Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – August 19, 2017”
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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 Saturday, August 19th, 2017. Good to visit with you again, thanks for viewing.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]
Alan: Not a lot in the stock department that I’m aware of, I think most things are in stock as of right now, and you know, we’re gearing up for the fourth quarter. So, you can imagine that for October, November, December, which is the heaviest time of the year for massage chair purchases and the massage chair industry, we’re going to see stock being stockpiled so that it’s ready for that rush. But right now, typically a slower time of the year, usually there’s plenty of good stock, and there is right now. Now, there’s some things we need to kind of cover today, some good stuff to cover.
[SCREEN TEXT: Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium Model Discontinued – Replaced By Osaki Japan Premium 4.0]
Alan: First of all, Osaki has discontinued the 4D, which is – they have three – well, we have had two Japanese chairs that we’ve been carrying from them. One is the Osaki – I get mixed up on the names because they’re long names, like the Osaki OS-4D JP Premium, and then they have the Osaki JP Premium 4S. Now, the 4D, they’ve recently discontinued, and in its place, they have the 4.0. The 4.0 has a little newer body design, more stylish like the 4S, it’s a nice chair. I haven’t sat in it, but I know from the – that it’s similar to the 4D, and the 4S is kind of like a blend of the two, but I don’t know if it’s the kind of chair that would – like the 4S, one of the beefs we had with the 4S was that it was too short. The chair was built for a smaller body, and it was a Japanese chair, and of course, in Japan, the bodies, the people are shorter, and so these chairs are made for shorter bodies. But they’ve imported it to the US, and it’s been a little bit short for a lot of the customers that came to our showroom, so we sold off our floor model, and now we – and the 4D seemed to fit the taller body a little bit better – and now they have the 4.0, and you can take a look at it on our website. But the 4.0 has, it’s a nicer looking, a more modern – I shouldn’t say nicer looking – but a more modern-looking chair. It has the design of the 4S, but has still some of the functionality of the 4D and the 4S. But anyway, just so that you know, the 4D is discontinued, the Japan Premium 4.0 is now on our website.
Alan: We have now, we now have the Positive Posture Brio and the uKnead Lohas up on our website. These are two new models, both new L-tracks. Positive Posture, if you recall, is a chair that we got from – well, it’s a chair, Positive Posture is one of the companies under the umbrella of Furniture for Life. Under that umbrella is also Inada USA, Panasonic US distributorship, Valley Air, I think, is another company they have there, and Positive Posture, which, up to now, has been pretty much just zero-gravity recliners, without any massage function.
[SCREEN TEXT: Positive Posture Brio Now in Our Showrooms!]
Alan: Well, they’ve come up with a chair called the Brio, which is an L-track with foot rollers, and it’s a 3D L-track, so you can adjust the intensity of the rollers. But this chair, we got it in both of our showrooms last week, a nice, comfortable chair, maybe a little bit more of a nuanced, a less aggressive massage chair, but a very nice chair nonetheless, and we like that chair. We’ve already sold a couple of them. It seems to have caught a little bit of the imagination of the buyers, probably because it’s $4999, and it’s a 3D L-track. So, the price point for a 3D L-track is good for it. Now, there’s also the Lohas, uKnead Lohas, which I think I put a picture of that on my Instagram account. But anyway, the uKnead Lohas, we’ve had the uKnead Lavita, which has been a very popular seller.
[SCREEN TEXT: uKnead Lohas Also in Our Showrooms!]
Alan: The Lohas is more, it’s a smaller, more compact chair, a little narrower, smaller body, and the body looks like the Novo XT. It’s kind of that ergonomic unibody design, kind of sleek looking, nice-looking chair. But that chair, we also have it in our California – I don’t know if we have it in our California showroom yet, but I know I’ve got it in my Utah showroom. I’ve sat on it a number of times, but we should be having that in our California showroom as well, but that’s a nice chair.
[SCREEN TEXT: Infinity Altera Chair Now in Our Showrooms, Too!]
