What to Expect When You Buy a Mattress Online

What to Expect When You Buy a Mattress Online

So you found the perfect bed, but what happens after you buy a mattress online?

We’ve  previously covered reasons shoppers might choose to buy a mattress online, a market segment which continues to grow due to convenience, better selection, and often, better prices. However, many people may still feel anxious or unsure about buying before trying. There are a number of things that consumers must consider when opting to buy a mattress online that perhaps would not be thought of otherwise, and being prepared can make all the difference.  We’ve compiled a few expert tips to remember that will help you avoid issues during and after the sale. This article will look at what to keep in mind when you buy a mattress online to ensure your purchase goes as smoothly as possible.

Important Things to Know When You Buy a Mattress Online

Here are some questions to ask before you buy a mattress online to eliminate unexpected hiccups or costs. Many of these tips apply to buying locally as well, but prove especially important when shopping online.

How will the mattress ship?

One of the number one things to think about when buying a mattress online is how it will ship. From location to location usually takes about one to three weeks, depending on distance and method, though specialty and custom beds may take longer. Quoted times will almost always be in business days, so exclude weekends and holidays when estimating delivery dates. Also, if you order multiple items, like a mattress and adjustable base, these might arrive separately since they may ship via different methods, so this another aspect to consider when planning your orders.

Couriers. Many online mattress companies compress their beds to reduce shipping costs. With quality foams, compression does not affect the cell structure or durability and mattresses are usually ready to sleep on within a day. For example, one company we previously profiled, memory foam mattress retailer Amerisleep.com, compresses their beds, citing the benefits of reduced fuel usage, quicker delivery, and the ability to offer better prices to shoppers. Compressed beds are typically rolled into a fraction of their size, and thus can ship via couriers like FedEx and UPS, arriving within 3-7 business days. These smaller packages can also be carried up stairs and through narrow doors fairly easily (though you may still need another person to help due to weight).

Freight. Uncompressed mattresses, foundations, and adjustable beds ship via “LTL” or freight carriers. This generally takes much longer to receive (1-4 weeks), is more expensive, and less eco-friendly due the added space and fuel usage.You usually must be present to receive a freight delivery and should plan to have someone help you move items from the truck to your home as this is generally not a service that is provided at the stated price. Some freight carriers may offer the option of “white glove” service for an additional fee (or as an included perk), so inquire about this if you need assistance.

Consider hidden costs when you buy a mattress online.

Sometimes buying a mattress online means that you found the perfect bed at a really good price. But, remember to double check the cost of shipping and taxes as this could be where you possibly spend a lot of money.

Taxes. One benefit of online shopping is the lack of sales tax, but this only applies if the retailer does not operate a store or warehouse in your state, and if your state is not one with internet sales tax laws on the books. When comparing, make sure to consider the taxes in your quotes, as this could make a significant difference.

Shipping. As far as shipping, in many cases, you may be able to get free shipping (where costs are included in the advertised price).  But, don’t assume this is the case unless the page specifically says free shipping. If your order is being delivered via freight, keep in mind that additional costs can arise if you fail to make a delivery appointment, do not respond to the freight deliverer’s calls within 2-5 business days, or need help getting the item inside.

Know the terms of returns and claims.

You should also find out the retailer’s policy on returns and shipping damage when you buy a mattress online.  You never know if you will be fully satisfied with your purchase until you’ve actually slept on it for awhile (this is true of buying from a showroom as well).

Returns. Make sure that if you will need to return the bed that it is a simple process. Ask what fees will apply (restocking fees, return shipping cost) and what if any costs would be deducted from your refund. Some warranties and return policies may require the use of mattress covers (to avoid stains), so make note of any caveats and exemptions.

Damages. Additionally, shipping damages are a reality that happens from time to time. You want to be sure that the retailer protects your best interest regardless of the condition that your bed arrives in. Inquire about what exactly you should do if the wrong item arrives or if a damaged item arrives. For example, who do you contact? How long do you have to file a claim? What evidence will you need (bill of lading stating damage, photographs, etc)? It may seem persnickety, but this information can save you a headache later.

