How to Sell a Used Mattress
Written By: Mallorie Stallings
Individuals sell mattresses in good condition for a variety of reasons. Whether you want a different bed size, need to revamp the guest room for a different purpose, or your mattress doesn't suit your sleeping preferences, reselling your used mattress allows you to recoup a portion of the price you originally paid.
For buyers on a budget, used mattresses represent a significant discount of new mattress prices. As the seller, you can feel good about your old mattress getting a second life.
We’ll discuss how to sell a used mattress, how to set a fair price, and where to post your ad, as well as ethical and legal considerations.
Is My Mattress Safe to Sell?
There are a few ethical considerations to take into account before selling your mattress. You should ensure that it is clean, free of bed bugs, and still retains its supportive capabilities. If your mattress sags excessively or has damaged components, such as split foam or broken springs, consider recycling your bed instead of selling it. Mattresses more than 5 or 6 years old may not be suitable for selling, as most models have a lifespan of 7 to 8 years.
Determine What a Fair Price Is for Your Mattress
Ideally, you’ll price your mattress so that it provides some benefit to you and the buyer. A used mattress generally does not qualify for warranty coverage, so the price is usually much lower than a new mattress. To determine a fair price, consider:
- Amount of Use: Mattresses can only withstand so much use before they start to break down. A mattress that has been used nightly for five years might only have a few years of usage left, and the price should reflect this. By contrast, you may be able to justify a higher price-point for a mattress only used occasionally. Lumps, cracked foam, sagging or body impressions, exposed coils, and tears in the cover may lower the bed’s overall value as well.
- Cleanliness: Buyers might be less willing to pay for a mattress with stains, mold, odors, or other signs of damage. If you anticipate selling your mattress one day, use a proper foundation and a mattress protector to shield against stains and dust buildup.
- Delivery Options: Since secondhand mattresses don’t come in a box like many new mattresses, they can be more difficult to move. If you have the means, you can offer to deliver the mattress to the buyer’s home for an additional fee.
- Extras: Buyers might be willing to pay more if you include pillows or bedding with the mattress.
- Original Price: The original price of the mattress usually reflects the complexity of the design and the quality of the materials. An organic latex hybrid mattress has a higher price-point than a budget innerspring model, which also applies to the resale. Most used mattresses sell for 20% to 30% of the original price, at most.
You can also check other used mattress ads to compare similar mattress prices.
Are There Mattress Resale Laws Where You Live?
To protect consumers, many states have strict regulations for selling secondhand mattresses. For example, many states require sellers to fully clean and sanitize the mattress, and some states prohibit the resale of mattresses that have visible stains. Additionally, re-covering the mattress is required in some states and illegal in others.
As with new mattresses, used mattresses must also meet flammability standards. These regulations may undergo periodic updates, so be sure to check whether your mattress fulfills the most recent criteria before reselling.
Additionally, regulations might be different for businesses. For example, several states require that sellers remove the original tag from the mattress and replace it with a tag that clearly identifies it as a refurbished mattress.
If you are unsure about the used mattress resale requirements in your state, contact your local health department.
Where Should You List Your Mattress for Sale?
Various online marketplaces permit individuals to list secondhand items for sale to local buyers, and some platforms offer guarantees to reduce risks around payment. Before creating your post, consider browsing other used mattress ads on the same platform to get a sense of how to frame your ad.
- Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace is a convenient and fairly trustworthy option to buy and sell items for people who have a social account on the platform.
- Craigslist: Craigslist offers an extensive selection of classified ads for jobs, housing, furniture, and other used items.
- OfferUp: Originally created to compete with Craigslist, OfferUp operates a rating system that can lend credibility when seeking a reliable buyer or seller.
- eBay Classifieds: For a fee, eBay allows the option to upload a classified ad. Although the ad runs on eBay’s online marketplace, the transaction is arranged directly between the seller and buyer.
Be cautious when arranging to exchange money or meet buyers in person.
Write Your Ad
The more information you provide for buyers, the easier it is for them to know if the mattress is a good fit. Practical details to mention in your advertisement include:
- Price and whether you are willing to negotiate
- Mattress size and exact dimensions, including width, length, and height
- Brand and model
- Construction details, including the support core, comfort layers, and cover material
- Mattress age and level of use
- Current condition, including stains or sagging if applicable
- Information on the foundation you used, and whether you used a mattress protector or topper
If your mattress is damaged, be transparent about it and price the bed accordingly. This prevents you and the potential buyer from wasting time.
Mattress Reselling Strategies
It can be difficult to find interested buyers for secondhand mattresses, particularly if you don’t live in a densely populated area. There are, however, several tips that can help you sell your mattress faster.
Repost to Refresh Your Listing in the Feed: People tend to see new posts first when browsing listings, so regularly reposting your ad can ensure more people view it.
Lower Your Price (But Don’t Make It Free): If you haven’t received any offers for your mattress after several weeks, try lowering the price.
Offer Free Delivery: Since mattresses are so bulky, transport can be a major barrier. Offering free delivery may help you close a sale.
Change the Title and Description to Be More Enticing: A catchy title and an informative description may grab the reader’s attention.
Add Photos: High-quality photos from different angles help buyers see what condition the mattress is in.
Consider Donating Instead
If your mattress is taking up space and you need to get rid of it quickly, it may be more convenient to donate it to a charity or shelter. This way, you don’t have to worry about finding a buyer, and you prevent a perfectly good mattress from ending up in the landfill. Confirm the donation with the charity before you deliver the mattress, as not all charities accept used mattresses.
For a mattress in good condition, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for donating it to a nonprofit organization approved by the IRS. If you are interested in this option, look into the rules surrounding charitable donations to ensure you qualify.
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