Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – September 24, 2012”
Alan: Hi, this is Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com‘ and today is our September 24th version of our bi-weekly massage chair industry update, and today we have some interesting things going on.
[SCREEN TEXT: Back Order Updates]
Alan: First of all, I’ll give you the back order status on various and sundry chairs. It looks like the ‘Black’ Osaki 7000 is out of stock, and when I received notice of that, that was about a week ago, and when they were four weeks out on that, so I suspect now it’s about three weeks – two and a half to three weeks out – on the Osaki 7000 ‘Black.’ The ‘Black’ OS-1000 from Osaki is also back ordered, but they have no time table for when it will be in stock. All the Sognos are in stock, the reason I mention that is because Sogno is typically, because it’s such a popular chair, it’s usually out of stock on some color, but all the colors are in stock right now. Also, the ‘Espresso’ HT-9500 from Human Touch is out of stock, and will be available in the beginning of November.
[SCREEN TEXT: Human Touch Immersion Chairs New Low Prices 10/01/12]
Alan: Now, there’s some interesting things going on with Human Touch. I just received an announcement this last week from them, with some things that are going to be happening starting in October. First of all, their Immersion Seating chairs will be going down in price. The ZeroG 2.0 will drop down from $2499 down to $1999, the ZeroG 4.0, which is their latest version, will be dropping down from $3299 down to $2999, and then the WholeBody 2.0 will be dropping down – I’m not sure what the price is on that yet, but it – it will be dropping down, I think it’s $1999 now, but it will dropping down in price.
[SCREEN TEXT: HT-9500 Modified to HT-9500x No More HT-Connect Feature]
Alan: Also, the HT-9500 from Human Touch is going to be modified. Now, as you may or may not be aware, the HT-9500 is the old HT-1650 from Human Touch. It was a very, very popular chair, it’s a big chair, it looks like a regular recliner, it’s got a retractable ottoman, and the old 1650 was a popular chair. Well, they discontinued that, and upgraded it to the HT-9500, and the new 9500 had a little different ottoman function, it took out the arm massage, but it added something called ‘HT-Connect,’ which was an app that allowed the user to use their iPhone or iPad to operate the chair. Well, they’re going to be doing away with that ‘HT-Connect’ because of the cost – the manufacturing cost of it – they’re going to be modifying the model number to the HT-9500x, and that will begin in January. They have the HT-9500 AcuTouch in stock now, and you can get it, you can get it until – throughout the fourth quarter – until January when the new 9500x comes out. So, the only difference will be that the 9500x will not have the ‘HT-Connect’ for the iPhone functionality. It will still be the same price, same colors, everything else, all the functions of the chair will be the same, but that is something of interest.
[SCREEN TEXT: Panasonic MS40 Discontinued]
Alan: And speaking of changed models, the Panasonic MS40 has officially been discontinued. There was an ‘Avocado’ and a ‘Latte’ color, and this chair was – it was kind of unique at the time because it was more of a sofa, I think they called it a ‘massage sofa’ because it looked more like a – it didn’t look like a typical massage chair, it looked like some kind of a little, just like a little sofa chair, and they discontinued it. Now, the ‘Latte’ is out of stock altogether, there are some ‘Avocado’ color, but very little left of that color, and then when that color is gone, the chair is going to be gone. We’re actually going to be taking that model down from our site this week, but the MS40, discontinued. Now, let’s see if we’ve got anything else as far as major changes like that. Back orders are good.
