Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – April 26, 2018”
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Alan: Hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com’ and today is our biweekly massage chair industry update for Thursday, April 26th, 2018, and I hope you’re having a great week and a great day.
[SCREEN TEXT: Great Chair Deals on our Pre-Owned Directory]
Alan: We’ve got new chairs up on our pre-owned directory, and by the way, if you’re looking to save some money, and you don’t want to spend the retail price for a lot of the chairs that are out there, go to my pre-owned directory. We put all of our returned chairs there, our floor models there, and they’re usually significantly discounted, anywhere from $1000 to $3000 off, depending on the price of the chair, and how old it is, and whatnot. Like for example, we have a Novo XT, which is an $8000 chair, on sale for $5999, a brown one, it’s not even three months old. I’ve got a black MA70 Panasonic chair, they’re usually $6999, and we have it on sale for $3999. We have a ZeroG 5.0 for $1000 off, from Human Touch, $1999. I’ve got the Ogawa Smart 3D, which is Ogawa’s top-of-the-line chair, a very nice chair, that’s the one that has the Samsung tablet that comes along with it, and it’s a wireless connection to the chair, to manage the programming and the functionality of the chair. That chair, regularly $5499, we have on sale for $3499. We have the uKnead Lavita, that’s a floor model, it’s regularly $3695, we have it on sale for $2495. And we have an Infinity Presidential, it has a scuff on the top of the – at the top back of the part that goes around the head, the dome – and that chair, that chair retails for $8495, we have it on sale for $6295. So, I just wanted to let you know about our pre-owned directory, because there are great deals there if you’re looking for good pricing, and most, you know, most people do want to get a good deal when they buy a chair. Check that out.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Osaki Pro Alpina Massage Chair]
Alan: We have a couple – well, we have one new – we have one new brand up on the website. It’s called the Osaki Alpina, and it’s like the Maxim, but with a few upgraded features, like it has a nicer upholstery, and a nicer stitch to the upholstery. It has some finger sensors on, I think on the left hand, that is some kind of technology they’ve integrated to help detect pain points in the body, and this technology’s getting so sophisticated nowadays, I don’t know how they do it, but that’s what it does. Anyway, that’s a nice-looking chair, and that Maxim and the Alpina are good chairs for the money. As a matter of fact, the Maxim, if you’re looking for a chair under $3000, an L-track chair, a nice chair, a good chair, but with all the features you could want, except for 3D rollers, boy, take a look at that Maxim. That’s a good chair, and I know you can get that, I think, $2895. The Alpina’s an upgrade from that, so you’re going to pay a little bit more, but in the $3000 price point, that’s a nice chair. Also, the uKnead Lavita is a great chair in that price point, in the $3000 price. point. Anyway, those are some nice chairs to take a look at, but that Alpina’s a new one you can take a look at on the website.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Models Coming Out, Including Japanese-Made Chair with Foot Rollers!]
Alan: I haven’t heard any more about – two weeks ago, I mentioned that there are some new models coming out – one of them is a Japanese model, it’s a Japanese-made chair with foot rollers. You know, Panasonic just came out with their MAJ7, which is like the MA73, which we have, but with a few new programs, and foot rollers, and the Panasonic’s a Japanese designed and engineered chair. So, that is the first time we’ve seen foot rollers in Japanese designed and engineered, or built chair. But this chair is a chair that’s built in Japan, and it has foot rollers, so that’s kind of cool.
[SCREEN TEXT: The First Massage Chair!]
