So the Mrs. and I went down to the local department store (Robinson’s May) to buy a mattress for Junior’s new bed. Our own mattress is about 8 years old and getting saggy, so I figured we’d buy one for ourselves as well since we were going to be at the store.
Surprise Number 0: The profit margins have got to be absolutely astronomical. We’re talking a mass-produced, off-the-shelf piece of furniture made of wood, fabric and steel that has not changed in its basic design in 100 years. Yet these engineering marvels range from $500 to $3000. For that kind of dough I expect the mattress to have a robotic handjob attachment and a urine-disposal system.
Surprise Number 1: You can’t buy a mattress by itself - you have to buy a box spring to go with it. The way the store puts it, you get the box spring for free! The way I put it, you can’t get a discount by choosing not to buy the box spring. And a box spring, being simply a wooden frame with steel springs in it, is not subject to gradual deterioration over a time frame of a few years. As long as the wood hasn’t split or warped and the springs are still attached, it’s as good as the day you bought it.
Surprise Number 2: Many mattresses are identical in construction but have different names and vastly different prices. Apparently this is to prevent comparison shopping and the creation and use of consumer guides. See here for details.
Surprise Number 3: You’re suppose to haggle over price. For a freaking mattress.
Mattress manufacturers of America, you all deserve to smoke an eternal turd in Hell.