BUYING A WATERBED ON EBAY
If you are an Ebay buyer and want to purchase a waterbed as cheap as possible to 'try before you buy', or buy a second hand one privately, be sure to ask for its true service history and how or who is going to drain it down.
Often we find owners will try to syphon the water out themselves, raising the mattress while draining to remove as much water as possible for easier carriage. By doing this, the internal fibres which give the stability value will slide resulting in a tangled mess which you will probably not notice until you go to refill / re-install it. Nearly all waterbed mattresses have this system and the mattress must be 'vacuumed' to hold the fibres in place while being transported, otherwise the fibres are free to move around. Although not impossible, they are very difficult to straighten, especially in an older bed where the fibres may have worn. As a tell-tail sign the mattress should be flat and uniform. If you have lumps in it - then it is likely the fibres have moved ! Not many waterbed specialists will offer the service to straighten them and would rather sell you a replacement.
The flotation system can also be damaged and end up floating around the bed until it eventually comes to rest at the foot end. This makes the mattress very 'freeflowy' at the head end and very, very stabilised at the foot end, making the bed uncomfortable. In many cases this means a replacement mattress is required, therefore the waterbed is not so cheap after all ! Be sure to have the bed drained professionally or use the correct equipment to vacuum the mattress before it is moved. Alternatively, ask your nearest waterbed retailer if they have any second hand or preloved beds that have been taken in part exchange.
INTERNET WATERBED SERVICE ENGINEERS
It has been brought to our attention on many occassions that there are some 'waterbed service engineers' advertising on the Internet. Although they may be totally competent in this field, some do raise a few questions.
If they have a web site their business address is not always easy to see if there at all, because if they were a reputable firm they would have no objection in letting you know where they are based !
Ask why they only appear to work from a mobile or e-mail address, because it is likely they don't have to take your call afterwards and it is easily changed !
Who do you contact if things are not right afterwards? You may have to call a recognised established waterbed company who will charge you all over again !
Why are they not members of the European Waterbed Association (EWA)?
Our recommendation would be to use a reputable waterbed company who has a good standing within the industry and well known to other waterbed retailers.
QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF WHEN PURCHASING A NEW WATERBED
- When you buy a new waterbed, who is going to do the delivery / installation ?
- Is the retailer you are dealing with going to sub-contract it to someone else, if so why ?
- If you do have a problem, who do you contact and where will they be coming from ?
- What is the warranty policy and are there any after-sales/call-out charges involved ?
- When you buy on-line or over the Internet, have you actually spoken to your supplier direct ?
- Are you buying just purely on price ?
There are many professional waterbed specialists across the UK who would gladly give you sound advise rather than see the product devalued and given a bad reputation. Yes, we know all the jokes which we have heard many many times. We’ve all seen the Steptoe & Sons series and seen Coronation Street.
We are not all of the opinion waterbeds are from the 60's and 70's', but take this tried and tested sleep system seriously because of the benefits it can offer. Waterbeds have gone full circle, from being very popular, to dropping right off because of bad press and the advent of Memory Foam, back to being a very popular alternative sleep system. Once you have owned one for a while, it is very very unlikely you will go back to a conventional or memory foam bed again. Holidays are a pain (literally), and you will notice the difference in your sleep ! PROVIDING your waterbed is professionally installed, adjusted correctly for you and well maintained it is probably one of the best sleep systems in the world.
INTERNET or SPECIALIST
Since the internet hit our daily life, the way we gather information and the way we shop has been forever changing. In recent years our shopping habits have especially changed beyond recognition and customer loyalty seems a thing of the past. This has undoubtedly had an affect on the retail industry seeing the demise of some big high street names over the years and more so in recent times, Woolworths, Toys-R-Us, Maplin’s and so many more well branded names that are yesterdays news. Even big companies like Debenhams, Thomas Cook and one or two Airlines have been lost to history.
I often wonder if it is time to reflect on the way we purchase goods. So many companies are struggling because of the internet and have no choice but to either restructure their business to survive or go into liquidation. Some people would say they have just got too big and their overheads are just not covered by sales revenue, or they have had it too good for too long. Nevertheless, well known shopping centres are looking at different ways to rejuvenate the foot fall as retail shops do offer many qualities, the personal service, the touch and feel of what you are buying, and a point of contact you can recognise as well as that social retail therapy.
This also applies to the smaller retailer / specialist who values your custom.
There are many items where the depth of product knowledge can help a customer make the right choice and reduce the risk of disappointment. Years of experience can also save hours of scrolling through pages of data, specifications and price comparisons when you can just talk to a human.
We cannot compete with the likes of Amazon, e-bay or the guy sitting in his front room with no overheads selling over the internet.
However, we CAN and do offer that specialist service, over 30 years of experience, a showroom where you can touch and feel, in house warranty, and above all – that after sales service that you CANNOT buy on the internet by clicking a button.
I am sure the owners of sites like Amazon are not going to be worried about how you are going to move your bed, whether it has gone cold because the heater is not working, or if you have an urgent problem.
Sadly, we have long seen the loss of the local Green Grocer, Fishmonger, Butcher and Baker from the High Street which are now full of charity shops, estate agents and fast food take-aways. Even the banks are starting to disappear, all because we use the internet and supermarkets. You can even order a take-away on-line now.
It is true and undisputed that the internet is a wonderful invention where you can research at your own leisure and practically find out anything 24/7 at a touch of a button. How we obtain that information is also changing rapidly with computer technology, smart phones, I-pads, tablets and so on, right across the world.
What you cannot get is a real humanoid or that touchy feely experience.
If everyone used the internet for conditioner, accessories or service items from these big on-line platforms, then your waterbed specialist may not be there when you need them. What you think you are saving buying on-line, may work out expensive in the long term.