom's old design in the 60/70's I absolutely know the do/don'ts on them and I'll explain.
If the owners saying they don't have suction would only go to Youtube and watch vids or read how to set the machine upright, maybe even paid attention to the demonstration if they ever had one they'd know it's not set correctly so it will indeed fail to pick up dirt & small particles of paper. Its nozzle has to be set correctly or it will fail because Kirby aren't designed to just skim above carpet like a Dirt Devil, Hoover or Dyson etc.
Kirby are deep cleaning units that "when" set up right actually lift the carpet up off the actual floor in front of the suction head. So' if you don't see it lifting carpet you're not setting it right. Having said this Kirby does miss a serious step when teaching operation and so my own trial and error came into play. Missed step? Oh yes' because if you have small paper/plastic/food pieces lying all over the room then one must start with the Kirby vacuum just above the carpet like a cheap vac runs at first. This is where the above mentioned cheap vacs are set even at their lowest settings and why people "think" they clean so great when they actually miss the deep down dirt/sand that destroys all your carpet fibers over time.
Oh yes cheap vacuumed carpets look clean and you see the dirt in the canister but your deep dirt remains unless a Kirby gets it out. In truth "No" vac built today will get it all out not even built in wall vacs but nothing gets you as close to this as a Kirby. NOTHING! Now after what I call the top skimmer setting is ran, I set my Kirby to its "advertised" normal setting position as shown in the Kirby videos.
The reason for an extra step is there is no room between the roller brush and carpet for the larger pieces so it pushes them around since a Kirby actually lifts the carpet up. It's why it cleans under carpets too and others will not come close to that. So I just set mine exactly how Kirby says but I'll raise it a click or two as I encounter any larger pieces sitting on top of the carpet to allow it to pass between brush/carpet. Nothing hard about that and it makes a world of difference. Kirby must know it & should include it.
So if a Kirby working good/bad is all about the setting folks! Also there are several aftermarket bag companies selling bags too restrictive so buyer beware on your bags. Had some bad ones myself. Heavy? Not at all after learning how to use/pick it up correctly. I have 7 bad discs in my back and it's not an issue. I don't have stairs though but learn on vids how to pick one up right. It's not bad.
It's heavier built to last and have real power. Truth is lightweight electric motors have very little copper windings inside and why they simply wear out after a few yrs. Many today now use junk China copper plated aluminum winding even. This is for any electric motor btw, it need the copper to last. It's why Kirbys are passed down generations but many who inherit them have no idea how they even work and leave bad reviews everywhere and touting Dyson's rule when they don't.
They don't mention how many times the cheap vacs been to a shop or they're on their 3rd unit or motor in ten yrs. Simply stop in and ask any vacuum repair shop to see their back room you'll see what truly keeps them in business. Hoovers & Bissels but mainly Dysons line these shops. WATCH A KIRBY VIDEO OR READ UP ON THEM IF YOURS IS NOT VACUUMING, IT WILL HELP IN OPERATION. I ASSURE YOU... By far Kirby makes the best vacs made in over 100 yrs if you know exactly how to operate one. I can only hope these people never ever inherit bulldozers.
The first Kirby my family ever purchased was back in the early 90's. I remember the vacuum salesman coming in and my dad being a bit annoyed. We had that particular one for about 10 years before he bought a new one around 2002. Fast forward to 2016. I have been through pretty much every cheaper brand of vacuum from Bissell to Hoover to Dirt Devil to Shark. I have used Dyson's at work and they don't last very long. Actually most store bought brands do not last long at all with proper care. I decided I wanted a Kirby like I had growing up. It was always reliable as actually cleaned.
I found a person selling a used one for $50 because they had just bought the newest version. The version I got was the Sentria, so not that old at all. It has been well taken care of. I got home and I vacuumed the whole house. The new bag I had put in ended up getting completely full—that's how dirty our carpet was even though I vacuumed religiously. I've had this vacuum for two years now and today I used the shampooer on a stinky rug that my dog vomited on. It cleaned it well and took the smell out. I want to now list the pros and cons of the system.
