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March 10, 2014

Sleepy’s Unbeatable, err… Unreadable Price Guarantee

Filed under: Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:31 am

sleepy's price guarantee From the lost archive of unpublished Mouse Print* stories, circa 2007:

Mattress buying has always been a tricky proposition. You can’t easily compare prices and models of mattresses because bedding manufacturers assign unique style names to each store that sells its products.

That fact alone makes taking advantage of a store’s advertised price guarantee almost impossible.

Assuming you could find the exact same mattress elsewhere (or a comparable one if they allowed it), the Sleepy’s chain seems to make a pretty generous offer — they beat any competitor’s price by 20% or the bed is free.

*MOUSE PRINT: The guarantee, pictured above, exactly as it appeared [in 2007] on Sleepy’s homepage, has virtually unreadable fine print that substantially diminishes the guarantee’s coverage.

We will meet any price on any Stearns & Foster®, Internet, TrueForm®, Tempur-Pedic® or BodyDiagnostics® models. * Applies to same or comparable mattresses prior to delivery. Excludes closeouts, special purchases, exchanges, floor samples, warranties, discontinued & one-of-a-kind items. Must present competitor’s current ad or invoice.

They partially exclude two popular brands, Stearns & Foster and Tempur-Pedic, as well as any price you find online. Even in its TV ads, Sleepy’s promoted its price guarantee but failed to orally disclose its limitations.

Further, our trusty mouse is always irritated by any guarantee that promises to beat a competitor’s price by X amount, or you get the product free. What store in their right mind would rather give away a product completely free rather than merely reduce its price marginally below a competitor?  That’s a guarantee that only sounds good until you think about for a minute.

Fast forward to 2014. Today, Sleepy’s price guarantee is nowhere to be found on its website. But, it is still appearing in some newspaper ads, under the same basic terms, but we’re happy to say in larger type:


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  1. Beat it or free! What a hoot! I see this garbage by car dealers, flooring companies and a dozen others. Do they think – and apparently so – that Jane and Joe Consumer can’t see the fiscal falicy in such a statement? That is the part that shuts me down. Then toss in the “requirements” that you have listed and it is a slam dunk to shop elsewhere.

    Comment by rick — March 10, 2014 @ 8:03 am
  2. I remember I bought a La-Z-Boy recliner from a La-Z-Boy dealer and they offered a price guarantee, beat any competitor by 10%. At the time I lived in a big city, we had several dealers. I showed them an ad from another La-Z-Boy that was lower price, not only would they not beat it by 10%, they wouldn’t even match the price. When I asked why, they said it was “out of their zone”. The other store was freaking 10 miles away, I asked what was their “zone” and of course they couldn’t answer that.

    Comment by Max — March 10, 2014 @ 9:29 am
  3. Their zone is 5 feet from the store….

    Comment by Richard Ginn — March 10, 2014 @ 12:15 pm
  4. I would love to see a store refuse to beat a competitors price by 20% and then give away the product for free (not realizing how ridiculous that is for business). It sounds like some kind of skit for a sketch comedy show.

    Comment by Wayne R — March 10, 2014 @ 12:36 pm
  5. Isn’t that misunderstanding the ad? The “Beat it” applies to the posted price. If the posted price doesn’t beat the competitor by the specified amount already, they don’t get to say “ok, we’ll beat it now”. It’s free.

    Comment by BZ — March 11, 2014 @ 3:33 pm
  6. Mattress salesmen are greasier than used car salesman.

    That said, I ignored Sleepy’s phony price guarantee and played one Sleepy’s against another. I went to three area Sleepy’s showrooms and bought from the one who beat out the other two in price. I first acted like I had not been to any other showroom to see what I would be quoted. Then if the price was higher than what I’d been quoted I would ask if they could beat that quote and so on. By the time I got to the 3rd Sleepy’s the salesman was eager to beat out my lowest quote. This guy deserved the sale – He found me the mattress at the “warehouse” price, which was about 30% cheaper than the lowest “sale” price I had been previously quoted. I did have to go pick up the mattress at the warehouse, but it was well worth it. Oh, and it’s a Beautyrest and I’ve had it for 2 years with no complaints. I did buy a memory foam topper, though. Save your money and buy a less plush mattress and use memory foam. It’ll make your mattress feel just as comfortable for a lot cheaper since a lot of mattresses use the same or similar core but charge a premium price for the attached topper (just be sure to check that out first). Plus if you use your own topper it’s easy to replace if you want to.

    Comment by Renée — March 11, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

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