The War To Sell You a Mattress is an Internet Nightmare: The competition to sell anything in this time and age is intense, however, add in the factor of online shops to that, and the toughness level rises up a notch.
The mattress selling industry alone is crazier and more competitive than it seems!
As with any website, with Google’s changing algorithm, the competition to stay on top is always quite intense.
Because, not only do you have to make sure your product is the best, but you also have to find a way to make sure it shows up on top when someone searches it up on google.
And that my friends, is not as easy as it seems.
So it’s only natural that when one does get to the top when one gets all that attention they’d been wanting, they want it to be positive.
In 2017, FastCompany uploaded an article titled “ The war to sell you a mattress is an internet nightmare” which summarized the competition in the mattress world with regards to how the mattress company Casper Sleep sued a blogger, Derek Hales.
Now, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain why a company that’s done a pretty good job to build a name for itself would bother with suing a mere blogger online.
Because this wild story truly explains why the war to sell you a mattress is an internet nightmare!
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Why did Casper sue a mattress blogger?
In a nutshell, Casper was determined to be the most highly acquired mattress company and would not only sue a mattress blogger for that but also indirectly buy out the top-ranking mattress reviewing company (Sleepopolis) on google to do so!
With the internet very commonly being used for business through blogging and reviewing products, the struggle to be the best, be at the top of google’s ranking is real!
However, being at the top means that your website is one of the first ones to show up when people search for something.
This means that multiple people are visiting your websites and that usually generates a greater income.
So what happens when that high- ranking website is providing a relatively negative review about a company’s product?
Chances are, it’s going to discourage a large crowd of consumers from purchasing it, seeing as how the majority prefers other products instead.
This in turn will negatively affect the sales of the company, immensely.
With the intention of solving the problem, most companies would try to find some sort of middle ground with the website in question to stop the drop in their sales.
That is precisely what Casper tried to do with Derek Hales and Sleepopolis.
Derek Hales was a mattress blogger and owner of Sleepopolis.com- a website where he and his team reviewed a variety of mattresses under different categories.
When this mattress selling internet war took place, Sleepopolis was the top mattress reviewing the website and had some negative things to say about Casper.
When people searched for Casper’s reviews, the negative reviews on the website were deferring people from buying it.
Casper mattress’s negative reviews on the Sleepopolis website affected their sales so much that they sued the owner, Derek Hales, until he sold his website after a long battle.
What happened in the lawsuit?
Skipping the long and boring details of how it all went down, here’s what you need to know about the Lawsuit Casper made towards Derek Hales that made Derek Hales not only lose the lawsuit, but also his website.
Negative Reviews and Angry Retailers
The blogger Derek who was the owner of Sleepopolis and an avid reviewer of mattresses did start by loving Casper.
However, with the passage of time, he found other companies such as Lesse more comfortable, and that was reflected in his reviews.
Since the top place on this website was so important, at one point, Casper tried to buy it from them, with the promise of receiving nothing but overwhelmingly positive reviews from Derek and his team.
However, Derek was hell-bent on making sure that his content was unbiased and authentic, so he said no.
According to him, he simply found other mattresses more suitable and more comfortable which was reflected in his reviews.
Rather than doing what Casper wanted, he pulled a bold stunt instead.
At the end of the Casper mattress review, instead of attaching a link to the Casper mattress, he ended up attaching a link to an article about 4 alternative mattresses.
Apparently, Sleepopolis wasn’t the only one with negative comments about Casper on their website because a while later, two other companies, Mattress Nerd and Sleep Sherpa, along with Sleepopolis got sued by Casper.
The other two companies silently settled the lawsuit by removing negative reviews about Casper from their website.
However, Derek was not so easily settled and he believed that Casper was trying to silence his voice.
He tried to fight it off for as long as he could by standing firm on his point of view.
Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, Derek’s website went under a negative SEO attack.
Such attacks on a website usually spam it with low-quality links that lower its rankings on Google significantly.
As a result, Derek ended up selling his website to a company (JAKK) that was backed by Casper.
Did Casper win?
At the end of the day, Casper got what they wanted.
They bought out the man who was decreasing their sales and replaced him with a team that although claims to have no association with Casper, did remove the negative reviews.
