The Internet’s favorite mattresses arrived at our store the other day – Nectar, Purple, Tuft & Needle, Casper and Amazon Basics 10”.
Our reasoning to bring these in and offer them for display is three fold. First, we have a lot of customers ask us about these products and since they are sold only online for the most part we felt we could be a resource and place for people to experience these mattresses in person.
Secondly, we brought them in because of their interest. Understand these companies combined spend a TON of money each month advertising their products and the benefits of a great night’s sleep. So yes, we are hitching our wagon to their advertising dollar so to say. But the benefit is you get to try them out in person.
And third we so believe that once you can try these products out you will feel what we have to offer in our store along with our increased in home and in store service points you will easily see the value when you shop locally with Gardner’s. And if not, well we at least were able to help you along your way. We are big boys here at Gardner’s and understand we won’t win all the business that is out there but we at least would like to be a part of the conversation.
More back story to why we brought these mattresses in to our store for you to try.
About 7 years ago just as we were celebrating the one year anniversary of Gardner’s big move (we are now 29 years into serving Lancaster County) we started to hear about this amazing new thing – beds rolled up and shipped in boxes.
This was ironic to our co-owner Jeff as he has spent 20 years in the industry and at one point represented Zinus, yes that Zinus found on Amazon and Walmart, in a direct relationship offering their boxed product to retailers from 2004 – 2006. Heck he even opened up a small distributorship importing their pillows for resale. So of course this wasn’t anything new, at least not to him.
What was new was the mix of slick online advertising. A combination of supposed unbiased review sites, digital ads that seem to follow you everywhere online, celebrity endorsers and investors. In addition to all of this advertising was the bold statement that one size fits all and if and when it doesn’t (of course this is contradictory to one size fits all as a statement) these companies would offer free returns with the mattresses being donated to charity. Oh, and that ALL (as in every single one, everywhere) mattress stores are greedy rip off artists out for one thing and one thing only, your money. Of course our reviews say otherwise, you can check them out here. https://gardnersmattressandmore.com/reviews/
Well, fast forward 7 years to 2019 and here is what we now know to be true about the online mattress retailers.
All of those who began saying one size fits all, now in fact have at least 2 but in most cases 3 or more mattress types they offer for sale. Here is the breakdown of just the companies we brought in to our store.
Tuft & Needle has three mattresses – their namesake, The Nod (sold on Amazon) The Mint
Purple has four mattresses – their namesake and then also their coil hybrid mattresses too, the 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0. Which is funny because original advertising slammed coils as being painful, but now they offer them. To each their own I suppose.
Nectar has four mattresses – their namesake, but their parent company also markets the Dreamcloud, Level Sleep, and soon enough a fourth mattress type I’m not allowed to name yet.
Amazon Basics comes in three profiles 8,10, and 12”
Casper has three mattresses – their namesake, the Essentials and the Casper Wave.
Returns are not so easy. They attempt to get you to keep the mattress by offering toppers to soften up their too firm mattresses. Of course we knew this to be the case all along as you can easily fix a firm bed with a topper but a too soft mattress is just too soft and nothing can be done. Once we understood that most of these mattresses are built to be firmer in nature we knew there would be high returns and dissatisfaction. Additionally it left to you to source the donation place and or arrange for pick up and transport. At Gardner’s when we sell a mattress we service it for life and when you need it delivered and set up, even when you make an exchange we have two strapping young lads who are excellent at what they do and they do all the heavy lifting for you.
Read more about our Wake Up Happy Guarantee here – https://gardnersmattressandmore.com/wake-up-happy-every-morning/
More often than not your mattress will not be donated, instead picked up and junked. Did you know we recycle more than 95% of all mattresses we remove from homes? We make 1-2 trips to the landfill each year with our 18’ box truck, that’s it. And more often than not those trips are with metal based store fixtures that have no more use to us, so they too are recycled in some fashion.
What is also interesting to us (given we write the checks for everything here) is the insane amount of money being spent on advertising. One brand listed here with a retail price of $699 freely share with us that they spend $260 to acquire a customer. This means that about 37% of the purchase price of this mattress is advertising.