PROS: It doesn't just vacuum. You can shampoo, use as an air pump, sand things, and a ton more... Kirby's last forever. They are the Toyota of vacuum cleaners. Changing the bags are easy. Putting on basic attachments and using the regular head is easy. Finding parts is easy since you can find pretty much anything in Amazon. Great suction. Versatile. Durable (I spent the same amount of money in vacuums over a 7 yr period when I could have just bought the Kirby). CONS: It's clunky and heavy. There are tons of parts so reading the manual is a must if you want to do more than basic vacuuming. It's hard to find a system that isn't being sold by a salesman. Sales tactics suck when you come in contact with a salesperson. (JUST BUY USED AND SKIP THE MAN.)
Most of the reviews I read had more to do with the sales tactics than the actual machine. The ones where people had complaints about the machines was because they didn't want to do the work to put the attachments on or didn't read the instructions. You actually don't even have to read now. There's tons of videos on YouTube with how to use the Kirby. Overall, Kirby is a great product. I'd buy another one in a heartbeat. It cleans better than store bought vacuums and it lasts forever. I'd recommend buying used or going to a vacuum/sew shop and purchasing—skip the salesman. They are independent sellers and can price things how they want.
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I am very disappointed in Kirby and the sales company that sold it to me. This guy came to my house and said they just opened a carpet cleaning business and if I wanted one of my carpets cleaned. We decided we would let him in to clean the carpet. Then he brings in this big box with the vacuum in it and starts showing me how my vacuum is not picking up everything. I admit I was amazed. It took almost 3 hours before he finally cleaned my carpet because he was trying to sell me the vacuum. I finally said I would buy it. I did monthly payments because it was over $2500. He told me how it was a great investment and that I would never have to buy another vacuum.
After 3 days I realized I didn’t want the vacuum, so I sent in the cancellation. The only problem was it was a Sunday and I could not certify it to them. Therefore I didn’t have any proof that I sent it in. I called and called and left messages and no one ever called me back. My payment came due so I made the payment because I didn’t want it to show up on my credit. So I still didn’t know what to do. I have RA and it was so hard to move this vacuum around. Also it didn’t work that great on my laminated floors. I finally had to go out and buy another vacuum because the sales rep took my old vacuum. I feel like my hands are tied behind my back but I did find out that I have 6 months to return it under California State law because I have a disability.
I continue to call the sales office and continued to leave messages. I finally decided to call the credit company. They gave me a lecture that I should have called as soon as I sent in the 3 day cancellation notice but I told them I didn’t know I should’ve called them, I thought I needed to call the sales office. They finally gave me Kirby’s number and I called. The only problem with calling Kirby customer service is it takes well over hour almost 2 hours to get a hold of someone. I finally got a hold of someone and I was told to fax in my contract, a letter from social security and a letter from my doctor. I faxed my documents but I had to do it a few times because the lady from Kirby said she didn’t receive them. I also had my doctor fax a letter but the lady at Kirby keeps saying she didn’t receive it. Finally she said she received it but it didn’t have the doctors signature.
I called my doctor and he faxed in a doctor’s letter with a signature but now I am trying to get a hold of the lady at Kirby to see if she got it. Now I am told she is out until Monday. I feel like I am just getting the runaround. Oh ya did I mention that after I contacted Kirby customer service that a lady from the sales office finally called me back. I said, "I been trying to get a hold of your office and never received any calls back." She then begin to call me a liar saying she only received one call from me. I also told her no one called me back after I sent in the 3 day notice. She again said she never received it and there is nothing she can do. I told her that I have RA and that I have 6 months to return the vacuum if they don’t want to acknowledge the 3 day notice that I sent in. I told her that I spoke with the lady at Kirby and that’s when she rudely said, "Then you will have to talk to her", that she can’t talk to me anymore.
