I see that John Lewis are planning on offering test rides for mattresses in a specially adapted area of their stores, presumably within a mock-up flat.
I can’t remember what the recommended [presumably by the mattress industry] ratio of income to mattress spend is, but it’s higher than you might think and given how much of our lives are spent kipping, quality is important.
Hence spending anything up to £10k on one makes a test drive quite relevant, really.
It reminds me of a time back in the late 90s when I was selling a flat in South Kensington. Lovely flat in a beautiful building on a busy road, and many had looked but none were buying.
A young couple in the music business fancied the flat, they were image conscious – why else would you be living in South Ken – but didn’t want mates coming to the flat taking the p*** if the flat was too noisy.
Standing in the flat it was clear there WAS some noise and I don’t know what came over me, a large commission probably, but I suddenly said: “How about if I persuade the owner to let you stay the night in the flat to check it out for yourself?”
Before I could close my mouth Jerry said “Yup, you’re on”.
A feeling of panic ensued BUT the flat had been furnished beautifully by a forward thinking developer and so the ‘risks’ were somewhat ameliorated – but it would still be a first for both of us, I suspect.
Luckily the seller was all for it, could see the benefits and agreed to allow the couple to spend the night.
There was a little legal preparation, mostly around them having a short-term licence to occupy, but it proved a winning move as they did buy.
I’m sure that this has happened before but it never ceases to amaze me that more don’t ask, and it reminds me that the public have got used to doing things a certain way, but not for long, I suspect.
There’s a new generation coming and I’d love to find out if such ‘test drives’ are becoming more commonplace: with the advent of Airbnb and short stays it can’t be difficult to organise.
One argument against is that it damages any shiny new finish, but ‘one night only’ offers might tempt a whole load of new people to try an area or property type they wouldn’t have before – and perhaps gain some valuable PR?