Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – November 13, 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, and today is Monday, November 13th, 2017, and we have got a lot of good stuff to go over today. It’s getting to be that time of the year, and I’ve told you this before, we’re getting close to the holiday season, and it’s right around the corner, and lots of things going on. We’ve got new models to talk about, some sales that’re already going on for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, or for this season, so lots of good things.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]
Alan: Anyway, first of all, as far as stock goes, I think stock is good on almost everything, I think right now. I haven’t had any updates of poor, or you know, diminished stock, or any chairs being out of stock, that I can recall. But anyway, stock status is good, and it usually is right before the holiday season, because the companies are stacking up on their inventory to handle the demand at Christmas time, and Thanksgiving, and Black Friday, and whatnot.
[SCREEN TEXT: My China Trip to Visit a Massage Chair Factory!]
Alan: So, anyway, well, I got back last week from a trip to China, and I was so excited to go. I think I may have mentioned this in a previous industry update, but I went to see the factory that produces the chairs for Infinity. They also produce one of the chairs for Human Touch, and I’m sure there’s other ones, but I went there with the invitation from Infinity to go there, and I had a magnificent time. I made a video, or I’m in the process of making a video of my experience there, and boy, oh boy, what a great experience it was. We flew in to Shanghai, I was picked up by some of the factory personnel, and they drove me out to the factory, which was a couple hours outside of Shanghai, and boy, oh boy, the factory was very modern. I don’t know what your perception is of a Chinese factory, but before I got in to this industry, I just figured it was just a kind of a – and forgive me for thinking this, and for anybody from China that hears this, and is maybe offended by it – but I kind of thought it might be an old, you know, kind of an old, broken down old building that, you know, has some, you know, kind of, I don’t know, not much technology, but more, I don’t know what I was imagining, but I didn’t imagine what I saw. What I saw was this beautiful facility, as good or better than any facility I’ve seen here in the US. The grounds that the facility was on were beautifully kept, and beautifully maintained, very nice, just a beautiful place, and the employees were wonderful. The people that took care of me there were fantastic, very gracious and very kind. They had seen the videos of the industry updates, and the chair videos that I’ve done, and so it was very interesting to go to the other side of the world and have people tell me about my videos, and ask me questions about my experience as a retailer here in the United States, but I had a wonderful time. I can’t remember the name of the town, but I asked my guide what the – and my guide’s name was Wizard, and he works for Infinity, and he’s their rep at the factory, and he was very, very, very good with me – and he kind of showed me everything. His English was fantastic. He showed me around, and how the chairs are built, from the raw materials that come in to the factory, from wherever they’re built, to the assembly, to the testing, and then ultimately, to the shipping out, and I’ve got it all on video, and I’m recording it. I’ve got it recorded, I just need to put it together, and post it on YouTube, but it’s a fantastic, fantastic process, and there’s two floors. There’s, I think, four – was it four – four to six lanes of assembly and testing, and oh my goodness, it was just unbelievable, unbelievable. I left there so impressed, and very impressed with, of course, with the fact that the Infinity chairs are made there, and the quality of the chairs, I can tell, just from the experience at the factory, is second to none, and of course I know that the factory that they’re built in is one of the better ones in China, one of the bigger ones, one of the better ones. I mean, they put out, I think, I could be wrong, I think they said 35,000 chairs a month. That’s mind boggling when you think about it, and then Infinity, of course, their chairs come from that factory, so a good portion of those chairs, coming out of the factory, go to Infinity, but anyway, it was fantastic, I loved it, good experience. The pollution was not like anything I’ve ever seen before, the people were very, very kind, very gracious. Things were more expensive in Shanghai than I expected them to be, I thought things would be cheaper, especially since everything’s made in China, I figured ‘Well, maybe everything’s cheaper there,’ but we didn’t find that to be the case. But we had a wonderful time, and the Infinity people were outstanding, and just very kind, and so we’re very grateful, I’m very grateful. When I say we, my kids came with me, a couple of my kids came with me, but they stayed in Shanghai and did the tourist thing while I was at the factory, and I had just an amazing time. So, thank you to Infinity, A) for allowing me to go to the factory, and setting it up for me so that I could see the process of building a chair, and also, for you know, for putting – Infinity puts a lot of attention in to the quality of their chairs, through the factory build – and I was impressed with that, I was very impressed with that. I don’t know how the other factories run, I’m sure they’re very similar in many ways, but there were some things that they told me that were proprietary to that factory, things that were very interesting as far as quality control goes, and it was great. It was very eye opening, very eye opening, and I kept going ‘Holy mackerel,’ and you know, as we were going through the tour, they would kind of mimic my adjectives, like they would say ‘That was fabulous, wasn’t it, that was amazing, that was incredible,’ and those are all the words I use, and I think they were kind of getting a kick out of it, because I was just, I felt like a kid in a candy shop, I truly did, ohhing and awing, and wow, and that’s amazing, and that’s incredible. You’ll see it on the video, but anyway, fantastic experience to go to China, and experience the building of these massage chairs.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Models from Ogawa: Touch 3D and Refresh Plus]
