Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – February 7, 2019”
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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, February 7th, 2019. We’ve got lots of stuff to cover today. I’ll try to keep it short, and you guys, of course, you know that’s a stretch for me.
[SCREEN TEXT: Las Vegas Furniture Market]
Alan: But anyway, first of all, I thought I want to talk a little bit about the Furniture Market. I went to Las Vegas last week, and spent a couple of days at the Furniture Market, which is the, like one of the largest furniture markets, I believe it’s the second largest furniture market in the country, and I go there usually every year to visit my suppliers, and see if there’s any new models that didn’t show up at CES, and I did visit with Infinity. They had the new Overture there, and the Overture is like a step up from the Presidential, but it has calf rollers, calf kneading. It has an air ionizer feature that kind of blows air on to you, that gets more oxygen on to you. It has a voice recognition software, which will take commands when you speak to the chair. You know, there was a chair back when I first started in the industry called the Inada Robo D5, I think it was called, and that chair had a microphone that came out, and you talked in to it, and the chair would accept certain commands. It was pretty cool back then, but then it was discontinued, and we haven’t seen anything like that since. Until now, and I’ll mention this in a little bit, but Human Touch has a new model called the Super Novo, which has an Alexa voice recognition command feature as well. So, it looks like it’s a feature that’s coming back.
[SCREEN TEXT: Check Out My Footage of the Furniture Market on our YouTube Channel]
Alan: Anyway, so at the Furniture Market, I visited Infinity, and saw the new Overture, got to visit – and by the way, when I go here, I get to visit friends of mine – like these are people that I’ve gotten to know in the industry, from each of these companies, and it’s really quite an enjoyable experience for me to get to meet, see old friends, like Michael Malone, and Jim Coppins, and John and Nina at uKnead, and Rachel over at Osaki. It was actually quite enjoyable, I always do enjoy it, and I like talking to people about the industry to find out what’s cooking, and what’s going on. Anyway, I visited with Infinity, and I visited with Synca Wellness, I visited with Osaki, I visited with, Osaki, Infinity, DreamWave, I went and spent more time on the DreamWave, and the video of these visits are on my YouTube channel.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Infinity Overture Model]
Alan: However, the one of Infinity, somehow the video got deleted, I have no idea how. It was probably me, the tech-savvy idiot, but I will say that we’re working on flying out to Boston, and to New Hampshire to see the chair, and spend some time at their new headquarters, which they’ve been in for over a year, and I’ve just been lazy to get out there. But I will do another video on the new Overture and their new facility in March. The chair was supposed to be coming to market at the Furniture Market, that was kind of supposed to be the launch off, you know, the launch for it, but they had some problems with the ottoman, so they’re going to re, they’re going to fix some chairs, fix some ottomans before they, as they say, the chairs hit the water, and then they’ll be shipping out here, and they should be here by the end of March. So, anyway, but I went to Furniture Market, and had a wonderful time. I was able to sit on the Overture, I was able to sit on Osaki’s new chair called the First Class, I was able to sit on the DreamWave, and I was able to sit on the Synca JP1100, which is a Japanese-made chair with foot rollers, a true Japanese-made chair with foot rollers, and their Synca Kagra.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Super Novo Massage Chair from Human Touch]
Alan: I got to visit with Cathy Lu from Human Touch, and she told me about the new chair called the Super Novo, which is, and I can’t, and I guess I’ll chitchat a little bit about that now. It’s an upgrade from the Novo XT2, and the upgrades are the voice recognition that I mentioned, it has heat in the feet and calves, it has 39 programs, instead of 34, and it has 4D massage.
[SCREEN TEXT: What Does 4D Mean?]
Alan: They have 3D in the XT2, 4D – and I’ve mentioned this to you before, I think the term 4D is very misleading because it suggests a fourth dimension, which we don’t have here, at least to the layperson, there’s three dimensions, you know, X, Y, and Z – anyway, the fourth dimension is speed. So, most chairs, you can alter speed in any program, but these chairs that claim they’re 4D, they integrate speed changes, or rhythm changes, of the rollers in the programs. So, that’s what 4D means, so they’ve added, they’ve enhanced the 3D programs a little bit by having a change in speed and rhythm, I assume. That chair is not coming out until March, so I won’t know for sure until then. But anyway, so that was the Furniture Market, so you can check the videos out on my YouTube channel.
[SCREEN TEXT: 1,000,000 Views on our YouTube Channel!]