I am to the point where I feel like I am not getting anything accomplished. I am about ready to put a lawsuit in against the sales office and Kirby. I don’t want to do this but I feel like I don’t have any other choice. I have RA and this type of stress makes my RA flare. I just want to resolve this issue. I not even using the Kirby vacuum and I am still having to pay $89 a month on it.
Hi Maria, we are deeply concerned about your experience with an independent distributor and your Kirby purchase. We would love to gather more information to further assist you and investigate this matter. Could you please provide us with a good number to call you at or call us directly at 1-800-494-8586 so we can further assist you? We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate you coming forward with this matter. Thank you for your time. - The Kirby Company, Consumer Relations Department.
When you have to be trained on how to sell a product, it might be a good indicator that it’s not a worthwhile product. 2 men came to my home, immediately asked to come inside to do a demonstration, claimed it wouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes (yet they were in my house for over 3 hours), and were incredibly condescending in their pitch (“you’ve been LIVING in this dirt?! How can you be okay with turning down something that cleans dirt out of your carpet”). They would not leave my house unless I agreed to buy one. 3 days after the pitch, I go to vacuum my carpet again, and the belt immediately breaks. So now I have a broken vacuum, that I paid $1300 for, AND am going to have to regularly replace parts on. Complete **.
The vacuum itself is heavy and cumbersome. My Shark had infinitely better results, even if it left a lot of unseen dirt in the carpet. I’ve been living 27 years with dirt in my carpet. I think I’ll continue to survive using a vacuum that doesn’t get every microscopic piece up. The big pieces are all I worry about and the Kirby wouldn’t even get that. Return policy is its own slice of hell. Decide to take it back on Tuesday (bought 4 days before on Friday afternoon) and they said my 3 day grace period was expired. I didn’t get to vacuum my carpet a single time without it breaking. I will be seeking legal counsel on the matter because there's no way their predatory sales tactics and the false advertising is legal.
Hi Anna, we are deeply concerned about your experience with an independent distributor and your Kirby purchase. We would love to gather more information to further assist you and investigate this matter. Could you please provide us with a good number to call you at or call us directly at 1-800-494-8586 so we can further assist? We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate you coming forward with this matter. Thank you for your time. - The Kirby Company, Consumer Relations Department.
A Kirby Sales rep came to our home to demo and sell their vacuum. Presentation was great and vacuum seemed like a great product but we were hesitant to spend so much money and financing at 22% interest so the sales rep said you have three days to change your mind and cancel it. No hassle return. We changed our minds, contacted the vendor that the sales rep worked for and sent in our signed cancelled contract receipt within the three allowed days. Never heard back from anyone at the company so we continued to call and send emails without any response. At this point, we were concerned so we started researching this company and their practices to find out that the credit application we signed was not for the company that showed up on our credit report. Once we finally tracked down the finance company to attempt to cancel our transaction we were told this happens all the time with Kirby vendor.
We were still making constant calls and emails to the company without any response so we dove into the actual contract we signed. Lo and behold there was a neat little clause that read once we submit the cancellation receipt to the company, the representative has 20 days to contact us and make arrangements to pick up the machine or it is ours free and clear. We were just at the 20 day mark with no response from the sales rep or the company he worked for so we sent them an email with a screenshot of the contract and let them know by all rights this vacuum was now ours free and clear of any charges.
The following day the company and the sales rep was calling us to arrange pick up of the vacuum. The rep let us know that he apologized for not getting back to us but that if we kept the machine he had to pay for it out of his pocket although he didn't seem to mind ignoring us for the last 20 days and sticking us with payments. Regardless of how these people tried to mess us around on this whole transaction, we did the "right" thing and returned the vacuum to the representative. Hopefully he will think twice before he tries to screw hardworking people out of their money.
Hi Rikki, we are concerned with your experience with an independent distributor. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Could you please give us a call so we can gather some more information to further assist you and investigate? We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!
