Is It Illegal to Sell a Used Mattess? [State-by-State Guide]
While it may not sound like a big deal, some rules apply to selling second-hand mattresses. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of upgrading your king-size bed, and with that comes the need for a brand-new mattress.
Can you sell your old mattress to someone on craigslist? Can you save a buck by purchasing a lightly used mattress for yourself?
Whatever the reason, you must have a solid understanding of the relevant legalities. So, if you’ve been wondering, is it illegal to sell a used mattress? Keep reading to find out more.
Laws Around Selling Used Mattresses in Different States
Although it is not against the law to sell used mattresses at the federal level in the United States, some states have outlawed it or require specific rules be followed.
The regulations on the sale of used mattresses differ from state to state. Some jurisdictions outlaw the sale of second-hand mattresses altogether, whereas others accept it under the restriction that the mattresses be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before being offered for sale.
- Alabama: Illegal to claim a used mattress is new.
- Alaska: Contact your local department of health.
- Arizona: Used mattress must be sanitized before sale.
- Arkansas: Illegal to claim a used mattress as new.
- California: Can sell unless mattress has visible stains
- Colorado: Used mattress must be sanitized before sale.
- Connecticut: Used mattress must be sanitized.
- Delaware: Used mattress must be sanitized before sale.
- Florida: Used mattress must be sanitized before sale.
- Georgia: Used materials must be labeled with a “used” law tag
- Hawaii: Condition of materials must be clearly labeled.
- Idaho: Contact department of health.
- Illinois: Condition must be clearly labeled.
- Indiana: Illegal for a retailer to sell used mattresses but not for an individual.
- Iowa: The condition must be clearly labeled.
- Kansas: Illegal to sell used mattresses
- Kentucky: The condition must be clearly labeled.
- Louisiana: Illegal for a retailer to sell used mattresses but not for an individual.
- Maine: Contact department of health.
- Maryland: Illegal for a retailer to sell used mattresses but not for an individual.
- Massachusetts: The condition must be clearly labeled.
- Michigan: The condition must be clearly labeled.
- Minnesota: Used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
- Mississippi: The condition must be clearly labeled.
- Missouri: The condition must be clearly labeled.
- Montana – The condition must be clearly labeled.
- Nebraska: No laws
- Nevada: Used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
- New Hampshire: Contact local department of health.
- New Jersey: Used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
- New Mexico: Used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
- New York: Retailers need a special license to sell used mattresses
- North Carolina: Used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
- North Dakota: Contact department of health.
- Ohio: Condition must be clearly labeled.
- Oklahoma: Contact department of health.
- Oregon: Condition must be clearly labeled.
- Pennsylvania: Condition must be clearly labeled.
- Rhode Island: Contact department of health.
- South Carolina: Used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
- South Dakota: Contact department of health.
- Tennessee: Condition must be clearly labeled.
- Texas: Must be sanitized and condition clearly labeled.
- Utah: Condition must be clearly labeled.
- Vermont: Must be clearly labeled. Illegal to claim a used mattress is new.
- Virginia: Used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
- Washington: Illegal for a retailer to sell used mattresses but not for an individual.
- West Virginia: Condition must be clearly labeled.
- Wisconsin: Condition must be clearly labeled.
- Wyoming: Contact department of health.
Retailers selling used mattresses:
Laws for retailers vary by state but here are the laws that are required nationwide.
1. LAW TAG – The mattress must either have the original Law label still attached aka “Tag” on it to show when it was manufactured OR have a new Law Label or “Tag” attached showing that it is a USED mattress.
Most jurisdictions require the word “used” to be prominently displayed on the mattress’s label. Some places don’t allow the sale of used mattresses but make exceptions for those made from recyclable materials. In certain states, there are either no limitations at all, or they’re limited.
You should find out whether any stores are selling used mattresses in your region and whether your state allows retailers or resellers to sell used mattresses. If such stores exist, selling your old mattress there would be ideal. You may not make as much as you would if you sold directly to the customer, but the time and effort required will be much lower.
Since the rules for selling a used mattress vary from state to state, it’s essential to check with your state’s health department for specifics. A mattress without its original packing is used whether or not you have slept on it.