Alan: OK, moving on, oh, oh well, I’ll talk about that in just a moment, we just hit our one-millionth view on our YouTube channel, and I couldn’t be more excited. A couple of weeks ago, we hit, or a month or so ago, we hit $50,000 in donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and by the way, you can see, if you go to the Make-A-Wish website, and you look up my name, you’ll see that our site is a legitimate site, and the money that we donate goes, and is kept track of there, on their site. So, you can see that our donations, and our fundraising, if you will, is legitimate, and it’s ongoing, and it occurs with every chair we sell. But anyway, so and now we’ve hit a million YouTube viewers, and I’m very proud of that as well. Of course, some people hit a million views with one video in about 10 minutes, it’s only taken me 9 years, and about 600 views to get to a million, so anyway, I don’t know what I’m bragging about. But anyway, I was kind of proud when I saw it hit one million, one million views, for what it’s worth. And speaking of YouTube videos, have you guys seen this new Geico commercial with a family sitting in massage chairs around a table, and they’re trying to eat the food, and the food’s going everywhere? I thought it was hilarious, and I put it on my Facebook page so you can see it, or you just go to YouTube and type in ‘Geico massage chairs.’ But it’s a hilarious video about a family sitting around a table, eating dinner, and they’re talking about how much they like the new massage chairs, but they’re spilling food all over their clothes, and all over their faces because the massage is so violent, and I just want to say that that is a spoof. The massage chairs do not move like that, like and I think the chairs are actually moving on the floor, if I’m not mistaken, but that’s not how it is. Massage chairs, they do a lot of tapping, and knocking, and vibrating, but they don’t move like that, and you can eat just fine sitting on your massage chair. I would be more concerned about food falling off on to your lap and down in to the seat, beside, you know, on either side of the seat, or whatever. But anyway, that’s a funny video, you might want to take a look at it.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Luraco Legend Plus Model]
Alan: Anyway, OK, so, Luraco has announced that, they announced their new Luraco Legend Plus. Now, the Luraco Legend was the first non-Chinese L-track that we saw on the market, and that came out about a year ago now. Well, they’ve come, they’ve upgraded now to the Legend Plus, just like they did with the iRobotics 7. Last July, they upgraded the iRobotics 7 to the iRobotics 7 Plus, and now they’ve upgraded the Legend to the Legend Plus, and they’ve added a few things to it, and I’ll mention those to you. It has now Bluetooth technology and speakers, like the iRobotics 7 Plus does, it didn’t have that before. They say they’ve increased, it can handle someone that’s 6′ 5″ now, instead of 6′ 2″, and a little bit heavier body as well, but on their specs, it says that it’s still a 58-inch track. So, I don’t know, it was 58 before, or 58 inches now, but they’ve got three centimeters more on the length of the track up here, so it goes higher up the neck. I suspect maybe they just moved that whole track up three centimeters, so it gets up to the top of the neck a little bit better, but we haven’t got it in our showroom yet. We’re still selling our floor models, and by the way, you can get – what are we selling them for – for $4490, something like that, we have both of our floor models, and we’d like to get rid of those by the end of the month, so we can get the new Plus in, but those are the primary changes. The armrest airbags, well, they have elbow airbags on the Legend, which is pretty cool. There’s not, I can’t think of another chair that actually has airbags that squeeze where you can have golf elbow and tennis elbow. Well, they’ve, when you get in the chair, you kind of have to kind of get in there and finagle the armrest, or the elbow airbags, to get in there. Apparently, they’ve modified that a little bit to make it a little easier to get in, and they say they’ve modified the software a little bit, or enhanced the software a little bit. I’m not sure what that means, but the price has jumped up from $6990 to $7990. So, to get one of our floor models, which are in immaculate condition, both of them are, because we take good care of them in our showrooms, they’re $4490. So, please, if you’re in getting the Luraco Legends, the floor models, before, you know, rather than paying $7990 for a brand new one, let me know. Also, Fujimedic, OK, so, oh, I also visited Cozzia when I was at the Furniture Market, and even though we only carry a couple of Cozzia chairs, since they’ve discontinued the Cozzia Qi, there’s a couple of just what they call ecomm chairs, chairs that just online retailers can sell, and I have to have four, if I want to carry Cozzia chairs, I have to have four of their models in my showroom. I don’t have four models of any one manufacturer in my showroom, and I couldn’t fit four. So, it may be some time, unless they change their policy, or I get a bigger store, we’re not going to be able to carry a lot of the Cozzia chairs, you know.
[SCREEN TEXT: What is the Story with the Fujimedic Kumo “Made in Japan?”]
