Years ago I dated a girl with a Tempur-Pedic mattress.
The relationship was so-so, but the bed was great.
I wanted one of my own, but there were two problems:
- New Tempur-Pedics are expensive — a full set can easily run $2000 + tax.
- I move around a lot and Tempur-Pedics are super non transportable.
Important: This article’s title is misleading because nobody is going to give you a free Tempur-Pedic mattress. This article is actually about how you can buy a Tempur-Pedic so cheap that when you are done with the mattress you can resell it at a profit.
The Tempur-Pedic Hustle: How to Buy & Sell a Matress
I believe in investing in quality things, and I 100% vouch for the quality of Tempur-Pedic mattresses. I sleep way better on this kind of bed than I do on others, and I find it helps alleviate some back and neck pain. Part of the reason I sleep better is because the mattress is super comfortable, but it’s also super quiet because there is nothing inside to creak if you roll over during the night.
However, if I’m an ardent believer in “buying quality things”, then I’m an obsessive fanatic about not wasting money. These two values are actually pretty compatible; it’s just a balancing act.
With buying a Tempur-Pedic, here is how those values balance out for me:
- A new Tempur-Pedic mattress, foundation and protective cover run $2000 to $5000 plus tax.
- Back when I was a student, spending $2300+ on a mattress would have meant creating $2300 more debt. I think debt is a great option to finance investments, but not lifestyle.
- For some people paying full price for a mattress could be a good deal. $2300 over a ten year life span is $1.58 per day, and you get free days on leap years.
- I don’t stay anywhere for 10 years. I barely stay for 3 months, so full price for me would be $25.55 per day. IMO this is an unnecessary expense.
- You can buy two or three year old Tempur-Pedics on Craigslist for a fraction of the full retail price.
- There are many mattresses available between $300 and $1000. Allow some variation by location, age, size, version, etc.
- My biggest resistance to buying a used mattress would be, “ewww, it’s a big sponge that has soaked up 732 days of people sweat.” The saving grace is that Tempur-Pedic is great at selling people protective mattress covers. Unzip and inside is a pristine “just like new” bed. You can sanitize the mattress cover for reuse or throw it away.
- There are two key advantages of buying a used Tempur-Pedic. First, premium quality mattresses are like cars — they lose half their value when you drive them off the lot. When you buy a used Tempur-Pedic someone else sustains that loss. The second advantage is there is no sales tax on second hand items like this. I’m happy to pay taxes, but I think many people have a kind of “tax blindness” where they calculate affordability based on sticker price not total price.
For me, buying a second hand Tempur-Pedic on Craigslist is a good alternative to buying a new one. Buying used means that my initial investment is much smaller so that I can later resell the mattress and recoup the initial investment and sometimes earn a profit.
So Who Are These People Selling Tempur-Pedics For Cheap?
I’ve done the Tempur-Pedic Hustle four times now, and each time there has been a different result. I feel like now I have the process refined to a repeatable system.
Here’s what happened each time I did the Tempur-Pedic Hustle:
- In 2010 I bought a queen size mattress from a post-doctorate student in Vancouver. He had just bought the floor model for $1500 but his wife hated it and wanted a Sleep Number bed instead. He offered the bed for $1400, sold it to me for $1300 and a year later I sold it to another guy for $1200. The guy picked the mattress up two days before I moved out, so I slept on the floor and then I moved to China and slept on a bamboo mat.
- In 2014 I bought a king size Tempur-Pedic from a couple in my hometown. They were mattress soul mates so he brought his Tempur-Pedic when he moved in, and she was selling hers for $500. I offered her $400 and we settled on $450. I still have that mattress which my family uses some times and I usually use when I visit home.
- In 2015 I moved to Boston and bought a queen Tempur-Pedic from a guy who recently graduated from his masters and was going on a life quest. I think he asked for $600 and I gave him $500. I sold the bed three months later for $800 (we agreed to $1000 but I gave the buyer $200 off to pick it up instead of me delivering).