Alan: And then, we also just received this last week, the Infinity Altera, it’s not a brand-new model, but it did come out earlier this year. It’s an L-track, ideally for a smaller body, up to only 6′ 2″, 5′ up to 6′ 2″, instead of 6′ 3″, 6′ 4″, 6′ 5″, which a lot of Infinity’s chairs do fit. But this is a nice chair, the Altera, we have it, it’s a firmer massage. You’ve got foot rollers, not 3D, it’s also priced at $4999. By the way, the Lohas is priced at $3995, but $4999 for the Altera, not $4999, but $4995, nice-looking chair. It’s got a good feel, I think it’s a chair you’ll really enjoy as well.
[SCREEN TEXT: Luraco Legend Due By the End of October]
Alan: So, there’s some really good options, and we still have Luraco Legend coming out, which will be priced, I think, around $6000, but maybe, is that $6499, I think maybe it’s going to be $6499, I can’t recall. But anyway, that chair will be coming out, it’s supposed to be coming out at the end of October. That’s the update that we’ve had recently, is that it’s going to come out at the end of October.
[SCREEN TEXT: My Visit to the Las Vegas Furniture Market]
Alan: Now, Ogawa has discontinued their Refresh chair, but I was at the Furniture Market a couple of weeks ago, I don’t know if you saw my video for that on my blog, or on my YouTube channel, but I visited the Furniture Market on the 2nd. And when I was there, I visited Cozzia, and I saw their Cozzia Qi, which is their $10,000 super scan-and-evaluation chair. It’s a very nice-looking chair, a very nice chair, and they also have a Cozzia Qi SE.
[SCREEN TEXT: Upgraded Refresh Model and Another New Model Coming from Ogawa]
Alan: But while I was there, I don’t know if you realize this, but Cozzia and Ogawa are basically the same company, and I was talking to John Kudra, who’s the guy who’s kind of my contact over at Cozzia, and he had mentioned that the Ogawa Refresh is going to be upgraded. So, they’re coming out with an upgraded version of it, so the current model is – they still have some ‘Cappuccino’ in stock, but they’re selling them at very low prices right now just to, I think, unload the inventory – and we don’t carry it on our website anymore. But just to let you know that that Refresh is supposed to be upgraded, and Ogawa is supposed to have another model come out, and I don’t know if it’s an L-track or what, but that should be happening as well. While I was at the Vegas Furniture Market, I also visited Inada’s showroom, and Inada has a nice showroom, and I went on the last day, the second-to-last day, so it was really quiet. I got to visit with Ian and D’Andre from Inada. There was a great visit, got to sit on the Brio there before we received it in our showrooms, and got to visit with them, and talk shop. I really enjoy talking shop with people in the industry, you know, and I’m kind of a lone wolf in my business, because I, you know, it’s pretty much me, and the people that work for me. But when I get to talk to, you know, people laterally to me in other companies, I really enjoy that. I also visited Nina at uKnead, and got to talk to her about the industry, and about business, and about this new Lohas, and they’ve got, you know, they’re working on growing their line as well. But I really enjoy talking about the massage chair industry, it’s a lot of fun, and there seems to be a lot of things happening in it. OK, and man, was it hot in Vegas when I was there, holy cow, and I’m in Salt Lake, which is pretty hot, but that Vegas was hot, and a little humid, and it was toasty, to say the least.
