How to Sell a Used Mattress
Selling a used mattress is a multi-step process that includes determining a reasonable selling price, researching applicable state laws, pinpointing a sales venue, and providing sufficient product information for prospective buyers.
This guide for selling used mattresses includes step-by-step instructions to follow in order to facilitate a successful transaction – but be warned: most used mattress sellers will only recuperate a small percentage of the original product price.
Step 1: Determine a Fair Price
Generally speaking, a used mattress will command a resale price that is roughly equivalent to 20% to 30% of the original product price. If a mattress originally costs $1,000, then expect to resell it for $200 to $300; if the original cost is $2,000, then the resale price will probably fall between $400 and $600.
In addition to original price, here are a few more factors that may affect the resale price of a used mattress:
Years of use:The average mattress will need to be replaced after six to seven years of consistent nightly use. A mattress that has been used for three years or less will command a higher price than one that has been used for longer.
Topper or protector use:Mattress toppers and protectors can be used to preserve the comfort layer of a mattress over time. A mattress that has primarily been used with a topper and/or protector will typically be in much better shape than one that has not been used with these accessories.
Consistent or sporadic use:A used mattress that has been used on a nightly basis will typically command a lower price-point than one that has primarily been used as a guest bed on an inconsistent basis.
Current mattress condition:Assuming the mattress was brand new when it was originally purchased, how much has its quality declined over time? Is it ‘Like New’, ‘Very Good’, ‘Good’, ‘Acceptable’, or in ‘Poor Condition’? Factors that affect the condition of the mattress include:
- Sagging or indentations in the mattress surface that measure one inch or deeper
- Splits or cracks in the sleep surface
- Coils, wires, and other metal parts protruding through the side wall
- Issues with the cover, such as loose threads or broken zippers
- Burns, cuts, scrapes, or other types of physical destruction
- Permanent stains, such as bodily fluids or food
- Lingering smells, including odors from tobacco products
- Buildup of dust mites and other allergens
Sellers perks:Is the owner willing to deliver the mattress themselves? Are pillows, pads, and other accessories included with the used mattress? Incentives like these can help used mattress sellers add to the resale price.
Brand:Mattresses manufactured by high-profile companies will usually command a higher price-point than those made by less prominent companies – but this factor is less likely to play a significant role compared to the other criteria listed above.
Step 2: Research Mattress Resale Laws and Regulations
Now that you have a ballpark price-point in mind, let’s look at some laws and regulations guiding the practice of selling used mattresses in the United States. It’s important to note that most mattress resale laws are enforced at the state level; as such, the rules vary from state to state.
Legal considerations for selling a used mattress include:
- Cleaning and sanitizing:In some states, used mattresses must be properly cleaned and disinfected before they can be sold by anyone, including private individual sellers. Approved methods often include commercial laundering, steam cleaning, and/or chemical treatment.
- Re-covering:Some states will only approve the sale of a used mattress is new cover ticking is used. Other states prohibit mattress owners from re-covering their mattress in order to hide stains or physical damage.
- Flammability:Mattress flammability is enforced at the federal level, specifically the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). According to 16 CFR Part 1633, the ‘peak rate of heat release’ for a mattress may not exceed 200 kilowatts during the standard 30-minute safety test, and the ‘total heat release’ may not exceed 15 megajoules during the first 10 minutes of this test. Mattress owners who are unsure about their model’s flammability status should contact the manufacturer or, alternatively, the CPSC.
Other factors apply to businesses and brands, but not individual sellers. One example is ‘tagging’. In some states, color-coded tags are used to indicate if a used mattress has been properly cleaned and disinfected, or indicate if mattresses that have been rebuilt from used or recycled materials. In virtually every state where tagging laws exist, they do not apply to individuals selling mattresses to other individuals.
Be sure to carefully research all applicable state laws and regulations. This information is typically found through the state’s departments of health and human services, consumer affairs, licensing, and/or agriculture.
Step 3: Write an Advertisement
When crafting a used mattress ad, it’s important to remain truthful about its present condition. Be sure to take several photographs of the mattress from different angles to emphasize its height and size, as well as licensing tags if they are intact. When listing out qualities and characteristics of the mattress in the ad, be sure to include the following:
- The mattress size (Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, or specialty size)
- The mattress height, in inches
- Materials in the comfort system, such as polyfoam, memory foam, latex, and/or microcoil layers
- The support core – springs, foam, latex, or air chambers?
