Get savvy about the pros and cons of buying a new bed online or instore – that’s the advice from The Sleep Council for National Bed Month, March 2018.
Latest research shows that the same number of people are now choosing to buy their new bed online as instore*, the first time there’s been parity between high street and internet shopping, with 48.7% of purchases made instore and 48.7% online**. This compares to 2015 when instore versus online bed sales were almost 60%-40% respectively.
Said Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council: “With more of us comfortable using the internet to make this big purchase than ever before, it’s vital that we have the knowledge to make the right choice. After all, on average, we spend a third of our lives in bed and mistakes can be costly – that’s why we want to highlight some key advice during National Bed Month.”
Whether shopping on the high street or the internet, The Sleep Council urges bed buyers to choose reputable retailers with clear delivery prices and returns policies.
The Sleep Council also recommends buying products made by a member of the National Bed Federation, the trade body for the UK bed industry. NBF members’ products meet health, safety and trading standards guidelines so they’re guaranteed to be safe, clean and honest.
Said Lisa: “Particular factors to consider when buying online include ensuring the seller offers secure credit card transactions, being satisfied that the product descriptions are true and accurate and checking the country of origin.”
While buying online can be cheaper and more convenient, there are drawbacks to not being able to see and touch items, particularly when, as with beds, comfort is so important. The Sleep Council advises people to try before they buy and ideally lie for at least 15 minutes on a bed before making any decision.
Said Lisa: “Sales advisors in shops can offer a wealth of knowledge when it comes to selecting the right type of bed or mattress. The beds may all look similar but the differences can be vast. Look out for Sleep Council Sales Academy trained sales people who have undergone specialist training to help you choose the bed most suited to your individual requirements.
“If you can’t make it into the shop, then online reviews can provide a very useful source of information. Check reviews of both the product and the seller. Be very wary if the only contact details are a mobile phone number, a Facebook page or a hotmail or googlemail address.”
One reassurance for online shoppers is the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which now covers online shopping as well as goods and services bought in shops. However, often a really cheap offer is cheap for a reason and you might not get what you bargained for.