Alan: Now, Ogawa has come out with a couple of new models, and I don’t have them on the website yet. I just found out about them on Friday. We’re going to be putting them up on the website this week, but they’ve got a new chair called the Ogawa Touch 3D. Now, the Ogawa Smart 3D is a`chair we’ve had for a while, and we had one, a floor model, in our California showroom, but that chair – a very nice chair, strong massage, dual rollers, it can fit tall bodies, big bodies – but it works off of Bluetooth connectivity, so the remote control is wireless. Well, in some places, the wireless connection is not great, as you probably know from your own experience in your home, or in your work, and so sometimes the connectivity of the remote to the chair was not great. Well, they come out now with the Touch 3D, which is, and it has, it’s the same silhouette as the Smart 3D, same frame, same chair, but it has a touchscreen remote that is wired in to the chair, which is pretty typical for most chairs. But that chair also has only nine automatic programs, I think the Ogawa Smart 3D had 17 or something, plus the potential for many more through uploading, but this one has nine automatic programs, which is sufficient. The chair goes for $5499, I think the Ogawa Smart 3D is $6499, so it’s $1000 less, great chair nonetheless. And then the Ogawa Refresh, if you remember, we used to carry a chair called the Ogawa Refresh, which I think went for about $1999, that chair was discontinued earlier this year, and now they’ve come out with an upgrade called the Ogawa Refresh Plus, which will go for $2699. It has a touchscreen tablet with six automatic programs, as opposed to four, which the old Refresh had, and it has seven massage modes, instead of the six that the original had, and the pricing’s a little higher, but the chair is a nice-looking chair. If you – I don’t know if you – well, I don’t have it on the website yet, again, I got to add these to the website, they will go up. But they’ll be up on the website hopefully this week, but the Ogawa Refresh is kind of an interesting-looking chair. I mean, not an interesting-looking chair, but it’s made from a nice material, an interesting material. I kind of dig it, and they’ve got some nice color schemes.
[SCREEN TEXT: Infinity Presidential 3D L-Track Chair Now Available!]
Alan: And also, Infinity just announced, over the weekend, that they – and I’ve got to tell you, Infinity are great people, and I’ve worked with them for years, and I consider myself friends with the people that make the decisions over there, but they always ask me ‘Well, what can we do for you, what can we do for you,’ and I’ve always said ‘Give me a 3D L-track’ – because we, until the Novo came along, we didn’t have a 3D L-track. And so, the Novo has come along, it’s a very popular chair because it’s a 3D L-track, and it’s a good chair, and it’s made in the same factory as the Infinity chairs. But and then we got the Positive Posture Brio, which is a 3D L-track, a more gentle chair, kind of a more of a more subtle, maybe a kind of a Japanese feel, and I know we’ve got the Luraco Legend coming out later this month, knock on wood, which is also a 3D L-track. But Infinity has being doing 3D L-tracks for a long time, they’ve had the Riage X3, they’ve had – I think they’ve got some chairs that are sold exclusively through Mattress Firm – I can’t remember, the Imperial, maybe this one as well, I can’t remember – but now finally, we, the regular small guys, you know, because we’re just, we’re basically considered smaller retail people, as opposed to like Mattress Firm, or Costco, or Relax The Back, or Brookstone, or whatever, we’re just, we’re kind of small potatoes, you know, we feel like we leave a big imprint on the industry through our information, and our videos, and blog posts, and whatnot, but now they finally have given us a chair, it’s the Presidential. And I think when I was at the factory, these were coming off the line, and you’ll see in the video, that I you know, kind of zoom in on the Infinity name brand, and the chair, I believe, is the Presidential, I can’t remember. But anyway, and if it wasn’t, it’s a similar style to one that was coming off the line, and this new Presidential is a 3D L-track, it’s got heated massage rollers. The only other chair that I know that has that is the Panasonic MA73 and the MA70. It’s got a 49-inch L-track, it’s got, OK, I told you about the 3D technology, two zero-gravity positions, Apple and Android app functionality. Remember the old Iyashi, which was discontinued earlier this year? That was supposed to have an Apple app, but they never were able to finalize that. Well, now they’ve got it on this chair, with the Android and the Apple apps, Bluetooth technology, music sync, spinal correction, which is kind of cool. That’s the shoulder airbags that get pinned back, very similar to what they have on the 8500, the AccuRoll shoulder massage, space saver, 13 auto-programs. It sounds like a great chair, it’s going to retail for $8495. Some of these higher-quality chairs, or these higher-quality Chinese chairs, are coming out now at higher prices, and the market is bearing it. I mean, the Novo came out at about $8000, and I wasn’t a believer, I didn’t think people would buy that chair, but it has become a very popular chair, and it’s a good chair. It’s a well-made chair, made in the same factory as the Infinity chairs, and a solid chair. It feels like a solid chair when you sit in it, and by golly, it’s a chair that people are buying, and so the market does bear this price point, if it’s a good-quality chair.
