Key Takeaways: The Truth About Consumer Reports
Online consumer reports about the “best” massage chairs should be approached with caution, as many are driven by affiliate marketing interests, potentially compromising their objectivity and the accuracy of their recommendations
- Exercise caution when relying on online consumer reports that list the “best” massage chairs, as many of these reports are influenced by affiliate marketing.
- Such reports are often written by affiliates who earn commissions from chair sales, which can create a conflict of interest and lead to biased rankings.
- Affiliates may prioritize chairs that offer higher commissions rather than assessing their actual quality, potentially resulting in misleading recommendations for consumers.
One of my greatest pet peeves in our industry is the advent of those “Top # Massage Chairs” or “Best Massage Chairs” consumer reports you see floating around online. A lot of you have seen these reports and taken them quite seriously – I know this because I get phone calls all the time from folks about the models in those reports! I’m not saying that there aren’t some good recommendations in there, but for the most part, the chairs that are listed in the reports are cheap chairs, poorly made chairs, obsolete chairs, over-priced chairs, or generally unheard-of chairs.
“Best Massage Chairs” Consumer Reports – The Real Story
To know why these reports are, for the most part, bogus, you have to understand who is writing them: affiliates. What is an affiliate, you may ask? An affiliate is a person who pitches a product on their website for a product distributor and in return receives a percentage of the sale price or the profit margin. The affiliate fills their report full of links that lead you to the sales page of the distributor. If you hover over a link in that report, you will see the URL
and identity of the actual seller of the product (most often, it’s Amazon). If you click on one of the links and end up purchasing a massage chair from the distributor’s webpage, that affiliate gets paid a commission for the sale. Sophisticated software keeps track of who clicks a link in the report and who ultimately buys from the distributor’s webpage.
The promotion of massage chairs and the receiving of a commission payment is not in itself a bad thing. That is what sales and marketing is all about! The problem arises because an affiliate will often:
• Write a report touting “x” number of top massage chairs with no real idea of their quality, thereby leaving a misleading choice for #1 (that just happens to also pay the highest commission), or
• Fill a report with chairs that are not so great at all, but pay out an affiliate commission, regardless of whether they rank it #1, #5, or #10.
An affiliate will, for the most part, pitch any product that provides a good commission. So, if sales of chair “A” pay the highest commission for a massage chair, guess what chair is ranked #1 in the affiliate’s report?! They are most likely NOT experts. I will even bet that the writer of the report has NEVER even sat on any of the chairs in their report! Just because they write a fancy looking report that regurgitates whatever information the actual seller gives them, does not make them an authority in our field. But how are you supposed to know? I think it’s easy to see how this is a true conflict of interest. As a consumer just beginning your due diligence into massage chairs, you have no idea what is considered a good chair or a bad chair, and can easily be misled.
So, please be wary of those reports. There are quite a few out there, but I have not seen one yet that is a legitimate contributor to the buying process. If you would like to know more about things you should be wary of before purchasing a massage chair, check out my free booklet “Buyer Beware”. You can download it from the link below and learn what the real scoop is in our industry…
Dr. Alan Weidner
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