Massage Chair Industry Update – 9/22/23

September 22, 2023
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
September 22, 2023
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Massage Chair Industry Update – 9/22/23

Well, good morning. I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from Massage Chair Relief, and today is our bi-weekly Massage Chair Industry Update for Friday, September 22nd, 2023. I have some good stuff to go over with you today, some educational stuff, if you don’t mind. First of all, as I’ve mentioned in previous industry updates, we’ve added new product categories. And it’s not just massage chairs; now we have zero gravity recliners that have a massage feature in them, like airbags or vibration. Then we also added targeted massagers, things like hand massagers, eye massagers, foot massagers, massage guns, et cetera. There are several different products there.

[00:01:03]

We haven’t added them all to the website yet, but we’ve added we’ve added quite a few of them already. We also added office chairs. And the only office chairs we have that have a massage feature are the X-Chairs. And we had four models of the X-Chairs office chairs. And they had an element called  ELEMAX™. It’s an element or a component that would plug into the frame of the chair right behind the lower back, and it would give you the option for heat, cold, and vibration. We just learned yesterday that they have changed their business model, and X-Chairs will not be selling their chairs through retailers or distributors. They’re going to be selling directly to consumers. So, that is going to be off the website fairly soon. We’ve already taken down the products, and we just need to remove that category. That’s the update on the products.

[00:02:03]

We also added a new chair to our website called the Osaki DuoMax, which is a chair that has a split track. All the split tracks we’ve had in the past have been either from the Roti factory, like the Daiwa Supreme Hybrid, the Infinity Circadian, the Infinity Luminary, and the Osaki Vivo. And then also, Luraco has a split track technology from their factory and warehouse in Arlington, Texas. Well, this is the third different factory where you can get the split track. And it’s from, I believe it’s the iRest factory. I have to be careful that I’m not misquoting or misspeaking that. So, it’s going to be a different experience, a different feel. And we are going to be getting that chair in our Arizona showroom in the next week.

[00:02:57]

Now, what makes that chair unique, other than the fact that it’s built in a different factory than most of the other chairs are, is that it will have what they say are arm rollers, but the images show more of a very sophisticated, what they call a piano key arm massage. So, it’s going to have a little bit more going on with the arms than we’ve seen in the past. And we’ll report on that once we’ve seen it. It’s also coming with, instead of the typical four rollers on the bottom track and two rollers on the top track, both upper and lower roller tracks are going to have four rollers instead of two on the upper one. So, you’re going to get eight rollers total, and that’s going to be working on your whole body simultaneously, which is one of the great benefits of having two sets of roller mechanisms. I just wanted to mention that chair to you. It’ll have calf rollers and foot rollers, but it also has, they say, arm rollers, but we’ll see when the chair comes in. It has an arm massage other than just airbags. So, we’ll go over that with you when we have it in our showroom and when we can write a review about it.

[00:04:03]

And speaking of writing reviews, I’m in the process of writing a review about the Luraco i9 Max series, most specifically the Special Edition model, because we have that in our showrooms. I spent two hours on the chair last week going through all the programs and observations and whatnot that I experienced. My reviews are not like the typical reviews you see on the Internet. When you see chair reviews on the Internet, a lot of times, the people who are reviewing those chairs and writing a review about them have never sat in the chair, they’re just going off a literature review, which is okay, but it’s not a real-life experience review. And that’s what I’ll be giving you is an in-person, one-on-one review of my experience with the chair. By the way, do you notice my glasses? I have new glasses, and the lenses are so clean and spotless that there are all kinds of weird reflections off of them. I brought out my old ones, and they didn’t have that problem, but of course, I could hardly see through those.

[00:04:59]

I apologize if that’s distracting to you. Also, Brookstone has dropped the price of their top-of-the-line model, which is the Mach IX. And that chair originally was 8,999, then it was dropped to 7,999, and now it’s 6,999. And that’s a good chair. Brookstone, in case you don’t know, is built by the same factory that builds the Ogawa, Cosia, and JP Medic’s chairs. And it’s the same company, so they have their four … Well, they have more than four lines, but the lines that we carry, we have the, the Ogawa, we have the JP medics, and now the Brookstone. Also, the Cosia chairs that are out there in furniture stores that you may have seen. And Ergotech is another line that they carry. We don’t carry that that line of chairs. But that’s all from the same company. So, Brookstone is from that company.

