How I Saved Money Using Amazon Without Buying Anything

How Amazon Saved Me Money on a MattressMy wife and I are getting closer to closing on our new home and that means we are spending some serious cash.  Too much in my opinion, but that goes with the home buying territory.  I am becoming a damn scrooge about my money, especially after I wired a large sum to the closing attorney.  I already miss that money.  Anyway, we have been buying things to get ready for the house and we really did it over Memorial Day weekend.  We spent over my defined budget, but I will explain why in a minute.  Either way, as we were buying some merchandise, I was able to save money with Amazon.  The best part was I didn’t even buy anything on the site.  HAHA!

Buying a New Mattress

The wife and I have wanted a new mattress for some time.  We bought our current mattress at a bargain price when we moved into our first apartment together.  That mattress is now 8 years old and worn out.  It has seen better days, but is still quite clean.  That bargain mattress has held up well over the years, but it is now taking a toll on my lower back.  I have a hard time sleeping, which causes me to toss and turn.  This movement wakes my wife and that just doesn’t go over well.  You get the picture.  Remember, happy wife means happy life.  So, a new mattress it is.

Since we are moving into a new home soon, what better opportunity to score a new mattress.  Though I want to respect the veterans who fought for this country, you can’t beat some of the sales on holiday weekends.  Isn’t our nation so full of consumerism?  I mean, there is a sale for almost every occasion now.  I think I scored a used cell phone on national pancake day!

We looked at a few flyers and decided to head out to see what we could get.  We have one major road which has a large number of mattress places.  It makes it really easy to drive up the road and hit about 10 different places.  Ugly when driving, but great when you are shopping.  We stopped in one store and that is actually where we bought our mattress.  The reason was because of Amazon!

Negotiating a Good Price

Since owning my e-commerce business, I have learned the art of selling items to consumers.  You make it look like you are scoring a great deal, but in reality, you are just giving them the item for the same price.  This is all over the mattress industry as well.  They put their sticker price on the mattress, then give you a much lower price as the sale.  The store we were in had all of their mattresses at 50% off!  Ha, yeah right.

We did find a great mattress, but it was above our budget.  I must admit that I had an unrealistic number for how much a mattress costs.  I was trying to use the same number we spent 8  years ago, but that is just not realistic.  That mattress has been good, but I can’t sleep on a pillow-top mattress anymore. My back just can’t take the softness.  We had to get a firm mattress this go around.  I also realized we should buy a quality mattress that will give us quality sleep.  I do a lot of stuff every day and I need good sleep.  Having a full time job, a family, blogging, and then running a side business takes a lot of time.  I need my sleep and I need it to be good!

After my wife and I decided on a mattress, it was time to start negotiating.  The salesman was very nice, but did have his sales pitch.  He tried to get us to buy the most expensive mattress, but we found one that we both loved lying on (I heard it takes 10 minutes to really get the feel for a mattress) and the price was good enough.  Since we weren’t taking advantage of their financing promotion, he started working numbers on the mattress.

Thank you Amazon

You all know I am a fan of Amazon. I am an Amazon Prime member and I like the service. I shop their warehouse deals section quite often and I share my Prime benefits with my wife and father.

As the salesman was pricing the mattress, I pulled out my smartphone and started searching for pricing.  I am sure the salesman knew what was going on.  We also were buying two new pillows that we fell in love with as we were lying on the beds.  These pillows were being sold at the store for $99.99 for one pillow.  Hells No!  I wouldn’t pay $100 for a damn pillow, no matter how good it felt.  Luckily my smartphone was able to save me $50 per pillow.

I searched for the pillow on my phone and went to Amazon.  A similar pillow on Amazon was close to half off.  The salesman saw a sale slipping away, so he immediately said he would match the price.  We were only planning on getting one for my wife, but then when he dropped the price, I decided to get one.  Trust me, the pillow it worth it!

I wasn’t done there.  Since I knew the Memorial Day sale was not really a sale, I started searching around for the mattress we were buying. This was really easy as it is a popular one.  There were so many prices around.  After doing some searching, I found the mattress and a range of prices.  I talked with the salesman and he wanted to close the deal.  He pushed his price down under the other stores and made it worth my time.  I knew I wasn’t really getting 50% off, so that was expected. I was getting 50% off the MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price), but no one sells items for that amount.

The One Item We Couldn’t Agree On

I can only negotiate so much.  The salesman was advising us go purchase a mattress protector.  We have one on our current mattress and think they are worth it.  It also keeps the manufacturers warranty.  Did you know most manufacturers won’t help you if your mattress has stains on it?  Crazy, right?  A simple mattress protector will help keep that warranty in check.  The one at the store was $99.  I think they just really love things at $100!  I wasn’t going to spend money on that, but I wanted to see if I could negotiate a deal.

Of course the mattress protector he was trying to sell me was the best of the best.  Well, it really wasn’t.  Nothing special about it.  I jumped on Amazon and found a highly rated mattress protector for half the price.  He looked at it and tried to give me his protector for the same.  Unfortunately, the computer wouldn’t let him bring down the price anymore.  We had negotiated to the point where their master pricing system wouldn’t let him go down further.  We decided to let it go and I just purchased it from Amazon.  You can’t win them all.

