Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – January 3, 2020”
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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 Friday, September, or sorry, September, January 3rd, 2020. Welcome to the new year. I hope you all had a great holiday. I know that in our business, the holidays is, from Black Friday to the end of the year is our busiest time of the year, and it has been busy. But anyway, now we can take a bit of a breather and get back to writing blog posts, and recording videos, and doing reviews, etcetera, etcetera, and there are lots of reviews to be done, and I will getting to work on those in the pretty immediate future. Chairs like the BodyFriend Pharaoh SII, and the new D.Core Cirrus, and the Human Touch Super Novo, and the Ogawa Master Drive AI, and these are all chairs that are new to the market, relatively new to the market, and very well built, nice chairs.
[SCREEN TEXT: Lower-Priced Chairs vs. Higher-Priced Brand-Name Chairs]
Alan: I want to just, before I go in to some of the details of our industry update today, I just want to mention, make a quick mention about, I’ve mentioned this before and I’m going to mention it again because this is, this is something that’s kind of, it’s here to stay, so to speak, in our industry, and as you know, we sell brand-name massage chairs. Our chairs are backed by in-home warranties. I only carry chairs that have in-home warranties. The quality of the chairs is good, the higher the price, and in our industry, what you, the old saying ‘You get what you pay for,’ it was never a truer statement, or there was never a truer statement as it is for the massage chair industry. And so, we sell chairs that are a little bit more expensive, and people come to our showrooms, and they, we have chairs that range from you know, $2800, $2900, up to $9900, $9999, and so it’s a wide range of pricing on chairs, but with that, you do get our Lifetime Labor warranty, you get a factory warranty, an in-home, parts-and-labor warranty, you get customer support from us, and you also get customer support from the massage chair company. Now, there’s a new set of chairs that have come out that are lower cost chairs. Most of them are, you know, $500 to $1500. They are cheaper chairs, and the quality is not as good. They’re made in smaller factories, their failure rates are higher. Some of them don’t even have real rollers in the massage chair, they have discs, as opposed to a roller track that goes up and down. So, again, you get what you pay for, but the upside of those cheaper chairs, and I’ve had a number of people come in this year, we haven’t had this before, because this is a relatively new phenomenon, but we’ve had people coming in to the showroom, and calling us, asking what chairs we have around $1500, and they want chairs that have full features, or a full feature set. And it’s hard to give them that, because the higher-end chairs, the better quality chairs, the brand-name chairs, they cost more to build, and the components are more expensive, and the quality control is more elaborate, and the testing, and the programming, and all that sort of thing is a little bit more elaborate. You can go to small factories, and there’s thousands of them in China, well, maybe not thousands, but at least a thousand, and I know that, because I get emails all the time, and inquiries all the time from these companies wanting us to carry their chairs. Of course, we don’t carry our own line yet, but we do carry chairs that come from the bigger factories and the better factories, because we want chairs that have lower failure rates, and so, and we want to buy them from companies that have good customer support. So, anyway, these chairs that are, you know, $1500, $500, to $1500 to $2000, for the money, and for people who are coming in to the market, and don’t have $4000 to $5000, or $3000, or $10,000, these lower-priced options are a decent option, but just know that if you’re going to get those chairs, you’re not going to get, well, you’ll get what you pay for, but you’re still going to get some form of a massage chair. So, there is a place in our industry for these types of chairs, and just make sure that your expectations aren’t huge. I mean, if you’re going to buy a $1000 chair, and you know, you’re going to, you can’t compare that to like a Super Novo from Human Touch, or you can’t compare that to an OHCO M.8, or an Inada chair, or you know, geez, I don’t know, any of the brand-name chairs, the high-end chairs, you’re just not going to get the same chair, and you can tell when you sit in them, side by side, the feel is very, very different. But anyway, I wanted to bring that up because these cheaper chairs are becoming, they are taking a slice of the pie, so to speak, and they’re actually creating a little bit of a bigger pie because people now can afford, people that couldn’t afford massage chairs in the past now feel like they can afford a chair. And so, it does serve a market, and it serves our market, and it serves a demographic that previously, heretofore, has not been able to be served. So, you take the good with the bad, right, so if you’re going to get a cheap chair, you know, a cheaper, a no-name brand chair, and the customer support may not be as good, and the quality may not be as good, but you know, you’re going to take that, because you’re paying for that. When you pay more money, like $4000+, you expect better support, and you do get better support, and you do get a better chair. But there is a place for both in our industry, and we feel that of course, we’re not going to sell the cheaper chairs, because we can’t you know, my Lifetime Labor warranty, if you have a problem with a chair, and those chairs do have higher failure rates, my Lifetime Labor warranty is going to be more, just to do a repair on one chair will be more, or one visit, or two visits, from a tech on one chair will be more than the profit margin in that chair. So, you know, that’s something that probably we will never carry, or never do, but there are companies that have those chairs, and again, they serve a purpose. OK, I’ve talked enough about it, but I just wanted to address that, because we’re seeing more and more of that, and you will see more and more of that. If you look up massage chairs online, you know, eventually you’re going to see an ad on Facebook, or an ad online, or an ad on Instagram about these other options, and if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Model – Osaki Paragon]
Alan: OK, now, CE, well, first of all, let’s talk a little bit about models. The, Osaki has repurposed a chair that was previously an Infinity chair, and they now call it the Osaki Paragon, and they made some changes to it, at least to the exterior, I don’t know what changes they’ve made to the interior, I mean, to the mechanics, to the guts of the chair, but they just announced the introduction of the Osaki Paragon to the market, and I don’t have the pricing in front of me, but that is a new chair from Osaki.