- Fabrics used in the cover, such as cotton, polyester, rayon, wool, and/or lyocell
- The age of the mattress, in years (or months if applicable)
- Whether the mattress was used as a primary sleep surface or a guest bed
- Whether a mattress pad or protector was used
Finally, be sure to list the mattress price somewhere in the ad. Also indicate if the price is negotiable with the abbreviation OBO (Or Best Offer).
Step 4: Choose a Selling Venue
In most cases, mattress owners will not be able to sell their used model to a brick-and-mortar retailer. These establishments usually prefer to exclusively sell new mattress models. In the event that a brick-and-mortar store agrees to purchase a used mattress, the resale price will typically be quite low.
Used mattress sellers typically have better luck using online marketplace sites like Amazon and Craigslist. These sites enable mattress owners to post advertisements for their used mattress, sell directly to other individuals, and coordinate delivery/shipping or pickup details.
Community-based websites, forums, and social media pages can also be valuable resources for used mattress sellers. Many allow users to post ads directly on their sites. Sellers can supplement their digital advertising with physical postings in local newspapers and on bulletin boards throughout their community.
Before attempting to sell a mattress to an individual purchaser, here are a few important considerations:
- Online marketplace sites regulate individual transactions to ensure that both parties are satisfied. In the event that a purchaser does not pay the full price or otherwise fails to fulfill their complete obligation, sellers should reach out to site personnel immediately.
- Mattress warranties are never transferable to secondhand owners, regardless of whether or not the warranty is still valid. Be sure to clarify this point with potential buyers, as they may expect their mattress to be covered under the original warranty.
- Most experts agree that May, June, July, November, and December are the best times of the year to sell a used mattress. These months precede new product rollouts from most leading mattress brands in January and August, and sellers face less competition in the marketplace. Likewise, January and August are generally considered the worst times to sell a used mattress.
- Whether or not a seller includes ‘OBO’ in their price listing, chances are they will need to negotiate with potential buyers. This is why it may be advantageous to sell the mattress at 40% to 50% of the original product price. Even if buyers haggle the price down, the seller may still net a profit of 20% to 30% of the original price.
- Expect visit requests from potential buyers who wish to view the mattress in person before finalizing their purchase. Sellers are free to decline these requests, but doing so may affect their resale success.
- Sellers are not obligated to deliver the mattress to the buyer. If they choose to do so, then the cost of transporting and handling the item should be factored into the price-point. If they choose not to do so, then they may want to consider deducting mattress transportation costs from the price.
- Remember:it is illegal to sell a mattress that has not been cleaned and sanitized, or is infested with bed bugs. It is also illegal (as well as unethical) to sell a mattress as new if it has been used. Those who mislead potential buyers could face legal ramifications.
Shopping for Used Mattresses
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Buying a mattress? Factors to consider may include soft or firm, innerspring or foam, new or used. Used? Yes, in most parts of the country, used mattresses can be resold as long as they meet certain labeling and processing requirements.
Bedding can be expensive. It’s important to know what you’re buying. The easiest way to tell if you’re buying new or used is to look at the label attached to the mattress. In most cases, new mattresses will include a white tag or label that indicates that the mattress contains "all new materials, consisting of. " Depending on the state, used mattresses may contain a tag, sometimes red or yellow in color, that warns that the mattress contains used materials. Federal law requires that any mattress that contains used stuffing bear a tag or label with that information. If you don’t see any tag, consider doing business with another retailer. Otherwise, you simply don’t know what you’re buying.
Not all states have labeling requirements for the sale of used mattresses, and for those that do, the requirements can vary. For example, in many places, old mattresses that have been recovered with new ticking (strong, tightly woven cotton or linen fabric) can be sold as long as they are sanitized or disinfected in some way before sale. In other states, only certain parts of mattresses, such as the springs, can be reused. These rules apply to traditional retailers as well as to thrift, secondhand and consignment shops.
Mattress Shopping Tips:
- Shop around. Mattress prices and quality vary greatly.
- Ask if the retailer sells used bedding. If so, and you want a new mattress, make sure your mattress has a "new" mattress tag.
- Make sure you look at the tag on the actual mattress you’re buying, either before you leave the store or before the delivery person leaves your house. Don’t let the heavy plastic wrapping stop you from looking for — and at — the tag.
- Ask the retailer to write "new" on your sales receipt if you’ve been told you’re buying a new mattress. If it turns out that the mattress is used, you’ll have stronger recourse.
- Avoid retailers with mattresses that don’t carry tags. You simply don’t know what you’re getting, regardless of what the salesperson claims. It’s what’s in writing that counts.
- Ask about the retailer’s return and refund policies, and get copies in writing.
