Hello, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from Massage Chair Relief, and today is our bi-weekly massage chair Industry update for Friday, March 17th, 2023. And it is Saint Patrick’s Day, so I wore a green shirt underneath my blue company shirt. And I never do stuff like this. I always forget, but for some reason, I remembered today and I thought I would impress you all by wearing a green shirt. Anyways, thank you for joining me today. I’ve got a number of things to go over and then a couple of pet peeves I have about the industry that I’ll talk about at the end. But let me begin by going over the basic stuff, the white glove delivery for Human Touch. Last year they asked us to increase the price, I think it was $349 for white glove delivery. And we typically charge $199.99 for white glove delivery.
So, they changed that policy just this last month in February, I believe February, beginning of this month, where we can go back to charging $199.99 for Human Touch chairs. So, if you see that on our website and you saw it before and you wondered why it was more expensive, it was more expensive because we were advised to do that and we had to do it. But they have changed their policy so now it’s back to $199.99. Now, having said that, Furniture for Life’s white glove delivery for the GTS9 is still, I think, $1,350. Unless you buy it from one of our local stores, then we do free white glove delivery for our local stores. But just so you know, the white glove delivery … And I can see why the companies are going through this issue because the price increases in freight have been unbelievable. During COVID, it was the increase in the price of freight coming from overseas, China, or Japan.
Now, that has normalized to some degree. The costs per container have come down again. And that’s why a lot of the travel surcharges on these chairs have been removed. But now the price of shipping here in the United States has gone up. And I don’t honestly don’t know, and maybe someone can make a comment about this on our YouTube channel when you read this or see this video, it may be because of the price of gas going up or diesel. It could be the shortage of truckers. I was very aware that during COVID so much product was bought online that the demand for shipping trucks or delivery trucks here in the United States went through the roof and there weren’t enough truckers to facilitate the delivery of all those products in a timely fashion. And so, the cost of shipping went up.
And I think we’re still at that place because all the shipping costs are pretty much, I’d say the majority of our suppliers have increased the cost of shipping. And if they haven’t increased the cost of shipping, they’ve increased the cost of the chair to offset the increase in the cost of shipping. Anyways, the GTS9, the KAI GTS9, which is the Korean chair with the Sonic wave technology … There’s the GTS7 and the GTS9. The GTS9, they did not take orders for a couple of months. And they started taking orders again at the beginning of this month, so now you can order them. The first or the first shipments not coming until mid-April. But I don’t know if you order now when that chair will be in. But they are taking orders for that GTS9.
And of course, the GTS7 is still in stock so you can order that as well. Of interest to note about the GTS7 is that you have to have a 34-inch doorway for that chair to fit into your house. I know that there’s video to show you how to remove the armrests of the GTS7 to get it into a smaller doorway and then reattach them. But if you do get to that point, whether you buy that chair or not from us, let me know and I can send you the video that shows you how to remove those armrests. We have a lot of new chairs on the website. We added the Ogawa Active L 3D. We added the Ogawa Active XL 3D, which is for a bigger-bodied person. We added the Ogawa Refresh L. We added the Human Touch Whole body Rove and the Human Touch Whole Body 8.0.
We added the Titan Jupiter LE, which is a more recent upgraded version of the original Titan Jupiter XL, which is still available, but the LE is a little more expensive, but it has more modern updated features. We also added the Infinity Luminary™ Syner-D®. We also added the JP Medics KaZe and the JP medics Kawa models. The KaZe is an upgraded version. I talked about that a few weeks ago during my visit to the furniture market in Las Vegas. They had that chair there. And it’s like a sleeker, more aerodynamic-looking Kumo, but with the chair doctor feature, which you would typically have on the Master Drive AI. And so that’s the KaZe. And that’s a more expensive chair.