[SCREEN TEXT: The Width of the Novo XT is 33″ at its Widest Point – Not 31″]
Alan: OK, I got an interesting comment from a customer of mine that bought the Novo XT, and we’ve been selling a lot of the Novo XT, which again, as I’ve mentioned many times never ceases to amaze me because of the price point, I wasn’t sure this chair would sell, but boy, oh boy, it’s really, people like it. They like the design, they like the feel. It’s a 3D L-track, it’s designed and engineered, for the most part, in the United States by Human Touch, really a nice chair. Anyway, their literature says that it’s 31″ wide. Well, I got a customer – and that’s the literature we got from Human Touch – so a customer called me and said ‘You know, it says 31″ wide, but my door is 32″ wide, and it wouldn’t fit through my door,’ and I thought that was interesting. So, I went to the showroom, and I measured it, and sure enough, at the top of the chair, it’s 31″, but the chairs comes down and bows out a little bit on the armrests, which is what my customer was telling me. And sure enough, it’s about 33″ at its widest point. So, I went in to our website, and our comparison chart, and all those things and changed it to 33″. So, when you see 31″ in the literature, know that it’s actually 33″ at its widest point, at the bow on the armrests, and that may be beneficial information for those of you that are trying to get it through a door. You know, a door that’s 31″ or 32″.
[SCREEN TEXT: Changes to Packaging and Assembly of Cozzia Qi]
Alan: Oh, speaking of which, when I was at the Furniture Market and talked to Cozzia, or John Kudra at Cozzia, one of the things that was a problem with the Cozzia in the past, is that it’s 36″ wide, and it comes in one piece. So, if you have a house that has doors that are less than 36″ – and there are some houses that are 31″ and 30″ – that chair will not fit in your home, and that was a concern for Cozzia. So, now, I guess in the next 60 to 90 days, they’re coming out with kind of an assembled version of the Cozzia Qi, so you can, it’ll come in three boxes, from what I understand, it’ll fit though, you know, it’ll be like any other typical modern-day chair, which is typically wider than the usual door, and so you’ll be able to move that chair in to any home, for the most part, like most other chairs. So, that was a beef that people had with that chair, is that you couldn’t get it in your home, but now they fixed that.
[SCREEN TEXT: Johnson Wellness Chairs Coming Back!]
Alan: OK, oh, Johnson Wellness, I don’t know how many of you remember Johnson Wellness, but Johnson Wellness was a line of chairs that we carried for a brief period of time online, and I had the J6800 in my showroom in Utah, and then they stopped all online sales of their chair, and they eventually shut off all direct sales. And what they did was they outsourced their distribution of their chairs to Osaki, Human Touch, and I can’t remember what other company, but they went to three different companies to sell the various models of their chairs, and the Navitas was a chair that was made in conjunction with Johnson Wellness by Human Touch. I really liked that chair, I’m disappointed that it was discontinued, but I really liked that chair. Anyway, and Osaki had a couple of models, I think one or two models, I think they had the Regent, something like that, which was actually a Johnson Wellness chair. Well, Johnson Wellness has now cut off those relationships with those companies as far as distributorship goes, and they’re going back to direct selling their own chairs. So, I’ve been getting some emails from Nick over at Johnson Wellness to let me know that we can start carrying their chairs online again. So, we’ll probably add those back to the website in due course. There’s the 6800 and the 5800, I can’t remember what the other one was, but they had three models, and I understand they’re bringing out some new models. So, Johnson Wellness, in the past, were chairs that were made and manufactured in Taiwan, and the design and engineering was done by ex-Inada, ex-Panasonic, ex-Fujiiryoki engineers, so it’s a very Japanese-like feel of a chair, but manufactured in Taiwan, so there’s no Chinese manufacturing associated with it. So, anyway, I don’t know exactly what they’ve got coming out, and I’ll need to get those other chairs back on, but just to let you know that Johnson Wellness is back in the game as their own distributorship, and we’ll probably be posting those chairs to our site fairly soon.