Remember to keep contact details.

Finally, once you make your selection, remember to keep contact details of the retailer in case issues should arise. You will want to be able to contact the retailer right away if there is a problem with shipping, you received the wrong mattress, or if your bed is damaged when it arrives. First, bookmark the website so you don’t forget it and save the order emails. Note the phone number and service email for the business, and your salesperson’s contact info if you worked with one. Have this on hand the day your bed arrives just in case, and keep it around for any future issues or questions you may have – you never know if you will need to ask a question about product care or make a warranty claim.

Once You Receive The Mattress…

Once your mattress arrives there are a few things to remember. If you have limited experience with online shopping, these tips will help reduce your anxiety and allow you to buy a mattress online like a pro. Many of these steps are about protecting yourself when you buy a mattress online (also useful for any major online purchase).

1. Check the Packing Slip.

First, always check to make sure that the packing slip indicates the right size and type/model of bed that you ordered. Sometimes packaging mistakes happen and you want to avoid having to repack the mattress yourself if you need to return it immediately, especially if it is compressed. You should check this BEFORE you open the package as well as after. Sometimes the packing slip can indicate the right product, when you received something different. At any rate, you will want to inspect your mattress to make sure. If you must sign for the delivery, ask the courier to wait a second while you confirm the packing slip is correct, before you sign. If something is off, contact to the retailer to see if they want you to refuse shipment or how to handle the issue.

2. Check the Packaging.

Second, thoroughly check the packaging of the bed for any obvious signs of damage including rips, gouges, water damage, etc. Make note of anything you notice – if it is a freight shipment, note it on the bill of lading BEFORE signing. If it arrived via courier, then take pictures of the package as it arrived just in case as it will be helpful in filing a dispute with the shipper.  Packaging damage may not always mean product damage, but it’s good to cover your bases just in case.

3. Inspect the Contents.

Once you unpack the bed, inspect your mattress to make sure that there are no damages including tears or stains, and that the mattress matches what you purchases. While mattresses are usually packaged securely, the shipping process may cause some damages. Many retailers and shipping companies will require these types of claims to be reported within a couple days. Even if you are not using the bed right away, it is smart to open and inspect it soon after it arrives in case there is a problem.

4. Save all packaging when you buy a mattress online.

You should keep the packing materials and receipts in case there is a need to return the bed later.  If the bed was compressed before shipping this is less important, but still ensure all packing slips are retained – and make sure you leave all mattress tags attached until you are sure you are keeping the bed.

5. Mark your calendar.

If you followed our first guide, your mattress will have a return period. Note the end date on a calendar or set a reminder in your phone to evaluate the situation a few weeks before the policy expires. Give yourself at least 30 days to get used to the new bed and ensure the quality is up to par. If you are uncomfortable or unhappy after that period, than take steps to return or exchange before your trial period ends.

6. Leave a review after you’ve tried the bed.

Another thing you should do after you’ve slept on your mattress for a few weeks is write a review. The internet thrives on community, and reviews are a key benefit for online shoppers. If the experience or product is bad, let the retailer know what they can improve and offer readers insight. Avoid cursing and angry statements – instead focus on the facts to give your review credibility. For average and good experiences, you should also take a couple minutes to review in order to offer your insight and point out good products or stores. Let people know what the bed feels like, and any other points that would help others decide if the mattress is right for them. Some online retailers offer referral bonuses, so if you like your bed you can get perks for recommending the store to friends and families.

We hope this guide proves helpful for your shopping experience and saves you some stress when you buy a mattress online. By asking the right questions, collecting important information, and taking the right steps after the sale, you can enjoy a smooth shopping experience with confidence. Deciding to buy a mattress online does not have to worrisome or scary, especially when you know what to expect.

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