[SCREEN TEXT: D.Core Cirrus Massage Chair with Arm Roller Massage]
Alan: Of course, just before the holidays, Furniture for Life introduced the new D.Core line, and they have two models, the Cirrus and the Cloud. We have the Cirrus in all our showrooms, a very nice chair, a very, very strong chair, and it has arm massage, which is, an arm massage roller, which we’ve never seen before. On the underbelly of your arm, there’s a roller that works it, and it also has calf rollers, and we’re seeing more and more chairs that have calf rollers now. It’s becoming more and more popular. Some people love it, and it drives some people nuts, just like foot rollers, I suppose, but you know, I’m getting more and more inquiries about calf, chairs with calf rollers, and so far, the ones that we do carry that have calf rollers are the D.Core chairs, the OHCO M.8, the Osaki Ekon, the Health Mate HM-5200, the uKnead Lohas, the Inner Balance Jin, J-I-N, and the BodyFriend models, the Pharaoh SII, the Palace II, the Phantom II, and I think the Rex-L Brain also has the calf rollers. So, we’re seeing more and more of it, but there’s still not a ton of chairs that have it out there, but you know, it’s kind of a personal preference. Some people don’t care much for them, some people do, but you know, when you try it, you’ll know if you like it or not.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Inada USA Distributor is Osaki/Titan – DreamWave in Stock Next Week!]
Alan: Also, the Inada DreamWave is, or I mentioned before that the new Inada distributor, US Inada distributor is going to be Osaki/Titan, or is Osaki/Titan, and we’re waiting for their first shipment of DreamWaves to come in, and they’re coming in this week, or sorry, next week to Dallas, to Osaki’s warehouse in Dallas. Those chairs will come with a one-year parts-and-labor warranty, with two more years of parts, as per most of the chairs that Osaki sells, if not all of them. And of the Inada DreamWave, but I’ve not been told of any changes, other than it’s not going to have the genuine leather option that the Inada DreamWave used to have under the old distributor. It will have, and so far as I understand it, there’s the black and brown color. I don’t, I’m not, for some reason, I don’t have the ivory as a color, or the cream as a color, so I can’t remember if that’s because we forgot to put it on the website, or because they’re not going to be offering that color, but black and brown for sure. We will include the two-year extended warranty, Osaki’s two-year extended warranty, and which will bring the total warranty up to three years parts and labor, and then two more years of parts. So, it’s what we would call a five-year limited warranty, and there will be free white-glove delivery with that, with the purchase of a DreamWave as well.
[SCREEN TEXT: Update on the New Inada Therapina]
Alan: Now, the Therapina, which is the new Inada chair that they introduced a year ago at CES, which I’m going to talk about CES in just a moment too, but the Therapina is, has not been come to market yet. There’s some holdups there. I don’t know if it’s technological, or customs, or shipping, but probably they’re still testing the chair, and you know, one thing about Inada and the Japanese is that they are masters of quality-control testing, and that’s why some chairs, like the OHCO M.8, and the Fujimedic, which is now the JPMedic, and I got to talk about that too, the Fujimedic Kumo are, they’re made in Japan, quote, unquote, made in Japan. The parts are created in China, as we’ve talked about before, but they’re exported to Japan for assembly, testing, and programming, and the reason they do that is because Japanese testing is so phenomenal, and they come, those chairs typically come with better warranties. So, they typically have a three year, parts-and-labor factory warranty, standard factory warranty. But anyway, I’ve gone on a little bit too long, I apologize for that.
[SCREEN TEXT: BodyFriend Palace II Price Jumped Up to $7499 (from $6499)]
Alan: I should mention also that the BodyFriend Palace II has jumped up in price. It was officially announced this morning, and so their price went from $6499 up to $7499, but the BodyFriend Palace is, it’s a nice chair. All the BodyFriend chairs are very nice chairs, they’re nice-looking chairs, they got good colors, some nice upholstery design, very, very nice chairs, and they’re made in a very, very good factory in China, and a factory that I’ve actually visited, if you go back in two years ago, in November, I went to the factory in, just about two-and-a-half hours outside of Shanghai, and it was an impressive experience, seeing that factory, and what they do. But anyway, the BodyFriend Palace is up in price. Oh, and by the way, the price of the Therapina, I have not, I’m not sure what the price is going to be, I have heard that it’s going to be in the in the $13,000 range, something like that, and if you see my video from CES last year, you’ll see the model they had on display at CES, and it looks different now. Like, the model at the CES had the arms and the leg massage kind of as separate like extensions of the chair, now they’re built in to the chair, kind of like most massage chairs are. But I’m curious to see how that chair feels, how it works, curious to get it in my showrooms, and see how well it’s received.