The Sales Lesson

There is a lesson to be learned here.  Never think a sale is a true sale.  I learned that a long time ago and how people buy.  If people think they are getting a sale, then you are more likely to close the deal and make some serious cash.  Always try to compare prices while you are in the store.  If you have a smartphone, then jump on it and look around.  Consumers have a lot more power than they originally did.  Now we can research on the fly and price compare faster than a salesman can speak.  Take the power back and own the negotiating.  You don’t have to just accept a price.  This is especially true when it comes to big ticket items.  Amazon saved me money without me even buying anything.  It happened in less than ten minutes and I was able to save close to $300.  That will pay for a few months of my cell phone plan, even more if I was using Republic Wireless.


Image via Sleepy’s

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Grayson Bell

Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog. It is Empowered Shopper, which helps people get information about products they want to buy. You can also check out Eyes on the Dollar, which is a great blog that I co-own.


  1. May 30, 2014 at 6:41 am — Reply

    Strong work Grayson! I love that you negotiated to the point that the master pricing system wouldn’t let you do anymore!

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:46 am — Reply

      Thank you Dee! I don’t like to pay regular price. I always try to negotiate.

  2. May 30, 2014 at 6:52 am — Reply

    A lot of mattress places sell the same mattress under a different name so you can’t do proper price comparisons as well. With a bit of googling you should be able to fine what mattresses are the same and then find the lowest price.

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:46 am — Reply

      You are correct there. While they do that, there are a few ways to do the comparisons. Most of them use similar model codes in order to identify the manufacturer.

  3. May 30, 2014 at 9:04 am — Reply

    Nice work Grayson. It drives my wife a bit nutty, but I do the same thing when we’re out shopping especially when it’s something major like a mattress. They like to play the numbers game but it doesn’t always mean that it’s a deal, you’ve got to do a little work to get those.

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:47 am — Reply

      It typically drives my wife nuts, but she didn’t mind this time. I think because we have been spending a lot of money for the house.

  4. May 30, 2014 at 9:36 am — Reply

    This is a great example of a large purchase – and I will definitely have to take this to heart the next time we buy anything big! Did you know that Target will march Amazon’s prices as well? I have used that so many times!

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:47 am — Reply

      That is a great tip. I have heard Target will do that, but haven’t tried it yet.

  5. May 30, 2014 at 10:58 am — Reply

    Nice job! My parents are looking to buy a bed for their guest room, and my mom was already planning on negotiating. Unfortunately, neither of them have a smartphone, so they are at a slight disadvantage. They’re only looking for a twin, though, so they shouldn’t be paying much.

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:48 am — Reply

      They can look over pricing before they go. Just arm themselves with a little info and they can still negotiate.

  6. May 30, 2014 at 11:53 am — Reply

    Glad it worked out. I have to believe that at a certain point a salesperson would grow tired of someone looking up every item on a smartphone and just let the sale go, but thankfully you didn’t cross that threshold.

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:48 am — Reply

      I am sure they would get irritated, but that is the nature of the game. They want to get the sale, they have to deal with people like me.

  7. May 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm — Reply

    That’s awesome Grayson!! I don’t think that people realize how much they can negotiate from the store. I was in Macy’s once looking at luggage and the website had the same luggage for almost half the price that they advertised it in the store. I showed the salesperson my phone and they immediately matched the price. It never hurts to ask!

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:49 am — Reply

      You are correct Shannon. This is especially true with large purchases, but many big stores have some price wiggle room.

  8. May 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm — Reply

    Good job! Mattresses like furniture are often open to negotiation. When my wife and I were purchasing a mattress, we weren’t planning on negotiating and were just browsing. When I told the salesmen, we’d think about it and come back, he immediately gave me $100 off. I probably could have got an even better deal…well I will know for next time. Congrats on the new house! We finally found a place…have to sign contract next week, get a mortgage and pass a stupid co-op board interview.

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:50 am — Reply

      Ah, the classic walk out trick. That is one of the best ways to get someone to negotiate.

  9. May 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm — Reply

    Great work. Smart phones make it so easy to price check. Keep the savings coming!

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:50 am — Reply

      You are correct Julie. They really do make it easy.

  10. May 30, 2014 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    Excellent savings–way to stick to your guns! My husband gets embarrassed when I try to get things price matched or marked down, even so much as leaving the vicinity when I go on a savings rampage.

    Isn’t it funny how serious mattress-shopping is? Luckily, my first bed set was purchased as a wedding gift from my in-laws (one less thing to worry about, they said). So when I actually had to buy a new bed later on, I ended up just going to some shady mattress peddler in Portland (those exist) and getting whatever was there. Worst decision ever, and I’m newly inspired by your post to upgrade!

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:52 am — Reply

      There is nothing wrong with price matching or negotiating. Sorry to hear about your shady mattress buying experience.

  11. June 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm — Reply

    Excellent! It amazes me that stores keep their prices so much higher than you can get things for online, like at Amazon. I guess they figure they have to because of higher costs, and they count on unenlightened customers. I applaud your blatant, in your face use of Amazon.

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:52 am — Reply

      They really do. They are focused on making money and profit margins. They can wiggle if you try to push them.

  12. Nancy
    June 5, 2014 at 7:31 am — Reply

    I always check the online stores before buying anything because like you saved $50, I also able to save a lot of money on my purchases. I agree it is better to compare prices before purchasing anything, it is worth the effort because it might saves you money.

    • June 7, 2014 at 9:53 am — Reply

      I always check prices for almost anything I buy. If I can find the price lower, I will take that price to the store I want to buy from. They will usually match the price.

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