Most of the time, the vendors must adhere to the rules regarding selling second-hand mattresses. It’s permissible to make individual purchases (i.e. on craigslist or facebook marketplace), but several states have laws against selling second-hand mattresses in retail businesses rather than individuals.
You should contact your local health department in certain states for clarification. Here is a list of those states:
- North Dakota
Why Laws Exist Around Selling Used Mattresses
Regulations on selling old mattresses are put in place because these products are rarely in good shape and can pose serious health risks to buyers. Here is an overview of the laws and the reasons for their existence.
Red and Yellow Labels
A yellow sticker indicates that the mattress has been cleaned and disinfected. If used mattresses aren’t thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, they might harm the person sleeping on them. They can be a breeding ground for dust mites and other allergens resulting in respiratory problems and itchy skin.
All mattresses feature a red tag detailing the materials used and their quantities. Though some jurisdictions have laws prohibiting the resale of used mattresses, this doesn’t apply to private sellers.
Federal Flammability Standard
Federal rules also specify flammability standards that manufacturers should meet for both new and old mattresses. The peak heat for the first thirty minutes of safety testing for mattress materials must not exceed 200 kilowatts. Implementing flammability specifications aims to reduce mattress fires’ frequency and intensity.
The label’s details act as a reference for the buyer to make a well-informed decision. The color-coded system’s white labels should denote any fresh materials. Some states have a federal rule requiring retailers to label used mattresses with color-coded tags indicating their cleanliness, condition, and whether or not the manufacturer uses recycled materials.
The government’s labeling rules for textile products should specify the fabric’s common name, fiber content, manufacturer’s identification number, and place of manufacture.
Manufacturers use feathers, wool, latex, memory foam, or cotton to fill mattresses. Since they degrade with time and become uneven, the law mandates checking a mattress’s filling condition before putting it on for sale.
Other Potential Constraints
Vendors are obligated to keep records detailing the mattress cleaning process and to submit such records to inspection by state authorities upon request. Occasionally, business vendors may stock old mattresses containing a slipcover to cover up stains.
According to Texas law, recycling such kinds of covers is illegal. Irrespective of your cleaning method, you must discard them before selling your old mattress. You should use a brand-new cover that has been washed and ironed as a replacement.
Furthermore, the state forbids the use of impure chemicals in the process of refurbishing or restoring a mattress. Retailers are required to keep old mattresses in a separate area from new ones. The mattresses cannot be displayed for purchase unless they have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
The Best Way To Sell a Used Mattress Online
Below are the best ways to list your used mattress.
It’s easier to find a prospective mattress buyer with Facebook. To list your secondhand mattress on Facebook, click on the right-hand side of your Facebook account. Select Items and start adding your mattress photos.
Start by creating a craigslist account. Next, take clear pictures of your used mattress. Select the state and the specific audience you want to purchase your mattress. It’s easy to use the website interface and find a buyer.
After creating your Amazon Seller account, create your mattress listing. You will quickly sell your mattress if you upload clear photos. Remember that Amazon charges $0.99 for every unit sold.
You might succeed on eBay if your used mattress is in good condition. The website requires sellers to pay approximately $0.35 for every item listed. The only downside you might face on eBay is that your ads may attract unwanted buyers.
Tips for Selling Your Mattress on Online Marketplaces
Individuals selling to individuals (i.e. craigslist or facebook):
There are not many laws in most states for personal transactions. However, there are a few “best practices”
1. LAW LABEL – Make sure law label aka the manufacturing “tag” is still attached to the mattress
2. CLEAN – Clean and sanitize the mattress.
3. NO STAINS – Do not sell a mattress that has stains from bodily fluids or hazardous materials
4. NO BED BUGS – Do not sell a mattress that has or had bed bugs at any time.
Selling your used mattress can be a daunting task. However, with the proper preparation and a well-thought-out plan, you can successfully sell your mattress online. Here are several things to consider when selling your used mattress online.
Consider the Law Governing the Sale of Used Mattresses in Your State
Depending on where you live, different regulations may apply to the sale of used mattresses. For example, some states require that used mattresses meet specific standards, and manufacturers label them in particular ways. The basic requirements you should meet include cleaning, disinfecting, and ensuring the mattress is bed bug-free.
