Mattress conundrum.
August 13, 2009 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Just bought a new mattress from Sleep Country USA in Seattle, but there is no record of that model anywhere online. What's going on here?

The reason I am asking is because the invoice mentions a "100-Night Price Guarantee": if you find a comparable product on sale for less than you paid, Sleep Country will beat that price and issue a refund for that difference. So, out of curiosity and greed, I tried looking up the model online only to find that there is nothing out there with that name.

The mattress is a Simmons Natural Care (the collection does exist online here), but the name of the model that is listed both on the invoice and on the tags, Sunset Valley EuroTop, isn't mentioned anywhere online – and the closest I could find to what we bought based on looks is this one, on sale for more than twice what we paid at the store. That can't be right, no?

What's going on here? Do stores purposefully obscure model names in order to prevent customers from taking advantage of the above-mentioned price guarantee?
posted by halogen to Shopping (9 answers total)
Do stores purposefully obscure model names in order to prevent customers from taking advantage of the above-mentioned price guarantee?

More or less. Mattress companies are incredibly shady. As long as your new mattress is comfortable, consider yourself lucky to have beaten the system.
posted by oinopaponton at 1:27 PM on August 13, 2009 [4 favorites]

It may also be that some companies work directly with manufacturers to have them produce a "house brand" so that you can't go out and find the same model elsewhere.

I ran into that problem with an electronic company once where I bought a model of a DVD-Recorder/Hard drive that was made specifically for them and I couldn't troubleshoot it when it had problems because it was a different model than the ones produced for other stores.
posted by urbanlenny at 1:28 PM on August 13, 2009

Each store has it's own model name. I bought my queen sized with the exact same innards from costco for 66% less than the same speced offering from Sleep County. Even worse is Macy's -- they'll sell you a more expensive box spring. Trouble is, the manufacture only makes one model... but again, with different names.
posted by mmdei at 1:29 PM on August 13, 2009

Not to derail, but a co-worker of mine recently purchased a mattress from this same retailer and had it delivered. He said that while it was the same mattress he'd ordered, the invoice had someone else's contact information on it.. and it also said they'd paid nearly twice as much as he had for the same model.

Is that also common?
posted by june made him a gemini at 1:55 PM on August 13, 2009

This was also prevalent back in the days when there was more than 1 big box electronics store. Good luck comparing that Sony TSC-800594A cassette deck you got at Circuit City with the TSC-800549B at Tweeter...
posted by jalexei at 2:03 PM on August 13, 2009

I'm afraid this won't help you, but for others that are having this problem, there's a Mattress Comparison Index that lets you crosswalk between house brand names. I found it to be useful when comparing prices for the 'same' mattress across dealers.
posted by persona at 2:09 PM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

I tried to comparison shop for mattresses about a year ago. I discovered, through never seeing the same exact models offered by different retailers, that each major mattress retailer has exclusive rights to the models they sell. Presumably to make it as hard as possible to comparison shop.

We bought a mattress called the Infinity St. Moritz. It's only available through Mattress Giant, and good luck finding it through their site-- I found the link above by googling the brand and model. However, Jordan's Furniture carried an Infinity for a similar price that felt, as far as I could tell, just like our mattress. I'm sure it was essentially the same mattress.

The salesman confirmed my suspicions when we returned and he'd processed my credit card-- every company carries its own models and its competitors will carry similar models from the same makers-- the differences are pretty much cosmetic. He didn't say that this was to obscure comparison shopping, but it seems like an excellent bet. The very abrasive man I chatted with from 1-800-mattress (the night before making the purchase) also acknowledged that you won't find the same mattress from two major retailers.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:00 PM on August 13, 2009

This is purposefully done to prevent the price-comparison/shopping you're talking about. The same manufacturer will produce identical models under different names for specific retailers. One of the many, many reasons I ended up going with Original Mattress Factory.

For more information on some of the common scams in the mattress industry, take a look at the Original Mattress Factory's FAQ. Item #2 (Comparison Shopping) covers this particular issue.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:04 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Follow-up/happy ending: best night's sleep ever. That mattress is worth every dollar. Still, it's pretty strange to find out that an entire industry thrives despite (or because of?) such dubious practices.
posted by halogen at 12:49 PM on August 14, 2009

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