Where to buy mattresses? Online or in a store? The answer depends on your preference and your past experiences. Generally speaking, physical stores charge more, but they are convenient. In contrast, buying online is cheaper but requires lots of time and effort.
Each option has its pros and cons.
Your choice is ultimately a trade-off between price and transparency on one hand. And on the other hand, the effort needed to pick the right mattress online. If you are buying a new mattress, these 8 tips will help you make a wiser decision.
The physical store is a jungle
Brick and mortar stores may seem easy to navigate, but they aren't. Though you can physically get the feel of a mattress at a physical store, you may have to make do with information that is less than complete.Like walking in the jungle, shopping in a store requires a cool head in order to avoid hidden pitfalls. Buying a mattress in a physical store requires a smart shopper that can avoid the schemes of crafty salesmen. In particular, the shopper should be on the lookout for the following situations:
1. Going over budget
Salesmen make money through commissions. The more money they talk you into spending, the more money they earn. This makes them super motivated to sell you the most expensive mattress they can.
You may go to the store to get an affordable mattress that works great. But a silver-tongued salesman could convince you to blow your budget on a luxury mattress that comes with all the bells and whistles.
High pressure sales techniques work on all but the strongest of wills. So ask yourself; do you have steely resolve or do you cave under pressure? If your answer is the latter, ask your most hard-headed friend to go with you.
2. Salespeople who don't know their products
Because physical stores stock many brands, chances are that the salespeople don't have in-depth knowledge of all the products in stock. This is because salespeople are almost always employed by the store, not the mattress brands. In physical stores, training of salespeople covers sales techniques and little else. A wise buyer should always do their homework before going to the store. A little research enables the buyer to make an informed decision without overly depending on a salesman's pitch.
3. Testing a mattress in a store isn't the same as testing it at home
For most of us, lying on a mattress in a store feels awkward. The best of us can only do it for 15 minutes.
And even then, we can never completely relax the way we would at home. The only way to know if a mattress is actually a good fit is to try it at home, where we can tell if it retains heat or whether it really is comfortable.
4. The return policy and warranty may have loopholes
Like all fine-print, mattress return policy and warranty are a boring and sometimes confusing read.
Which makes sense, after all, fine print was designed to conceal loopholes that can be used to avoid honoring a commitment. As a buyer, it is your responsibility to understand the warranty and return policy. You also need to get clear answers from the store concerning the sleep trial period. For example, what happens if the mattress is of good quality but is uncomfortable for whatever reason? In such a scenario, does the buyer have to pay a fee for returning or exchanging the mattress? Is there an exchange or delivery fee? Find out.
Online shopping: A draining and time-consuming chore
A particular mattress could be cheaper by up to $400 online.Shopping on the Internet also provides the shopper with a wealth of information. You can easily get useful information about mattresses from numerous brands. However, this doesn't always mean that shopping online is easy. The hardships faced by online shoppers are:
1. There are so many brands out there, which one do you pick?
It is cheaper to sell goods from an online market. Unlike in a physical market, online sellers don't need to rent space and pay utilities. That's why many mattress vendors create their brands and sell their products online. The choice of brands on the web is limitless and with so much to choose from, anyone looking to buy a mattress has their work cut out for them. Different brands offer mattresses that vary in terms of fabric, core material, thickness and firmness. The prices also vary.
They range from $300 to $3000 for a queen size.
As buyers, we have to remember that mattresses can have high mark-ups due to original cost, advertisement fees, referral fees and sometimes, really big profit margins. Common sense dictates that the $3000 mattress won't transport you to heaven. And the $300 alternative isn't a medieval torture rack. However, most consumers don't know the secrets of pricing. For all you know, the $3,000 price tag has more to do with brand recognition than quality. That means that a good way to narrow our search is to identify a price range we like.
2. Finding good information is a tiresome process
Let's consider a shopper that wants a mattress which remains cool as they sleep. Mattress descriptions that have selling terms like 'cool breeze' will not convince the experienced buyer. Such a buyer would look to reviews and the opinions of other buyers. The problem is, to get relevant and useful information, the buyer would have to go through dozens of pages. The process has to be repeated for each mattress that the buyer investigates. Given that most of us only have free time on nights and weekends, it could take weeks to pick a mattress.
3.Sleep trials aren't as straightforward as you think
Online shopping seems like a low risk gamble because general sellers have painless return policies. If you find the mattress to be uncomfortable, you could always ask for a refund. Most sellers will suggest that you sleep on the mattress for a month. The idea is that with time, the body gets used to the mattress. After one month, the sellers agree to a refund or exchange. If the second mattress also feels uncomfortable, you would have to wait another month before you exchange the mattress or apply for a refund. Some sellers require you to donate the mattress to charity in order to get your money back. As the party asking for a refund, it would be your responsibility to find and contact such a charity. If you don't live in a big city, the donation process could be inconvenient.
4. It will take a lot of time
Let's take an overall look at your shopping process:
Now you've tossed and turned for 2 nights. You don't like the mattress and would like to return it.
- 1 month waiting period before you contact the vendor to ask for a refund.
The vendor agrees, but now you have to use your old mattress or the sofa. You contact a charity and deal with the task of donating the mattress, however long that will take. Armed with proof of donation, you contact the seller in order to get your money back.
If everything goes smoothly:
- 3 to 5 business days to get a full refund
Seems like no loss was incurred going down that rabbit hole.
Except the 50 to 60 days it took to learn that the mattress you chose wasn't the right fit.
A buyer would rather pick the perfect mattress on the first try than get a refund only to go through the entire process again.
An easier way of mattress shopping
Shopping for a mattress online is cheaper. The buyer is able to make a well-informed choice thanks to the information available on the internet. The downside is that online shopping requires far too much time and effort. So should you buy a mattress online?
Yes. The process can be made simpler by a few practical hacks.
View the post ‘How to Buy a Mattress In 3 Steps? - Get The Ultimate Proven Guide’
There you will find further tips for buying a new mattress with little time and effort.