For More Information
The agency that regulates mattress labeling varies by state. To find out what the bedding laws are in your state, you may have to contact the State Departments of Health, Consumer Affairs, Agriculture or Licensing.
This article was previously available asMore Than Once Upon a Mattress: Used Bedding Labeling Rules.
Soaring Heart Natural Bed Company
Soaring Heart Natural Bed Company was founded in 1982 in Seattle with the mission to make the highest quality mattresses available. Using 2,000 year old techniques gleaned from Japanese futon making, we started handcrafting our mattresses from natural cotton and wool.
Forming partnerships with local wool ranchers, cotton growers in Texas, and carding mills out of northern California we ensured our materials were only of the highest quality. Over the years as our company has grown and our product offerings have expanded we’ve helped establish organic latex farms in Sri Lanka, worked with organic cotton coops, and have traveled to New Zealand to find the very best organic wool.
We now sell all-organic latex mattress, organic innnersping mattresses, as well as futons and Japanese Shikibutons, pillows and comforters – all of them organic and handcrafted with care, stitch by stitch, in our Seattle workshop.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Soaring Heart Natural Bed Company started as a brick and mortar store in Seattle, WA and we still have a store next to our workshop in the Emerald City. Three years ago, we decided to spread our message about what a mattress could be, should be.
Having only one showroom, we wanted customers from all over the country to be able to experience our products, so we decided we’d create a website that not only espoused the virtues of an organic mattress made from hand, but allowed clients to purchase online as well.
Our online business is growing every year and our products are spreading out over the 50 states. We’re reaching an audience that we never were able to talk to before we created our website. We now have mattresses in NYC, Chicago, LA, Phoenix, Boston, Philadelphia, Portland, and small towns all over the country.Having only one showroom, we wanted customers from all over the country to be able to experience our products, so we decided we’d create a website that not only espoused the virtues of an organic mattress made from hand, but allowed clients to purchase online as well.
Our online business is growing every year and our products are spreading out over the 50 states. We’re reaching an audience that we never were able to talk to before we created our website. We now have mattresses in NYC, Chicago, LA, Phoenix, Boston, Philadelphia, Portland, and small towns all over the country.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
One of our favorite aspects of Shopify is the app store. With the variety of apps available a huge amount of operations are open to us that weren’t before. We use apps for SEO, data gathering, creating discounts and upsells, and allowing people to communicate with us and leave reviews.
Some of our favorites:
Shopify Facebook Store
As for shipping, we take care of the logistics ourselves. We have our own Logistics Department that warehouses and ships all of our products to our customers across America.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Patience. Test. Test again.
Things aren’t all going to happen at once, sales will grow as your name grows, as your brand and company become more known. Don’t expect customers to come rolling in as soon as you put your store online, you need to work for their trust and that takes time. Write a blog to give them information, have wonderful customer service, make their shopping experience easy, and sell great products. With time, a good business plan, and work sales will start to gain momentum.
Don’t stop testing. Chang your banner, watch what happens. Add new photos and watch what happens. Test your copy, is it working? Change you meta descriptions to a new pitch, add a different call to action, make button blue that was green before. Test, test, test. Keep a log of what you are changing, what you are hoping to see, and what the outcomes are. This will help you more than you know.
The internet isn’t static, people’s tastes change, Google’s algorithms are tweaked, your site should be changing with them!
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Learn How You Can Sell Your Used Mattress In 3 Easy Steps
Many people wonder whether they can sell a used mattress or not. Some say that it’s better to discard used ones after some time since they are no good. Ideally, you should not use it for more than 10 years, and most mattresses only last that long. – This is valid only if they are cared for correctly.
However, there are some people who may want to replace theirs before this time. No matter what their reason is. It can be because they have moved to a new place, have changed their bed, bought a different size bed, and so on.
This can be one of the reasons why you may also want to replace your bedding. In such situations, the main question is what you should do with your old mattress. You can dispose of it, recycle it, oreven sell it. The latter option is nonetheless the best option if it’s in good condition.
Can You Sell a Used Mattress?
Yes, you absolutely can. However, there are many factors that come into play when you want to do so. The main question is – how can you sell it and get a fair price for it.
How To Sell a Used Mattress?
We have listed some important points to help you in earning some money for your used mattress. It really doesn’t matter how you choose to do it.
1. Select a Shop
First of all, you need to find a willing buyer of used ones and this may be difficult to do, as not many shops are eager to buy old mattresses. This is because shops can buy new ones at wholesale prices and in bulk. Plus, they also want to maintain their reputation in the market by selling new products and not the used ones.
