Sleep, glorious sleep. Oh how I have missed thee!
What a relief to slide out of bed in the morning without an aching back. How refreshing to discover that I’ve changed sleeping positions throughout the night without waking and spending precious minutes repositioning myself in the least uncomfortable form I can contort myself into. It’s nice to melt into the mattress instead of sliding involuntary to the center of a 15 year-old bed.
If only shopping for a new mattress could be as stress-free and rejuvenating as sleeping on one is.
As a sales professional, I’m fairly empathetic toward the men and women on the frontline of retail sales. I’m polite when I don’t automatically accept their outrageous claims. I’m patient when they try to put the hard sell on me. In many ways, I’m actually sympathetic. Mattresses can’t be an easy sale.
The product isn’t sexy, despite its direct relationship to sex. The product isn’t cutting edge. It’s still essentially the same construction of springs, foam, and fabric that it has always been. It’s certainly not an impulse item. No one sees that stylish tan cover and screams “I gotta have this!”
It’s even a tough item to try out. Sure, they have pillows and those nice feet protectors at the foot of the bed. But unless they’re willing to let you spend the night in the showroom hopping from bed to bed like Goldilocks, you’ll never be 100% certain that “this one feels just right”.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find the one mattress in the store that feels comfy enough for your budget.
Shopping from store to store is where the headache begins. With each of the Back-To-American-Bedding-Giant stores offering different brands with exclusive models, you’ll be relying on regurgitated claims of brand superiority to influence your decision. Forget about comparing two models from two non-related brands side by side. It’s next to impossible to trust your memory about how your favorite bed at the last store felt.
Knowing that you can’t make that inter-store comparison, your friendly salesperson will do everything he or she can to prevent you from walking out of the store without making a purchase.
Those prices at the foot of the bed? Forget about them! The delivery charge? Don’t worry about it! Consider the salesman Monty Hall and you’re the next contestant on “Let’s Make A Deal!”
If you’re one to buy a car from Carmax because you hate haggling, I strongly suggest you make your mattress purchase at Sears, Carsons, or Macy’s. You'll go to sleep each night knowing that your dignity was worth an extra 10 to 20% more of your hard earned cash.
If you’re like Ralphie’s old man on A Christmas Story, get ready to haggle!
If you feel that brands matter and you have a personal preference for Stearns and Foster or Sealy or Beauty Rest or Simmons or Serta, keep that as your closely guarded secret. Adopt the attitude that a Stearns and Foster is as good as a Beauty Rest or a Sealy is the same as a Serta. Brand indifference will encourage the salesperson to lock the front door and pull out every “back pocket” promotion at his or her disposal.
Stearns and Foster for the price of Sealy? Done! King for the price of Queen? Why, that just happens to be today’s unadvertised sale! Free delivery? You’re letting the salesman off too easily! Don’t settle for free pillows – go for the cash savings!
At Back-To-American-Bedding-Giant anything is negotiable. Stand facing the salesperson with one foot pointed toward the door and remember the favorite word of a two year-old. No! At some point, you will be made an offer that you can’t refuse.
Just don’t settle for “I’ll throw in some string and tie it to the roof of your car.”
You’ll be the one uttering F - - - when your major award goes flying off into a ditch…