[00:06:02]

They have the rights to the name Brookstone, just like Infiniti has the rights to the Sharper Image name and builds models under that brand name. That chair has gone down in price to 6,999. It’s a beautiful chair. It’s a very good-looking chair. It’s got more of a moderate-intensity massage. It’s not real deep tissue, and it’s not terribly soft. It’s right in the middle, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears; just right in the middle. So, FYI on that. And then, I’m excited about something coming up next week. As you can tell, over the last 2 or 3 massage chair industry updates, we’re using a whole different studio format for recording rather than just having a microphone tied to my shirt. Now we’ve got a roving mic. We’ve got a green screen behind us, and I’ve got the picture of the showroom, so it makes it look a little more official rather than just seeing my bookcases behind.

[00:07:09]

And I’m sure that was distracting as well. But now, the reason we got all this equipment was so that we could do live streaming. I’m using it for the massage chair industry update, which is not live. It’s recorded and later posted the same day. So, this is for the 22nd, which is today, and will be posted on YouTube later today. But we really got it for live streaming, and we have our first live stream scheduled for next Wednesday, September 27th, at 2:00 Eastern time, 1:00 Central, Noon mountain, and 11:00 Pacific. And so, we’re having our first guest, who is Jim Coppins. He’s the COO and president of Infinity Massage Chairs. And Jim and I have done interviews in the past. And I went out to visit them earlier this year in April and had a wonderful visit.

[00:08:00]

And, of course, one of the topics that came up is you don’t ever interview us anymore. Well, I haven’t interviewed hardly anyone recently. But now, we’re getting back to it. And it’s going to be a live stream, which means you can go to our YouTube channel or our Facebook page and watch the live stream. And so, if you have questions about chairs, about the industry in general, Jim is very, very well versed and well connected in the industry. He’s been in it for a long time, and he has insights. These people who head up the primary US distributors of these massage chairs generally have a pretty good feel of the industry and what’s going on. And Jim is going to be here to answer questions as well. So, on the chat feature on the live stream, when you see it, it’s a place where you can ask questions, and then time permitting, Jim will answer them. Unless, of course, we answer them through the course of the interview. But it’ll be good to talk to Jim, and it’s going to be fun to do it on the live-streaming format, which we’ve never done before.

[00:08:59]

And if you want to go to our YouTube channel, it’s youtube.com/massagechairrelief, all lowercase letters. And the Facebook page is facebook.com/massage.chair.relief. And so, those are the two formats. Eventually, we’re going to have it on the home page of our website, too, but we’re not set up for that yet. Hopefully, the next one. And we’ll probably do these once a month or 1 to 2 a month with different industry specialists and experts, maybe a technician or two who has experience working on chairs, maybe one of my store managers, maybe even one of my competitors will. We’ll invite people to talk about the industry and about what’s going on in the industry for you, primarily because you’re the massage chair customer. And as you know, we’ve always been big on education information through my book. I’ve got like 900 videos, and they’re all pretty bush league, as you can tell. This new background is a little more fancy for us, more than what we’ve always had.

[00:10:08]

Also, through my articles and whatnot. Oh, by the way, that Luraco article that I’m writing, the I9 Max review, I’m about 2000 words in already, and I’m only about halfway through the article. So, it’ll be a very, very specific article. I also have a video called The Pros and Cons of the Chair. Because I always write that, basically my opinion on the massage chairs that we do videos for. Anyway, enough of that. So, join us next Wednesday at the time that I told you. And we’ll post it on the Facebook page, we’ll post it on the YouTube channel. I’ll put a little YouTube short later today announcing that lives stream. But we invite you to come and join us. And if you’re on our mailing list, you’ll also receive an email announcing it as well.

[00:11:01]

And it should last about, I would suspect, 45 minutes to an hour. That’s typically how long our interviews lasted in the past. But that wasn’t with live input like viewers that actually submit real questions and pertinent questions. So, we’ll see how long it goes, but I would plan on at least 45 minutes. Please join us next Wednesday, September 27th, at 2:00 Eastern time on our YouTube channel or our Facebook page. Now, I want to talk to you a little bit about, and I’m going to do something that I haven’t done much in the past … Well, I’ve never done in the past with my massage chair industry updates because, number one, I’m too clueless to figure out how to share a screen and also because the previous technology we used did not have a screen sharing feature. But we do now. Last industry update, I talked about these best massage chair reports or these top ten massage chair reports.

[00:12:00]

And what I’ve done is, I’ve since seen two of them on social media advertising. So, I downloaded them myself to my computer, and I want to just go through them a little bit to explain to you what I mean about how unreliable those reports are. Now, I’m not saying that the products that the people are trying to sell are not bad chairs. I’m just saying that the reports themselves are very, very misleading and very … I don’t know. I just don’t feel like they’re reliable, or I don’t feel like they’re written by experts. And you’ll see that when I bring it up. I’m going to bring up two of them, and I’ll bring up the first one and go through with you what I mean. I’ll kind of demonstrate it to you. Let me go ahead and share this one. The first one that we have is from somebody called Massage Chair Experts. I have heard of them. They say they’ve been around since 1993, but I’ve never heard of them. And I’ve been around since 2004, 2005, and it’s only in the last few years have we heard about their advertising.

