Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – February 17, 2021”
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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 Wednesday, February 17th, 2021. Thank you for watching today. We are in the throes of a crazy winter storm across the West to some degree. We just had a pretty good storm here way out West, but out East and South, they’re having an incredible winter storm. As a matter of fact, I saw some video footage of Dallas, and I thought they were, you know, when I first, someone first showed it to me, I thought it was Utah weather with our snow. But it was Dallas, I was surprised to see it, but I understand they’ve got frozen pipes and the electricity’s out, and you know, millions of people are affected, and I’m sorry to hear that. I don’t like the cold, I’m from Canada, I know snow and I know cold, and I know I don’t really care much for it. The older I get, the warmer the climate I like, but you’d think Texas would be warmer, but it has been cold. We have family from Houston and it was -1 degree in Houston, which is mindboggling to me. But anyway, I hope you’re all safe and well, and keeping safe and well anyway, in spite of the weather.
[SCREEN TEXT: COVID & Massage Chairs Update]
Alan: If it’s not one thing, it’s the other, isn’t it, you know, we’ve got the COVID business, and we are seeing some, here in Utah anyway, we’re seeing some drops in new cases, which is very encouraging, but we still have, still, we still have real-life issues with COVID. For example, we still have delays on shipping, we still have, we’re still seeing people by appointment in our showrooms because we can’t have too many in at one time. So, there are still, COVID is still rearing its ugly head all over the place, but I think you know, it kind of feels like there’s some, there’s an end in sight, there’s at least a light at the end of the tunnel, and I’ve heard some projections where maybe things will kind of, we will reach, you know, a peak, or an immunity with vaccines, and with you know, actual cases maybe toward the end of the summer, which would be fantastic. But anyway, neither here nor there, I just wanted to mention that we are thinking about our friends in Dallas, you know, that Osaki/Titan and Luraco are in Texas, so their offices are shut down and things have pretty much ground to a halt there because of the storm that they’re having. So, my thoughts are with all of you there, and anywhere else affected adversely by this weather. Now, not a lot to go on this week, I want to just go over a couple of things. I wanted to talk about the COVID, as I just did, so just know that there are still delays and still issues that we’re dealing with trying to get chairs in to the port, and through the port of Long Beach, and of course, getting chairs delivered and shipped. There’s also been, there has also been some slowdown in terms of techs being able to go in to people’s homes to do repair work. Some people are just waiting until, you know, waiting out the pandemic, and some techs don’t want to go in to people’s homes either because of the pandemic. So, it is affecting our industry, as I know it’s affecting many, many others.
[SCREEN TEXT: Ogawa Master Drive AI on Sale for $7999]
Alan: The Ogawa Active Drive, or sorry, I’ve been mixing two chairs together, the Ogawa Master Drive AI is on sale. It’s $2000 off, it’s $7999 right now, and that’s good until the end of the month.
[SCREEN TEXT: On March 1, 2021: OHCO M.8 Price Increase to $9999; D.Core Cirrus Price Increase to $8499]
Alan: I also need to reiterate that the OHCO M.8 is going up in price to $9999 on March 1st, as is the D.Core Cirrus going up in price to $8499. So, those are drop-dead dates for changes in the pricing and the costs associated with these chairs. Also, and I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again, and say it my newsletter as well. Some of these, well, this COVID has affected shipping prices, and so we do know that Human Touch and Ogawa and JPMedics and Cozzia have increased their shipping prices because of COVID. Some are more substantial than others, but the bottom is that we are, the bottom line is that our bottom line is being affected across the board.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stay Tuned: D.Core Cirrus Massage Chair Review on our Blog]
Alan: So, anyway, I’m working on a D.Core Cirrus review. The D.Core Cirrus is a chair I really like. I like the styling, I like the feel, I like a deep-tissue massage, that chair gives it, and so I spent about an hour and a half just focusing and concentrating on that one chair, and took plenty of notes, and I’ll be putting all those notes down in to the blog in the form of an article within the next couple of days, so I just wanted to let you know that if you’re interested in that chair, or you know, if you’re curious about it, I’ll try to give as objective a review as I can when I write the article on the blog, but stay tuned for that.
