In Case You Thought I Was Sane

There is a false rumor going around that I may be sane.  Wrong.  As proof, I offer the following.

I recently read that among retail stores, mattress stores have the highest customer conversion.  By "conversion" I mean the percentage of people who actually make a purchase once they walk in the store.  Brookstone and Sharper Image, for example, have close to the lowest conversion ratios because they get so many people just looking at the gadgets with no intention of buying.  Anyway, having read that mattress stores have a sky-high conversion rate  (I seem to remember 80+% of people who walk in the door buy something) I have now taken to walking into any mattress store I encounter, say in a strip mall, looking around a bit, and just walking out.  I figure with the sky-high conversion rates the sales staff must be conditioned like Pavlov's dogs to equate the ringing of the doorbell with a sale, so I like to mess with them.


  1. Sameer Parekh:

    Hah you know -- when I read your post I thought maybe I should start going to mattress stores too. Not to mess with people though. Just because I figured well most people don't go to mattress stores just 'for fun', so maybe I should try it.

    I don't think anyone ever thought I was sane though. So there is no need for me to dispel that notion.

  2. Damon Gentry:

    I figure that at most, people will buy a new mattress every 5-10 years, which makes the 80+% conversion rate seem correct. When I need a mattress, I'll go into a store to get one. However, within the last few years, I seem to have noticed a lot of mattress stores that employ 'street picket salesmen'. These employees stand at intersections and wave a a long stick with 3 or 4 signs on them, attracting attention that a mattress store is just a few yards away. I don't consider a mattress purchase to be an impulse buying decision. I've always wondered how they can justify the cost of so many street salesmen. The only answer I have is that the margins are high enough to support that activity.

  3. Josh:

    I don't see anything wrong with this.

  4. Sol:

    Oddly enough, today marked the second time in the last week I've been in a mattress store and not bought one. We are shopping for a new mattress, but so far have been unable to find one that seemed that much better than the one we have. How the heck does you find a mattress that doesn't leave you with a sore back every morning?

  5. dearieme:

    Sol, we found the answer was adjustable beds.

  6. Highway:

    Why does anyone buy a NON Select Comfort mattress at all anymore? We've bought 3, none have had the slightest problem, and though they cost more than regular mattresses, they do not wear out, get lumpy, or anything.

    Plus, you don't have to compromise with your wife who likes the super soft mattress. Set your side for what you want, she sets her side for what she wants. Marital bliss.

    Seriously, don't buy regular mattresses.

  7. Sol:

    We were looking at a Select Comfort mattress, but my wife found a bunch of on-line reviews indicating they had serious issues -- something about the spot where the two zones meet failing over time, I don't recall the details at the moment.

  8. Highway:


    I guess something like that could happen, but it's got a 20-year warranty, and to fix it you take out a piece of foam and put in a new piece of foam.

    But we've certainly not had anything like that happen in 9 years of use.

  9. John III:

    what do you mean not sane?

    Your reasoning made perfect sense to me!