- In 2016 I bought a queen in NYC from a lady who had moved into a new apartment and was downsizing to a twin to save space. She asked for $300 and I paid $300. When I left NYC I gave the bed to my friend Ethan because he’s awesome. My guess is resale would be $800+.
Every time I’ve bought and sold Tempur-Pedics it has worked out well, so I’d definitely do it again. The next section is some advanced tactics for how to get a lower price when you buy and a higher price when you sell.
How To Buy Tempur-Pedics Super Cheap So You Can Later Resell Them At A Profit
Buying a mattress from a store is easy; you just give the store money and schedule a delivery. If you want to save money by buying a used Tempur-Pedic mattress, it takes a little finesse.
Here are some tips for buying a Tempur-Pedic at a big discount.
- The cheapest place to buy a Tempur-Pedic is Craigslist. Search in your city for variations of “Tempur-Pedic”, “tempurpedic”, etc. You can set email alerts on Craigslist for those searches, but I’ve never had to check for more than a couple of days.
- If you find a mattress that is a great price, like my $300 NYC one, send a super quick message. “Hi, I’ll pay $300 for your mattress. Can I pick it up tomorrow between 5pm and 7pm? Here’s a link to my online profile so you can see I’m a real person.” Replace the variables with yours. The goal is to keep your message super short because other people could be emailing the seller too and you want the seller to prioritize you. Include your online profile because nobody wants a weirdo internet person in their house.
- If there are mattresses a little above your price range, follow my 20:10 rule of online negotiation. Offer 20% lower than the asking price and be willing to accept 10% off instead. “Would you take $400 for it? If yes, I can pick it up any time tomorrow or Saturday.” Just make it really easy for people to say yes, or for them to do easy mental math like “I was selling it for $500 but we can split the difference at $450.”
- Transportation! In some cities you can get a person with a pickup truck to help you move the mattress for about $50. TaskRabbit is a slightly more expensive alternative. I paid $80 in Boston and $130 in NYC. Tempur-Pedics are difficult to move and in Manhattan parking and four-story walk ups double the difficulty so keep that expense in mind.
All in you should be able to get a reasonably new, good condition Tempur-Pedic mattress for less than $500. Generally, even if you only slept on the mattress for three months and never got the money back it could still be a good investment because you can get way more than $500 of productivity boosts from sleeping better.
But the best part is you can sell the mattress for way more than zero. If you bought your Tempur-Pedic for a good price, you should be able to break even on the sale or even earn a profit.
Here’s how to optimize for high resale value:
- Nobody wants to spend time reading your ad, so keep it short. “Queen Tempur-Pedic mattress for sale. Approx 60” x 80”. Great condition. Originally $1500+. I’m selling for $800 flat including delivery anywhere in Manhattan. Here’s a photo…”
- The goal is to avoid cheap people emailing you or a lot of back and forth. Never say “or best offer” because then you get low ballers, “I’ll give you $200 — can’t blame a guy for trying!” Include dimensions and photos because people will ask for them anyway.
- Mentioning the original retail price frames your asking price as super reasonable. It doesn’t matter that you bought the bed used.
- Including delivery with purchase will attract the most potential buyers, which means you can sell your mattress at a higher price. There are some people willing to pay $800 for a used mattress and there are some people with trucks; you can’t rely on the tiny segment that overlap. By including delivery you remove the #1 barrier most people have to purchasing your mattress, “how do I get this to my house?” If you can’t move the Tempur-Pedic yourself then get a TaskRabbit or Craigslist person to move it for $50 to $150.
The End: Do You Have Your Own Hustle?
The Tempur-Pedic Hustle is a great way to buy a premium product at a massive discount and takes only very basic negotiation and a little time. The benefit is you get months or years of better sleep and in the end it costs you almost nothing. I haven’t figured out how to do the Tempur-Pedic Hustle in China yet, so if you have ideas send me a message!