Behind the Scenes: the BODYGUARD® Story
Price Rebel vs. the Mattress Cartel
In the beginning, the apartment was empty. Adam Szpyt had finished his studies. It was time to get some proper furniture. First up was a new mattress. Brand-name goods. Expensive was fine. And definitely comfortable. That sounded doable. But Adam Szpyt ended up in a jungle of pocket spring cores and foam developed by NASA. Every salesperson gave him a different story. The prices: erratic, confused, impossible to explain based on the materials and production used. In test magazines, brand-name mattresses failed one after the other. Adam Szpyt felt abandoned. He decides to clean up the mattress market. And thoroughly too.
bett1.de – Online Versus the Mattress Cartel
The path leads Adam Szpyt into the web. In 2004 he founded bett1.de, a bed retailer with direct sales over the Internet. And he was successful right out of the gate! Manufacturers accepted the distribution channel, while consumers accepted the low-priced range of products. But after a short time, problems arose. The first mattress manufacturers knocked on Adam Szpyt’s door, unsolicited. Their request: Adam Szpyt should increase the sales price. The young founder refused, and subsequently began receiving his goods in a soiled condition, late or not at all.
Welcome to the Mattress-Quagmire
Adam Szpyt began to see through the dubious mechanisms of the mattress market – a market with virtually no competition, governed by the unwritten laws of the cartels. Laws that Adam Szpyt violated the moment he offered mattresses at a fair price. Despite this, he continued to do so. Or, admittedly: specifically because of this. This placed Adam Szpyt in competition with purchasing associations and retailers. They threatened the obstructionists with the exclusion from the supply chain.
Illegal Price Agreements: The Antitrust Authorities Leaped to Adam’s Aid
Adam Szpyt refused to capitulate, however. He founded one company after another in order to continue to ensure his supply. Adam Szpyt never abandoned the principle of free market trade. When the dealers completely halted their deliveries, he complained to the antitrust authorities – with success. The antitrust authorities imposed penalties of over 27 million euros on a number of mattress manufacturers for illegal price agreements.
Honestly good: BODYGUARD® Carries Off the Mattress Test
For bett1.de, penalty notices with a signal effect. Adam Szpyt decided to offer only one single mattress in the future: the BODYGUARD®, which he himself developed. Due to the complete absence of any price agreements, the smallest Anti-Cartel-Mattress is available for €199.00. The BODYGUARD® Anti-Cartel-Mattress is not just cheaper than the competition, however. It is good as well. Stiftung Warentest initially confirmed this in “test” 7/2015.
In October 2018 Stiftung Warentest tested the best mattresses, that have been tested in the past ten years, once again. This time the BODYGUARD® even obtained a top rating of 1.7 (“test” 10/2018 – tested: 90 x 200 cm, medium firm). Meanwhile it also became Germany’s best-selling mattress.
In the meantime, Adam Szpyt now also sells other articles for optimal resting comfort, thus establishing a range of products without an alternative in a market without competition.