[SCREEN TEXT: “My Chair Finder” Software]
Alan: And finally, oh, we’re working on the redesign of our site, and I told you a couple of editions ago, issues ago, of this broadcast that we have a new software called ‘Chair Finder,’ ‘My Chair Finder,’ and we’re going to be integrating that with the new website design, and it’s going to be a very simple homepage, with the easy navigation, at least that’s what the intent is. But in that, we will also be integrating the ‘My Chair Finder’ software, and we’re quite excited about that, because it’ll be the easiest software that’s out there for kind of narrowing down which chair is right for you. Because what if you come in to the market, and you have no idea what chair you want, you don’t even really know what you want. Well, this software, which I had a fellow design for us will be able to break down the chair by feature, by manufacturer, and by price. And so, you can select the features that you think you want, the brands you think you want, and the price points that you want, and bang, you can find out what chair options are there for those, you know, criteria. So, it’s pretty cool, I’m very excited about it. It’s kind of a first for the industry, as most of the stuff we do is, and I’m quite excited about that. So, anyway, we’ll let you know. Hopefully, within the next couple weeks, we’ll have that website up and running. There’s been some things that have kind of hindered us from getting the new redesign done, but we’re working on it.
[SCREEN TEXT: “Top 10 Massage Chairs.” Really??]
Alan: And finally, I had a few of these calls before, but I got one just this last week, and it kind of got me thinking, and I thought maybe I should clarify this, or at least put in my two bits worth. But I’ve had, there’s a website, or there’s a link online, and it says ‘The Top,’ what is it, ‘The Top 10 Massage Chairs’ and I had a customer call me and say ‘How come you don’t carry half of these chairs?’ And as you know, I have some feelings about no-name brand chairs. I don’t really care much for them, as far as carrying them, because of customer support, deceptive warranties, I don’t know, I just have some beefs with no-name chairs. If your budget’s like $1000, you know, maybe a no-name chair is OK, even though there’s still like brand-name chairs available, like the Human Touch iJoy, or some of the online Cozzia offerings. But really, if you want a chair with all the bells and whistles, and totally loaded, and you want to pay $1000, well then, you want to buy a no-name brand on Amazon or eBay, and but just buyer beware, man, because if something goes wrong with that chair, good luck returning it, good luck getting help, good luck getting the warranty, whatever that warranty is, getting it honored. Because sometimes there’s fine print that people don’t read, and you realize that you got to ship the chair back to them for $500, and they got to ship it back to you for $500. Next thing you know, you’re in to this chair for over $2000, and anyway, I don’t know every no-name brand out there, so I can’t speak for all of them, but my experience from customers’ feedback is this is a real issue. So, this report ’10 Top Massage Chairs,’ I looked at it, and it kind of made me giggle, because I think five – OK, I think, I can’t remember exactly – but five of the chairs, I think, were no-name brand chairs. Chairs that we don’t carry, and we wouldn’t carry. I think a couple of the other ones were chairs that are like so old. I think one of them was like the Panasonic 30007, which is like, they just discontinued it, but that chair was like 10 years old, and they were talking about the best massage chairs on the market. Well, interestingly enough, there were some chairs on there that when you pressed on it, any of the links that you pressed on, went to, I think it was an Amazon affiliate webpage. So, it was somebody selling chairs as an affiliate for Amazon. Well, maybe those chairs are good, maybe that report’s a good report, but my feeling is they are not the top 10 chairs in the industry. The top 10 chairs probably include the Inada DreamWave, the Luraco iRobotics 7, maybe the Cozzia Qi, you know, maybe the Infinity IT-8500, you know, maybe the Panasonic MA73, you know, chairs, it kind of, it made me laugh. But what bothered me about it, and the reason I’m talking about it is because people tend to believe what they read on the Internet, you know, and we all have heard about fake news nowadays, so what is real, and what is fake? Well, I can’t say that’s fake news, but I do think it’s misleading, and they are massage chairs, and there are vendors that sell them on Amazon, or whatnot, but they are not the top 10 chairs. Unless you’re basing your top 10 chairs on the top 10 no-name brands that have the worst warranties, and have very poor customer support, maybe that’s the top 10 chairs, I don’t know. But I can’t really say that, because I know one of those chairs on there, even though it’s considered a no-name brand, I understand they have some decent support. But anyway, I just wanted to talk about that, so don’t be misled by everything you read on the Internet, hello. As a matter of fact, I saw a quote once from a friend of