In addition, certain states have laws prohibiting the sale of certain types of mattresses, such as those containing polyurethane foam. So, research any laws and regulations that may apply in your state. That will assist you in avoiding any legal trouble.
Set Competitive Pricing
When you decide to resell your mattress, price is an essential factor. Your ability to attract clients is directly proportional to the price that you set.
You want to ensure that you get the most money for your mattress while still ensuring it will sell. Pricing too high could lead to it never selling while pricing too low could mean losing out on potential profits.
The best way to determine a fair price is to research what similar mattresses are going for online. Consider factors such as the age of your mattress, its condition, and its size. You should also factor in the cost of shipping or delivery for your mattress.
Once you’ve determined a price, set up a listing for your mattress with the asking price. Consider offering discounts for people willing to pick up the mattress from your location to save on delivery costs.
In addition, some marketplaces allow you to set up a “make an offer” option, which can encourage potential buyers to negotiate a price that works for both of you.
Remember that you can always adjust the price of the mattress later if you feel it isn’t selling fast enough. A lower price can help attract more buyers and potentially even help you make a sale sooner.
Market Your Used Mattress
Once you’ve settled on a reasonable sale value for your mattress, it’s time to market it. The primary objective here is to create an eye-catching advertisement for prospective customers. You can use social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to reach a wider audience.
Ensure to include a detailed description of the mattress, including its age, condition, and other relevant details. Furthermore, include clear photos so potential buyers can get an idea of their purchase.
Irrespective of how you advertise your mattress, remember to be honest and transparent about its condition. Be upfront about any flaws or damage.
Select the Right Marketplaces for Your Mattress
After creating an advertisement, the next step is determining where to reach prospective buyers. In this respect, marketplaces play a crucial role. Some popular options include craigslist, Facebook marketplace, eBay, Amazon, and furniture stores dealing with secondhand items. The platforms offer an effective means of communication with prospective clients.
As a bonus, you can get a better price for your mattress. Specific marketplaces might prohibit the sale of used mattresses. So, ensure to check on the regulations before listing your mattress. That way, you can be sure your sale will be successful.
There are high chances of your mattress selling more quickly if you use the most popular platforms in your region. So, think about posting it in more than one place.
Negotiate and Make a Sale
Now that you’ve advertised your mattress on your chosen site, you can sit back and wait for potential purchasers to get in touch with you. Once someone shows interest in purchasing the mattress, it is time to begin discussing a price. Getting a good deal for a used mattress requires negotiating, so be ready to do so.
When discussing the price, you ought to be reasonable and mindful of the customer’s financial constraints. Moreover, avoiding developing emotional ties to the mattress would be beneficial, as that could make it more challenging to surrender.
If you reach an agreement, ensure to document all details in writing. Include the agreed-upon price, payment terms, delivery information, and other relevant details. That ensures that both parties are clear on the sale’s conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions people ask about selling used mattresses.
Is it legal to sell a used mattress in the United States?
Yes, it’s legal to sell a used mattress in the United States. However, there are some state-specific regulations that you should adhere to. It’s best to research your state’s applicable laws before selling your used mattress.
Can you sell a used mattress in California?
The state prohibits the sale of mattresses with any visible stain. When buying a secondhand mattress from another person, it’s essential to ensure the seller has sterilized it.
Are retailers allowed to sell used mattresses?
An individual may legally trade or sell a used mattress to another person. Nevertheless, dealers are required to label a mattress as used before putting it up for sale.
Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Florida?
No, selling used mattresses in Florida is legal as long as they meet specific requirements. The main requirement is that the seller must sanitize the mattress. In addition, retailers must include a warning on any secondhand mattress indicating that someone has used it.
Is it legal to sell a used mattress in California?
Yes, selling a used mattress in California is legal if it’s in good condition and clean. Any mattress sold in California must meet the flammability standard.
So, is it illegal to sell a used mattress in the United States? In most states, rules regulate how dealers can sell old mattresses. The laws require that the seller clean and label the used mattress properly. They also demand the seller disclose any flaws or defects with the mattress.
To ensure that you comply with the relevant regulations, research your local laws and consult an attorney if necessary. With the correct information, you can operate within the bounds of the law and sell your used mattress successfully.