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Selling a used mattress is a multi-step process that includes determining a reasonable selling price, researching applicable state laws, pinpointing a sales venue, and providing sufficient product information for prospective buyers.
This guide for selling used mattresses includes step-by-step instructions to follow in order to facilitate a successful transaction – but be warned: most used mattress sellers will only recuperate a small percentage of the original product price.
Generally speaking, a used mattress will command a resale price that is roughly equivalent to 20% to 30% of the original product price. If a mattress originally costs $1,000, then expect to resell it for $200 to $300; if the original cost is $2,000, then the resale price will probably fall between $400 and $600.
In addition to original price, here are a few more factors that may affect the resale price of a used mattress:
Years of use: The average mattress will need to be replaced after six to seven years of consistent nightly use. A mattress that has been used for three years or less will command a higher price than one that has been used for longer.
Topper or protector use: Mattress toppers and protectors can be used to preserve the comfort layer of a mattress over time. A mattress that has primarily been used with a topper and/or protector will typically be in much better shape than one that has not been used with these accessories.
Consistent or sporadic use: A used mattress that has been used on a nightly basis will typically command a lower price-point than one that has primarily been used as a guest bed on an inconsistent basis.
Current mattress condition: Assuming the mattress was brand new when it was originally purchased, how much has its quality declined over time? Is it ‘Like New’, ‘Very Good’, ‘Good’, ‘Acceptable’, or in ‘Poor Condition’? Factors that affect the condition of the mattress include:
Sellers perks: Is the owner willing to deliver the mattress themselves? Are pillows, pads, and other accessories included with the used mattress? Incentives like these can help used mattress sellers add to the resale price.
Brand: Mattresses manufactured by high-profile companies will usually command a higher price-point than those made by less prominent companies – but this factor is less likely to play a significant role compared to the other criteria listed above.
Now that you have a ballpark price-point in mind, let’s look at some laws and regulations guiding the practice of selling used mattresses in the United States. It’s important to note that most mattress resale laws are enforced at the state level; as such, the rules vary from state to state.
Legal considerations for selling a used mattress include:
Other factors apply to businesses and brands, but not individual sellers. One example is ‘tagging’. In some states, color-coded tags are used to indicate if a used mattress has been properly cleaned and disinfected, or indicate if mattresses that have been rebuilt from used or recycled materials. In virtually every state where tagging laws exist, they do not apply to individuals selling mattresses to other individuals.
Be sure to carefully research all applicable state laws and regulations. This information is typically found through the state’s departments of health and human services, consumer affairs, licensing, and/or agriculture.
When crafting a used mattress ad, it’s important to remain truthful about its present condition. Be sure to take several photographs of the mattress from different angles to emphasize its height and size, as well as licensing tags if they are intact. When listing out qualities and characteristics of the mattress in the ad, be sure to include the following:
Finally, be sure to list the mattress price somewhere in the ad. Also indicate if the price is negotiable with the abbreviation OBO (Or Best Offer).
In most cases, mattress owners will not be able to sell their used model to a brick-and-mortar retailer. These establishments usually prefer to exclusively sell new mattress models. In the event that a brick-and-mortar store agrees to purchase a used mattress, the resale price will typically be quite low.
Used mattress sellers typically have better luck using online marketplace sites like Amazon and Craigslist. These sites enable mattress owners to post advertisements for their used mattress, sell directly to other individuals, and coordinate delivery/shipping or pickup details.
Community-based websites, forums, and social media pages can also be valuable resources for used mattress sellers. Many allow users to post ads directly on their sites. Sellers can supplement their digital advertising with physical postings in local newspapers and on bulletin boards throughout their community.
Before attempting to sell a mattress to an individual purchaser, here are a few important considerations:
For more information about mattress types and prices, please visit the Tuck.com guides listed below.