Online Mattress Seller Purple Offered Fake Discounts, Lawsuit Alleges

picture of mattress from the company purple

Two California Consumers Thought They’d Bought Purple Mattresses At Bargain Prices. They Now Say They Were Duped.

Everyone loves a bargain – especially on a pricey investment like a mattress. But two California residents are now suing online mattress seller Purple, alleging they were tricked into thinking they were getting a good deal, when they were really paying full price. 

Plaintiffs Mason Julian and Alexander Tat filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Purple Innovation on Feb. 22, alleging violations of federal and California consumer laws.

The pair allege they both made the decision to buy new mattresses with Purple because of the “discount” on the full price of the product that Purple represented on its website. 

“But [Purple’s] purported ‘sales’ are in reality anything but,” the lawsuit alleges. “[Purple] never actually sells its products at the advertised strike-through price.”

Fake discounts keep consumers up at night

Both Tat and Julian say they bought mattresses from Purple for more than $1,000 each, both thinking they were getting significant discounts. 

Tat says he bought a queen size Purple mattress in Nov, 2023, for a “sale” price of $1,079 – with a $320 “discount” from the original price. However, Tat now believes the sale price was false. 

Julian had a similar experience buying a $1,299 Purple mattress that he believed was discounted by $100, he says. Both say they were victims of deceptive pricing. 

The plaintiffs say Purple was trying to carve out its share in the hypercompetitive, $5.2 billion online mattress market by offering perpetual “sales” and discounted prices.

What is deceptive pricing?

It’s a tactic meant to trick shoppers into thinking they’re getting a better price than normal. A retailer might temporarily raise the price on an item, just to put it back to its original price and claim it’s discounted. In other cases – as alleged in the Purple lawsuit –  the “discounted” price is actually the only price the item has ever been listed at.

The Federal Trade Commission has guidelines that make deceptive pricing illegal, but the regulator mostly lets states take the lead in enforcing the laws, the Washington Post reports.

The plaintiffs in the Purple lawsuit allege the company took advantage of the fact consumers actively seek out bargains when choosing which product to buy. It does this “to deceive consumers” into believing they are receiving a bargain, and to convince them to make a purchase they otherwise would not have made, they say.

No rest for companies using fake sales

J.C. Penney is also facing a class action lawsuit in California alleging the company uses “false reference pricing schemes.” 

Foot Locker was hit with a class action in New York for allegedly creating false urgency over products, warning customers that items were about to sell out. And Old Navy reached a settlement in 2021 after it was accused of falsely inflating prices.

The plaintiffs in the Purple lawsuit are looking to represent all consumers who purchased Purple mattresses in California. They’re suing for violations of California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, False Advertising Law and Unfair Competition Law, fraud and unjust enrichment

The consumers are seeking certification of the class action lawsuit, damages, fees, costs and a jury trial.

The plaintiffs are represented by Neal J. Deckant of Bursor & Fisher P.A.

The Purple mattress fake discounts class action lawsuit is Julian et al v. Purple Innovation LLC, Case No. 3:24-cv-01078-SK, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco.



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