mine, and it was on the Internet, it said, quote, unquote, ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet,’ and the name of the person that quoted that was Abraham Lincoln, and so, yeah, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. It’s not always true, and it can be misleading, and it may lead you to buying a chair that it may be just a piece of garbage, or something that’ll just give you months, and months, or months, if not years of heartache, trying to get it fixed, or get a refund, or whatever, so buyer beware. If you really want to know what the top massage chairs in the industry are, well, I don’t know, I would say call me, but then I might have some biases too, and who knows. But I would certainly tell you what I thought were the best massage chairs, based on you know, longevity, and failure rates, and customer support, which as you know, I’m a big proponent of. And customer support’s a huge thing, and when I let down my customers with customer support, it eats at me for days, if there’s an issue of a customer who’s not happy with something. Like we just had a customer that came to our showroom in California, and this was just about a week and a half ago, and the guy that was working that night had shut the office down so he could go to some get together, and you know, he didn’t have any more appointments that afternoon, or that evening, and he shut it down a little bit early. And holy cow, a customer came right when he was leaving, and that customer was not happy, and rightfully so, he left a review that kind of criticized us, and you know what? That eats at me, bad, like I don’t like to hear that. I don’t like it when people are upset with us, and with me, and with anything that we do, so we try to do what we can to make things right. And I think, you know, I want to lead you to a chair that’s the right chair for you, not the chair that makes us the most profit, or that my salespeople would make the most commission on, or anything like that, there’s nothing like that. We want you to get in the chair that you enjoy the most, and that you feel the most comfortable in, and that you can afford. And I only carry chairs that I feel comfortable carrying because I know that they’re brand names, and they’ve got good customer support, and we can have influence in the way that they take care of our customers. That’s another thing to consider. When you buy, sometimes you buy these no-name chairs, the no-name brand chairs, the only person that you can contact about support is the person that sold you the chair, and if they don’t answer their phone, and they don’t have a dealer network to worry about taking care of, they may never call you back. They couldn’t care less, you leave a message, and you may never hear from them. And but, if you’ve got a dealer that you bought the chair from, then that dealer is selling the chairs of the manufacturer, or that importer, that guy wants to make sure that I, as a dealer, am happy, and how does he make me happy? By taking care of my customers, because my customers get upset, they call me, if they can’t get through. And I want to be able to get through, and get my customers taken care of, and we’ve had very good success at that. But when you have a one-man show, a one-man distributorship, and you cannot get through, that’s extremely frustrating, and it’s frustrating for me to hear that stuff, too. So, we want to make sure that our customers are taken care of.
[SCREEN TEXT: 888-259-5380]
Alan: So, anyway, you know what, I think that’s just about it for this week. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 888-259-5380. And of course, you can call me, you can email me, you can go on our website and communicate with us through our chat, or through our ‘Contact Us’ page. You can communicate with us on my YouTube channel, or our Facebook page, I mean, there’s so many ways to get a hold of me, and I will get back to you. Sometimes it might take me a day or two, if I’m on the road, or if I’m inundated with other stuff, because I like to sit down and answer emails. I don’t like to just say ‘Yes, that’s fine,’ or ‘That’s a nice chair, yes.’ I like to go in to some explanation when people ask me questions. I get a lot of emails about that, a lot of emails from people asking about ‘What about this chair compared to that chair,’ and ‘What about this,’ and ‘What about that?’ and so I like to answer those. Or ‘What do you recommend for someone that has this issue?’ and I really enjoy that, but sometimes it takes me a day, or two days to get back to you, but I do get back to you.
[SCREEN TEXT: Please “Thumbs Up” Like This Video!!]
Alan: Anyway, if you have any questions, like I say, give me a call. If you enjoyed this video, feel free to share it with your friends and family on your you know, YouTube, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, whatever, we just appreciate you helping us spread the word about massage chairs. And of course, give us a big thumbs up, thumbs up if you appreciate this video. But I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ and I will see you again in two weeks, or yeah, two weeks. Bye bye.
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