[SCREEN TEXT: Customer Reviews: Tips, Suggestions & Warnings]
Alan: I thought I would also mention that one of the things that people rely on a lot in our industry are reviews, customer reviews, and I have become somewhat jaded with regard to reviews, only because I have seen some manipulation of reviews in the past with customers of ours who purchase chairs from us, but had returned other chairs, or had written a negative review about another company that had sold them a chair, and having them, and having the company try to have their voice censored. In other words, to get rid of their reviews, and some of the tactics are, that are being, that have been used are kind of strong arm a little bit, a little intimidating. One customer, in particular, I’m thinking of is a woman that somehow, they found out who she was, and they reached out to her, and you know, kind of threatened her to remove her review, and when she wouldn’t, then they offered to give her a free chair, which she didn’t want because she didn’t like the chair. But anyway, my view of reviews has become jaded because of experiences like this through the years, and so I want to just address reviews a little bit. How do you know if you can trust a review, how do you know if a review is good, or a review is bad, or if it’s real, or if it’s fabricated, or paid? And one of our customers had made mention of an app called FakeSpot, F-A-K-E-S-P-O-T, and you can download that app, and you can go on to Amazon, or Yelp, and you can, and other situations, but those are the two big ones, and you can find out what percent of the reviews are considered real, and what percent are considered paid or fake, and I don’t know how their algorithm works, but it does seem to work and I’ve seen some of the results of those scans, and they seem legitimate. But Amazon and Yelp are two places that a lot of reviews are left, and people immediately that they are all legitimate reviews. Well, we’ve found out that they’re not. Some of them are contrived, some of them are forcibly changed, some are there one day and gone the next, so I would just be very, very careful about reviews. And then of course, you’re probably wondering ‘Well, how do we know if a review is legitimate or not, how do we know where we can go for good reviews, or reviews we can trust?’ And so, I would, I’ll give you a couple of tips, like for example, we have lots of reviews on our website, and we ask people to leave reviews, for better or for worse, good or bad reviews, and good or bad reviews are left, and a lot of them are good, but how do you know that they’re real, how do you know that they’re legitimate? That app, the FakeSpot app can help with that, and then also you know, if you know the people who you’re dealing with, you know the company you’re dealing with, and you know you do know them and you trust them, you can trust that their reviews are good, but again, trust is a very, very fragile thing because what people say and what people do can be two different things. I have found that Better Business Bureau reviews are quite telling. Now, I’ve heard people say ‘Well, if you have an account with Better Business Bureau and you pay their annual fee that they will, they’ll be more forgiving of bad reviews.’ And I don’t know if that is true or not, if you’re a non-paying Better Business Bureau guy or company, that they might be a little harder on you, and grade you less, but nonetheless, people can go and leave reviews there, and it gives, and usually, the Better Business Bureau is kind of the last resort for people, like if you go to BBQ.org or BetterBusinessBureau.org, you will see, you can look up a particular company and see what their reviews are like, and most, and a lot, not all of them, most of them are negative reviews, and so then the company who’s getting the bad review has a chance to rebut that review, and give their own side of the story, or you know, acknowledge that they screwed up and make things right, or you know, come back and attack the consumer, and I’ve seen all three of those. And of course, they may be some good reviews too, but usually the Better Business Bureau is a place where people go when they’re kind of at their wit’s end and have not received any help, or limited help, or not the help they need with regard to a problem. The problem I have with the Better Business Bureau, no, I don’t have a problem with the Better Business Bureau, but the problem I have with the reviews is that you know, you could, some company, and I know one company, in particular, that has like 30 negative reviews, at least 30 negative reviews, and they rebut every one of them, and they will say ‘Well, this is what really happened,’ or ‘This is what we’ll do,’ or ‘This is,’ you know, whatever and a lot of them get resolved, which is good, but the question I have is why does it take a review on the Better Business Bureau to get your problem rectified? Why are they not taking care of you when you are calling them for help, and that is one of the, what I feel, this is my personal opinion, one of the disadvantages of a direct-to-consumer massage chair sales format is that, you have no advocate between you and the distributor. So, when you have a retailer in the middle, the retailer can advocate for you, the customer, and get involved and get things taken care of, but if the company doesn’t really want to help you, or they don’t help you to your satisfaction, or they just don’t want to deal with you, then you’re kind of left out in the cold because you have no other recourse. Well, the recourse is the Better Business Bureau, and so you’ll see reviews written, negative reviews mostly, about people’s experience with, it’s not usually, there are problems with the chairs, but often, it’s problems with the company not taking care of a problem that the chair has, and we all have times when we are slow to the, you know, slow to the starting gate to get things taken care of for a customer, I mean we, we’re all, we always seem to be lacking somewhere, and it seems very difficult to make everybody happy, even though that’s exactly what we try to do. But when you’re getting a lot of negative reviews on Better Business Bureau, and even though the company is going there and answering every last one of them, and some of them are being resolved, why did it take that drastic measure to go to that Better Business Bureau to leave a review to get your problem taken care of. Well, it’s kind of like, well, the company doesn’t want to have bad reviews on Better Business Bureau, because the Better Business Bureau is known as a more objective third-party review site, and a repository of negative