Along with that, the link to alternatives that was attached under Casper’s review on the website was replaced with a link leading to the Casper mattresses.
What happened to Derek?
Derek is known as the mastermind of Google’s search optimization engine. He’s able to figure out exactly how to format his website and his content to stay on top, despite google’s constantly changing algorithm.
That’s how he was able to stay on top with Sleepopolis for so long.
So when he did leave, it was no surprise that the website faced a huge loss. However, being the genius he is, he wasted no time jumping on another website known as Modern Castle.
Modern Castle is a website run by Derek, his partner Samantha and sister, Kayla. There, they’ve replaced the mattress reviewing with household gadgets from electronics such as vacuums to robots to purifiers, furniture, and security items.
Modern Castle launched in 2017, which is when Sleepopolis.com was acquired by the JAKK team.
How to find an unbiased mattress review?
All this chaos surrounding mattress reviews and mattress companies really makes you question the quality and validity of the reviews you’ve been reading online.
But whether you’re questioning if a website is in association with a certain company or not, or how to figure out what you can trust online, I’ve got your back!
By telling you how to find unbiased mattress reviews, I’m going to help you figure out how to make the most use out of online reviews before purchasing the new mattress of your dreams.
Use Visual Reviews- Videos and Photos
Let’s start with the most obvious way to determine whether a review is biased or not, by looking at pictures and videos.
And no, I’m not talking about the beautifully curated images and specially produced videos that the mattress companies have on their websites.
I’m talking about mattress reviews in video form.
Not only are they usually much quicker to get through than reading long articles (albeit with a few details lacking), but more importantly, video reviews can help you see exactly how a mattress works.
If the video is good, it’s going to include how the mattress moves or sinks when people of different sizes sleep on it, its structure, motion transfer, overall quality, etc.
Some mattress reviewers physically cut open their mattresses to show you exactly what’s inside the mattress, whether it’s different kinds of foams, gel layers, or springs.
Not only is comparing different mattresses a lot easier when it comes to videos, but it is also very easy to see exactly what you like and don’t like about a certain mattress by visually seeing it.
You’re able to see the size, comfort level, thickness, and variety of a mattress more easily.
The same goes for pictures. If articles come with pictures supporting their claims and identifying how the components of the mattresses shown in the picture contribute to their review, it’s likely to be more reliable.
Are they reviewing a large variety of mattresses?
Another really important thing to look for when looking for unbiased reviews is the variety in the products.
The math is simple really, the more products a company has reviewed following the same procedure, standards, and factors, the more reliable their findings are likely to be.
This is because they’ve gone out, tested a bunch of different products, and then narrowed down the best ones to fit into the suitable categories.
Different types of mattresses are constructed for different types of sleepers (back, side, heavy, etc), and hence, will have different properties.
A mattress that suits one type of sleeper, might not necessarily suit another, and a good mattress reviewing website should be able to distinguish that in their websites rather than having the same 5-6 products in every list.
However, it’s important to note that variety doesn’t always mean reliability if it’s not backed by solid facts.
How popular is the company?
When doing your research, you’ll find that some of the mattress companies will pop up more frequently than others.
The most loved products are likely to show up in most of the ‘best mattress lists’ online.
While there is a possibility of that company paying multiple websites to talk about them, it can be eliminated if all of the reviews have original content, mentioning different factors and components from different points of view that shows that they have personally tested those mattresses.
This is a very important factor when it comes to determining whether the review is unbiased or not.
The website or company should be transparent about who is writing their content, and whether they are affiliated with other mattress companies or not.
Very obviously, if the website is in association with a mattress company, has shared accounts, or same/related owners, there’s a conflict of interest and the reviews are likely to be biased towards the company in question.
Additionally, transparency will also build trust between content writers and readers.
As a buyer, it’s quite easy to get overwhelmed by the variety of very similar mattresses available online.
However, as long as you’re getting your information from authentic, reliable sources, and asking yourself the questions I mentioned above, your online shopping trip should be a bit more pleasant!
On the other hand, as a seller, there’s a crazy amount of pressure and competition in the mattress selling industry online!
So if you’re looking to sell mattresses online, trying strategies such as mattress fundraisers, giveaways, free prizes, and coupon codes, along with killer (but honest) marketing can really help you out!