BUYING A WATERBED ON EBAY
If you are an Ebay buyer and want to purchase a waterbed as cheap as possible to try before spending any real money on a proper waterbed, or you 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 and become tangled, and you end up with a big bundle of 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. 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 mechanism 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, as well as becoming uncomfortable. In many cases this means a replacement mattress is required making the waterbed 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 beds that have been taken in part exchange. Often you will find they are glad to get rid of them. Ex-display beds are sometimes a good buy too !
INTERNET WATERBED SERVICE ENGINEERS
It has been brought to our attention that there appears to be some 'waterbed service engineers' advertising on the Internet. Although they may be totally competent in their field, some that we found do raise a few questions.
Why if they have a web site is their business address not plastered all over it ? If they were a reputable firm they would have no objection in letting you know where they are based !
Why do they only appear to work from a mobile or e-mail address ? Probably because they don't have to take your call afterwards and it is easily changed ! Who do you contact if things are not right afterwards? Maybe a proper waterbed company who will charge you all over again ! Why are they not members of the European Waterbed Association or British Waterbed Association (EWA or BWA) ? Maybe they are not allowed to become members and/or have received poor feed back ! How come they do not retail ? Because they would more than likely need retail premises which defeats the object !
Our recommendation would be to use a reputable waterbed company who has good standing within the industry and known to other retailers. Beware of gimmicky phrases to catch your attention.
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. Some of us have even got copies of 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 superb sleep system seriously because of the benefits it can offer. 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 the best sleep system in the world.
A member of the