Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bedtime Tales

One of the biggest purchases we faced as we became engaged and now head into marriage was finding a bed. The Boy and I discussed what we do and don't like, and we listed a few must-haves: a firm mattress, a quality brand or very good warranty, and a low price. We, along with my parents who are giving us the bed as our wedding present, went bed shopping several times. We visited mattress stores in a few cities, never really finding a bed that seemed to fit our criteria. On a whim one Saturday afternoon, we trudged (it was hot) into a local furniture store for what we thought would be an idea-gathering spree. It turns out they sell mattresses, and the woman who helped us was quite knowledgeable about her products. We told her what we wanted and gave our budget, and she whisked us (like an egg) over to the "perfect" bed for us. We laid down on heaven itself. I was sold. The Boy was sold. We didn't let it show, though, as good consumers never let on that they're totally suckered into the deal. We had her put the price down on the back of her business card, and we said we'd keep shopping. A day or two later, we discussed our options. Nobody else had comfortable beds in the area, and nobody else could beat the price. $780 for a mid-range Englander bed? That's awesome! But delivery wasn't free even in town, and we still felt like we had some more shopping to do.

Here's the catch: we researched Englander mattresses. Mom researched them, too. Each store selling Englander mattresses has the ability to name the mattresses whatever name they want. If one store likes selling the super-firm-with-pillowtop-and-green-edges version as the "Madison," another store might call the exact same mattress the "Symphony." When trying to price-shop mattresses, it's impossible to compare Englander mattresses. But we knew we wanted to stick with Englander as they have a reputation for high quality, great warranties, and sturdy extra-thick steel springs. They even put in foam padding between the springs to keep motion transfer to a minimum.

We went to Mattress World in Salem one afternoon and discovered that they, too, sell Englander mattresses. We walked down the whole row of beds, prices ever-decreasing from the $2000s to the $1000s to the $800s... and at the very end of the row, we found a bed for $700. We sat on it. Negative. Too... not good. And we went like Goldilocks up the row until we found a bed that both fit our budget (sort of) and wasn't awful. After browsing a few other brands, poking a few memory foam beds (hehe), and generally wanting to get out of the store and go home, a nice saleswoman came over to help us. We told her what we were interested in, and we mentioned we had a quote from another store for a bed. She took the card, verified online the quote, and came back to us. She pointed over at a bed, a nice bed. She said, "The best we can do is the $1400 bed, the third one in from the front end, we can do it for $710."

Holy. Freaking. Crap.

The Boy and I looked at each other. We didn't even touch that bed since it was so expensive. We walked over to it and fell onto the bed side-by-side. Ahhhhh, comfort! Firm mattress with a memory foam pad on top, and within our budget, sweet sweet victory was ours! Again, not wanting to look like idiots with that grin we could barely keep off our faces, we said we'd come back later after thinking about it. We left the store, walked down the sidewalk about fifty feet, talked it over for about a minute, retreated, and went back in the store. Decision made. BUT! I had talked to a manager previously on the phone who said we'd get 5% more off if we wore OSU gear into the store. We did. The saleswoman agreed to take an additional 5% off our already discounted price. She started ringing up our transaction with the craziest questions:
"What kind of sheets would you like, percale or Egyption cotton?"
"What kind of pillows would you like?"
"What kind of mattress cover would you like? Can I suggest this one?"
"Where would you like the bed delivered?"

My heart started racing as my head was figuring all the math. Sheets, $100, pillows, $50, mattress cover... yikes! So one of us asked, how much is the extra stuff? FREE she replied. FREE. FREE sheets, FREE pillows, FREE delivery. We did opt to pay a little bit for a nicer mattress cover, but it has a 10-year warranty so that if the mattress cover ever fails, then the mattress cover company will replace the entire bed set (yeah, the whole mattress and box spring).

Holy. Even more freaking. Crap.

When the entire bill was written up, discounts taken, and delivery arranged, we ended up getting $1600 worth of merchandise for $730. The bed should be in the process of being constructed this week with delivery early next week. We bought our first bed! I get to sleep in a big person bed FINALLY!


MissKris said...

Having been a single bed person until I got married, I know what you mean about sleeping in a big person bed. But wait 'til you find out how long it takes to getting used to having another Big Person sleeping beside you, HA!!! At least it took ME a while.

Jeff W said...

I went bed shopping over the Labor Day weekend- lots of research and running around and I finally found a bed I like. My current bed was the cheapest one I could find when I was in Corvallis so... 5 years later it's going downhill. Can't wait to sleep on the new one!