I can’t remember the price point. I think it’s 12,999. And then the lower-priced Kawa … And to be honest with you, I don’t really know. We just added it. I have never even actually sat in it. But that chair has a lower or a smaller feature set than the Kumo. So, the Kumo is the flagship for the JP Medics chairs. And then you’ve got the KaZe above it and the Kawa below it. JP Medics, as you may or may not know, is part of the Ogawa, Cozzia, Brookstone family of chair. The Panasonic MAK1 is the latest model from Panasonic. That was on backorder and it’s now back in stock so you can get that one. The Brio Sport, the Positive Posture Brio Sport is on backorder until near the end of April. And that is pretty much it. In terms of sales, if you want to see what sales we have, go to our new chair sale promotions on our website and you can see all the current pricing. For example, the Ogawa Master Drive AI 2.0 is $4,000 off at 8,999.
As a matter of fact, I think all the Ogawa chairs have sale prices right now. The Kyota Yosei, which is the old Infinity Imperial is on sale for 5,499. The Fleetwood is still on sale for 5,999, regularly 9,999. And the Osaki Maestro LE is on sale for 8,999 instead of 9,999. They introduced the new xRest, which I told you about. We’re still learning about that chair. That one is priced at 14,999. And they also have the new High Point, which oh, the High Point was also another chair that we added to the website, the Osaki High Point, which is a strong 4D l-track massage chair, and that chair is listed for 12,999. So, you can see the price and the cost of these chairs are going up, up, up, up.
When I started in this industry in 19 … Well, the very first chair I bought in 2003, I believe I bought it for my clinic when I was a chiropractor and I bought it so people can have the chair to sit on, a massage chair to sit on and be entertained. And I thought it was just for entertainment. I didn’t realize the therapeutic value at the time. And that was an HT-125. And I think back then the cost of that chair was, I, I think it was 1,899. And they were really the only game in town. They had another model back then called HT-1650, which was 3,795. That seemed so high. Well, all these years later, all these new competitors, all these new models, and increases in costs and improvements in technology, now we’re seeing chairs … I remember when the chairs hit the 10,000 point, I’m thinking, “Holy cow! This is unsustainable.” Well, guess what? A lot of our popular chairs are priced well over $10,000.
As a matter of fact, Luraco came out with their new i9 Max series … And their Royal Edition, I think is $49,000, and that’s because it has gold, roller arms, gold plated, everything’s gold. Not everything, the upholstery is still leather. And the basic look of the chairs is exactly the same. The colors are the same and the function of the rollers is the same, but they have more gold components. And that is interesting. So, you can spend any amount of money you want on massage chairs, but the average prices have definitely gone up. So, that’s for you to know. This last week, I went to visit my Southern California store and my Arizona store. And while I was in Southern California, I visited Human Touch and we visited Cozzia as well. And at Human Touch, the VP of Consumer Sales, Dale Shepard, was there to meet us, and Kathy Lou, our account manager, she’s our contact person at Human Touch, had a wonderful morning, and spent the whole morning with them.
And we talked about the new Human Touch Rove which is part of the Whole-Body family. It’s an l-track, a 2D l-track. Very nice massage. A 2D, by the way, means you don’t have the 3D depth adjustment so the depth is fixed. And when I got into the industry, most of the chairs were 2D, but the mechanisms have changed so much. The roller mechanisms have changed so much over the years. Now, most of the chairs are 3D. But a 2D chair is a less expensive chair. If you’re not paying for the 3D technology, you can get a lower-priced chair. Examples would be the SYNCA … Actually, I think they call it the Inner Balance. It’s from the SYNCA Wellness Company. The Inner Balance Jin 2, I think that one is 3,499. Nice chair. It’s a 2D chair, l-track. And the Rove is like that. And I sat in it and I was quite impressed with it.
