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High & Dry Waterbeds & the internet, A UK manufacturer in Hampshire

High & Dry Waterbeds set up in business in 1988 during the reign of Margaret Thatcher, we only intended to sell to established waterbed shops. There were a lot of retailers selling through magazines like Exchange and Mart and other local free magazines. High & Dry made the decision that we would not supply these retailers because we did not want to upset the high street shops and at that time there were quite a few. The British Waterbed association set the requirements for membership. For a short time John Boyton-Salts, director of High & Dry Waterbeds was on the committee.

High & Dry Manufacturing Ltd decided to lease a huge shop to sell directly to the public and double as our trade showroom. By showing a full range of mattresses in a range of hardside and softside waterbeds. We were now both a retailer and manufacturer of waterbeds.

Every waterbed retailer advertised with Yellow Pages. Everybody resented the fact that Yellow pages could charge what they wanted, and did. Since the evolution of the internet I would compare Yellow Pages and Yell to a school bully that has just got beaten up the school geek. Deliberately having a classification called ‘Waterbeds’ that appeared after ‘water treatment’ and water filters, although technically correct being one word and not two,  it meant the public making there search under the alphabetical heading ‘waterbed’ would not find us, and give up. So all retailers had to pay twice as much to be listed under the headings Waterbeds and also Beds and bedding.

We have been very slow getting off the mark with the internet. Our sales of waterbeds and accessories have been steady both retail and trade. So as fantastic as the internet is, it does create conflicts of interest. No retailer can compete with us on price because if they have bought the waterbed from us, then added their retail profit margin, they will always be more expensive.  The beauty of Yellow Pages was that you could select the areas that you wanted to advertise in. That way High & Dry we could avoid competing with our own trade customers. The internet can’t do that, an advert for a waterbed mattress is world wide or not at all.

High & Dry Waterbeds no longer advertise with Yellow pages as the minority that still use the dinosaur may also have access to the internet, so we will still be found without paying through the nose which means we can pass on the saving to our customers.

And if anyone from Yellow pages thinks this is a bit harsh. Ask your customer services department why they never even acknowledged our suggestions of how to improve your service. When you are gone I can guarantee the waterbed industry that you have fleeced for so long will not miss you RIP. Also yell. com is also a rip off! don’t be taken in by the smarmy self opinionated sales guy that is a professional liar, instead contact and save fortunes. I feel better now I’ve got that off my chest.

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