As if high cost of advertising wasn’t enough the return rates also must be factored in. In total because of our expertise here at Gardner’s we exchange about 2% of our mattresses sold here. Online the consensus is that the return rate runs about 10%, with some reporting returns as high as 20%. This means with a 10% return rate that 9 out of 10 customers are paying for the 1 customer that returns their mattress.
But the most insidious part of all of this is the so called unbiased review sites. Most run afoul of proper disclosures as mandated by the FTC letting you know they earn a commission when you click their links. Other sites that do disclose their intentions do so with the smallest of fine print buried on their site. Maybe this isn’t an issue for you, maybe it is. At least you are now properly informed.
We also brought these mattresses into our store because these other companies have made it personal, taking direct shots at our integrity and how we choose to provide our employees, their families and ours.
These companies have taken some serious shots at traditional mattress retailers and while we certainly can agree with some of the statements that have been made – the mattress industry is full of deception and made up marketing words, what we can’t agree with are two main points they also attempt to make.
Point #1 – Mattress stores are evil profiteers swimming in money with a 7-8x mark up. Both Ben & Jeff (co-owners) of Gardner’s Mattress & More have a combined 30 years experience in the industry. Ben in retail, and Jeff in the manufacturing and wholesale side too, Jeff’s retail experience dates back to his partnership with Ben in Gardner’s Mattress & More.
Understand first that none of these online companies, are 501c3 non profits. Second, Casper specifically, has taken on over $55 million of big money from Wall Street since inception. Now I’ve never made money on Wall Street but we all know that Wall Street is not a very forgiving place when it comes to lackluster profits.
Further, from my experience (Jeff) I’ve found that the materials cost of most of these online mattresses range from $200 – $300 meaning that most all online companies enjoy a very healthy mark up too! Convenient how they are more than willing to assume what my store’s markup is, yet not walk you through that example isn’t it?!
Let me ask this, do you care about any of this? Likely Not.
(But hey, I (Jeff) am not one to just sit back when outright misrepresentations are said about how I choose to put food on my family’s table along with the 6 other families that look to Gardner’s for a steady paycheck.)
Which brings me to my next point and likely more valid point for you.
Point #2 – Do you really feel there is a one size fits all mattress for everyone? If so, show me your cookie cutter house, your same color, speed, and features car, your khaki pants and polo wardrobe and your same as everyone else hair style.
Not the same thing you say? I agree 100%! Here’s why.
We are all unique, we all have different shapes, different body sizes and most importantly different internal and external body structure and demands. Oh, and unique aches and pains too.
Show me a one size fits all mattress that 100 people love and I’ll show you 100 people who A) have been sleeping on the floor B) who have never had a quality mattress C) have such a poor quality mattress they can’t tell the difference D) all of the above.
Which brings me to my final point. Almost none of the reviews you read about on any of these online mattresses state the context and circumstance in which they were purchased.
No one states “I love my new mattress I can’t believe I was too cheap not to invest in a new one for 20 Years!” Just like no one says, “You know what, prior to sleeping on a futon I had leftover from college I thought sleep was just a formality, now it’s great!”
Truthfully anything that is new will feel great. And you know what maybe for some, not all, these online internet mattresses do feel great and for that we are grateful.
But you know what? If you really wanted, if we here at Gardner’s, felt that selling you a 10” piece of polyurethane foam much like the stuff found in your couch cushions and the seat of your car was the solution to sustained happy and pain free wake ups, we would sell it. It’s not. And for the record if we did, it would be about $499– Imagine that!
Want to know something else? We have a very nice selection of queen mattresses priced from $600 – $1000 (same price range as the online companies) and we can have them in your home very quickly too.
At the end of the day, we truly believe in the power of a good night’s sleep and all that it can do for you personally, for your family and for your community and that is why we decided to show these on our floor.
So come on in, check out what we have to offer, compare our mattresses to other options available to you. And if after that is done and you still want to buy one of these internet mattresses, be our guest we have free WIFI in the store!
Buy the online mattress, don’t buy it. At the end of the day we go to sleep just fine knowing we offer great sleep systems here at Gardner’s Mattress & More that truly transform our customers lives and deliver on the promise of a happy and pain free morning.
If that is what you are looking for, then we look forward to seeing you soon!