Sometimes these 2D chairs are way too strong because it’s only one depth setting. And so, it’s either like it or lump it or use a throw blanket as a pad behind you. But that Rove was very comfortable, but it still hit the areas that I needed on my spine quite firmly. And I was quite happy with that. And the Human Touch whole body 8.0 is a little bit of an upgrade to the 7.1, which is still available. The 8.0 has got another program I believe they’ve added. And they also added a wood accent on the armrest and on the base. And that’s a chair that has a swivel seat so you can turn on it. It looks like a regular chair, almost like an office chair to me, like an executive chair. And it doesn’t have arm massage, it doesn’t have foot massage. It has calf paddles, which massage your calves, It’s a very good massage, calf massage. And it’s got a roller going up and down your back. It’s an s-track. And it’s got warm air heat.
So, warm air … It’s kind of feels like a car when you’ve got … Well, if you live in Utah, you’ve got cold winters and you want a heated seat. Well, I have a car that has warm air that gets circulated through the back of the seat. And that’s what this chair has. And it’s a nice chair. It’s a great low-cost chair that will fit in with any decorum because it doesn’t look like a regular massage chair. It doesn’t have the big arm airbags, it doesn’t have shoulder airbags, it doesn’t have the big foot thing sticking up for the feet. Even though you can bend your knees and put your feet in the calf rollers or the calf paddles, it will massage your feet. But those two chairs we sat on and we discussed that quite a bit. And that was a really enjoyable visit. And Human Touch has been around forever. When I first started in this industry, when I first opened my business … Well, I told you already my first chair was a Human Touch HT-125 at that time. And two years later I started my website. They were the only game in town. Human Touch was it,
And they’ve been around for over 40 years. I think maybe 43, 45 years now. But now, of course, so many other companies have come into play and the competition has changed and technologies have been added here and there. So, everything’s changed quite a bit since those days. But Human Touch is still the same company and they still have good products. And as you know, they have the Super Novo, which is their flagship chair. And at CES, they announced a new Super Novo X. And what that does is it has the armrests come up, so they’re split halfway down in the upper half comes up like a sports car, those fancy sports cars. They mentioned the name and I couldn’t remember what it was. I said, “Is it like the DeLorean?” They go, “No, they don’t go up like this. They go up back.” And I can’t remember which chair it was or which car it was that has that kind of feature. But what that does in concert with chairs like the Yoko M8 and the Luraco i9 series, they have armrests that can move out of the way so people that are elderly and are unsure on their feet and unsteady, can slide in like a car.
People that are in acute low back pain can’t move very well and can’t just drop into a chair because their back will spasm up, it’s great for people like that. So, we see now that’s three models that have this. Now, the X is not going to be available until … I’d probably say the end of the third quarter or the beginning of the fourth quarter estimates. But usually, these estimates for new models end up being longer than you realize, so I would probably plan on quarter four. And most companies try to get new chairs in before Black Friday because that’s typically a very busy time of the year for orders. But anyways, it’s going to be a cool chair. Of course, it’ll be a higher-priced chair. And they had it there, but they didn’t have it plugged in. It’s a beta-tested chair or a beta prototype and they didn’t want me to send it yet because they’re still working on some things and they weren’t sure if everything was going to be functioning on the chair, but they’re going to have me back when the chair is ready to be rolled out and we’ll take some video of it and whatnot.
I took some videos of the Rove and of the 8.0 with Dale. I just got back from the trip and I’ll get those posted on my blog and YouTube channel soon. And I think that’s just about it for the nuts and bolts of my broadcast today. But I wanted to talk about two little things that have reared their beautifully ugly heads this week. And I talk about that in my … This is just a photocopy printout but I have a booklet called Buyer Beware: Crucial Red Flags to Watch Out for When You’re Buying a Massage Chair. And it warns people of things that are a little deceptive and a little misleading in our industry. And I want to talk about two little things right now, because this comes up all the time. That’s why I wrote that booklet.