Alan: But the Cozzia Qi SE has been a popular chair for Cozzia, and the Fujimedic Kumo is a, kind of a replica of that chair, but it was said it’s made in Japan, and people have asked me ‘What does it mean that this chair is made in Japan, is it actually made in Japan?’ and when I saw a picture of it, I knew it was, it’s just a replica of the Cozzia Qi SE. Well, I was at Cozzia’s showroom at the Furniture Market, and by the way, there’s a cool, you know, the Ogawa Smart 3D, they had a cool, blinged out Ogawa Smart 3D on a rotating platform, and I took a video of it, and put it on my Facebook, you should go see that, that looks pretty cool. It looks like an Asian castle chair, or something, and it’s really quite amazing. It’s got like, it’s got Asian designs on it, and but like, it looks gold, it looks amazing, the only word I could think of was bling, when I saw it. Anyway, the Fujimedic Kumo, this is what I learned – let’s see, where’s my notes – about the Fujimedic Kumo, because people had been asking me what is the deal with this Kumo, like it’s made in Japan, but it looks exactly like the Cozzia Qi SE. Well, we found, I asked the VP, and I’ve known John for quite some time, and he was there when I was there, and so I asked him about this, and he said the Kumo has Chinese components and Japanese components. So, they import Chinese components from the factory in East Pau, the East Pau factory in Xhao Ming, and they import those, or export them, to Japan, and in Japan, they also have some components made there, and some of the programming is done there, but all the assembly, and all of the quality-control testing is done in Japan. So, this is, and I’ve talked about this, I kind of have a, it’s kind of, I don’t know if I have a beef about it, but I really don’t like the way it’s represented. When people say it’s made in Japan, or made in America, or made in Korea, or whatever, how much of the chair is really made in those countries? Are the chairs just passing through a port, and they slap on a label that says made in Japan, or does someone like, does a chair imported from China come to America, and they modify one of the pillows to fit a thinner body, does that constitute made in America? I don’t know, it’s really fuzzy to me, and I don’t like it, but anyway, and I, well, yeah, the only truly made in chairs would be the made in China, because all of, everything’s made in China, a lot of the components in current chairs are made in China. The only one that I, well, I won’t go in to that right now, but anyway, but this chair, the Kumo does have those things. It has the same roller mechanism as the Qi SE, and when I say it has those things, it has Chinese components, Japanese components, quality-control testing and assembly done in Japan, and it is not associated with Fuji products. They’re actually going to be changing the name to the JP Medics chair, but and that’s coming because people are led to believe that the Fujimedic chair is in some way related to Fuji chairs, whether that’s Fuji Medical chairs in Japan, or Fuji, Dr. Fuji here, but those are all, anyway, so they’re not related to that. So, they feel like need to change the name to identify, or to not identify with those groups. Anyway, OK, so I wanted to tell you that about the Fujimedic Kumo. So, we finally have some information on the Fujimedic Kumo from one of the guys at the top of the guys at the top of the Cozzia organization, and I’m glad to thank you John for sharing that information with us.
[SCREEN TEXT: Ogawa Sales Through the End of February]
Alan: Now, speaking of Ogawa and Fujimedic, they had a sale throughout the holidays that extended in to January, and they have extended it in to February as well. So, you can get, let’s see, $1700 off on the Smart 3D, the Ogawa Smart 3D, you can get $1400 off on the, oh my goodness, Active L, just a minute, I’ve got them right here. OK, so the Refresh Plus is $600 off, it’s $1999. The Active L, $1400 off, it’s now $2899, the Ogawa Touch 3D has $1500 off for $3999, and as I mentioned, the Smart 3D from Ogawa has $1700 off for $5299, and the Fujimedic Kumo, regularly $8999, has $2500 off for $6499, and that’s a pretty good deal for a high-end 3D L-track made in Japan. OK, now, I mentioned the Novo, we talked about that the Legend Plus.
