Living with credit (556) | New, interesting products (125) | Research, regulation, industry reports (266) | Rewards (48) | Protecting yourself (208) | The fine print (93) | Credit card miscellany (410) | Celebrity Money Watch (9)
Don't pay full price for that mattress
After moving to a new city and sleeping on an air mattress for a month, I decided it was time to invest in something that didn't need to be re-inflated every night.
My quest for the perfect (and more important, affordable) mattress lead me to discover that with a little research and a lot of haggling, everything is negotiable.
Want to know how I scored a $900 mattress set for a little over $500? Read on.
Do your homework
I began researching different bed types and was initially overwhelmed by the possibilities. Most mattresses can be sorted into nine categories: inner spring, waterbed, organic mattress, orthopedic mattress, pillow-top mattress, gel mattress, air bed, latex mattress and memory foam mattress. Within these main categories are several sub-categories, depending on how the core of a mattress is built. A pocketed coil mattress, which would suppress bed movement and support my back, met all my needs. Next step? Decide on my budget.
Decide on a price point
At each store, a sales clerk would walk me through the stock. My first step was letting the attendant know that I was in the market for a $500 mattress. Usually, they would take me to a more expensive model first -- in the $1,000 range. When they try the upsell, I become like a good bed: soft outside, firm inside. After politely telling them I wasn't interested in a bed for more than my set budget, they would then take me to a mattress that was much more compatible with my price range. Once I picked a mattress, the bargaining would begin. The key was holding out and walking away if the price wasn't right.
Channeling your inner Goldilocks
A second store was having a "king-for-a-queen sale." The price of any bed was dropped to the bed size below its price point. This clerk showed me a bed that was originally $649, marked down to $549, which included the box spring but not delivery. The clerk knew my maximum price was $500, so I told him I would have to think it over, but really didn't want to go beyond my $500 budget. He then gave me his final offer: If I were to come back over the weekend, he would drop the price to $499 and cut the delivery cost in half. The total would be $575, including delivery and tax. I thanked him for his time, but decided to sleep on it.
The last store I visited was having a sale, too. I told the clerk I had already gone to two other shops, and was looking to see if this store could offer me a better deal. He handed me off to a manager, who proceeded to show me the beds. The manager knew he was in competition for my business, so he applied a friends-and-family discount to a mattress set I liked instead of the sale price. The sale price of the bed was $899, but with the discount it dropped to $516 with a mismatched box spring. With tax, the total was $560 with free, same-day delivery. He assured me the mismatched box spring would not void the warranty of the mattress, which I had him put it in writing just to be safe.
It's all open to negotiation
They're the pieces of plastic we love, and love to hate. Get the latest news, tips, research and more from the CreditCards.com staff.
Other Voices and Blogs
Subscribe to Taking Charge