And you can download that, by the way. If you go to my website and go under the education navigation bar option, that’s the very first one on the left and you mouse over that, the menu will come down and you’ll see free downloads at the bottom. You can download that one and read it. I believe it’s, it’s well worth the read. Of course, I wrote it, but I’m not just saying that self-serving. I really do believe it’s good information that you typically don’t hear about or see. And I wrote it a couple of years ago, but it’s still a very popular download for me. But anyways, here’s the thing. There’s only one chair that is made in America. Now, the topic of made in Japan or made in Korea, or Made in China, it’s become fairly convoluted. So, when we say a chair is made in Japan, like the JP Medic’s Kumo or the Ocho M.8, the components are made in China and then they’re exported to Japan where the assembly, the testing, and the programming go on. Therefore, they are considered made-in-Japan chairs. That’s for those chairs.
Then you’ve got a chair like the SYNCA JP1100 and now the JP3000 that has upwards of 70% of their chair parts made in Japan, but the other 30% are made in China or wherever those extra components are made. And then the chair is built and assembled in Japan and tested and programmed. We have some chairs coming out in the near future that are made in Japan, 100% made in Japan. And I’m not at liberty to talk about those yet until they’re officially announced. But we should be seeing one, 1, or 2 of those models this year. And those are allegedly 100% made in Japan. But I’ll bet you that there might be a small component, maybe there’s a roller mechanism … The roller mechanism is fairly complex. It’s got the track, it’s got the roller, the 3D. Maybe there’s a bolt that comes from China or something like that. So, it’s really hard to say that a chair is made 100% in any one area.
Most of the chairs are 100% made in China and assembled and tested in China. But even some of the Chinese chairs may have a part that comes from Singapore or Malaysia or whatever. Well, made-in-America chairs, there’s only one company that has made America chairs, and that’s Luraco. And they don’t hide. They’re not hiding that, like if they dig deep enough, they’re going to find out that our chairs aren’t made there. Those are the chairs … The vast majority of the chairs are made in America. I believe some of their parts are imported from overseas. And the old iRobotics i7 PLUS, those parts were coming from Taiwan, so it’s not 100% American made, but the majority of it is made in America. And they tout that. And they have been inspected by whatever agency in the government here in the United States. They’ve been inspected and proven to the point where they can say, yes, it’s made in America. Well, here’s my beef.
I don’t have a beef with any of those other companies saying that their chairs are made in America or made in Japan or made in Korea. Made in Korea, the components are made in China. But programming, testing, and assembly are all done in Korea. Well, there’s a company that’s … And I’ve heard this before, they say that their chairs are made in America, and I know that their chairs are not made in America. And if you go to their website, there is nowhere on there where it says made in America. If I had a made-in-America chair, I’d be blasting that all over my website, I’d have the American flag, and I’d have made in the USA. And that is what Luraco has on its website. But this company makes no mention of it. But I hear repeatedly that their salespeople say that, “Oh yeah, our chair is made in America.” Well, it’s not. Maybe they make a cushion or a blanket that you can use on your chair, but that hardly constitutes a chair being made in America. And so, that is deceiving to me. And I don’t like that because customers think that they’re buying a chair that’s made in America when the chair is made in China.
And they may alter something like a pad or a pillow when it comes to America for taller or shorter people. I don’t know. I’m just trying to think of what they could do that would unjustly justifying saying that it’s made in America. So again, buyer beware. There’s only one company that’s that can claim that their chairs were made in America and that’s Luraco. Also, another thing, and this gets me every time, it bugs me really, I see these free reports … If you go to massage chairs on Google or anywhere, it comes up, oh, the top massage chairs of 2023, top massage chairs of 2022, top ten massage chairs period. My goodness, I have gone through those reports, and you know what? The chairs that are in those reports are either crap, they’re not even made anymore or they might have one that’s a good chair, but not necessarily one of the best chairs in the market.
