Shopping supposed to be a joyful experience, but sometimes it can drive you crazy, especially when it happens for some expensive and “big” item like mattress. Despite the fact that lot of people regret the model or brand they pick after couple months of “practice”, research also notices that over 40% of customers found they can find a cheaper price for the exact same item they bought. Today, we are not suggesting you any mattress brand or model, but instead, we are exploring the secrets of getting the lowest price for the mattress you want to buy.
40% sounds pretty discouraging? But the truth is that, there are some (actually a lot) not even aware they are over spending. Most people won’t be bothered if it is a $5 toothbrush, or even a $100 gift for girlfriend. But when it comes to thousands dollars decision, 1% can be dozen bucks, or a 5% can totally save you one month’s utility, which does matter now!
Let’s take the example of a famous mattress module: TEMPUR-Contour™ Supreme from Tempur-Pedic. (Again, we are not advertising this item at all. Let’s just focus how the true lowest payment comes true). This high end module costs $2,799 as shown in Tempur-Pedic official site, as a king size mattress only. And we visited most physical mattress chains, figuring that the list pricing is exact same. When we called couple chains, either online or offline, the answer is pretty similar. This is the end of the game? NO! if you know how to play the game!
Mistry Tempur-Pedic (King size Mattress only) final price comparison grid:
|Price||Coupon||Cash Back||Site Credit||Tax||Delivery||Credit Card||Final Price|
|Tempur-Pedic||$2,799||NA||0%||$ 500||$175||Free||$ 59.48||$2,415|
|Relax the Back||$2,799||NA||4% (RebateGiant)||$ –||$175||Free||$ 59.48||$2,796|
|Sears||$2,799||NA||1.50% (ebates)||$ 328||$258||Free||$ 61.14||$2,622|
|US-Mattress.com||$2,799||NA||10% (topcashback)||$ 300||$ –||Free||$ 55.98||$2,163|
|Sleepys.com||$2,799||NA||8% (topcashback)||$ –||$258||Free||$ 61.14||$2,751|
|Wayfair.com||$2,799||NA||2% (shop.com)||$ –||$175||Free||$ 59.48||$2,855|
|Sleeptrain.com||$2,799||NA||0%||$ –||$258||Free||$ 55.98||$2,996|
|Raymour & Flanigan||$2,799||NA||0%||$ –||$258||About $300||$ 67.14||$3,290|
*All the listing prices, offers, coupons are listed as 12/30/2017. Changes subjected to the websites.
**All tax and delivery are exampled as shipping to City of Chicago.
1. Listing price
The price listed is usually the first thing people comparing around. It doesn’t matter for some high end expensive brands like Tempur-Pedic. Like the example we are giving, TEMPUR-Contour™ Supreme, is holding a standard $2,799 price when you are looking for the king size mattress.
Similar as listing price, some high end brands usually DO NOT attend any promotion the retailer website has. For example, Sleepys.com is having a 10% off promo code site wide, but with couple brands excluded, and Tempur-Pedic is one of them.
3. Cash Back
Here is where magic starts. You may (or may not know) that there is a marketing channel called cash back website. These websites are affiliate sites promoting the cash offers which retailers are willing to offer to win your deal. It is usually something 1% – 5%, but sometimes can be a temporary high 10% as we are seeing US-Mattress is doing for Tempur-Pedic for now. Usually you are required to register the cashback site, and they will allow you to redeem the cash once the order is made and won’t be able to be cancelled anymore (usually 30 days after the transaction).
4. Credit Card
Most people are aware of this benefit, but playing it in the right way is not easy. We don’t have any big retailer chain here as example, but when you shop for something else, a 5x Macy’s card, or Amazon’s 5% credit card might be a big matter. The sample credit card we are using here is Citi’s Cash Back twice card which gives 2% cash value on every dollar you paid via that card.
5. On site credit
Retailers sometimes are able to give on-site credit (usually a gift or some credit can only be used at their own store) to attract customers. In this example, Tempur-Pedic allows you to redeem $500 (in the same transaction) for any bed accessory items on the website. Sears gives you 1% value plus 300,000 bonus points of shop-your-way credit, total worth $328. US-Mattress gives you a free ipad mini2, or $300 visa gifting card. (By this day, I believe most people will just choose the $300 visa gift card which can be used everywhere).
Still remember the tax fight Amazon has with IRS around 2012-2013? The giant finally admitted to collect tax after 10 years beneficial of tax free (Well, it requires customers to report the tax annually by themselves, but apparently people won’t be able to, or not willing to, do that), which made them lowest price in most scenarios. As you can see in our mattress saving grid, US-Mattress is still able to waive the tax for customers not in MI, UT, or NC. Actually Wayfair is able to waive the tax for some states as well, but the collecting list is much longer than US-Mattress. But if you are living in MI, Wayfair does offer tax free while US-Mattress can not. And sometimes, with the different base of the retailer (depending on the states they are taxing or operating), the tax ratio can be different as well, as you can see the most common $258 vs. $175 in our grid.
Most retailers are doing delivery better and better recently, and they are willing to offer free express delivery (usually 1-2 days to your home) for expensive items. That also shrinks Amazon’s shipping advantage for Prime members, and making the online shopping industry even more competitive. But if you go to a traditional furniture chain like Raymour & Flanigan, the sales person probably would make you believe a $300 delivery fee is reasonable for their ‘high end’ service, but which in fact, is no difference from the other in now day.
We have reviewed all the items, and now, what’s the conclusion? You probably already figured the answer out from my grid’s every right column called “FINAL PRICE”. Yes, this is the amount of the money you finally pay for the mattress, the price, the tax, the delivery, deducting the cashback, the on-site gift card, and the credit card benefit. The lowest price “winner” is US-Mattress’s $2,163! Actually one of my friends just bought the exact same mattress from his local mattress store, with $2,799 + $285 tax, which equals $3,084, he swiped a regular credit card which give 1% back, making the final deal as $3,054. While he was enjoying the 2 free pillows he got from the sales man (which was listed “worth $300”) and the “waived delivery” after 20 mins negotiation, I am able to buy the same item with about $900 cheaper. (Even that I believe that the two pillows are something I have to buy, we are still saving $600 more). What I gonna do for the $600 easy saving? Maybe a cup of hot lattie at Starbucks EVERY DAY for the rest of chilly winter in Chicago.
Wait, what, you are asking how much time i spent on preparing all these materials? Well, the honest answer is that this process takes an online shopper expert like me about 1-2 hours, and it can take up to 4-5 hours if you are not familiar with the entire process. While it’s still worth to save $900 with this amount of time, our new site costbell.com can truly help you. It lists most of items I covered above, and reduce your efforts to be within 10 mins.
Research says Amercian people spent 3 hours weekly on finding offers on average? We believe that’s a story should be changed.