When buying a mattress, stay away from these sales traps.

It’s understandable if you get tense when thinking about buying a mattress. A mattress is a large, once-in-a-decade purchase for many clients, and no one wants to spend more than they have to. However, the success of merchants (whether online or in-store) is determined by their ability to separate you from your money. You may criticize them for it, but that’s their livelihood. Regardless, this creates an unpleasant dynamic. To relieve the pressure—and, more significantly, to place a purchase order that makes you happy—we spoke with mattress experts and business consultants about common tactics used by vendors to persuade you to buy, as well as how to avoid them.

Claims that aren’t exact about “premium” high quality

Mattress salespeople, both online and in-store, adore the term “premium,” and they use it to describe a wide range of features, from foam to coils to cover materials. The same can be said for the terms superior, pure, and high-performance. As a result, it’s best to ask for specifics: What is the material used to make the mattress? Ron Rudzin, the CEO of Saatva, stated that he believes it is important to get “granular,” and we agree. Inquire about the number of layers, foam density, and the quantity and gauge (thickness) of the coils. Different people’s needs may differ, as we explain in our mattress buying guide, but most memory foams should have densities of at the very least three kilos per cubic foot (Four or 5 kilos per cubic foot should you weigh greater than 200 kilos). Innerspring picks with 1,000 coils (in a queen) and grades of 13 to 15 are more expensive. If a company or a mattress store can’t (or won’t) give this information, then its mattresses aren’t likely to be premium.

“Exclusive” promises that aren’t exclusive

Mattress stores and chains frequently advertise that they have a “one-of-a-kind” mattress from a specific model that you should buy only from them. However, in most cases, the unique mattress is a near-clone of another mannequin from the same model that is available elsewhere, and hence has a higher value. According to Eddie Bekov, creator and proprietor of Futonland in New York Metropolis, these little changes in design and model names make comparison purchasing difficult. So go to the model’s website and familiarize yourself with its options and basic elements. Then use these details to find similar outfits in different stores.

Costs are inflated and then slashed.

Mattress retailers can play pricing games by marking up the price above the producer’s suggested retail value (MSRP), then slashing it and declaring an artificially sparkling “low cost.” (Online mattress stores have their own version of this, marketing products as “on-sale” from its MSRP, despite the fact that they rarely—if ever—provide it at full value.) Before you go inside the store, look up the MSRP of any mattress you’re interested in and figure out how much you’re willing to spend. Nonetheless, it is going to be simple. “By definition, mattress shopping is an adversarial process—a it’s zero-sum game,” said Utpal Dholakia, Ph.D., an advertising professor at Rice University’s Jones Graduate College of Business and the creator of Psychology Today’s The Science Behind Behavior blog. “It’s essential to be informed, and it’s crucial to have agency.” If a salesperson’s pay is based on commission, a lower price means a lower commission, according to Rafi Mohammed, Ph.D., author of The Art of Pricing and Harvard Business Review contributor. However, if you shop near the end of the month, when salespeople may be more motivated to meet their sales targets, you may be able to get a better deal.

Making the notion that there is a “finest” mattress is a bit of a stretch.

On-line retailers frequently advertise their mattresses as the “finest.” However, there is no such thing as the best mattress; there is just one that works best for you. Even if they sell mattresses from different companies, in-store salespeople may employ the same strategy, owing to an SPIF (gross sales efficiency incentive fund), in which the sale of a specific mattress model results in additional bonuses on top of the charge. To make sure you get the mattress you really need, think about what’s important to you so you can ask the right questions. “For many sellers, the worst and most common outcome is time invested but no sale,” said Frank Cespedes, Ph.D., author of Sales Management That Works and senior lecturer at Harvard Business School.

The number of consumer complaints is inflated.

Take online criticisms (both favorable and negative) with a grain of salt. However, it’s still worthwhile to read them on the company’s website or a third-party retailer’s website so that you can filter for both negative and recent reviews. Use these to validate (or disprove) mattress characteristics, according to Rodney Hammond, Raymour & Flanigan’s director of e-commerce merchandising. For example, online reviews can help you determine a mattress’s durability, edge support, overall quality, and the company’s level of customer service. They will, however, be less useful for evaluating subjective aspects like as mattress comfort and firmness, because one online reviewer’s “excellent” could be another’s “too taxing” or “too comfy.”

In the hopes of making a transaction, I’m hovering around.

Close proximity to eager salespeople may make you feel compelled to commit—or walk away—before you’ve had time to fully consider your options. They could be defending their fee or, in the case of Hammond, attempting to assist. “It’s a delicate balance between making sure clients get the eye they want while also not being overwhelming,” he explained. Some retailers have spent in training so that their salespeople understand how to make customers feel at ease. Simply inform them that you want your house, Hammond said.

Including products in the package that are “free”

No gift tossed in with a mattress purchase is truly free, whether it’s a pillow, sheets, or an adjustable mattress body. “It’s built into the price,” Mohammed explained. “They’re usually items with a high perceived value for the customer but a cheap cost to the vendor,” Cespedes explained, recommending that consumers check prices for each item separately. “There’s a difference between ‘free’ and a package deal at a great price,” he explained. Also, consider whether the freebie is something you would value in the first place. If an inexpensive body breaks down or creaks, it may be more trouble than it’s worth. Instead, Mohammed suggested that you ask the dealer for a discount for not taking the freebies.

Putting pressure on you to make a purchase right away

Warnings that a sale will end soon can send your pulse soaring for no reason, from banners on a mattress firm’s website to dazzling signs in a store window. There will always be a sale. You may be required to attend for anything from a few days to a few months, but there is a consistent sample of normal gross sales throughout the year. Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the days leading up to Thanksgiving are all included. Make a thorough examination. Mattress specials can be found on websites like slickdeals.net and our website, and price-tracking services like camelcamelcamel.com can help you check that a deal is mostly a deal.


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