[SCREEN TEXT: New IT-8500 Now Up At Massage-Chair-Relief.com]
Alan: Oh, we have the Infinite Therapeutics IT-8500 up on our website. This is the new model that just came out a week and a half ago, I’ve been announcing it on my blog. I think I may have mentioned it in my last weekly update – or bi-weekly update – but the IT-8500 is an upgrade to the 8200. Now, the IT-8200 hasn’t been out very long, it’s only been a few months, and I think it came out maybe three, four months ago, and it’s been a very popular seller. It’s an Inada Sogno look-alike, and it has airbags in the neck that kind of move your head from side to side. It’s got a touch screen remote, which is kind of cool. It’s got a sound system with external speakers, in other words, the speakers are here, but they’re blowing externally, blasting the sound externally from the user. Also, it has foot rollers, so mechanical foot rollers on the bottom of the feet, and the soles of the feet, which we don’t see very often in a massage chair, so it’s a nice feature, and this chair has become quite popular. Oh, it has the seat, what they call the ‘seat-sway’ or ‘swivel-seat,’ where the seat goes from side to side and up and down, similar to what Sogno has in their Dreamwave technology, which they pioneered, and what it looks like Infinite Therapeutics, or the manufacturer of the Infinite Therapeutics chair, is mimicking. But the new 8500 is going to be the same style and body design as the 8200, it’s going to have an additional color – which is ‘Ivory’ – in addition to the ‘Chocolate Brown,’ the ‘Taupe,’ and the ‘Black.’ And by the way, the ‘Berry Red’ was discontinued in the 8200, I did mention that last time, but it’s replaced by the ‘Chocolate Brown,’ but anyway, it’s got that additional color. It has a headphone port now for the music system, so it has the same music system, but now it has something called ‘InterSound Technology,’ and a headphone port. So, it’s got – the sound is coming inward toward the user, and you have the headphone port, so you can listen to music privately, without disturbing anyone else in the room while you’re enjoying your massage chair. It also has something called ‘Spinal Correction,’ which we have learned are airbags in the front of the shoulders that pin the shoulders back while the rollers go up and down your back, and that’s great for posture correction, they’re calling it ‘Spinal Correction.’ It also has a ‘TrueGrip V-Stretch,’ which basically means that it’s got airbags that are pinning the shoulders back, and grabbing the calf and feet, and probably the arms, and raising and lowering the ottoman and the chair back, to give you that stretch effect. The difference is, the airbags in the shoulder, pinning the shoulders back, that will enhance the stretch. The Osaki 7000 has that feature – and man, does that stretch you, it feels like – when I sat on that the first time I actually felt like I was guarding myself from having my torso torn apart, which is of course, a gross exaggeration, but it feels that way when you’re in it, and I suspect the 8500 has got something similar to that. So, the new IT-8500 is now available, it’s on our website. Oh, the price on it is $3995 with an instant cash savings of $300, so it brings it down to $3695. The price on the 8200 is $3195 after instant savings, so it’s a $500 difference, and these features are, I would say, probably worth the 500 bucks. I’ve seen other chairs that have a very subtle difference, like the Osaki 6000 and the Osaki 7200H, which is the exact same chair, except one – the 7200H added heat – well, that’s a $300 option, basically, because that’s the difference in price. So, 500 bucks for all these features is not bad, I suspect this 8500 will be a popular seller. The 8200 is already, but now you can get either one, and have a look on the website, and you can see the differences. Oh, recent blog posts that I’ve put out, there was one that I, a couple of ones that I thought that might be of interest to you. Number one is, I received another email – you know, I get emails all the time from readers that are analyzing, you know, analyzing and dissecting the comparison between different chairs – and often, more often than not, I get questions about the Inada Sogno, because the Inada Sogno is like the trend-setting, iconic massage chair, and there’s so many other chairs that are trying to mimic it, or imitate it, and so I get a lot of questions about the Sogno. Well, this question that I answered on my blog is about the difference between the Osaki 7000, which has a zero-gravity feature, which is a 30-degree tilt to the seat, and the Inada Sogno, which does not have a zero-gravity feature. And is that feature important enough – on the Osaki 7000 – to be a deal breaker as far as getting the Osaki 7000 over the Inada Sogno. Well, there are reasons that I see, and I’m not hearing this from either of horses’ mouths, but to me it seems clear why the Sogno does not have a zero-gravity feature, with its roller system. It would be a little bit counterproductive, and I explain that in the blog post, but go have a look at that. I can’t remember the date of that blog post, but if you go on to our website, and scroll down to the bottom, or scroll toward the bottom, you’ll see the word ‘Blog,’ and you’ll see where Dr. Weidner’s blog is, that’s my blog, so anyway, that was on September 12th.
