For entrepreneurs, any loose end is an opportunity. With today’s needs changing, and our mindsets, along with it, a venture that would have been considered foolish once upon a time, is one that can make our life today. One such enterprise that has the potential to develop into something big is the business of selling used mattresses. People change their mattresses from time to time, depending on the quality of the mattress used, to avoid back pains and affiliated ailments. And, as they say, with one man’s garbage being the treasure of another, it is up to you, if you wish so, to be the middleman in the deal and facilitate the change of possession who does not want mattress anymore, to someone who needs it.
Do People Buy Old Mattresses?
A survey is often the best way to understand any market. However, some surveys do not reveal the real statistics due to the fact that people are sometimes embarrassed to admit some things on a survey, irrespective of whether it is anonymous. It is in this scenario that Google steps in. A Google search reveals most things asked of it. If you Googled whether people buy old mattresses, and conducted a survey on the demographic that purchases used mattresses, your survey will discourage you. Meanwhile, the search engine will encourage you to start a thriving business of selling used mattresses.
The reason the business will thrive is quite simple. With the general trend in expenditure and economics, the consumer always wants to spend as little as possible, so the reception of second-hand things is widespread owing to the simple fact that these things are way cheaper than its unused counterpart. You can rest assured that people are looking to buy used furniture and mattresses all the time, and if you put yourself out there, you could be the person everyone flocks towards.
The Second-Hand Market
As mentioned before, the price of used commodities is the major reason why these goods sell out in the first place. On average, across a variety of goods considered, the price of a used item is half of an unused one. This piece of the statistic is the reason for the expected 6.4% CAGR rise in the second-hand furniture market by 2025. Also, considering the relentless urbanization that’s happening, it is certain that second-hand furniture and mattresses will continue to have a good market, no matter what. Among the furniture sold second hand, mattresses and bed frames are the fourth most common, while on the consumers’ side, its standing is nowhere near four.
Another factor that has indirectly influenced the second-hand mattress market is that of online shopping. Statistics reveal that the percentage of people who’ll shop online is on an upward slope owing to lesser personal interaction, and thus the probability of them purchasing a second hand good will be all the less awkward.
Apart from all what’s written above, one sure shot way to have people flock towards second-hand mattresses is by driving their price down really low and by flooding the market with used mattresses, so that the consumers at least stop to consider if this is a compromise worth making.
Can You Legally Sell A Used Mattress?
Hand me downs and second-hand things are not particularly a new concept. You’d have all heard stories from your parents about their childhood about how they all had to grow up with hand me downs and not be fussy about it. Also, add to it the usual dose of scoldings that you generally get about not giving enough credit to the things you had as you were growing up. However, some things, even according to them, were not meant to be handed down. The list of those things is for another day, another time.
Some items that have scarcely made it to the list of resellables are mattresses. Because, as much as people want to sell their mattresses and make money off of it, comparatively fewer people only want to buy used mattresses. However, that does not mean in any way that it is not legal. Selling used mattresses is legal in almost all countries, provided they meet a certain standard.
In the US, various state and federal laws cover the sale of used mattresses. Some states allow for the mattress to be sanitized and tested and then sold, while others only allow the reuse of springs from old mattresses. These laws also state that the reuse of any such material is to be mentioned on the label of the mattress. While any new mattress has a white label attached to it, reused ones should have a label that is either red, yellow or both.
The red labels indicate the materials used in the mattress that are recycled, while the yellow ones indicate that the mattress has been cleaned and sanitized. When setting up a business, it is necessary for you to keep these regulations in mind to ensure a business experience that is free of hassles. Also, make it a point to give bills and specify that you’re selling used or recycled mattresses to give the customer a sense of warranted security.
Also, some states of the US have specific laws that must be adhered to, with respect to the sale of used mattresses. For example, an example would be that of California where the sale of bedding with visible soiling is prohibited. If you’re selling bedding individually, the law does not apply to you, but in case you’re an establishment, the law applies. It is necessary that you keep these nuances of the law in mind while setting up a shop in the US.
How Much Should You Sell A Used Mattress For?
The first step while selling a used mattress is to decide how much to sell it for. Obviously, by the end of the process, the price would have fluctuated quite a bit and you might or might not have sold the mattress at the price you thought, but that is the first step, nonetheless.
The price of a used commodity is half the price of being sold, as mentioned before. However, used mattresses are not something people very willingly or enthusiastically buy. On average, a used mattress is sold for about 20 percent to 30 percent of its original cost. And if you manage to actually sell it for this ratio, you might as well consider it a win. Although, it is not easy and depends on the condition of the mattress.
While setting the price, other factors also come into play apart from the initial investment, namely the use. How old the mattress is, and the condition in which it is being sold, also play a pivotal role in deciding the price of a mattress. A mattress which is older obviously is sold for a lesser price than one which is new, considering a case where both are used nightly. However, if a mattress belonged to your guest bedroom, and was only used intermittently, the value of that is much higher than one used regularly as the wear and tear on that one would be considerably less.
