Massage Chair Industry Update – 5/15/2023

May 24, 2023
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
May 24, 2023
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Massage Chair Industry Update – 5/15/2023

Hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from Massage Chair Relief. And today is our bi-weekly Massage Chair Industry Update for Monday, May 15th, 2023. Thank you so much for joining me today. As I had mentioned, I think in previous industry updates, the industry is kind of slow right now. There are not as many people buying massage chairs as there were during COVID, nor before all the rates had gone up. And there’s this inflationary pressure that was showing the industry as a whole had slowed down quite a bit. It seems to be picking up a little bit now, and it may be in part and parcel because of the sales that are going on. And so, I’ll review a few sales with you.

 

[00:00:59]

Ogawa right now has their JPMedics Kumo chair that comes with an extended five-year warranty. The other chairs starting today have discounts on the pricing, which we already have on the website, but now they’re also including the extended warranty as well. Luraco had a Mother’s Day sale that ended last night, and they started again today for Father’s Day. So, for those of you that are lamenting possibly missing the sale price, they just re-upped it late last night with the same pricing. So, $1,000 off the Luraco i9 Max, and 1,500 off the Luraco i9 Max Special Edition. That’s the model that we have in our showrooms. So, if you want to come to the showrooms, you can try that chair out. That’s the only US-made chair. There is another company that sometimes will tell people over the phone that they are made in America, but that is not true.

 

[00:01:59]

There’s only one US-made chair, and that is the Luraco chair. Osaki still has a sale on the Ekon. It is on sale for 5,999. And that chair has actually been discontinued. So, when the existing stock is gone, that chair will be done. Also, the Fleetwood is 5,999. That’s a Titan chair which is also part of the Osaki family. The Maestro has a thousand off for 8,999. That’s the Maestro LE, not the regular or the old Maestro. The LE is the improvement chair, the one that fixed all the issues that were present in the original Maestro. Also, the Kyoto sales for the Genki and the Kenko go on until the end of May. So, those chairs are a good bargain at their prices right now. The sale price is a very good bargain.

 

[00:03:04]

Let’s see. We also have the active … The Ogawa Active L Plus chair has been discontinued, and it’s been replaced by the Ogawa Active XL, which facilitates a little bit larger user. The seat is a few inches wider and the shoulders are a few inches wider. That chair was on backorder, but now it’s in stock as of today, the 15th. So, that one is available. And we do have some pre-owned chairs coming up. We’ve got a floor model, Fleetwood, from our Utah showroom that we’re selling for 3,999, which is an amazing price for that chair. It’s in new condition. And I believe we have an Ekon Plus floor model available at our Arizona showroom. And we have a Human Touch WholeBody® 8.0 also available pre-owned.

 

[00:04:01]

And the Human Touch chair is a very simple chair. It’s basically got a massage roller up and down your back. There’s no arm massage, no shoulder massage airbags. And it has calf, they call them paddles. It’s like rubber paddles that move in a wave-like motion on your calves. It feels great, but there’s no separate foot massager. But the chair looks more like an executive chair, like a business chair. And it doesn’t look like a massage chair when you look at it. We have a return chair, and that chair is only is only about a month old, and that one’s available too. So anyways, we do have some pre-owned. You can check out our website to see what the update is on pre-owned chairs that are available. We have a section for pre-owned; we call it a pre-owned directory on our website. Let’s see. I want to make sure I’ve covered all the nuts-and-bolts stuff. So, I wanted to talk just a little bit today about paying for a massage chair.

 

[00:05:04]

So, as you may or may not know, most companies accept credit cards, the major credit cards, Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Discover. And some might accept some others like Diners Club or whatever. I don’t know. But for the four big ones, almost everybody will accept those payments. Most massage chair companies also use financing options. We use Synchrony Bank and Affirm. There are other companies, I think, that use Bread. And I can’t remember, there might be even yet another company. But there is financing available. I think PayPal even offers six months financing. So, that’s another way to pay for a chair. You can also pay with cash or wiring money or a check, even though with a check, especially if it’s out of state, you have to wait until the bank approves it. And that can take up to a week to ten days. We had one guy that presented a check from Minnesota, and that one took, I think, 12 days before the check had been proven to be clearable.

 

[00:06:07]

So, you can do those. Those are options that most people use; credit cards, cash, check, wiring, or financing. I get calls all the time about insurance covering massage chairs. And I’m a chiropractor by trade, so I’ve dealt with insurance firsthand as a chiropractor. And I’ve dealt with it a few times as a massage chair salesman. And the thing with insurance is, I’ve been in the business now for 18 years, as a matter of fact, this month, it’s 18 years, and I have never seen a general insurance policy pay for a chair, ever. And there was some confusion about the right code, but none of the doctors knew what the right code was. The insurance company wouldn’t tell us what the code was. And basically, it was a runaround.

