Buying a Mattress is Like Buying a Car

I headed to Sleepy’s the other day to buy Little Lady a big girl bed.  The plan was to buy her a good quality, full sized bed that she will grow into.

I’ve bought beds from Sleepy’s before, four of them to be exact, but the fourth might be the last.

I should have known that things were not going to turn out well, when upon entering the store, the sales lady approached me and said, disingenuously, “Aren’t you so pretty.”

It was an awkward remark clearly intended to make me like her.  It had the complete opposite effect. Things quickly went downhill from there. She wanted to know my budget. I hate this question for obvious reasons, and so purposely remained vague and that’s how the dance began.

In effort to find my price point, she led me to a crappy bed that I quickly declined. When she realized I wasn’t looking for low end, she moved right on to Kings Down, a much pricier option.

I am familiar with Kings Down because that’s what I sleep on.  My bed is fairly new, but that’s only because my original Kings Down broke down in less than five years. The bed I’m sleeping on now is a replacement that I purchased with a credit from the warranty. I don’t know if I would have bought another Kings Down if I had been given the option. By the way, that’s what a twenty year warranty gives you, a credit, prorated according to how long you’ve had the bed, not a brand new bed like they lead you to believe.  Of course, they would have given me a brand new bed for free if they happened to still make that model. The chances of that happening, though, are pretty much nil.

The sales lady immediately launched into a hard sell on the Kings Down. I liked it, so I decided to negotiate, but she wasn’t having it. That is not until I told her that Sleepy’s was my first stop. She angrily replied that I could go to all the other stores I wanted, but that Sleepy’s pretty much owned everything, so I would be wasting my time, and then followed that up with, “what do I have to do to get you in that bed, today.”


She then offered to call her manager and get the delivery fee waived, like that’s some sort of a big deal.  I wasn’t expecting to pay for delivery in the first place.

Since she was now in the mood for negotiating, I told her if she dropped three hundred dollars off the price, I would buy it.  She said I was crazy. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Since we were knee deep in our game, I made my move and told her I needed to call my husband (who believes that a good full size bed should cost around $250).  He almost dropped the phone when I told him the price, declaring it ridiculous.

I asked him if he wanted to meet me there with the kids.  He said he would leave it to me to decide. Smart man.

The sales lady wanted to know what my husband said.  I told her he was less than impressed.

It only got more bizarre from there. In what I can only describe as a good cop, bad cop routine (as acted out by one person), she changed her tactics, again, resorting back to flattery.  This time, she complimented my bag.  I told her it was a Calvin Klein, a gift from my mom.  She told me I could be a Calvin Klein model.  Standing at five feet four, and in my late thirties, even on my best day, I can assure you I don’t look like a Calvin Klein model.

She then asked me if I wanted her to call my husband.  I told her he wouldn’t appreciate that.  She flippanty asked if he was home watching football.  I told her that he was home watching our kids so I could buy a bed.

Eventually, I stopped making eye contact with her and she left me alone to go work over an older gentleman, who was looking for a Tempur-Pedic adjustable bed. I’m pretty sure he was going home with a three thousand dollar bed that day.

The man who had been previously helping the gentleman looking for the Tempur-Pedic, was now sitting across from me, telling me about how when his daughter was young she picked out the most expensive Tempur-Pedic bed in the store (and that jackass bought it).

According to him, her Tempur-Pedic bed cured her sleep apnea, caused her to lose fifteen pounds, and, get this, helped her to get better grades.  I believe in a good night’s sleep as much as the next person, but come on?  What was she sleeping on before her Tempur-Pedic, a bed of nails?

I told him I was not buying my daughter a Tempur-Pedic. He left me alone.

I tried to look at a few other brands, but the sales lady, who unfortunately returned, was unrelenting in making me feel that I would be nothing less than a fool if I didn’t buy the Kings Down. I was beyond suspicious, not to mention annoyed, so I decided to leave.

Back in bad cop persona, she told me it didn’t matter how much I shopped around, Sleepy’s price matched. I asked her how they could price match when no bedding store sold the same named version of a bed.  I had finally rendered her speechless.

I ended up buying a bed at Mattress Giant.  They were having a liquidation sale.  Turns out they were being bought out, not by Sleepy’s, but by the company that owned Sleepy’s, which is sort of different than what aggressive sales lady led me to believe.

In the end, I didn’t get a full sized bed, but I don’t care.  I got a good bed from a decent sales person, who (I’m pretty sure) dealt honestly with me.

It didn’t take much digging around to find  out that Sleepy’s employees make more money when they sell a Kings Down than when they sell a Sealy or a Serta, which is what I suspected. I also found out that the store I shop at has a higher price point than most stores in the area.  Is that even ethical?

Next time I buy a bed, remind me to go to the poor part of town and definitely NOT to a Sleepy’s.

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