If you’d protect your mattress by using a mattress protector, then that also adds value to the mattress you’re selling. Provided there are no structural or visual compromises with respect to the mattress, the one you’re selling should go for a good price. Essentially, people will pay a good price if they believe that the mattress is like new and in good condition. This is because they’re getting the best of both worlds – paying a lesser price, and buying a rarely used mattress.
All of that said, it is necessary that your moral compass remains straight and that you do not lie about the condition of the mattress just to sell it for a higher price. This could end up being disastrous if the people you sell to decide to take the matter up with the concerned authorities.
Preparing for The Sale
When you’ve decided how much you’re going to sell a mattress for, the next step is to ensure that the mattress is worth the price you’re demanding for it. To make it come up to that level, you need to follow a couple of steps and go about your business in an organized fashion.
The first thing to do would be to clean and sanitize it. Considering that a mattress is one of the objects used on a daily basis by all, and something that’s supposed to make them feel welcome all the time, you cannot afford to slack off on this step. You have to make sure that it’s properly cleaned and treated, thereby removing any stains and other dirt from the mattress. If the springs and filling need changing, then you should take care of those things as well. Make sure to use quality materials for filling, for only then will you have a guilt-free sleep in your own bed, on the night of the sale.
Also, one thing you shouldn’t forget here is to attach the red and yellow labels that indicate that the mattress is good for use. A miscalculation or absentmindedness on your part could cost you your business, which is certainly not what you want. Make the labels visible so that your customers know you’re candid and have no reason to deceive them. This will also help you gain customers through word of mouth.
The next step would be to take pictures of your mattresses in ways as enticing as possible. It needs to look as good as unused mattresses so that people will consider used ones and not their newly manufactured counterparts. Research has shown time and again that a proper visual representation can grab the attention of a consumer much more easily than a box of text, or all the talking you can possibly do. Thus, it’s important to make your mattresses look good when you’re pitching them to prospective clients.
Listing for Sale
Once you have the pictures, all you need to do is to upload them on a site or have them printed on media. Considering that both these avenues can get you traction for your sale, do not discount spending at this stage. You can get to the millennials and the younger generation through online media as well as get to the older generation through print and television advertisements.
Once you’ve put yourself out there, you’ll definitely start to get calls about the offers and pricing of your mattresses. By this juncture, you should have decided about your course of action as to how you’ll deliver these mattresses to your potential clients. It would be preferable for you to deliver the mattress and stick to your pricing, rather than stick to it without delivering, which could result in the loss of a potential client. There are a number of delivery services out there that can help you out, and associating with one of them could also mean that you get advertised from their front as well, which is essentially a win-win situation.
One thing to note here would be that it is best to be candid in all the steps leading up to the sale. It might sound rudimentary, and none of you have any reason to resort to deception, but it is good to be sincere, irrespective of anything. The steps leading to your sale will be that much more satisfying if you’re truthful to yourself and others.
Where to Sell
As mentioned multiple times in this article, both offline and online media have proven to be effective avenues for selling second-hand furniture. With online markets gaining prevalence slowly, but steadily, it is necessary that you get onto these platforms to increase your chance of success and being globally recognized. Some of these platforms include eBay, Craigslist, OLX, and so on. Making a reliable and trustworthy profile, and having happy customers attest to their satisfaction on these platforms go a long way in ensuring the consistent and smooth flow of clients, all the time.
Another way to sell mattresses is to set up a Facebook page with the name of your enterprise and advertising yourself on Facebook. Eventually, when the page gains traction, you’ll start to receive orders from that end as well. Alternatively, you can join local Facebook groups to sell your used mattress.
As for offline platforms, you can always approach your local furniture and bedding marts to see if they have any means to sell refurbished mattresses. If they do, you could make a deal with them on paper, and partner with them to sell your mattresses to deserving clients. There are also furniture stores that specialize exclusively in used furniture, and these places would not be a bad option either.
Best Time to Sell A Used Mattress
Speaking from a qualitative point of view, if you’re looking to sell a used mattress, a good time to sell it would be before it is completely ruined or nothing can be salvaged from it. If it crosses a certain standard, even if it is allowed to be sold, you’ll feel guilty about the quality of your product, and eventually your business.
The Winter Months
Speaking with respect to time, it is during the months of August and January that new furniture comes out. And considering the sales that accompany these releases, people flock towards well known retail stores to make their purchases. Thus, it is needless to say that you’ll have a hard time convincing customers to choose a used mattress over an unused one.
Also, during these times, the price difference isn’t as striking as it generally is, as every other piece of furniture and bedding is also considerably cheaper than it usually is. So, it would be an intelligent choice to refrain from selling used mattresses in these months. If you have to sell them during these months, you probably won’t get as much profit as expected. In the sense that, the number of people approaching you might be low, and those who approach will quote a price way lesser than usual, both of these situations being equally bad.
In a nutshell, there is a big market for second-hand furniture out there. One that you can make money from, provided you know exactly what you want, and know how you want to get there. After having read this piece, you should have gained an adequate knowledge of what’s required to start this venture and see it through, along with some potholes you should steer clear of. As long as you stick to the law, and do not go toe-to-toe with it at any point of time, your work ethic and quality also will begin to speak for you, thus helping you draw more customers.
All you need to do now is to begin, for the rest, as they say, is history.