August 20, 2014
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It is no secret that most large mattress chains have some wiggle room in how much they’ll charge you. But not everybody is comfortable being a hardball negotiator. In this quick and easy guide, anybody can get a great price on a new mattress with little hassle and no uncomfortable back-and-forth negotiations. Here are the steps.
Step 1: Research
Do some research online to familiarize yourself with the mattress buying experience and what to expect. This will allow you to be a little more comfortable and confident when you’re in the showroom. In fact, you’re already on this step if you’re reading this! Check out the other pages on this site like my mattress buying guide.
Step 2: Shop
Go into a showroom and go through their selection process. If you want to know how to choose the right mattress, my mattress buying guide is a great resource. The short version is “check for proper support and make sure the mattress doesn’t cause any pressure.”
Step 3: Don’t buy it yet
This is the key step. Let the salesman know that you’re still shopping around for the best price on that mattress. Most retailers have either a price match or a price beat policy. If you have a smartphone, you can do this while you’re in the store. Otherwise, go home and take some time to do it on your computer.
The salesman will react in one of a few ways at this point.
- He or she may just drop the price immediately, or offer to call a manager to drop the price. Listen to what he or she has to say, but unless it’s a massive price drop, don’t take it.
- Some salesman may offer to look up the comparison models on competitors websites for you. If you trust the salesman, this can save you time, but not every salesman will be honest about what mattress is the real comparison model.
- He or she may just say “ok” and let you leave. This isn’t what most salespeople are trained to do, but it’s less awkward for you.
Honestly, it’s best to walk out without buying so you can take the time to comparison shop.
Feel free to repeat this step with other retailers if you have the time.
Step 4: Comparison shop
Go online to find the same or similar model for a lot less. I’ve found that three websites, Overstock.com and US Mattress usually have the lowest prices on a big selection of mattresses. I have a guide to comparing mattresses to help you out with this as well.
If you’re having trouble finding a comparable model, check out my free Mattress Comparison Shopping Service and I will find the comparable models for you.
Step 5: Price match/price beat
Go back into the showroom with the comparison model in hand. Have the page up on your smartphone or print it out. Let the salesman know that if they can beat the website’s offer, you’ll go with them. Otherwise, you’ll just buy it online. At this point, salesmen will almost certainly agree to at least match the price. If they say they can only match, not beat it, see if they can throw in a mattress protector, some pillows, a set of sheets or something instead.
If the salesperson refuses to match the price, have him or her call a manager. If he or she claims that it’s not the same model, have the salesperson explain exactly what’s different. If they give you some legitimate differences (this one here is a pillowtop, the one online isn’t), then ask them what the comparable model is on that same website. If they give you some B.S. reason (we have an exclusive anti-microbial treatment in the cover/ours uses Celestron in it/we have 5 extra coils/ours uses latex instead of memory foam in the center band), just reiterate that you don’t care about that, and will buy it online unless they match the price.
If the salesperson is stubborn, just buy it online. There’s no need to fight to give a business your money if they don’t want it. Most salespeople will take the deal, though. They get paid on commission, and even a heavily reduced commission is better than nothing. (Full disclosure, if you buy something online from one of the links on my website, I’ll get credit for the sale. So, if your salesman doesn’t want to make a commission from you, I’m happy to do so).
So, that’s all there is to it. Familiarize yourself with the mattress buying process, select a mattress, comparison shop online, then go back into the store and take advantage of the store’s price match or price beat policy. My customers often save 40% or more on mattresses this way, and it’s a very “clean” negotiation, with no lies or shady tactics on either end.
One note of caution: this is mainly useful at large mattress chains. There are a lot of independent mom-and-pop shops and boutique stores which don’t charge absurd prices to begin with and who might not be able to negotiate like the big guys.
I hope this helps!
If you successfully used this strategy, please let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear some success stories from you guys.