reviews, I should say, and they don’t want, you know, people go to the Better Business Bureau, I have people that check my business on the Better Business Bureau all the time. As a matter of fact, I even receive notifications of how many people enquired of my store or my business on the Better Business Bureau. So, I know that people go there to find out if we’re legitimate or not, and so there’s a lot of people that go there looking for support. Well, just, that’s just something that you can ask yourself, why is this company, why does this company have so many Better Business Bureau complaints when they could’ve taken care of things with the customer when the customer called them, or when the customer needed help? So, that’s one thing, one thought about reviews. I would also add that sometimes it’s hard to find companies on Better Business Bureau, like this one company that has a very commonly known name, or a more and more commonly known name, a brand name, but their company has a different, a completely different name. So, someone could go in and type in XYZ massage chairs, and there’s nothing, there’s no place for them to find a place, there’s no place to, there’s no store called you know, XYZ massage chairs, because there’s a parent company, or an umbrella company, or whatever, that is over that, that owns that brand and nobody really knows who they are. So, sometimes it’s hard to find legitimate reviews on Better Business Bureau because you don’t know what the name of the company is, you just know what the name of the chair is, or the name of the, like the name on your receipt that you received from the company when you purchased it. And oftentimes, that is not the name of the actual company itself that is on Better Business Bureau. So, it’s a little tough to find it, find those people. But anyway, I just wanted to talk a little bit about that because reviews are a big deal, and how do you know if you can trust them? You know, I tell people that our reviews are all 100% objective. They are, these are people that leave their reviews, we ask them to leave reviews, but not all of them are great. You’ll see some reviews that don’t like the, the people don’t like the chair at all, or like if you go to our Google page, or any of our Google pages, you might see, well, I know you, not might, you will see one or two complaints, and there, and we address them. Some of them are embarrassing to me, like it’s kind of like ‘Oh, geez, you know, I got to make a change,’ and that’s the purpose of bad reviews, right? I think the purpose of bad reviews is to get companies to provide better service and care for their customers. So, if I get a review, I remember one guy left a review for my Utah store and he complained, because he went there, and there were pallets stacked out front, there was a chair, a new chair that had been delivered out front. We were not open because we’re only there by appointment, and it just kind of looked like a mess because we had pallets there from previous deliveries. We had a new chair from a new delivery, and we weren’t even open, and this fellow had written quite a scathing review, and it was humiliating to me, but he had a point. So, ever since that time, we take our pallets, as soon as a new chair comes, we take our pallets around the back and put them in a place where we can, you know, dispense of them later. I made sure that we were very, very clear, and that we’re only there by appointment only. We also, I also make sure that we get our chairs, when we have a new chair delivered, we get it either put in to the showroom, or put in to the delivery van right away. But it actually encouraged me, that review, even though it was a negative one, I think they gave me like a one out of five, and it was offensive to me, but the guy was right. It kind of looked, I mean, he had never went in the store and sat on the chairs and saw what kind of service we offered, but his first impressions were not good, and that was very humbling for me. And so, that’s what a review should do for a company, rather than piss you off, and you know, make you try to find fault in person leaving the review, it’s kind of helpful to maybe look and see what you can do to make, what procedures or policies or protocols can you change in your business, so that these kind of problems, these reviews don’t happen again. And so that is, that’s something that’s kind of important to me, as far as accountability for what we do in our business, and reviews are that thing. Reviews are that thing that kind of keeps us accountable. But anyway, I’m sorry I went off quite a bit on reviews, but reviews are a big deal. Everybody relies of them, you don’t know if you can trust them, and just because I tell you that my reviews are all legitimate, and objective, and real reviews, what if you don’t, you don’t know me from anybody, you know, I could be lying to you, you know, you may not trust me, but use something like FakeSpot, and you can use FakeSpot on my website, and you can find out how legitimate our reviews are, and FakeSpot, by the way, it grades you from an A to an F, and you know, what you want is a, what you would like, you know, someone might say ‘Well, ours is a B-, that’s not bad.’ Well, that means, if you’ve got a B-, that means not all your reviews are legitimate, which means that you’re either having people write the reviews for your company, or you’re paying people, or you’re asking your friends to do it, or something like that, and FakeSpot kind of helps spot those fake reviews, and I hope that helped. But anyway, that’s something to think about.
[SCREEN TEXT: 888-259-5380]
Alan: If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at 888-259-5380 to talk about reviews, or chairs, or anything in the industry, I’m always available to talk, and during the pandemic, I’ve been taking most of the phone calls, and so you can get a chance to talk to me if you want to, and just don’t be disappointed if I don’t know the answer to some of your questions because that has happened before too, especially with chairs that I don’t actually carry.
[SCREEN TEXT: Please “Thumbs Up” Like This Video!!]
Alan: But anyway, I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, please feel free to thumbs up ‘Like’ us on our YouTube channel, and by all means, help us spread the word about massage chairs by sharing this video, or any of our videos on our YouTube channel, with your friends and family through your various and sundry social media platforms. We appreciate you helping us spread the word. Well, 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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