[SCREEN TEXT: Fujimedic Now Called JPMedic (Kumo Model Still the Same)]
Alan: OK, so, I’m heading to, oh, and I just want to reiterate, I mentioned the Fujimedic Kumo, the change, the name has officially been changed to JPMedic Kumo. The Fujimedic Kumo kind of confused, was confusing to some who are familiar with Mount Fuji massage chairs, Mount Fuji medical supply in Japan, which is a massage chair producer, one of the oldest massage chair producers actually in the world, and but so they changed the name from Fujimedic to JPMedic. The chair they have is the Kumo, it’s still called the Kumo, no change there, and the price has remained the same.
[SCREEN TEXT: CES Next Week – Let’s See What’s New!]
Alan: Let’s see, what else have we got? OK, so CES is coming up next week. I’m going to be there on Wednesday and Thursday, I’m looking forward to it, well, for a number of reasons. Number one, just to see, just to kind of rub shoulders with people in the industry, and I see a lot of my friends there from the different massage chair companies, and I really enjoy the chitchat because you know, when you own your own business, and you’re kind of the top of the food chain, there’s really no one else to talk to about what’s going on in the industry, unless I call someone up, you know, like Mark, or sorry, like Michael Malone, over at Infinity, or Cliff Levin at Furniture for Less, or sorry, Furniture for Life, or if I reach out to Cathy over at Human Touch, there’s really no one else, you know, it’s kind of neat to go there and rub shoulders with people in the industry, and I love it. So, I’m looking forward to it, I’m bringing my video camera, I’ll record stuff. We’ll see what’s new, we’ll see if there’s anything else, anything new that’s there.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Luraco Model on Display at CES Next Week – Luraco iRobotics 8]
Alan: I will tell you that Luraco is introducing a new model called the iRobotics 8, and I received a call from Dr. Lee, who’s one of the chief officers there, and he wants to interview, or he wants me to interview him, and which I gladly will do. I think I’m doing that on Wednesday, just after I arrive. So, we’ve set aside an hour before he flies out, but we’re going to be talking about the iRobotics 8, and they have a prototype at CES. So, I’m looking forward to see that, and then he seems quite excited about it. So, it’ll be interesting to see what they’ve come up with, and I, of course, I’ll give you a report of everything that I see and hear. And also, at CES you know, we’ll see, I assume that Furniture for Life will have the new OHCO R.6 there. I’m hoping they’ll have one of the new Brio models, because the original Brio, it hasn’t been discontinued, but they’re coming out with the Brio Sport, and the Brio, or sorry, the Brio S, no, the Brio, I’m screwing this up, but I think it’s the Brio Plus, and the Brio Sport. And so anyway, hopefully I’ll know more about that as well, and of course, I will report all of that back to you, my faithful visitors.
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Alan: If you have any questions about massage chairs in the meantime, or anything that I talked about, you can feel free to call me at 888-259-5380. Myself, or one of my staff, are always available to chitchat with you. And of course, you know, massage chairs are pretty much my professional life altogether. I don’t practice chiropractic anymore, or I haven’t since 2008. So, massage chairs are pretty much it, so I kind of like it, and I enjoy talking about it, and I love answering questions and helping people make the decision of which chair to get. And of course, as you may or may not know, we do price matching, you know, we don’t like to get beyond price on the brand-name chairs, and but we also have a Lifetime Labor warranty. So, and in short, that is if you have a problem with your chair after the factory warranty’s expired, you still call them to have them diagnose the problem, you get the parts you need from them, and then you let us know and we send out a tech, the closest tech to you anyway, to do the repairs, and that’s for as long as you own the chair, and we also have a 90-day return policy, and it’s free returns. So, we pay for the return shipping. The only burden, and I’ve talked about this too, when you talk about, you know, things to be aware of in the industry, you know, you are responsible for the cost of getting the chair packed up, and ready for shipping. And of course, we can help you with people in your area that can do that for a fee for you, but once the chair is loaded up and ready to go, we take care of the shipping costs for you, and it’s not cheap. There are some chairs that cost me $400 to $500 to ship back to us, and then of course, we sell it, we resell the chair, and we have to pay for shipping out again. So, it’s not a cheap venture, but I know it’s something that I feel good about, and something I do that my customers appreciate, especially those who return, they feel good about that too. But anyway, feel free to get a hold of us if you have any questions about any of those things.
[SCREEN TEXT: Please “Thumbs Up” Like This Video!!]
Alan: If you found this video helpful, please feel free to thumbs up ‘Like’ us on our YouTube channel, and of course, spread the word about massage chairs by sharing this video on your social media platforms, whatever they be. 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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