Alan: Now, if the Japanese chairs could come out with zero gravity and an L-track, that would be even cooler, because you know, the Japanese were the ones who originally invented massage chairs. It was a sewing-machine-parts salesman, I think, in 1959, or something like that. He, his daughter was – the history is that his daughter had terrible headaches – and so, he wanted to help her, so he converted a regular dining-room chair in to a massage chair, and it had these rollers that went up and down her back, and she felt better, and so that was the humble beginning of the massage chair industry. And of course, in Japan, that was picked up by companies like Inada, and Fujiiryoki, and I’m sure Panasonic, and that has become, that has become, as you know, massage chairs have become a regular staple of health care, especially home health care in the world. In America, and Canada, you know, it’s picking up, but boy, it’s nothing like in Asia. In Asia, they say, and in Japan, one quarter of the homes have, or households have a massage chair, that’s significant. But anyway, it all started from a Japanese sewing-machine-parts salesman that got some parts from sewing machines, and put it together, and made a massage chair for his daughter. I think I saw a picture of it once, and it was really rudimentary. It’s just this wooden chair, straight back, straight seat, and a hole cut out in the middle, and these rollers going up and down the back. I’m sure, when I think about some people sitting on the chairs in my showroom, which are these newfangled chairs that are made to be as comfortable as possible, and people still, for some people, it’s still too intense, I can just imagine how his daughter felt when he said ‘Well, sit down on this one, honey, see how this one feels,’ and she probably felt like jumping from the chair. But obviously, it did some good because it’s created this entire industry.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Titan Jupiter XL Chair]
Alan: Also, we have the Jupiter XL, which is Titan’s new offering. It’s a chair that is built for, to handle bigger bodies, it can still handle smaller bodies, but it can handle people up to 6′ 6″, and it has 3D rollers, but it does not have, you cannot adjust the 3D intensity manually. It changes based on the program you’re using. So, if you’re using a program that’s, you know, that’s a more intense program, the chair has been programmed with the rollers more forward. On a lighter program, like something, you know, maybe more peaceful and restful, like trying to go to sleep at night, that program is built with, or is created with the rollers retracted a bit. So, you can’t adjust the 3D, but it is considered a 3D chair because the depth of the rollers can be affected. Anyway, that chair is usually $3995, it’s on sale for $3595 for the next couple of weeks. That’s a good chair, we’ve sold quite a few of them, people seem to like it. It also has airbags that inflate around your head, and kind of compress your temple. For some people, they love it, for some, it feels a bit odd, so you don’t even have to deploy it if you don’t want, but it is, it is an interesting chair. And the manual settings, rather than having spot massages, it’s purely a regional, or you know, local massage, instead of a spot massage, in the manual settings. But other than that, those are the things that kind of make that chair unique, but it’s a nice chair. We have it in both of our showrooms, it’s a nice, good chair, good chair for the money. For a $4000 chair, a $3500 chair, very nice chair from Titan.
[SCREEN TEXT: Fake Chair Reviews??]
Alan: OK, I got another text from another customer, I told you about this sometime ago, a couple, few months ago, we had a customer that was ready to buy a chair from what we would consider more of a no-name brand massage chair company, and this company had phenomenal reviews online, and Yelp, and Amazon, and it’s like I went and reviewed the reviews, and there is not one negative thing said about these chairs, and for this customer, that was a real red flag for her, because one customer, or one person had said in one of the reviews, ‘I wish there were some negative reviews about these chair, so we could understand, you know, really what the chairs are like.’
[SCREEN TEXT: FakeSpot App]
Alan: Anyway, this discovery led this customer to research the reviews, and research the chairs, and she found an app called ‘FakeSpot,’ and she told us about it, but you could plug in, in Amazon and Yelp, you could plug in company names, and they will tell you the quality of their reviews. And now the reason this is kind of an interesting thing to me, and important to me is because I sell what are considered, widely considered some of the best massage chairs in the world, like the Inada DreamWave, like the Luraco iRobotics 7, like now, like the Human Touch Novo XT, or the Infinity Presidential, or the Osaki Ekon, or whatever, or Fujiiryoki chairs. These are some of the best-made chairs in the world, and even though they’re considered, widely considered the best massage chairs in the world, there are still people that don’t like certain features, right? So, and model X, a lot of people love the chair, it’s a well-made chair, but it doesn’t have butt rollers, or it doesn’t have, you know, 3D, or the arms aren’t tight enough, or the foot rollers hurt too much. There’s always something about a chair that not everybody agrees with. Well, this one company that led this woman to look in to these chairs, in to that company and their chairs, there was not one negative thing said about the chairs, everything was perfect for everyone, and that, in and of itself, is a red flag, and so anyway, there are these red flags that we encounter. But this other customer, he’s actually from Canada, he sent me, he told me about this ‘FakeSpot’ app, and I’d already heard about it, of course, and he said ‘you’ve got to tell your people in your Massage Chair Industry Update about this app, because it’ll help them, as he calls it, sift through the smoke and mirrors of what’s out there on the Internet.’ And there’s some companies that have lots of different Internet properties, and they promote their chairs, and it looks like their being sold everywhere, when it’s really just sold by one person, or one company. And so, he was telling me about ‘FakeSpot,’ so in deference to his text to me, I’m going to tell you about this ‘FakeSpot’ app. And anyway, it found, on this one company that the other lady had found, months ago, that 97% of their reviews were either paid or fake, or as he puts it, dubious. And so, again, I tell you about an app called ‘FakeSpot,’ you can use that on Yelp, and on Amazon, to figure out if some of these companies are legit or not, because there are some no-name brand companies on there that sell these chairs that I’m not very familiar with, I just heard the names, because people call us about them, and they’re sold on Amazon, or eBay, or advertised on Yelp, and people have heard about them, but they’re not sure about them. And so, it’s important, I think, I think it’s important to know that, and so try, check out the ‘FakeSpot’ app. You can even check out my company on it, if you want. But anyway, it’s an interesting market out there, it’s, I called it once a few months ago, or a couple months ago, it’s like the Wild West. Anything goes, people are coming up with massage chairs, popping up everywhere, from China, particularly, and people are, it’s confusing, and people are coming out with reports, about the Top 10 massage chairs, and you heard about my rant about that a couple of weeks ago. These are all, it’s not a really heavily regulated industry at this point, and so people can pretty much say whatever they want, or advertise whatever they want, promote whatever they want, and it’s left to you, the consumer, to figure out what’s crap and what’s legit, and so that’s kind of – and I’m not saying that I’m the perfect resource for that, because I sell a certain number of chairs that I – you know, that I consider name-brand chairs, and I represent their companies, and I feel comfortable representing them, and I do it for certain reasons. But and not all of them make me happy at times, as I’m sure I don’t make them happy at times, but there are, the industry is kind of, it’s kind of growing with the number of chairs out there, and the number of suppliers, and the number of retailers. It’s really become an extremely competitive market, and so what are people doing to stand out from the crowd? Well, they’ll say things that maybe are a bit marginal in truth, marginal in ethic, and so it gets, it’s just a little crazy out there, so I understand that it’s, any resource we have to help you figure out what’s legit and what’s not legit is good. And so anyway, check out that app ‘FakeSpot,’ and I’d like to thank that fellow up in Canada, who told me, who reiterated to me about it, and hopefully that will help you in your search for massage chairs.
[SCREEN TEXT: Retail Sales Networks vs. Direct Business to Consumer Sales]
Alan: For one last bit of advice, or one, not advice, but one word of caution, there are, OK, so I sell chairs that are sold through retail networks, right? So, you could find the chairs I sell through other stores, maybe even Costco, or Relax the Back, or Bob’s Furniture Market, or other online retailers. You could find these chairs through a number of different retail outlets, and you know what, that is actually, I think it’s an advantage to buy a chair from a retailer. If you buy from a retailer, and something goes wrong with your chair – anyway, I’m going to say if you buy it from a good retailer – and something goes wrong with your chair, and you call the company, you know, whether it’s Osaki, or Infinity, or Inada, or uKnead, or Human Touch, and you tell them you’ve got a problem with your chair, they will, well, first of all, most of them have good, decent customer, decent to good customer support departments, and they have people that’re there to handle the warranty issues. So, let’s say I file a, as a customer, I file a – or open a ticket with a massage chair company because something’s not working on my chair, and let’s say – and this does happen from time to time with all companies, it’s not just one or two companies, all companies sometimes drop the ball with a ticket, and so the customer is told that ‘Yeah, we’ll get back to you in a couple days,’ and they don’t get back to them. Or ‘We’ll send you out the part,’ and the part doesn’t get to them, or ‘We’re going to get a tech out to you,’ and two weeks later, no tech’s called, this is, this happens. Things fall through the cracks, things, things aren’t always perfect. Well, they call back, maybe I, as the customer, call, or I shouldn’t use me, but like a customer then calls back and says ‘Hey, I haven’t received anything,’ ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, we’ll get on that,’ and then it’s still not taken care of, or again, or the wrong part is shipped, or they just feel like they’re getting the run around. Now, it’s not always, or not ever really intentional by the massage chair company, but sometimes it happens because things fall through the cracks, whatever. Well, if you contact the retailer, so let’s say I’m the retailer that sold you the chair, you contact me and say ‘Hey, Dr. Weidner, or Al, or whatever, I’ve contacted such-and-such a company, and I’ve contacted them like four times, and they’re not getting back to me, and I leave a voicemail, and they don’t respond,’ or whatever, I can get in the loop, and contact that company, and they will, 9 times out of 10, they’ll answer my calls, or respond to my emails right away. And then I’ll tell them ‘Hey, my customer is very unhappy, and they haven’t received a part, or they’re waiting for a tech,’ and then that company will