[SCREEN TEXT: Can A Massage Chair Do What A Chiropractor Does?]
Alan: Also, we also threw up a post that talked about, and someone asked me this question – and it spurred this blog post – does the massage chair do what a chiropractor does? Now, I am in the unenviable position of being both a chiropractor and a massage chair salesman, or the enviable position, depending on how you look at it, and so, I am familiar with both. And to quite honest – and I go in to this in detail in the blog post article – but when I started selling massage chairs, and there was not, when I started this business, it wasn’t as, it wasn’t overtly a business to sell massage chairs. I bought a massage chair for my clinic to keep people occupied, and therapeutically engaged until I could see them, and adjust them, and treat them. Well, people started coming to me and saying ‘Hey, can I get a massage chair? I really like this chair.’ Some people didn’t like it, most people enjoyed it. Well, I sold a few of them, and the people that I sold them to didn’t come back for months, and they used to come all the time, like weekly or every few weeks, for backaches, or headaches, or whatever the case may be. Well, two of these clients, I actually spoke to, about six months after they purchased their chairs. And both of them, to a person said, that the reason they haven’t been back is the chair took care of all the pain, or most of the pain, that they were coming to see me about. So, I lost business in the chiropractic end, but they were getting pain relief at their end, and they didn’t need to drive all the way to my office, and waste gas, and risk injury, or you know, risk car accidents, and spend that time, you know, between my certain hours of operation. They were able to get a massaged any time they wanted, all day long, any day of the week. And so, I realized that though it was not replacing my patients, it was certainly taking care of a lot of the issues that they were coming to see me about. So does, do massage chairs replace chiropractors, no, because chiropractors, by pure definition, are spinal correction specialists. In other words, their essence, their sales pitch, if you will, is to correct your spine. Well, a massage chair doesn’t correct spines, it relaxes musculature, it can enhance proper posture with some of these newer chairs, like the Doctor’s Choice 3A or the, now the Infinite Therapeutics IT-8500, where it actually has airbags that pull your shoulders back, but it does not correct spines, per say. At least there’s no documented studies or anecdotal stories that I’ve heard that suggest that it does, or that they do. So, it does not correct spines, but it can get rid of pain, and so, those are two different objectives when you go to the chiropractor. Most people are going because of pain, but most people stay because they want to fix their spines, they want to fix the root of the pain problem, so getting on a massage chair may correct, excuse me, it may get rid of the pain, but it may not actually correct the root of the pain. But you know, time tells as you sit on the chair over an extended period of time, if it’s getting rid of your pain or not. But anyway, I wrote about that on September 18th, so take a look at that one. And also, we posted a video, we posted on YouTube some time ago – and by the way, if you want to be a subscriber to our YouTube channel, just go to ‘YouTube.com/MassageChairRelief,’ and subscribe to the channel, and you’ll get updates all the time on these videos, and videos that we put out about different chair makes and models – anyway, the Sogno is a very popular chair, so we put out videos as we go, about different things that people ask. And one of the things that people asked about, a few people asked about, was they couldn’t, they didn’t feel like when they were sitting in the chair that they were sitting in there right. They weren’t getting the full benefit of the massage, especially the airbags that push down on the trapezious muscles from the cervical – what they call the ‘Cervical Traction Device,’ or the head piece, which is what I call it – and so, we’ve filmed a little video showing you how to sit in that chair when you first get in it, so that you’re optimized for the full benefit of all massage features and functions of the chair. And so, we have the transcripts and the video of that up on the blog, and it’s also on YouTube, you can check it out there. Anyway, let’s have a look here. Oh, one last thing, I have been trying to get other – this is something that has been a bit of a pet peeve to me, and I don’t know why it’s bothering me so much, probably because I expected more. But you know, we interviewed Cliff Levin, who’s the president of Inada USA, a couple of months ago, and his videos are fairly popular. It’s a three-part interview series, I split it up in to three videos, so you didn’t have to watch the whole thing all at once, and they’re fairly popular, I think we’ve had a couple hundred views on each of them, and people are interested to hear what, you know, leaders in the industry have to say about the industry, and about their chairs. Well, I have requested interviews with all – except for Panasonic – I’ve requested interviews with – because I don’t really know who to ask at Panasonic, I don’t know who the head massage chair guy is for that huge company, but I have basically asked all the other massage chair companies that I represent on my website, and for whom I sell many chairs, if I could interview their president, or their head guy, or whoever it is, that kind of is the guy that created the company, so I could get a better insight in to their company, and what they do, and about their chairs, and getting a bit of a background story. I think it would lend credibility to the company, for you, the viewer, and the shopper. I think it helps me to understand more about the company so that I can explain better in the future when people ask questions about particular companies or their massage chairs.