[SCREEN TEXT: Real or Fake Reviews on Amazon & Yelp?]
Alan: And that leads me to my next thing, which is, OK, I had a customer buy a chair from us, and this customer almost bought another chair. It was a – hold on, my microphone just went – it’s a chair from a company that we would consider a no-name brand chair, because they’re the only distributor of their chair, it doesn’t have a lot of traction in the market yet. At least, it kind of looks like it did, or does, but and anyway, so it’s not really a chair that we thought about as a name-brand chair, even though their name is on the Internet, this company does a lot of paid advertising, etcetera, etcetera. But anyway, this customer came and bought a chair from us. I think he bought the Luraco at our California store, and the reason they came is because, they were coming down from another place in California, in Northern California, to come try out the chair that they put a deposit down on, from this other company. And apparently, they had a showroom in the LA area, and they were going to go try out these chairs. Anyway, the gal was really impressed, the thing that really impressed her about this company was they had so many awesome reviews, like they had, I don’t know, maybe it was a couple hundred reviews, and they were all spectacular, and it was like, it seemed extremely reputable. And she could only find one review, less than a five-star review, and it was a three star, and the person that left the review had questioned the validity of all the other reviews. Well, this raised a red flag in her head, and she started to do some homework.
[SCREEN TEXT: Fake Reviews Phone App: FakeSpot]
Alan: Anyway, she notified us that she found an app called ‘FakeSpot,’ and ‘FakeSpot’ is an app that will help you to determine if the reviews on a particular site, like Amazon or Yelp, which are the most common review sites, if they are legitimate reviews. Now, you may ask, what is a legitimate review? Well, there are a lot of paid reviews, there are a lot of reviews that are written by the company that – and this is not legal, to – or I don’t know if the word’s legal, but it’s not proper, to put up reviews that you have made within your own company, like you know, you just use a different name, like Bob, and write a review about your chairs, and then put it on your own site. That is a no-no in this industry, that’s a no-no in every industry. Well, there’s also paid reviews, people that are paid to write a review, whether they tried the product or not, they get paid, and there’s companies that do this. Well, I wasn’t aware, I knew that there were fake reviews put up, I didn’t know as much about the paid reviews, but apparently, this app FakeSpot, will locate, or identify, those fake reviews, and this gal applied the parameters of this app to this no-name brand chair company, on the reviews on Amazon and on Yelp, and it came back with a stunning 96.6% fake review, or not legitimate review, result. So, in other words, 96% of the 200 reviews, or however many reviews there are, were not legitimate, were considered by this app to be either paid, or fake, and that was a huge red flag for this customer, and she did not trust the reviews. And now, how many of you base your decision on your purchases off, base your decision on reviews? Well, I know my customers do. We painstakingly request our customers to leave reviews, whether it’s on Google, or whether it’s on Yelp, whether it’s on our website, we want people to leave reviews, for better or for worse. And I’ll tell you, I’ve had a couple of bad reviews, over the you know, 14 years I’ve been doing this, and I don’t like those reviews, but you know what it does? It forces the businessman to be accountable for his business, and so, if you’re, so OK, so let’s say you’ve got a problem, like we had a problem with our store being closed, our California store being closed when it shouldn’t have been closed, and someone drove like 45 minutes to get to the store, and came, and it was closed. That was when we had a flood, and then there was another time when the store was closed, and it was because a staff member had to leave early. Well, that doesn’t, it doesn’t matter what your excuses are for being closed. If you don’t take care of those customers, they get ticked off, and we had some ticked-off customers, and so you know, we went, I bent over backward to make sure that those customers were taken care of, one way or the other, at least that we acknowledged that they had an issue with, because they left a review, and then offering some way to make it up to them. Well, the thing is, is if everything you get is a good review, that is a bit of a red flag in and of itself, because even the best companies in the world have negative reviews, or they don’t like the product, or they didn’t like the way they were taken care of, every company has a negative review. When you have a website, or a product, or a company, that has just like tons of good reviews, all good reviews, with no bad reviews, you know, honestly, that’s a bit of a red flag. So, this is what this gal was thinking, she got the FakeSpot thing, and found out that you know, almost 97% of the reviews were what we would call fake reviews, or bad reviews. So, buyer beware, get the app, it’s free, it’s called FakeSpot. I downloaded it myself, it’s a pretty cool app, pretty simple to use, and that will help you to figure out if all the reviews you’re reading on a particular company, or you know, Amazon reviews, or Yelp reviews, I’m not sure if it does other reviews. But anyway, use that, and you can find out for sure if that website, or that company, is legit, as far as the reviews go.