Had an experience today with a Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman, Alonzo ** out of Morganton, NC. He approached me by saying he was giving free samples just to make everyone aware of new store opening in Marion, NC. He wanted to demonstrate Kirby to a 91 year old female who didn't what he was saying. He offered to clean one room of carpet for her without any obligation to buy. After 2 hours I had to ask him to leave due to his high pressure salesmanship. Started out asking $2800 and his final offer was$999 after he called his boss to make me a deal.
He also stated he couldn't offer me any deals once he left the house. I told him I wanted to do research on the Kirby before making any commitments. He didn't appreciate me wanting to research and kept telling me I didn't understand. I liked the Kirby but would refuse to buy one based on this person's performance. How can a product that's suppose to be superior start at $2800 and come all the way down to $999? Too many attachments for an elderly person to contend with. I would not want Alonzo ** to demonstrate anything to me and I do not feel he represents Kirby effectively.
Hi Teresa, we are concerned with your experience with an independent distributor. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Could you please give us a call so we can gather some more information to further assist you and investigate? We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!
You will hear multiple lies and half truths throughout the sales pitch of one of these vacuums. It usually starts off before you invite them into your home. I was told that they're a cleaning company and that they desperately wanted to clean 1-2 rooms in my home in order for me to review/refer them and get their business rolling. I quote: "we're not here to sell you anything." I was then told that they need to make x number of sales in order to win some sort of contest ultimately involving a trip to Disney World for themselves and their family. At this point my salesman divulged personal information about himself/his family in order to attempt to establish a personal connection with me.
I was told there is a lifetime warranty, which quickly turned into, "well, they will rebuild it for you", which, as it turns out, costs you $250+ and sometimes >$100 in shipping. You may want to find out where the nearest repair center is to you. As far as I'm concerned every vacuum cleaner on the market can be rebuilt by someone for < ~$350 without needing any kind of warranty at all, so that whole selling point is quite the odd misnomer to me.
I was told the Avalir 2 is a $2,999 product but that my salesman's manager was trying to help him out and was letting him offer them at $2,300 for a limited time-- a time so limited that I needed to make the decision on the spot and that the offer wouldn't be available if he so much as stepped out of my house. He then proceeded to drop the price an additional $600 (down to $1700) when I told him I needed to do more research and began googling the product.
If after reading all of this you are still interested in this vacuum I highly recommend heavily negotiating on the price. I have heard many stories of people negotiating below $1,000. As far as I'm personally concerned the whole thing is classic door-to-door salesman scheme-y conman trash. *** Any product worth its weight should not require half a dozen mistruths in order to sell it. Any product worth its weight should have a disclosed MSRP and the final price a consumer pays should not fluctuate from $800 - $3,000 depending on whom sold it to them. *** Kirby: your sales method depends entirely on a lack of information; it's dated, it's gross, and hopefully I've done my part making it that much less effective.
Hi L, we are concerned with your experience with an independent distributor. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We have pass this information along to our Consumer Relations department to look into. Thank you again!
Kirby expert review by ConsumerAffairs
The Kirby Company is a division of the Scott Fetzer Company, which was founded in 1914. It is named after Jim Kirby, who designed the company's early vacuum cleaners.
Scheduled demonstrations: Potential buyers can schedule demonstrations to help them decide whether they want to own Kirby vacuums.
Useful tools: Kirby home care systems have tools that let them convert into everything from air pumps to carpet shampoo systems.
Customer service: Kirby offers a wide range of customer services, including online how-to videos and phone support.
Limited warranty: All Kirby vacuums come with three-year limited warranties.
Maintenance services: Rebuild and maintenance services are available to lengthen the life of Kirby vacuums.
Best for: Kirby's flexible vacuum system makes it useful for homeowners, renters, landlords and drivers.
Kirby Vacuum Cleaners Company Information
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- 1920 West 114th Street
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 494-8586