Still, there are a few shops that buy trade with second-hand products and this is where you offer your mattress. However, these shops generally pay less in order to maintain their own profit margin. So, if you do not want to sell your used one to a shop, you can also trade it yourself. Read on to find out how you can do so.
2. Check the Law
Before you decide to trade your old mattress on your own, you must know the rules and statutes of your city. There can be a law in your state that forbids you to sell a used item.
Therefore, you must check and save yourself the hassle of getting into trouble.
You must consider your options of advertising your used mattress. It is crucial that you choose the right path or platform to advertise. Ensure that the way you select suits you as well as your target audience.
Otherwise, it will just waste your time, money, and efforts. You can turn to newspaper classifieds. forums, online listings, etc.
The best place to advertise would be the one that is popular to this particular field. For example, papers and websites that specialise in mattresses or sleep related products. Also, you can take advantage of word of mouth. since your family and friends trust you as well as your old items more than strangers.
Top Tips For Selling A Used Mattress
Not everyone wants to keep their mattress for as long as it will live. Many will last up to 10 years if maintained properly, but some people may choose to change or replace within this time period for whatever reason. Suppose you have moved home, and perhaps want to downgrade or even upgrade your bed, it will, therefore, dictate time for mattress replacement. However, there is the question of what to do with the existing one. There are many options available, some will pay for a mattress removal service, others will recycle, while the next best thing would be to sell.
It is a fact that you can sell a used mattress at any time, but this will always depend on a number of factors that dictate the entire process. The most important question to ask yourself is; how to sell a mattress and still get some reasonable money? Below we discuss some points to think about:
Table of Contents
What You Must Consider
Choosing A Shop
Of course, the economic forces will play a central role. In this case, willing seller and willing buyer principle will definitely apply. However, take note that most shops will not go for used mattresses, because not only do they have the money to purchase new ones in bulk and at wholesale price, but also want to retain their reputation of dealing with new and not used products. However, there are some shops which specialize in second-hand goods which will happily oblige the situation, in which case they may even collect from you, but will most likely pay you the least amount of money due to a profit margin being required. If a shop is not an option for you, then read on and learn how to sell it yourself.
How About Law?
There are a number of things you should take note before selling a used mattress. Remember, existing laws can be an impediment to whether you can sell a used one or not. Therefore, see to it that you check the local statutes lest you find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
Where Should I Advertise?
Options are abundant when it comes to choosing where to list your sale. However, it is important for you to consider the correct platform or avenue you will use to advertise and make sure it suits you and your audience else it may all just be a waste of time. Certain options can include newspaper classifieds, online listings, forums, or just anything in this range. The best places are ones which are a niche in this field, such as websites and papers which specialize in sleep or mattresses. You can use word of mouth too because friends and family are likely to trust you and your used products more than a stranger.
5 Tips On How To Sell A Used Mattress
1. Clean It
Make it a point to see that the mattress you want to sell is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized so that your prospective buyers are not scared to make the purchase. Nobody wants to buy anything where they can obviously see sweat, urine or blood stains. Use a good cleaner and ensure it leaves a fresh odor for impressive results.
2. Be Honest
If the fact is correct, tell the customer that the mattress has been well maintained, especially by using the pad or protectors, and was cleaned, sanitized and aired regularly.
3. Brand Name
Never forget to mention the brand. In most cases, brand names point to quality irrespective of whether the product is used or new. If you can include the model or version that’s a bonus because it gives the prospective buyer a chance to run a quick Google search to look up specifications and owner reviews.
4. Take Pictures
Pictures speak a thousand words, so it goes without saying that anything you plan to sell should have corresponding images of the listed product. You must remember to include some photos taken from different angles so the buyers can gauge the quality and condition.
5. Other Details
If you have no pets in the home, always mention this fact. Potential buyers with pet allergies or a dislike for pets will be eager to know whether a cat or dog has been in contact with the bed. Also, if it’s coming from a non-smoking environment, it’s worth mentioning too. If you can offer delivery, be sure to mention this, and whether it will be free delivery or a cost involved.
If the points mentioned above are considered, you’re likely to sell fast. Whether it’s clothes or mattresses, many people are into buying used rather than new, so there’s no reason why you should be lumbered with yours taking up space in the garage.
The simple fact is, for anything taken out of the protective seal the pricing tends to be lower compared to one that is new and unopened. So provided the condition of your goods are saleable, lawful, and your advertisement is appealing while reaching the masses, there is plenty of scope for shifting your unwanted mattresses.