[00:13:13]

But they put out this Best Five Massage Chairs, The Complete 2023 Buyer’s Guide, and it’s written by someone named Carter Sullivan. I don’t know who Carter Sullivan is, but he’s a massage chair expert with ten-plus years of experience. I did a Google search and a LinkedIn search for this person and I could not find that person, so I don’t really know if that’s a real person or if it’s an avatar. That’s neither here nor there, but what I want to highlight to you is this, The Best Five Massage Chairs. And so, what you as the reader are going to see when you see this advertisement … And by the way, these free reports are always shown as advertisements, like an ad, learn more and then you can get the report.

[00:13:59]

But what it does is it gives you the criteria and the selections of the top five, the best five chairs. And that’s where I have my beef. And I’ll explain that to you in just a moment. It says here, “Massagechairexperts.org was built by a group of massage chair experts who have been reviewing chairs for more than three decades with multiple professional technicians, users, and designers on our staff.” Well, I’ve been in the industry for almost two decades, and I don’t know anybody who’s part of massagechair experts.org. Carter Sullivan is, but I don’t know who they are, if that’s a real person, or if it’s just an avatar. Anyway, the intro is a little bit much for me, just saying that they’ve been doing it for three decades. Our criteria … Well, there’s, there’s multiple criteria, and I don’t have any beefs, I guess, with the criteria. But here’s where my issue begins now. The number one chair is called the Relaxe Zero Gravity Shiatsu massage chair with heating.

[00:15:00]

I don’t know much about this chair. It only has come to market within the last six months or so, so it’s a fairly new model. I don’t know who exactly imports it or builds it, but I don’t know about the chair, so I cannot give you an honest opinion of the chair. And that’s really not what this review is about or this assessment is about. It’s not about that chair. I argue that it’s probably not the number-one massage chair of 2023. I could argue that all night long. It retails for 2,899, regularly $9,600, so it’s a $7,000 discount. It lists these features of the chair. And I have no beef with the chair at all. I have a beef with it being ranked as a number one chair. Here’s number two now … And by the way, when you click on their website, when it says visit website, it does go to their website. So, that is legitimate. So, it’ll take you to their actual website.

[00:16:01]

Number two is the Tebo Massage Chair. Tebo Massage Chair is a name. It’s a chair that is primarily in Australia. It might even be in Canada, but it’s not a major player at all. It’s an off-brand chair that they did a video online for a while back, and we don’t see it anymore, but it was just an online sale of a brand. And that’s how a lot of these chairs are. They don’t use retailers. They claim they don’t use retailers to save money from paying a middleman. But you’ll see in a moment that is a moot argument. The Tebo chair, I don’t know anything about it. It’s not here in the United States. We don’t know anything about it. As far as I know, it’s in Australia and maybe in Canada, I’m not exactly sure of that. Its price is 4,500. Regularly, $9,249. But get a load of this, when you click on the visit website, it takes you to Amazon.

[00:17:05]

And I don’t know if you can see this page. Let me show you. So, it takes you to this page. And if you look at this page, there’s no Tebo chair on it at all. It’s just a whole bunch of massage chairs that Amazon carries, many of which are no-name-off-brand chairs. Now, I’m going to go back to … Just a minute. I hope I didn’t screw this up. Just a second. Now we’re going to share … We’re going to present … We’re going to go back to our screen. I think I messed it up by going to a different screen. Hold on. There we go. Then we’re back. So, it goes to a website that’s just a generic Amazon page with a bunch of massage chairs, among which the Tebo is not included.

The X77 massage chair. This chair was discontinued a few months ago. It is the same chair as the Positive Posture, Brio Sport, but less expensive. And I know that this chair does have a tendency to have roller issues and whatnot, and I would not consider it one of the best. But it’s discontinued. It’s not even a chair that’s available anymore. And when you click visit website, it takes you to that same Amazon page. So, it’s essentially a chair that’s not available. Tebo is not available. X77 chair is not available. And then the fourth chair is the Osaki OS-Pro Maestro LE massage chair, which is a good chair. We carry that chair. Osaki has several good models on the higher end. This is one of them. But when you click on the website, once again … I’m not going to click on it again because it looks like last time it messed up the screen sharing.