[SCREEN TEXT: Current Human Touch & Infinity Holiday Sales]
Alan: Anyway, OK, now, as far as the sales go, like I told you, Cyber, or Black Friday/Cyber Monday’s coming up, not this week, but the following week, and Human Touch has already come out with some sales that began on November 1st. They will have, let’s see, they have $300 off on the WholeBody 7.1. It’s originally $1799, now it’s on sale for $1499. That’s a great chair, by the way, just for a simple massage on your back, regular executive-looking chair, it looks like a regular chair, but with massage, that’s a good price. The ZeroG 3.0 has $300 off. It’s $1999, instead of $2299. The ZeroG 5.0 is regularly $2999, on sale for $2699, and the Novo XT, they’re offering a free five-year extended warranty, which we already offer, and we pay for that anyway for our customers, and free white glove. We do that anyway, all year round, on the Novo XT. And then, Infinity is going to be offering their three-year, parts-and-labor, extended warranty during the month, for a very short period of time. It’s, let’s see, November, oh, it starts today, November 13th, and it goes to November, oh, for heaven’s sake, November 13th to, oh, November 27th, so until Cyber Monday, so or until the end of the day of Cyber Monday until the morning of the 27th. So, those are some sales that are already out. I don’t know if they’ll be many more coming out. I suspect we’ll hear something from some of the companies, but if you buy a chair from us now, and you find out that the chair becomes, you know, comes out on sale on Black Friday, and there’s a $300 savings, or whatever, and you missed out on it, just let me know, just contact us, and we’ll make it right. We’ll reimburse you whatever that sale difference is, so don’t worry about it.
[SCREEN TEXT: The Earlier You Order for the Holidays, the Better the Chances of Getting What You Want!]
Alan: You know what, get a chair now, because doggone, things are going to be out before you know it. They’re going to be out of stock on certain colors, or maybe complete models will be out of stock. I can’t tell you enough how busy this season is in the massage chair industry, and the chairs go fast, so you know, buyer beware, if you’re going to snooze, you’re going to lose.
[SCREEN TEXT: Get on our Mailing List to Learn About Current Holiday Sales]
Alan: OK, also, oh, if you want to know what the sales are, you know, from week to week, download my free report on the homepage of my website. And by the way, we’re coming out with a new homepage design in another week, in another week and a half, before Thanksgiving, but anyway, on the bottom of my website, on any page of the website, you’ll find a little ‘Free Report’ download area. Download that, you’ll get free report, and you can read it if you want, or not, but just stay on the mailing list so that you can be notified when there are sales, and we will be updating that, we will be emailing you throughout the holidays updating you as to what’s going on, what sales are available, and how long they last.
[SCREEN TEXT: Make-A-Wish Update!]