always follow up for me. They’ll either send out the part, they’ll contact the customer and apologize, they’ll contact a tech and get it done. I like that, because I like that there’s accountability from a couple of different levels. It’s not just the customer calling the massage chair company, it’s the massage chair company dealing with the customer and the retailer, and if the massage chair company wants to not do a good job with the retailer, well then, the retailer is not going to try to sell their chairs, because they don’t want to have their customers have to deal with crap all the time, if there’s a problem with the chair. So, you see buying from a retailer, it serves you, because if you’re not getting heard through the company that you buy the chair from, that you need a warranty support ticket opened on, you can contact us, we contact the company, and now there’s additional pressure, and they will respond, OK? So, I’m saying this because retailers sometimes will just say ‘Oh, I’m sorry, you’ve got to contact so-and-so at such-and-such a company, and they will take care of you.’ ‘Yeah, but they’re not answering my calls.’ ‘Well, just try calling again.’ They don’t really support you maybe, but it’s good to have a retailer that can maybe get involved, and take care of you that way. The second reason I say this is because some of these no-name brand companies that concern me, and I’m not speaking about the quality of their chairs, I don’t know what their chairs are like, their chairs might be great, but if you buy direct from a company that only sells directly to the consumer, like we talked about earlier in this broadcast, and you have a problem with a chair, and they – and I know one company that tracks your ID, your caller ID – and so if you call before you buy the chair, they will answer your calls, and they answer you, and take care of you, and do good for you, do good by you, they’ll take good care of you until they sell the chair. Well, if the chair is sold, and now you call back as a customer, this one company that I’ve heard of, flags your number, so that when it calls back, they know that you’re already a current customer, and they will not answer the call, or they will be very slow to answer the call, or they’ll answer your call, and then they’ll say ‘Yes, we’ll take care of it, then they don’t take care of it, and then they don’t answer your call after that. Or they’re very slow to respond, or they just don’t do what they say they’re going to do, what is your recourse? Well, of course, you could write a review, you could call the Better Business Bureau, but it’s basically your word against theirs, and if you have no other recourse, and you don’t have a retailer that you bought it from, that can come in through the side door, and say ‘Hey, listen, take care of my customer, they’re not happy,’ and they do it, because they want to make us happy and they want us to sell their chairs. Well, sometimes when you buy from a no-name brand company that only sells through their own channels, and you have to deal with them on every problem, and you have no retail support, well, that can be a problem, and I tell you this because I’ve been in this business for 14 years, and I have seen this happen time and time again. So, I’m not saying what companies, I’m not saying that any chairs are crappy, I’m just saying that chairs, whether it’s the top-of-the-world chair, the best in the world, or the cheapest Chinese chair there is, every company has chair problems, but if they don’t take care of the customer base, then you’ve got problems. So, that is my word to wise for today. I hope I didn’t go off too much on a soapbox, but I feel like now on every one of these videos, I need to kind of say something to help protect the buyers, and say something that will help make decisions about which companies, and which chairs, and whatever, to go with, so you’re not getting, you know, messed up in the long run, because buying the chair is the easy part. I know that sounds crazy because you’ve probably spent a year researching chairs, and trying to find chairs to try out, and comparing chairs, it’s not necessarily easy to pick the right chair, but it gets, but after-sale support is the hard part. You have to make sure that you are supported after the sale, or else you will be stuck with a chair that doesn’t work, and nobody’s helping you, and that is a terrible, terrible thing, and so anyway, just, you know, buyer beware, again, as always, buyer beware.
[SCREEN TEXT: 888-259-5380]
Alan: If you have any questions, you can feel free to call me at 888-259-5380, I’ll help you in any way I can. If I don’t know about a company or their chairs, I will tell you. If I do know something, I will tell it to you, but I’ll do it gently, if it’s bad, and I’ll tell you if it’s good. But we try to carry name-brand chairs so that most of these issues are resolved, you know, the way that we feel that they need to be resolved, and by companies that will resolve that. So, anyway, if you have any questions, feel free to call me, again, of course. Reach out through our chat software on our website, or any of our social media properties, whether it’s Facebook, or LinkedIn, or Google Plus, or Twitter, or Instagram, we can be reached, or via email, you can reach us through our ‘Contact Us’ page on our website. You can reach any way, any time. There’s always going to be someone that you can talk to, or someone that’ll call you back.
[SCREEN TEXT: Please “Thumbs Up” Like This Video!!]
Alan: But if you found this video helpful, please feel free to thumbs up ‘Like’ us on this YouTube channel, and of course, share this video with your friends and family on and through your social media platforms to help us spread the word about massage chairs. I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ and I will see you again in two weeks. Bye bye.
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