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Are 50% off Mattress Sales Really Bargains?

By Jeff Frank


Are Mattresses Advertised At 50% Off or More Really Bargains?


The simple answer is:

“No! Mattresses are never put on Sale at 50% off the price they previously sold for.

Mattress retailers (both online and off) constantly offer brand name mattresses that are “discounted” by 50% or more.

Mattress retailers routinely advertise “list” prices that are double, triple or even quadruple the advertised “Sale prices”.

Recently I was looking for a mattress for my home.

I examined the specifications of hundreds of these deeply discounted mattresses.

Then I compared them with hundreds of mattresses selling at similar prices with lower discounts or no price reduction at all.

For this comparison, I selected innerspring mattresses from Serta, Sealy and Simmons.

These were found on more than a dozen different online mattress websites.

I am qualified as a mattress “expert.”

Once upon a time (long ago) I was the mattress buyer for a major retail furniture chain.

Over a 4-year period, I purchased over $20 million of mattresses.

The mattress industry makes it extremely difficult to compare one mattress with another.

This is true across different brands, but also within a single brand.

Each different mattress model has unique specifications that are almost never exactly duplicated in any other model.

Each brand offered dozens (or hundreds) of different models.

Models offered by an individual retailer were rarely available from their competitors.

This eliminated the possibility of comparing prices on identical mattresses.

Despite this obstacle, I was able to identify one universal measurement that enabled me to compare mattresses, both across brands and within brands.

I compared the weights of the different mattress models.

[Update – prices have increased since this article was originally written.

The mattresses I looked at probably sell for $200 more now.]

I looked at approximately 200 different innerspring queen-size mattresses selling for $799 – $999.

Half were advertised at 50% – 80% off the “list price.”

The other half were advertised at full price – no discount at all.

In every case (except one) the queen-size mattresses selling in that price range weighed 80 – 100 lbs — regardless of the original “list” price.

Mattresses at the lower end of my price range weighed 80 lbs – 90 lbs.

Mattresses at the top of my price range generally weighed 90 lbs. – 100 lbs..

I subsequently examined several mattresses selling in the $1999 – $2999 price range.

As expected, all of these weighed substantially more than the lower priced mattresses.

All of these more expensive mattresses weighed 110 – 130 lbs..

This included models claiming to be 50% – 80% off.

There was absolutely no relationship between the “listed” comparison price and the weight of the mattress.

Mattresses listed as $3999 values and selling for $999 weighed approximately the same as mattresses selling for $999 with no discount.

Mattresses listed at $9,999 values selling for $2999 weighed approximately the same as mattresses selling for $3999 with no discount.

Mattresses actually selling for $3999 weighed substantially more than the mattresses that sold for $999.

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