[00:17:56]

If you visit this website, if you click on that, it goes to that same Amazon page. You can’t get to that chair. And then the fifth chair is the Panasonic MAJ7, a good chair also, but they don’t have a link to it. And the price 4,795 is obscene. The price is 9,999. You can’t get that chair for 4,795. And if you click the website, it takes you to that same Amazon page. So, here, you’ve got five chairs for two, three of which are real chairs, four of which you can’t even get to the website, so you can’t even go to learn more about the chair. And one of which is discontinued. And the other one, I don’t even think is in the country, this one. So, that’s my beef with that. Now, I’m going to go … Just a minute. I’m going to bring up another … Just a second. I’m going to bring up another screen.

[00:20:02]

I think I have to stop sharing that. I hope I haven’t messed this all up, but we’re going to start with another screen. And this is another report. And basically, the format is very similar to the other one. This is called The Best Five Massage Chair deals put out by a company called Consumer Census, which is a website full of different physical products. But I can tell you, I don’t trust this company at all to give you a true assessment of what’s in the market and what the top five chairs are. And oddly enough, their number one chair again is the Relaxe Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage Chair with heating. And sure enough, even when you click on the website, it’ll take you right to their page. And again, I can’t speak to the quality of the chair. 2,899 for a Chinese chair. A Chinese-made chair is usually what we consider a lower-end chair. It’s not a premium chair. It’s not a high-end chair. Even though they advertised … Oh, here, look, the MSRP is 12,999. The other report said it was 96 something or other. So, we don’t even really know what the real price of that chair is.

[00:21:10]

It might be a nice chair, but I can pretty much tell you, in our opinion, in the vast majority of the industry’s opinion, it’s not considered one of the best massage chairs in the industry. Again, number two, the Tebo massage chair, is not really a chair in the United States. X77 … Oh, gee, go, go figure. The people that are writing this report have the same chairs, one, two and three. Isn’t that interesting? And here, this gets even better. Number four is the Omega montage. I carried that chair ten years ago, the company went out of business, I think, in 2015. But that chair isn’t even on the market anymore. And of course, if you click go to website, that’s what you see, that same old Amazon page. And the fifth page is the Superior massage chair.

[00:21:57]

This is a chair sold by a company. I actually visited their warehouse in San Diego when they first came out with this chair. And this was quite a few years ago. And it was just one chair they had selling amongst all these other products, yard furniture and patio furniture and whatnot. And this chair was not … I just remember it being a cheap chair. Well, that chair isn’t even in existence anymore. It’s completely gone, not just discontinued, but what we call in the industry, dead. So again, we’ve got another top five chairs. And to be honest with you, I don’t believe any of it. I really don’t. I can’t say that the top chair is a bad chair. I can’t say it because I’ve never sat in it. But I can tell you, based on the features and the price point, that it’s not what we would consider a premium chair among which you would select your top five chairs. Now, here’s the thing, here’s the rub. Number one, the reports are bogus, as I just demonstrated to you.

[00:23:00]

Number two is that they say that the chair is priced at 2,899 because we can lower the price because there’s no middleman. Well, there is a middleman. The middleman is called an affiliate marketer. That’s the person who wrote the report. They wrote the report, and they chose those five chairs. But they know that they’re going to get paid by the number one chair, which is the Relaxe Chair. R-E-L-A-X-E. They’re getting paid by them. They’re getting paid a commission. It might be 20%. It might be 10%. It might be 30%. I don’t know what their commission is, but they will pay based on the affiliate selling the chair for them. So, what these affiliates do is they write reports and articles, and when you click on the link to look at the product that they’re selling, it takes you to either Amazon, if they’re an Amazon affiliate, or in this case, to this company’s website.

[00:23:57]

And the computer cookies track where that referral came from.

[00:24:02]

If it came from that article, well, then we know that that affiliate is making the money, getting a commission. Now, it could be that Relaxe is selling its chair outright directly to consumers. But usually, they have affiliates that are out there promoting their chairs and trying to sell them for them. That’s what an affiliate does. An affiliate sells someone else’s product. They sign up as an affiliate, sell their product, and tout themselves as experts. And then they end up selling this chair … Or not selling the chair, but … Well, they sell the chair, but then they get a commission based on that. So, that’s my beef. And I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you. I find the information a little deceiving and deceptive, but I just wanted to share it with you so that you knew what it was about.

[00:24:49]

Anyway, I hope you had a great day today. 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 or any of our videos with your friends and family through your social media platforms. I’m Dr. Weidner from Massage Chair Relief, and we’ll see you on the next video. Bye-bye.


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