How to Spot Mattress Scams
Shopping for a new mattress used to be a lot worse. We all dreaded driving over to the big mattress retailer at our local mall and fending off Chad who vulched at the front door, clip board in hand, their long, dangling ties coiling around our necks like giant squid tentacles, as they hovered above us while we squirmed on one mattress after another. We were being probed.
Is this one firm, too soft, buoyant, cloud like, does it melt up around you? The questions swam in our head like a terrified goldfish trapped in a small bowl on a desolate countertop.
Then, magically, cute little online stores with colorful and panoramic web sites, started opening for business touting a totally visionary process that allowed you to buy a queen of king size mattress, mystically stuffed in a box.
The bed in a box concept was actually created more than a decade ago, the CEO of this site being one of the first online retailers to offer a natural latex mattress, then much later, companies like Casper, Tuft&Needle, Loom And Leaf, Nectar came along.
These companies created what’s been come to be called the “mattress disruption” segment of the sleepy and moribund bedding biz. Problem is, the larger online brands that punctuate our lives with endless ads, from Facebook videos to small print ads in taxis and on subways, to billboards, were started by venture capital firms, not bed makers.
It was the perfect industry to crack open, and Casper was the meteor that crashed into the dusty, blinding, fluorescent lit caverns in every strip mall in America and changed the future.
Casper is of course one of hundreds of bed in a box mass marketers, but the success of their business model, while not even remotely original (again, our CEO was doing bed in a box products a full 10 years before Casper came along) attracted so much attention that within two years of Caspers launch, another 55 bed in a box startups were created.
Because of the fierce competition, these new startup companies began to find out of the box ways to market themselves to get a footing in the industry. Advertising online was becoming exceedingly expensive, and blogs and email blasts and print ads were just not driving enough traffic to maximize profits.
Fake Review Sites: Why Mattress Review Companies Are In Bed With Retailers And Manufacturers
The online mattress category exploded. Suddenly, you’ve got tons of options, maybe too many. All of your friends are buying beds. How do you cut to the chase and actually buy the best one? What about a mattress that is actually right for you? How do you get the facts about a particular bed you’ve heard of?
Almost out of nowhere came mattress review sites, and in the beginning there were just a few that were truly providing third party reviews without being influenced by the mattress companies themselves. Sites like Sleepopolis, and a few other big players, all digital marketers with no in trenches mattress manufacturing experience. Soon, these companies began to pair up with affiliate marketing clearinghouses that were paying big money driving customers- like you- to retailer’s web sites.
The commissions are huge, as high as $300 per mattress paid back to the review site marketers. You pay let’s say $899 for a queen mattress, and out of that nine hundred bucks, you’re paying $300 in a commission to the review site that sent you there. Big Mattress Inc. sees you coming down the road.
So, the mattress industry got into bed with the mattress review industry, and untangling the cobweb of confusion this created became so complex, that there was talk of government intervention at one point. Engineered reviews are simply part of the mattress buying landscape now.
Today there are practically as many fake review sites as there are mattress manufacturers and e-commerce sites, thanks to these crazy high commissions paid by affiliate clearing houses. And, as I mentioned, most of these review sites are not owned or operated by anyone having real expertise in the mattress manufacturing business.
Very few mattress review sites are owned by people capable of actually reviewing them, say, having any idea whether the components used in their construction are of poor or high quality. Sure, they can plop up and down on the edge of a mattress and tell you whether it’s firm or soft, but that’s subject to the total off the cuff whim of the person doing the so-called “reviewing”.
Most of these “experts” are merely digital marketers who create sales channels by writing slick copy that convinces you to buy a certain product, perhaps favoring one mattress over another depending upon the commission that is paid. They produce dozens of videos, all showing Todd bouncing up and down on the edge of the mattress, or curling up and telling you how soft or firm they are. Todd doesn’t know anything about foam density, the source of the insecticide laced fire barrier you’ll be laying on, where the mattress is fabricated, or whether or not the trial period or return policy is properly balanced with the price.
In fact one of the very few review sites that is actually run by an industry veteran with years of fabrication and design experience is the site you are currently on.
Fake Mattress Review Sites Lead Consumers Down Dead End Street, Says Bedding Industry Expert And CEO Of The Mattress Buyer Guide
Marc Anderson, the CEO of The Mattress Buyer Guide finds this trend disturbing as more and more digital marketers proclaim themselves to be bedding and sleep experts. “It really only hurts the mattress companies that they write their inept and inaccurate reviews for”, he claims, adding that many people choose a mattress that is “absolutely the wrong bed” for them, end up returning the mattress to the company that was recommended, and the mattress company has to eat an $800 mattress.
“It’s truly a scam, with more and more fake mattress review sites crowding the category.” Marc adds that “it’s tough to really get an accurate review and a couple good recommendations when one review site gives glowing accolades to literally hundreds of beds. Our site intends to disrupt the mattress review category by simply telling the truth and making it easy to shop for the best mattress you can buy”.
“It’s truly a scam, with more and more fake mattress review sites crowding the category.” Marc adds that “it’s tough to really get an accurate review and a couple good recommendations when one review site gives glowing accolades to literally hundreds of beds”.
“My site strives to keep it simple, recommending only a handful of great beds”, he states, adding that out of hundreds upon hundreds of mattress options, only about 45 meet the cut. The Mattress Buyer Guide considers factors such as quality of the materials used in the product’s composition, the caliber of third party fabricator sites that make the mattresses for the company that is selling them, a proprietary technique of evaluating genuine reviews, service parameters like delivery times, trial periods, and warranty quality.
Basically, all of the online companies that are trolling you for a mattress, as well as the review sites that get a huge chunk of the action (guess who pays for that?) as well as the brick and mortar stores that have very refined techniques to get you to part with your dollar, are part of BigMattress Inc.
“Essentially, the gelatinous mass that is now the bedding industry is basically one large, oozing entity, from the mattress manufacturers to the review sites, even the third party fabricators, who are limited to building beds that can be compressed rolled, and stuck into the box.”
They are BigMattress Inc., and the organism is only going to get larger. With that said, as an industry expert and consultant, Marc Anderson will be the first to tell you that many of the big bed in a box mattress companies truly strive to offer a great bed, a unique product, an experience. “Casper is the shining star here. They risked it all, and they disrupted the industry, awakened it. They also inspired many other startups to get into the game”.
The problem is to be able to navigate the marketplace and narrow down the choices for a great bed and then actually pick one with confidence. “On our site, we offer only a handful of options. It makes it far easier when you’re a review site that isn’t pimping 150 mattress companies”, Anderson adds.
Confusing Review Sites With Too Much Information
Do a search for “mattress reviews” or “best mattress” and you’ll find a war zone of review sites crowding the top of your search results, way before you get to a listing of actual mattress retailers. Most legitimate review sites gain rank with Google by adding quality content to their sites, even if the content is incredibly esoteric and borderline irrelevant.
That’s why The Mattress Buyer Guide tries to keep its content minimalistic by offering a rotating inventory or relevant articles and content. Also, we have a lot of articles in our footer navigation under our Resources tab. These articles tend be more esoteric and obscure, but there is some value in many unusual topics, since so many things affect sleep. Be sure to check out our best of the best category below, which cuts through all of the content and offers you our carefully curated and vetted list of outstanding mattresses from just a handful of trustworthy dealers!