What Bed Shops Don’t Want You to Know

By  //  January 8, 2021

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Bed shops want to make sales. Every business does. They can’t just give away their stock. However, bed shops have some sneaky ways to make their cash registers ring, ways that they’d rather keep to themselves to keep bringing in the money, and you’re not always getting the bargain you think you are.

Knowledge is power. Below are a few things bed shops don’t want you to know. Once you know them, you can decide to buy a product (or keep looking) on your own terms, not on those of the bed shops. First on the list: white-label products

Top brands give the same product different labels

Now, this is a wily little trick. Some of the top brands will supply the same white-labeled product to more than one stockist but with different labels. This makes it look as if it’s unique to the store. It isn’t, but you don’t know that when you’re buying it.

So, what do you do? Well, you’re going to have to do a little detective work on this one. The trick is to go not by the name but by the specifications. See a mattress you like? Note down the product specifications. Then go round the other stores and look at the specifications on the mattresses. It will help you to spot the same product in different stores, even though the label may be different.

The free sleep trial on mattresses isn’t free

A mattress can seem less comfortable in your bedroom than during the 15 minutes you spent trying out in the store. Mattress retailers know this and might give you a false sense of security by offering a free sleep trial, in which you get to try out a mattress for 30 or 60 days to decide whether you like it. The only problem is this trial isn’t normally free.

What it really means is that when you don’t like a mattress, you’re still going to have to pay when you return it. Normally, you’ll have to choose another mattress in the same range. Although you might be happy with your new choice, the obligation to buy a mattress probably won’t go down so well with you.

It also means you should check the returns policy before you buy your mattress. Some retailers might charge you for coming to collect it, if they’re not charging you to swap it or making you choose something else in the range. If the returns policy includes eye-watering charges, you might just decide to shop somewhere else. Perfectly understandable, really.

Is your free gift or delivery really free?

Now…. bed retailers aren’t daft. The deliveries and any free gifts are still a cost to them and it would appear they don’t charge you any extra. After all, it doesn’t state there are any extra charges in the bill, right?

Wrong. The company is still likely to be charging you for it. They’ve just factored the cost into the headline price of the product. All those people who say nothing in life is for free may just have a point!

You’ll pay more than you need to for a unique brand

A bed store might have its own unique brand. It might be cheaper than some other brands. Even so, you should steer well clear of it. No matter what you’re paying, you won’t be getting a bargain. Often, the (profit) margin is sky-high.

It’s for this same reason the salesperson will try to push you in the direction of the store’s brand. As you can imagine, the store will have instructed them to. It might look as if they’re trying to do you a favor. They can pull the other one now because they’re not. If you don’t want the store’s brand, stick to your guns!

Managers and supervisors have more discretion

Not happy with the price of a product? You don’t have to just swallow it and hand over the money. If you think you could get it for less, try swerving the customer service staff and speak to a manager or supervisor. Often, these superiors have more discretion than regular shop staff and might be able to give you a discount. They understand retail better and are used to keeping customers happy.

The one thing you should avoid, however, is going to the very top. Top-level managers are busy, busy people. Perhaps they have the power to give a discount, but a single small sale isn’t likely to concern them. That’s why they hire managers, sales teams and other members of staff, so you’re likely to be wasting your time with any top brass.

The recommended retail price is irrelevant

Stating the recommended retail price (RRP) makes it look as if you’re getting a heavy discount. Sometimes the RRP is embellished to create an even deeper sense of discount.

It’s all irrelevant really, however. The RRP is nothing more than the price at which the manufacturer believes the retailer should sell the product. The price for which the retailer decides to sell it is a different story, so don’t let the RRP sway you. Just think about how much you value the product. Do you think it’s worth what the retailer is charging for it?

Don’t put too much faith in the warranty

Good quality mattress may come with a longer warranty. Some warranties can be as little as five years, whereas others can extend up to as long as twenty.

No one is trying to hoodwink you with a longer warranty, necessarily, but don’t channel all your faith into one that lasts more than ten years. It’s good practice to replace your mattress every six to ten years, depending on the quality of the mattress. If you’re returning your mattress to the manufacturer or retailer for whatever reason after that time, it’s better to just buy a new one and spare yourself the hassle.

Read the fine print on the warranty

The warranty can catch you off guard in just what it covers. Although it might cover a certain lifespan, if you were to spill coffee or other products on your mattress and stain it, this could invalidate the warranty. That would be an expensive spillage. It would also be a harsh lesson.

Sales are the name of the game and bed shops will try lots of different tricks to persuade you to part with your dough. Not all of them are especially ethical, but it doesn’t necessarily make them all illegal either. It’s just a question of being wise to the tricks so you can buy the bed you want to buy, not the one they want you to have.