May 1, 2015 | Leave a comment Buying a Bed and Hiring a Band What could possibly be similar about the experiences of buying a bed or hiring a band? If you’d like to know, then read on… Earlier this year, I was waking up with a sore back, and decided that I needed a new mattress. So, like everyone does in this day and age, I open up my laptop and hit Google with key words, “mattresses” + “Sydney”. The result was overwhelming. An endless list appears, and I stared at the screen for about half an hour until I gave up wading through the listings. Can’t I just find a local mattress shop and physically go there and lie on a few beds? I knew that my local David Jones store has a mattress section, so I went down and got some good old-fashion customer service. The only problem was that their cheapest mattress was $3,500. I was tempted, but not convinced and so I continued on in my hunt. A few days later, I was driving down Parramatta Road through Annandale, and noticed a shop called “Mattress City”. http://www.mattresscity.net.au/ I didn’t stop, but made a mental note of the business’s name. Later that day, I put “mattress city annandale” into the Google Search bar, and found the shop’s website. I rang up, but seriously… what can someone tell you about mattresses over the phone? The shop owner’s advice made sense, “Come into the shop and try lying on them”. The next problem I encountered was to convince my wife that it was worth our while to drive to Annandale to check out this shop. “What do we need to go to Annandale for? Can’t we just buy it ‘on-line’ “? Buying a mattress is something you only do every ten years or so. While buying on-line was definitely an option, I didn’t feel confident in making the right choice by looking at websites. In addition, if my choice was poor, it’s difficult to return for a refund or replacement. I managed to get my wife to come out to Annandale, but when she saw the shop from the outside she baulked and had a meltdown because she didn’t like the appearance of the shop. The shop looked a bit dingy and was cramped with mattresses. It was definitely no “Ikea”. This shop was old school, like going into a shop back in the 70’s before professional marketers transformed our lives into the world of Westfield. We are now so conditioned by the model set up for us by mass market retail chains with demographically specific music chosen to suit the shoppers at different times of the day, and not too many choices in products. Getting her into the shop was like trying to pull a cat by a lead into a swimming pool, but I eventually talked her into the store. The shop is owned and run by George. This is a classic, school one man show. He answers the phone, does the selling, orders the stock and even delivered our mattress (but more on that later). And George knows EVERYTHING there is to know about mattress. His knowledge and expertise was mind blowing. His frankness and honesty was totally refreshing. His level of service puts most retailers to shame. But best of all, his price was better than we could have got anywhere else. It truly saddens me that the “George’s” of our world are a dying breed. Everything in retail has been taken over by franchises run by people with no passion for what they are selling. They’re just products with dollar signs attached. George personally delivered our new mattress. He was concerned about our narrow and steep staircase and didn’t want to take a risk that his regular delivery guy may bend the new mattress in the wrong way. This exemplifies his level of passion, care and service – unequaled. So… when it comes to hiring a band for you once in ten year party or function, wouldn’t you like to get that same level of passion, care and service?