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How To Buy A Mattress – Part 1

by David Keam

The mattress business is stuck in the “old used car” sales era and will not change because it is so profitable. No other industry sells in the same fashion as the mattress industry and in no other industry does the consumer enjoy paying the highest price for their purchase as in the mattress industry. I sell mattresses so let me explain how you are constantly paying more for your purchase than you have to.


You want to buy a Ford Fusion; so you do some internet shopping and away you go. You head to your local Ford dealer and their price for the car you want is $15000.00 full pop, no deals, no dickering. You go to the next dealer and their price is $17000.00; 50% reduced from $34000.00 and you dicker that dealer down to $16500.00. You gladly pay $1500.00 more for the same car because the first dealer would not dicker and/or lower his price. You wanted 50% off and a free $300.00 gift and that first guy was such a jerk for not budging on his price, so you paid this dealer $1500.00 more than the first because his /her smile was so nice and his/her” DEAL” was better. One was full price at $15000.00. One was $16500.00 and over 50% off listed price, and a $300.00 gift was included. They’re much nicer to deal with and over 50% off! You gladly pay $16500.00 for a $15000.00 Ford Fusion.

You read this and say to yourself “the consumer is not stupid” I would pay $15000.00 regular price and never take the fake 50% off deal at $16500.00. That would never happen! Let me just say it happens every minute in the mattress business and the consumer demands it. In fact, it makes the companies that work this way and their owners the richest companies in Canada. Let me explain why this happens and why you enjoy it so much and if you want to, when you understand it, how it can be changed.


First of all you will never find two of the same mattresses from the same manufacturer in the same trading area. All the dealers of the same product get a different name and a different fabric covering; even if everything else is EXACTLY the same. So it starts off as what’s called a “Blind purchase”. You don’t know what you’re getting and you cannot compare the same product from the same manufacturer anywhere in your trading area.

So then how do you buy a mattress? You are being conditioned to buy according to “How does it feel?” and “What is the deal?”. Also “trust” is a big part of this game because the nice lady owner of such a huge profitable company who says they have the lowest price “must be telling the truth”. Subconsciously you think “I only buy a mattress every 5 to 10 years. What do I know? Let’s get this deal over with and buy whatever DEAL feels the best!”


Mattresses are sold every day on the “It’s similar to this one” line. You do some shopping and find the Sealy Arriva that you like at the first store; you go to the next store and the smiling sales person says “We don’t carry the Arriva. This mattress is similar to the one you saw at the other store. It’s $20.00 bucks less.” You go to the next place and a similar mattress is $20.00 bucks less again. You buy from the third guy because that’s enough time on this and go home. This is not a stated attitude, but it is a taught advertised sales technique that leaves the mattress industry as the only industry still selling a blind purchase.


Why does this still work with educated people, in/or past 2011, whenever you read this? It’s because you know more about cars than mattresses as a body of everyday knowledge. You have points of reference in the car business you understand. Fuel economy ratings, safety ratings, warranty, consumer reports, resale value reports and most of all they are named the same thing in the 2, 5, or 10 stores you may visit. Not so in the mattress industry. There are points of reference but you have to go looking for them.


  • Get a half hour education from three or more stores about WHY their EXPENSIVE mattress is EXPENSIVE.
  • Find out which of the same COMPONENTS are in the less expensive mattresses in their store that you might like to buy for yourself. Compare the bed you want to their top of the line bed looking for components that are the same in both beds and the different amounts in each. Think of it as 400 horse power in the Jag and 146 in the Fiesta. You understand this difference now understand the differences here and you will save allot of money.
  • Get a specific brochure from that retailer on the exact mattress that you would buy from them if you bought in that store.
  • Do this in three or however many “makes you happy amount” of stores.
  • Sit at coffee and decide who to buy from; from the brochures not the pressure put on you in the store.


Start at the most expensive mattress in THAT STORE and make THAT SALESMAN compare THAT MATTRESS in THAT STORE to the one at THE PRICE POINT THAT YOU WANT TO PURCHASE.


You are comparing two cars, both have power steering, or not, both have anti-lock brakes, or not. Do you get the gist of it here? Compare apples with apples. Now, you are comparing two mattresses. The expensive one has three inches of Latex on 800 Pocket Coils and the cheaper one has 1/2 an inch of Latex only in the middle on 600 Pocket Coils. Go up and down the line learn everything you can about the differences between the mattresses in that store, and then get a specific brochure for the one you would buy from that store and then leave. Collect as many brochures from as many stores as you want, sit down compare them over coffee or whatever and make up your mind. Go back and buy. Do this all in one day all in 4 or 6 hours and you will save a lot of money.

If you have read to the end of this you might be saying “All this for a 60 buck savings? Not worth my time”. I have one last story and I’m done.

I’ve been in this business for 25 years. I started out as a delivery driver and service rep, so I’ve seen every angle of this business. One day a friend of my son’s comes in to pick up a bed for a friend of hers that lives two hours away. She has a sales receipt in her hand, but it’s from a competitor. She apologizes that her friend did not buy from us, but she is not with her and she lives two hours away and she is heading to pick up the bed up just down the street.  I say to her go get the bed and say to the sales person.”I own this bed please give me a spec sheet on it so I know what I bought”  I said if the price of that bed is less than it would have been at our store I will give you a second bed to take home to your friend for free.”

She goes and picks up the $2300.00 bed her friend dickered down to $1700.00 and comes back to us spec sheet in hand. The customer did not know this bed was roll packed “meaning it was made in China” and the only difference this bed had to a $350.00 bed in our store was a couple of inches of padding on the top worth about $100.00 or $200.00 retail.  Her friend over paid $1200.00 for her bed because she “Deal, Feel” shopped rather than brochure specification shopped.

The long of it was she drove a total of eight hours, home and back and home again to take the original purchase back and spec shop the second time. She bought from us and returned the original $2300.00 bed, reduced to $1700.00 sale price, with a true value about $500.00.

This happens every day in our Deal, Feel, Blind purchase, Dicker, multiple price, sale ends Tuesday at nine world.  How does that old song go by The Who “We won’t be fooled again”?.

If you want to learn EVEN more about how to save money on your next mattress purchase explore our website further. We have helpful video clips and product information that will keep you informed.

Here's the continuation on “How To Buy a Mattress” - I’m not done yet! How To Buy A Mattress – Part 2

Visit our Sleep Super Centre at 953 St. James Street or Call 1-800-383-7755 or 204-837-7330 or chat for more information.