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First-hand experience with buying a mattress | Sheila Long O’Mara

Over the 4th of July weekend, the O’Maras of the East Coast – my husband and I – ventured into a brick and mortar retail store to purchase the toughest category of any home to shop for. Yes, we went to buy mattresses, right here in South Carolina.

While I’m no stranger to furniture and mattress stores – they rank at the top of my favorite hangouts – lately I’ve only been making rounds to check on merchandising, see a new bed on the market, conduct a little secret client research. Imagine it; it’s quite fun.

It’s been about seven years since we bought a mattress for ourselves and we love sleeping. Sleep is a big deal. We replaced the children’s beds as needed. With five people in that joint, we’ve put together a pretty decent replacement rotation. We generally do not purchase multiple mattresses at the same time.

There was none of that crawling on a mattress or eight, moving around for multiple rest tests, asking lots of questions and pulling out the checkbook – sorry I can’t remember the last time I wrote a check, but you get the idea – to make a purchase.

That’s exactly what we did just before a good old barbecue in the South courtyard; seems a bit American to go buy a mattress to celebrate the nation’s 246th birthday. I’m joking. The weekend, however, gave us just enough time to get to the store together.

We had a great time in the store with a friendly and knowledgeable RSA who patiently answered myriad questions. Some silly, some more serious. At the end of the visit we purchased a new mattress and are now awaiting delivery.

Three things to remember from our experience:

  1. Like almost every other consumer making a major purchase, we started our buying journey online. We played on a number of sites and finally landed on the site of the store we purchased from.
    I was pleasantly surprised to find that our online experience was closely mirrored by our in-store experience. The website featured an easy-to-navigate interface that provided detailed product, design, accessory, and pricing information.
    There was no disconnect between the store’s online presentation and our in-person experience.
  2. Based on our research online, we thought we had stumbled upon the model we wanted. We both looked at the various components, used the online comparison feature, weighed comfort preferences and made a decision. It’s not always an easy place to land.
  3. On the way to the store, we leave armed, I admit, with a little apprehension. Ready to buy, but somewhat dreading the sales dance. Therefore, our current mattress was purchased online from a top five producer’s direct-to-consumer site just to avoid the dance. I will say that he lived his life and served us well.

The apprehension was allayed during our time in the store, thanks to a well-trained and knowledgeable RSA. Here’s a surprise: we didn’t buy the mattress we chose online. Our choice was similar, but had a cozy feel that we liked better.

So now we wait. We have a delivery date, and we are ready for the arrival of the mattress. Stay tuned to see how we do with this process.

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