[SCREEN TEXT: Interview With Jim Coppins of Infinite Therapeutics]
Alan: Well, I could not set up a bloody interview with any of them, and finally, I’m very happy to say that I got through to Jim – a guy named Jim Coppins or Caupins, I’m not exactly sure how to pronounce his name, but we’ve been emailing each other, and we are going to interviewing this week. And he’s one of the top dogs over at Infinite Therapeutics, and I’m so interested to ask him about the IT-8200 and the IT-8500, because they’ve been, well, the 8200 has been a very popular seller for us. The IT-9800 is the only Taiwanese-made chair that I carry, and it’s a very good-quality chair, and the remote is totally different from the typical Chinese-manufactured chairs, but a very nice chair, leather upholstery, no airbags, it’s all rollers in the calves and the back. It’s a great chair, I’ve got it in my showroom, and I really like it, but I’d like to ask questions about these chairs to Jim, and I’m looking forward to that. So, I’ll let you know when that interview is going to posted on YouTube and on the blog, and you can follow along, and learn more about Infinite Therapeutics. And I like the company, I like their products, they don’t have a lot of chairs, but they’ve got enough chairs that I see a difference in our sales, because people are buying them. Well, I think that’s just about it. Again, if you like this video, and you want to be updated on future videos, go ahead and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Visit us on Facebook, we have a page there. We have a Twitter, we’re on Twitter, we have a Twitter following. Please ‘Share’ us on Facebook or ‘Like’ us on Facebook or follow us on our Twitter account, we love having fans, and we love having you contribute to this continuing dialogue of massage chairs. It’s becoming an increasingly big part of the baby boomer generation, because of the aches and pains that we’re all suffering, present company included. And so, we’d like to have more people involved in the conversation about them, so please come and join us, and participate with us, we appreciate that. Again, you can reach me at 888-259-5380 any time, you can reach me on my personal cell phone, which is 801-651-2026, and I do answer my phone. If you read some of the reviews, with regard to the chairs that patients, or clients, have purchased from us – and you can see reviews on any of the product pages of our site, where there are reviews – you’ll see that people are surprised that I actually do answer my phone, and I answer my emails, and I do take care of my customers. So please, feel free to call, I’m always available. I mean, I’ve had calls at three in the morning, I don’t appreciate those so much, but I had one fellow in Florida that woke up at five, getting ready for work, and he was having his morning coffee, and he just thought about a massage chair question, and he called. He didn’t realize it was three o’clock in the morning where I was, and he didn’t realize that someone was going to actually pick up the phone. And I remember stumbling from my bed across the floor, and hitting the hope chest with my knee, and stumbling in the dark, in to the bathroom where I charge my phone, and answering the phone probably sounded like an idiot, ‘Hello, this is Dr. Weidner,’ I was half-asleep, but the guy was so surprised that I answered the phone. But I do answer my phone, and I do care to hear what you have to say, or any questions that you might have, or if I can help you with your order, or ask about chairs that we don’t even carry that I may have heard about. Please call, I’m always available, or email me, you can reach me at any time. But anyway, thanks again, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ and we look forward to talking to you again in two more weeks. Bye bye.
Here is the link to this Massage Chair Industry Update.