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My mom's pain specialist M.D. diagnosed her with severe Low Back Pain and Arthralgia. He recommended buying a soft high-quality mattress. She lives in Toronto Canada.

Last month at a Sleep Country ( "ZZZ" is their ticker symbol) store, my mom fell in love with Tempur-pedic's LuxeBreeze Soft, part of ADAPT Collection. Neither link shows prices. The asst. manager, Rob, alleged $4500 CAD as the price.

Last week, when she sampled it again, Rob alleged a sale, and that it costs $3800 now. This alleged "sale" made us distrust Rob and rankled us. We just left.

Today when I called Rob, he alleged he doesn't "palaver" on prices by email or phone. We're riled that Rob is so harebrained and ungracious to even suggest returning to a store (a third freaking time!) just to haggle, when this can be done by phone. We're busy people.

  1. Tempur Sealy emailed us that ZZZ is the only retailer that sells LuxeBreeze. Tempur-pedic's other 5 collections don't have LuxeBreeze's cooling features.

  2. My extended family has at least one person with a mattress from Casper, Endy, Hamuq, Silk & Snow, Logan Cove, Purple. But these online manufacturers' mattresses aren't soothing enough for my mom. Tempur-pedics are allegedly incomparably better?

  3. How can we haggle the price productively, by phone or email, without revisiting his store? We're so wearied and wrathful that buying a mattress is trickier than buying a car. My mom cried today!

  4. Any insiders here know the typical retail markup on mattresses? How do I avoid paying full price?

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    I'm voting to close this question as questions about shopping are off-topic (see the on-topic page). You might want to look at the Interpersonal Skills site, but check their help pages first. – TripeHound Jul 5 at 6:58
  • I've tried to give some general "market" advice while also answering the specific questions to keep this relevant to personal finance and money. – Kendall Lister Jul 5 at 7:00
  • @TripeHound How can this question be off-topic???? It's just like money.stackexchange.com/q/615/44214. – Mark da Silva Jul 5 at 8:26
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    90% of the details in the question are totally irrelevant. Questions and answers on stackexchange are supposed to be useful to other people, not just to the person asking the question. – Ben Crowell Jul 5 at 12:43
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    I think this is on-topic. This is not a "shopping" question (i.e. seeking product/service recommendations), but fundamentally about retail price negotiation. Consumers ought to learn how to negotiate significant purchases and, mattresses aside, the answers here could be helpful to others if addressing negotiation specifically (including when to walk away and look elsewhere). – Chris W. Rea Jul 5 at 17:41
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Unfortunately this all sounds very normal, both for retail in general and the mattress industry in particular. As to why the sales person doesn’t want to give you a discounted price over the phone and wants you to come into their shop, this common tactic is based on an assumption that once you have made the effort to come to their shop you will be more invested in buying from them than if you’ve taken the easier path of calling by phone. Also, having you in front of them in person gives the sales person a better chance to apply their sales techniques. In your case, the sales person’s reluctance to give you a further discount over the phone does tell you one useful thing: they are relatively confident that you won’t find a better deal elsewhere, probably either because they don’t think there are any shops willing to give a greater discount, or because they don’t think you are capable of or willing to find one. Either way, that’s information you can use.

  1. Manufacturers often design specific lines exclusively for different retailers for exactly this reason: so that you can't compare like-for-like at different shops. Are the mattresses that Tempur Sealy sell through Sleep Country significantly better than their other models? Perhaps, perhaps not - the only way to know would be to try them, or rely on an independent reviewer like Choice or Consumer Reports or your local equivalent.
  2. Tempur-pedic mattresses are unlikely to be "incomparably better" than other mattresses. They may be better in some respects, but I wouldn't rely on a single report from an individual on the internet.
  3. Any discount you can obtain by haggling is only a good deal if it doesn't cost you more in effort and emotional stress than you save. It sounds like you want this mattress and you believe that it is the only one that is suitable for your mother, and the bargaining process is taking quite a toll on you both, so this might be a good time to take the discount you’ve been offered so far and start getting the benefit of this mattress for your mother.
  4. I can't help with this, and even if you knew, I’m not sure that it would help you much in bargaining with this shop, as the shop will still want to make a profit, meet sales targets, etc. Your time would likely be better spent trying to contact other Sleep Country outlets and seeing what prices they are willing to sell this mattress for - having several different stores competing for your business is essentially your only leverage in this market, especially if you have your heart set on a particular model. For what it's worth, here in Australia mattress shops typically offer large discounts once or twice a year, so shops in your area might have similar traditions, but if your mother's health is depending on this mattress waiting that long may not be worth it.
  • Thanks!! i upvoted you. "sales assistant" - You mean asst. manager? – Mark da Silva Jul 5 at 8:27
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    "so why not just pay the asking price and enjoy it?" - uhh....who wouldn't want to save $2700 (40% of 4500)? i'm assuming the retailer cost is less than 40%. – Mark da Silva Jul 5 at 8:29
  • why would the sales assistant give you a discounted price over the phone when they think they can get you to come back to the shop --- to make sure that I get the mattress from them rather than from a cheaper competitor, like every other discount? – Federico Poloni Jul 5 at 12:37
  • "why would the sales assistant give you a discounted price over the phone when they think they can get you to come back to the shop" and i can just go to another ZZZ branch. there are at least 30 in the GTA. – Mark da Silva Jul 7 at 5:03
  • @MarkdaSilva I’m trying to take into account all of the information you’ve provided with your question, including the urgency of the need for this mattress and the stress and strain the buying process is causing. I also think the odds of getting the mattress at the wholesale price are very small. I did suggest that you find other branches and get them competing for your business as being your best chance of getting a better deal in this situation. I’ve revised my answer to make it clearer and to address these comments. – Kendall Lister Jul 7 at 7:11
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You can pay an awful lot for a mattress, but you might not have to. There are often very similar mattresses for much lower prices.

  1. Go to a different mattress store
  2. When you introduce yourself, try to make a friendly and polite, but not naive or gullible impression. You want the salesperson to both like you and respect you. They should think that you are simultaneously too nice to deserve getting ripped off and too smart to not notice when you get ripped off.
  3. Explain the special requirements you have due to the medical condition of your mother
  4. Tell them you have a budget of $x (slightly below what you are actually able and willing to spend) and that you are looking for something similar to the Tempur-pedic's LuxeBreeze Soft you tried, but more in your price range.
  5. See what they can show you
  6. If they don't have an adequate product in your price range, then be prepared to leave and go to yet another mattress store (you can not win a negotiation when you can not walk away from it)
  • thanks. upvoted. but i can't act on your first point. please reread my paragraph 1. – Mark da Silva Jul 7 at 5:06
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    I suspect by “a different mattress store” @Philipp is including other branches of the same chain - even within the same chain sales people at different branches will often be willing and able to offer different deals for the same product. – Kendall Lister Jul 7 at 6:41
  • @MarkdaSilva As I said, you shouldn't ask for exactly that mattress but for something similar in a lower price range. I don't believe that this is the only store within car range which sells a mattress like that. – Philipp Jul 7 at 9:42
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Can you handle the truth that the mattress industry is a rip-off?

In fact, a mattress that sells for $3000, you can hunt around and get it with $500 or even less(depends on bed size). The huge margin is mean for the shop to keep running until they hit another customer.

Here is your Mattress store bubble story. This story is confirmed by the reputable German consumer goods foundation assessment on mattress quality and price (subscription required). The mattress that gets the highest quality rating is not from a premium brand that spends millions in marketing, The mattress (e.g. from Bett1.de) costs less than 600€ for a Cal King size.

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