[SCREEN TEXT: SL-Track = L-Track]
Alan: Oh, I want to make a quick mention about, I want to make a quick mention about SL versus L-tracks. Now, again, in our industry, there are sneaky little terms that get used quite regularly that, words or terms that, to me, are strictly marketing jargon, like the 4D. I kind of take issue with that, but it’s becoming a more widely accepted term. Chromotherapy, like lights that shine down on the floor from the chair, and it’s supposed to create a therapeutic effect for you, and maybe it does, but I honestly just think it’s just an add-on feature to help sell the chair, and that really doesn’t give you true chromotherapy, if you know what true chromotherapy really is. Another term would be like, oh, what’s the FDA, approved by the FDA, there’s no chairs that are approved by the FDA. I’ve talked about this, this is another one of my pet peeves. There are no chairs that are approved by the FDA. They are, most companies that come to the US register their chairs with the FDA, but they are not approved by the FDA. There’s an approval process that’s for other types of medical products, like lifesaving medical equipment, or probably pharmaceutical things, but they have to go through an FDA approval process, and chairs don’t do that. So, anyway, I just have pet peeves about these terms that are thrown around so loosely, and so casually, when they really don’t have the meaning that they should. Well, now we’re, you know, you’ve heard about S-track chairs, and I have a video that talks about the difference between S-track and L-track chairs. Well, there’s L-track chairs, S-track chairs that have the curve that goes down the back, the rollers go down the back, following the curves of the back, and the S-track ends kind of at the tailbone, or the low, low back. The L-track is that continuation of the S-track underneath the buttock. So, now you’ve got an L-track, because it comes down and under the seat like an L. Well, now, people are calling these chairs SL-tracks, ours is an SL-track, and people go ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve got to get the SL-track, and I get phone calls about this, ‘How come none of your chairs are SL-track?’ Oh brother, they’re all SL-track chairs, all of them. All of the L-tracks are SL, so please don’t get confused, or and by the way, there is so much confusion out there. I get calls from people all the time that are saying ‘Geez, can you just help me sort through this crap?’ because there are so many chairs, so many terms, so many this, so many that. SL is an L-track, period, so it’s still S versus L. By the way, in that video, I also talked about J-track, which is a variation of the L-track, and you can see, well, I explain it on a dry-eraser board, just like a school teacher, pretty impressive. The term Alan Weidner and school teacher in the same phrase never got, you never see that in the same phase when I grew up. Anyway, OK, so, I got that beef out.
[SCREEN TEXT: Beware the “Best/Top XX Massage Chairs” Reports!]
Alan: That’s just about it, except for one last beef, my goodness. If I didn’t have beefs, what would I even talk about? OK, I had another one of these free reports, ‘The Five Top Chairs,’ by some alleged authority on massage chairs, and four of the five chairs are no-name brand, cheap Chinese-factory brand chairs that are touted as the best chairs. It just drives me nuts, because these are chairs that are not popular because they’re not great chairs. They’re made in cheap Chinese factories, they have higher failure rates, they’re not popular chairs, but the person putting out the report has links, of course, in each of the discussions. It’s not an objective report, like ‘Hey, we’ve got, here’s the five top chairs, and I’m an objective judge of these five chairs.’ No, it’s chairs that have links to Amazon, and so that these people that write these reports can get a commission if someone buys one of those chairs. And of course, their number one recommended chair is the chair that probably, and most likely, and usually does have the highest commission.
[SCREEN TEXT: BUYER BEWARE!!]
Alan: So, that’s another pet peeve, when you see one of these reports that says ‘The Top Five Chairs,’ ‘Top Eight Chairs,’ ‘Top 10 Chairs,’ oh my gosh, please realize that those are marketing pieces. People put those together, and the people that put them together probably, I can’t say for sure, but they probably have no experience in the industry at all. They’ve probably never sat on a chair, they’ve probably never worked on the chair, as some allege. So, really take all that stuff with a grain of salt, and anyway, and that’s just another pet peeve. Don’t count those reports as scripture, they have a particular agenda, and I mean, but we all have agendas. Heck, I have an agenda. I have an agenda when I give a video that people will, you know, trust me to think that they might want to buy a chair from me. So, we all have agendas, but some of these agendas are purely, I don’t know, they’re not, they’re a little disingenuous, because it’s taking your ignorance, it’s taking advantage of your ignorance about the market, and about these chairs, and parlaying that, leveraging that in to a sale of a chair that may not even have a good customer support department, it may not have a good warranty, it has a horrible return policy, just please, buyer beware. How many times have I said buyer beware about massage chairs? I mean, it just, I could go on forever, and I’ve said this also, this is the wild west, right now it’s the wild west. There’s all these new companies coming in, ABC Massage Chairs, this massage chair, that massage chair, and it’s just people trying to cash in on an industry that is growing, and has done a lot of harm too, because people have sold products that fail and are not great. And not to say these chairs don’t have failure rates. They all do, no matter what you buy, and no matter where it’s made, but honestly, people are getting taken advantage of, and it just bugs me.
[SCREEN TEXT: Please “Thumbs Up” Like This Video!!]
Alan: Oh, and false reviews, or paid reviews, or fake reviews, that’s another thing, but I could go on.
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