 

[00:07:03]

And we have learned that general insurance like Medicare or just your regular Blue Cross Blue Shield or Aetna or whatever, will not pay for massage chairs. Now, having said that, I have seen some carriers pay for massage chairs, but those are more niche insurance policies like a work comp policy, a workman’s compensation policy or an auto injury policy. I even had one lady who was blind that had a special insurance plan for her blindness. I think she had some other health condition as well. It was a state directed policy that covered a massage chair. That was the only time I’d ever seen that outside of the auto injury or workman’s comp, workman’s compensation injury insurance payment from them. So, it’s rare.

 

[00:08:00]

So, if you’ve got an insurance policy, just your regular insurance or Medicare, maybe things have changed a bit, but I haven’t heard about them changing. Now, the other option is HSA and FSA accounts. Hsa is a health savings account. Fsa is a flexible spending account. Different insurance companies have these policies. And what happens is unless the massage chair vendor who you’re buying the chair from is considered a medical facility or a medical shop, those cards will not work on the website of a massage chair store. But, for example, HSA, the health savings accounts, they will reimburse you. So, if you pay for the chair with your credit card or with financing, then you submit the receipt to your health savings account administrator, like ours here in Utah, the one I use is called health equity.

 

[00:09:04]

You’ve probably got a card, it looks like a credit card. And it is actually a credit or debit card. But then they will reimburse you. And so, you have to lay the money out up front, but then they’ll reimburse you from your HSA savings account. So, if you have $10,000 in your HSA account and you want to use it before the end of the year, in most cases, you can buy the chair outright with your credit card or financing and then turn around and submit that to your administrator of the HSA, and they will send you a reimbursement check for that amount. Now, having said that, that’s not a hard and fast rule. It depends on your HSA and your flexible spending account. What we recommend is to look at the back of your credit card or debit card that you have for it, and there’ll be a phone number there for the administrator of that plan.

 

[00:09:58]

Give the administrator a call and say, “Hey, I’m one of your clients. I’d like to buy a massage chair. I’d like to use my HSA funds or FSA funds. How do I do that? And can I do that?” And they’ll say, Yeah. Some might need a prescription from a doctor or a chiropractor or physical therapist or something. And those are not hard to get, especially if you have complaints. If you’ve got back pain, neck pain, it’s pretty easy to get a prescription. But some you don’t. And again, it just depends on the company. It depends on the on the HSA administrator. So, reach out to them and ask them, Hey man. [laughs]. Sorry, that’s the 70s coming out of me when I use man all the time. My kids make fun of it all the time. But you just say, “Please tell me if we have coverage for a massage chair.” And then they’ll tell you the steps and the hurdles you have to jump over to get your chair.

 

[00:10:58]

But I’ve seen a lot of people get reimbursed, so it’s not like, oh, it’s rare that anybody gets reimbursed from their … Remember, it’s your money, right? I mean, that’s money you’ve set aside for health savings. It’s your health savings account. And so, that money is yours. But some administrators might make it real difficult for you to get it. But most of it, from what I understand and have seen, is it pretty straightforward. So, there are some suggestions … Not suggestions, but some tips on how you can pay for your massage chair. So, it varies. There are different things. But by far, straight-up credit card payments are the most popular. Financing is the next most common. And then some people, especially people that don’t want to deal with the credit card company or they don’t want to deal with financing, will use cash or a check or whatever.

[00:12:00]

And some massage chair companies will give you a bit of a discount for cash or check. For example, the cost to us is, if you use a credit card, we’re going to be paying the credit card company, Chase Bank, or whoever’s credit card, whoever’s got the credit card. And we will be paying for the credit card fees, which can range anywhere from 2.5 to 4.5%. Well, we offer a discount, a cash discount of 2% if you use cash. It’s not like the old days when someone would say, “Hey, man, I’ll give you.” [laughs]. There’s that man again. “Hey, I’ll pay cash, give me $5,000 off the chair. But I’m giving you cash.” And it doesn’t work that way because we have tight margins we’ve got to deal with. And we can’t give huge discounts on something that’s not going to save us any money at all except about the minimum, 2 to 3%.

 

[00:13:06]

So anyways, that’s something you can take into consideration when you look to maybe want to use cash or check to pay for your chair or wiring to pay for your chair. But anyways, that’s about it for this week. I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, please feel free to thumbs up like us on our YouTube channel. And, of course, help us spread the word about massage chairs by sharing this video or any of our videos with your friends and family, on your social media platforms. And remember that we do sell massage chairs. I’m not just a guy that talks about massage chairs every day. We actually sell them. You can call us about getting prices or suggestions of models that you’re looking at getting, and we can help you get there. Plus, we have a lifetime labor warranty, and we have a 90-day satisfaction guarantee warranty. And we take good care of our people. But anyways, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from Massage Chair Relief, and I will see you again in two weeks. Bye-bye.


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