And that’s what bugs me. And some of those are on websites that make you feel like, oh, these guys know what they’re talking about, like massage chair repairman or massage chair experts or whatever. I’m just throwing names out. I don’t know what they’re called. But those are popular because they’ve got the Google system figured out so that their report ranks high. Well, someone looks at that and they go, oh my goodness, I’ve never even heard of the … Here’s a funny one. The Omega … What was that chair called? I can’t remember. But we used to sell … What was that chair called? Anyways, Omega was a company in Southern California and we used to sell their chairs. They’re out of business. They’ve been out of business for ten years. And people are still listing the Omega. Oh my goodness, what is it? Anyways, anything from Omega is not even a chair that exists anymore. It’s not even a company that exists anymore.
And then you see other ones that I believe aren’t even in business anymore. And don’t do not use those reports as your fodder for decision-making. Don’t do it. They’re like one report. I saw it listed all these chairs. Then they had one chair called the Panasonic. It was one of the Panasonic models. Now, Panasonic is a good name, good brand, but that was the only chair in that list of ten that was even legitimate and even a decent chair. Do you realize there are hundreds and hundreds of factories in China that build chairs? And some of those factories are good, like the Ro Tai, the Kang Tai, and the Ogawa factories. There are good factories, they make decent products. But then there are all these others. The reason I know this is that I get hit up on LinkedIn and in my email inbox all the time by these companies asking me to sell their chairs.
Well, just know that there’s cheaper … I don’t want to say garbage because some of it is not garbage, don’t get me wrong, but there are lesser quality chairs, a lot of lesser quality chairs, cheaper, lesser quality chairs, but I would not say that they’re the best chairs on the market. Holy Hannah. No way. But here’s the key. Here’s the secret to these free reports. If you click on the links in any of those free reports, guess where they take you to? Those links take you to Amazon, so you buy the chair on Amazon. So, Amazon has what we call an affiliate program, so they encourage other people to sell their products as affiliates so they don’t have to inventory the products. The companies that sell their chairs on Amazon or their products on Amazon worry about the inventory, but the affiliate just advertises. They get the people to click. It’s called Click Bait.
They click on the link to go to the Amazon website and buy the chair. And guess who gets paid? That affiliate that made that free report. And so, the only chairs that you can get that you can actually buy through those reports go to Amazon and it’s an Amazon sale. And Amazon typically carries a lot of the cheaper chairs, the lesser quality chairs. So, anyways, that’s the business. And both those things are a little deceptive. And I bring it up because I deal with this regularly. Again, I dealt with both of them this last week. And I just cannot believe some of the things that that we buy into. So buyer beware. Beware of what you’re being told, even by me, for heaven’s sake. You can fact-check.
Fact-checking became a big deal in the last presidential election. So, fact-check. Check these things out for yourself. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or any of the … Well, that’s kind of like … I don’t know. Well, you can call the massage chair companies. Of course, that’s like calling a Ford dealer for an opinion on a Chevrolet. Do you know what I’m saying? So, I don’t know. But do a little homework. Do a little due diligence. And if you need some direction, I can give you a direction. Who knows? Maybe I’m blowing smoke up your butt here for the last 9, 10 … Actually, I’ve been doing this now for 18 years, but since 09, I’ve been doing the videos, the industry updates, 2009. So, how many years is that? That’s like 14 years. But I’ll give you some direction if you need it. So, reach out to us. We’ll gladly help you. I’ll gladly help you to avoid making a mistake. Anyways, I think that’s about it for this week. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. Our phone number is 888-259-5380.
And of course, you can always reach out to us through our social media platforms or email or whatever. There are lots of ways to get a hold of us. And we typically do respond either right away or within a short period of time. Anyways, if you found this video helpful, please feel free to thumbs up like us on our YouTube channel and help us spread the word about massage chairs by sharing this or any of our videos with your family and friends through your social media platforms. I’m Dr. Allen Weidner from massagechairrelief.com, and I will see you again in two weeks. Bye-bye.