Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mattresses and Mortgages

My wife and I bought a new mattress the other day. Mattresses are about as opaque a product as one can buy--the stuff that really matters to you is sewn inside. To some extent this is true of other products, such as automobiles.

But the thing about autos is that a Toyota Corolla is the same, regardless of who sells it. Once can test drive it and read reviews on Edmunds about it, and then go from dealer to dealer to get the best deal possible on it (the web allows you to do this very efficiently). Mattresses, however, change names from one store to the next, so you can't really comparison shop to get the best deal possible.

In this mattresses resemble mortgages. Unless one gets a zero closing cost mortgage, it is hard to shop from one broker to the next. Many brokers, moreover, will not offer a rate lock until they have gathered a lot of information, meaning that one needs to do a lot of work before he can even get a price. There may be some value of having a regulation that says that mattress companies must sell all comparable mattresses under one brand name. And there may also be value to requiring mortgage companies to offer mortgages that have just two prices--a rate and a closing cost.

7 comments:

Scott said...

If I remember correctly, when we bought our mattress, we called 1-800-dial-a-mattress or whatever it was and told them what we had been offered and they did the leg work. They gave us a better price. Then we went back to Sleepy's and took advantage of their pledge to beat any price.

mary said...

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Organic said...

What you said, about mattresses having the stuff that really matters sown on the inside, is entirely true. I’ve been wanting to go green for a while, and although I can’t afford a hybrid car right now, I found that there are ways to go green inside the home. I checked into it, and found that latex mattresses are the way to go. Still waiting on that hybrid car though!

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Cory said...

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