Mattress Scams {like most marketing scams}

Many people get confused by the mattress industry. It really is one of the last remaining full-fledged scams still chugging along.

It’s like this partly because of the “Gillette Model” – you know, planned obsolescence. No one has a mattress for 25 years anymore. In fact, they probably never have – not without back problems.

Additionally, the mattress industry had forever been almost a “secret society” – where each manufacturer was probably in cahoots with one another – constantly moving goalposts, changing model numbers and making it literally impossible to truly “compare” apples to apples. Ever. And price-fixing.

mattress scams marketing - Mattress Scams {like most marketing scams}

Memory Foam was a game changer

For 25 years, Tempur-Pedic had a monopoly on (real) alternatives to spring mattresses – with their patented memory foam.

That patent ran out – and now there are 100’s of different companies to get memory foam (or hybrid) mattresses from.

They (Tempur) charged a fortune (still do) for those sleeping sponges. Probably with the highest profit margin in the world, seeing how cheap they are now. Must have been nice to have that corner of the market for so long. And to this day, they still have fairly strong name recognition – as well as new “innovations.”

Why reviews and recommendations are almost worthless

In the past five years – the competition in the mattress industry has become muddier than ever. Blogs. Social media. Brain-dead image sites (Instagram, Pinterest). Static everywhere.

Take a look at this article from a few years ago on Fast Company called The War To Sell You A Mattress Is An Internet Nightmare.

It’s a “long read,” but to sum it up:

  1. New mattress companies benefited from “mattress review” websites
  2. They enjoyed the large numbers of orders
  3. Bloggers (influenced) enjoyed big commissions
  4. Mattress companies didn’t like honest reviews that didn’t approve of them
  5. Mattress companies tried “bribing” review websites
  6. Lawsuits
  7. Settlements
  8. Bad reviews gone

In other words – these companies are looking to make a quick billion – by any means possible – before the truth gets out. (That they’re all scam artists).

Thanks to the majority of customers nowadays that just want to “feel good” about the purchasing decision they’re making (mattresses are not inexpensive), it’s next to impossible to get an honest review.

And how can you truly review something like a sleeping apparatus since everyone is different? Shapes, sizes, sleep style, comfort preference, temperature preference, etc.?

Not to mention there is literally NO WAY to verify online reviews – BOTH good or bad. It’s been known that competitors put false bad reviews on each other’s websites – even with “verified” tags that make you think they’re legit.

Why is it so hard to be straightforward in the modern world?

fake reviews bad mattress your fault - Mattress Scams {like most marketing scams}

Bad mattress with GREAT (FAKE) reviews! Don’t be a sore loser.

Internet – good and bad

We’ve had a “made in China” memory foam mattress that we got from Amazon (Lucid Brand) for over 10 years. Just as good as the first day. For a FRACTION OF THE COST! What does that tell you?

Nowadays – people cannot think for themselves – and use Google (and other “validators”) as the sole barometer for their purchases. How else are they going to authenticate something online?

It’s essentially a “mental game” known as trying to find the best deal with the best “reviews.” What used to be “vetting” a company out, has now been reduced to a charade. Or the man behind the curtain. An act. A show. Fuzzy and warm feelings. Getting tricked, but feeling happy enough about it. Cognitive dissonance.

In-home trials? Risky? Hassle?

Some companies do offer extended home trials, which is okay. However, they’re still a major hassle – as LARGE pieces of furniture like a mattress are cumbersome indeed. And if you do not like the mattress, a lot of “coordination” is required in order to have a place to sleep each night. PAIN IN THE NECK. And you have to lay money on the line (which may or may not eventually get refunded.)

Risky, even with the cozy “guarantee” that has all sorts of terms and conditions.

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Go cheap without worry

Instead of trying to get the “Best” (which you’ll never achieve – because they’re ALL mediocre at best) – we suggest GOING CHEAP – without thinking, without worry.

Like we mentioned above – we got a great mattress for like $300 – and has lasted a decade. There are a few other places you can just get the mattress, and forget about it. Don’t spend months researching. Just look at the fancy pictures and say “okay!”

Here’s a list for starters. All under $399 for queen (delivered)

Just pick one – and move on to other things. I’m sure there is some kind of return policy if you’re TRULY unhappy.

The key is, though – to truly let them “air out” for many days or weeks prior to using them. That includes circulation and ventilation.

The mattress scam: blueprint used almost everywhere else

Using the example of the mattress world above – this essentially applies to everything else you buy. Especially online. Electronics. Cars. Appliances. You name it.

Marketing trickery, fake reviews, fake “rankings,” and much much more. It’s a big competition for your money.

Buying anything online without having any prior experience with that product or thing is a risk. Just make sure you have a good return policy, and you should be good to go.

Better yet – hands-on prior to purchasing is probably the best bet. Trusted friends who are obsessive with their purchases and usually pick winners is also beneficial.

Beware of cognitive biases though. Some folks are “brand-loyal” which means they love one thing no matter what the flaws. Like Apple. Or Nikon, Tesla, Patagonia, or whatever. Those people who are brand-whores need to be filtered out. Brand-consistency does have importance, however, with certain things. Such as battery-operated power tools (we love Milwaukee for instance) – as the batteries and chargers are all interchangeable. That’s just common sense.

generic mattress - Mattress Scams {like most marketing scams}

In the end: Keep it simple and basic

Buying things is a big deal for most people. They want to “win” with everything.

Looking at anyone’s purchasing track record – you’d be hard pressed to find anyone with an exemplary record of “winning” all the time. People get DUPED left and right every day. Even “seasoned veterans” of consumerism get fucked over all the time. Because of their biases. Because companies care about money more than their suckers customers.

Waking up is hard to do.

But part of that awakening is not falling into the “upgrade” trap (or what some call “gamification” – where you constantly have to “level up” in order to have something marginally “better.”)

Buy only what you absolutely need. Never buy new tech like cell phoneswaste of money. And resist the urge to have the latest and greatest.

Sure, with mattresses (which you spend a solid quarter to third of your life on) it matters. But luckily as prices come down and return policies are generous – you can indeed have the best of both worlds. The best one for you, for a respectable value.

Just don’t fall for the marketing scams that are omnipresent!

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