We recently interviewed Marc of Buis Mattress in Holland, MI in order to put together a mattress buying guide that you, the first time buyer, could use to be better prepared for this important purchase. Marc is clearly an expert in the field and you’ll certainly learn a lot from his insight.
1. Tell me about your business and the customer experience you provide:
We have a very unique business model. Our job is to help the customer, and that’s it. Our bedding instructors are not here to sell a mattress, but to help the individual understand how the dynamics of the inner springs and foams work to fit the persons sleep style. We ask a lot of questions and observe how people lay on mattresses to narrow down the different styles of mattresses we provide. If we design sleep sets that people need and want, and explain how the different components work, the customer gets what they want and will buy from us, if we fail in either the design or informative process we have failed the customer and they will go elsewhere. It is a process that is more rewarding then just selling a mattress. It drives us to be better from the purchasing of raw materials to customer service after the sale.
2. Buying a mattress is often thought of like buying a car – people tend to be anxious about their decision. If I am a first time mattress buyer, what are a couple of the key questions I should be asking from the store I am buying from?
What if I don’t like the mattress comes up quite often and is a viable question. First there are only two criteria I use for judging a quality sleep set. #1 Does the sleep set fit the person who will be using it. #2 How long will the mattress maintain its original feel. The customer may have a great mattress based on criteria #2 but it just doesn’t fit the individual. If this is the case, what will the store do to remedy the issue, and how much will it cost the customer. Since we are the manufacturer we will rebuild the mattress based on feedback from the customer, any additional material cost will be paid by the customer but the labor is free.
3. Are there really different mattress types for side sleepers, back sleepers, etc.? Or is this mostly hype/marketing?
There is definitely a difference in mattress design for different sleep positions. Components that are a great choice for side sleepers may be detrimental to sleep posture for stomach sleepers. Basically I prefer firmer supporting beds for stomach sleepers than side sleepers. Back sleepers can really benefit from different supporting beds based on body type, so one type does not fit all. One misleading concept is firm is good. When we are looking at fitting a mattress for people, I want everyone to have good support. I’m more interested in how a mattress gets firm versus is the mattress firm. This is the distinction that separates us from one innerspring fits all mentality that a lot of manufacturers have. It starts with the innerspring as the foundation of how the mattress will perform and is built up from there with various foam overlays.
4. In general, is a buyer expected to negotiate a little on price when buying from a mattress store? If you were the buyer, how would you approach getting the best deal?
Since we are the manufacturer of all our mattresses, we offer everyday low pricing. Part of the process in showing you the mattresses is educating the consumer in what components do, how to identify quality components vs hype, and if price is still an issue suggest people go out and shop the competition. We are that confident in our price for similar or inferior products.
We see the ads for “Worlds greatest sale” ends this week and we know that the price will be the same next week and the week after that just with a different sale gimmick name attached to it.
5. Is there anything else you would add that I didn’t specifically ask about which would be helpful for someone who has never bought a new mattress, and wants to make sure they get a fair deal and a quality product?
Ask friends and family if they are happy with their sleep set, and how long have they had it. The key is how long they have had the set. People that have had their sets for 5 to 10 years are a more reliable source then a person that purchased the set 6 months ago. Forty to fifty percent of the mattresses we are currently taking back as part of our disposal policy are less than 5 years old. In talking to consumers many of the sets had deep impressions at 2 years but suffered another 2 years until they couldn’t stand it any longer. Needless to say they will not purchase that brand again, nor will they go back to the retailer that sold them a set that did not meet their expectations.
Thanks again to Marc for the great mattress buying guide interview!