Alan: OK, and you know what, I’m going to do a little bit of bragging now. I put a blog post up earlier this week about – no, sorry, last week – I had a visit with Mark Simonson from Make-A-Wish Foundation in Phoenix. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I donate money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and of course, the money that I donate with is money that comes from the sales of the massage chairs. And even though we used to say we donate a portion of every sale to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, we’re not allowed to say that anymore, so we have to kind of change the way we verbalize that. So, on our website, you’ll see that there is a link to the Make-A-Wish page, on the Make-A-Wish site for our donation, and we have donated over $38,000 in the last two years, and they didn’t used to keep track of it. We’ve been donating for – oh, probably, we’ve been in business since ’05 – I think we’ve been donating since ’08 or ’09, but it’s never been like tracked, and kind of monitored. Now, on their website, they have a feature on their website where individual donors can show how much they’ve collected, and how much they’ve donated. And so, we broke $38,000 just this week, and I’m very, very proud of that. I love the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I have six kids, I’ve got now five grandkids, we just had another one last week, and you know, my daughter has diabetes, type one. I’m very sensitive to the health of children, because there are so many children in my life, and my one daughter does struggle with that. But these kids have, you know, lifelong, some terminal, diseases, and boy, it is a touching experience to be involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Anyway, Mark Simonson came by to say hello, and he comes in from Phoenix to, you know, visit Make-A-Wish donors in Utah here, and he brought a little plaque for me. Now, if you look on blog, you’ll see that I wrote up about his visit, and it’s a beautiful plaque that commemorates, it goes to everybody that’s donated over $30,000. And I’m boasting a little bit, because we don’t receive that recognition, but I want to say it on this tape, because really, where did that money come from that I donated? It came from the sale of massage chairs, so I would like to thank my customers, and soon-to-be customers, for donating, and it is a legitimate fundraiser. You can go on our website, and click the Make-A-Wish link, and you’ll see that you’ll go right to the, it’ll take you to the Make-A-Wish site, and our donation page. And please, if you don’t buy a chair from me, and you want to donate anyway, go to that page and donate. We just really appreciate that very, very much. Anyway, Make-A-Wish Foundation, sorry, I’ve been doing it for three years. This is, at three years, we’re up at about $38,000. You know, I’ve been talking for quite a while.
[SCREEN TEXT: Made in Japan? Made in America? Made in China? What does this Really Mean??? It’s Not Very Clear]
Alan: I wanted to talk a little bit about made in Japan, made in China, made in USA, boy, oh boy, that is getting more and more convoluted and obscured. I heard about a chair this week that looks exactly like a Chinese-made chair. It’s probably made in the same factory as this other Chinese chair, but it says it’s made in Japan. And so, I found out that some of these chairs are made in China, sent to Japan, and I don’t know if they’re tested there, or something, and then they’re shipped from Japan, and that alone constitutes, or qualifies, that chair for being said that it was made in Japan. I’m so screwed up, I don’t even know what is what anymore. I don’t know what’s really made in Japan, I mean, what’s made in America, and what’s made in China. Well, I think the China is pretty much a given, because almost everything’s made in China, but there are chairs that like, that are made in, they say they’re made in one place, but we know that they have components from somewhere else. Like the Japanese chairs from Inada have Chinese components, the American chair has some Taiwanese components, the Panasonic chair, it’s designed in Japan, but made in China, it’s so convoluted. And now, there are these chairs that are being made in China, and passed through Japan, so they can be said that they’re made in Japan. I don’t even know anymore, and I’m in the industry every day, and I honestly don’t know which way is up anymore, with where a chair is made, and how much is, like what percent of it is made, like maybe a chair that says it’s made in such-and-such a country only has 5% of its chair made in that country. Maybe the chair passes through another country, and it says made in this country, I don’t even know anymore. And I think it’s become such a big deal about whether a chair is made in China, or Japan, or USA, or Taiwan, you know, I don’t even know, and I hate to sound so lost on this, but I really am confused. I went to the Chinese factory, I saw that 100% of that chair was made in China, and the box says the raw materials that came, like the rollers, or the strips of fabric, or whatever, they came from Chinese companies, made in China, and then brought to the factory, where they are now assembled in to a chair in China, and it’s sent out from China. So, but maybe there’s another company that does that, but they ship the chairs from China to Japan, and then they stamp on the box ‘Made in Japan,’ and then they ship it to America, I don’t know, I don’t know. So, anyway, sorry, I’m kind of going off a little bit on that, but you know, I don’t know. The more I find out about this, I’ll tell you, that’s all I can tell you.
[SCREEN TEXT: Please “Thumbs Up” Like This Video!!]
Alan: Well, anyway, I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, please feel free to thumbs up ‘Like’ us on our YouTube channel. Of course, help us spread the word about massage chairs by sharing this video on your Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, whatever, help us spread the word.
[SCREEN TEXT: 888-259-5380]
Alan: And if you have any questions, you can feel free to give me a call at 888-259-5380, I’d love to visit with you about anything in the massage chair industry, especially now that we’re getting close to the holidays, and you’ve got to make some decisions. Anyway, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ and I will see you again in two more weeks. Bye bye.
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