Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – September 29, 2016”
Alan: Well, hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com’ and today is our biweekly massage chair industry update for September 29th, 2016, and this is a Thursday. I hope you’re having a great day, and a great end of the summer, and beginning of fall.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]
Alan: I don’t really have much stock to talk about, I haven’t received any notifications of anything being out of stock right now. It seems like everything is pretty flush throughout. Of course, all the companies are getting ready for Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, and the beginning of the holiday shopping season, which will be maniacal, as it is every year, and we look forward to having plenty of stock for that occasion. But just as a word of advice, if you want to make sure you get the color you want, and the model that you want, I would recommend buying your chair even before Black Friday/Cyber Monday, because once that hits, the chairs will be flying off the shelves, so to speak, and stock will be diminished. So, you may not be able to get the color you want, you may not be able to get the model you want until after the new year. Anyway, OK, now I’ve got a number of things to talk about.
[SCREEN TEXT: 18 & 36-Month Financing Options Now Available on Select Models]
Alan: Let’s see, first of all, we’ve got – you know, I talked about this before, but we’re adding the additional financing option of three years – 18 months and three years. Now, this is going to be on certain models that have a profit margin large enough to handle the processing fees. Like for example, the processing fees on 6 and 12 months are like 3% and 5% respectively, and so we can offer that all-year-round, but when you start talking 18 months, and three years, or 36 months financing, you’re talking about 11 to 15% merchant-processing fees, which are significant. So, there are only certain chairs that can handle that, so we will we always offer the 12-month financing, but now we’re offering the 18, and the three year, but just – and we’re offering that throughout the year – not just on special occasions. There are still special occasions where we can offer those, the 18 months and the three years, on other models, on lower-profit-margin models, certain times of the year when the processing fees are decreased, but for now, we’re offering it throughout the year. That will be – there are some stipulations with that, and certain models that apply – but if you’re interested in the three year, or 36-month financing, or 18-month financing, contact us, call our toll-free number, 888-259-5380, and either myself, or my staff, can tell you if the chair that you’re interested in will qualify, and that is also through Synchrony Bank, as the 6 and 12-month financing is.
[SCREEN TEXT: Osaki Pro Summit]
Alan: You know, I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Osaki had a bunch of new models, and a couple of them, I’m quite excited about. Number one is the Titan Alpine, I’ve always loved the Titan Alpine, it’s probably my favorite L-track chair. Well, they’ve upgraded – well, not really upgraded – they’ve kind of rebranded it a little bit. They’ve taken the same chair, but added shoulder airbags on the sides of the shoulders, rather than behind, like the Alpine, and they’re calling it the Osaki Summit. Originally, when I announced it a couple of weeks ago, it was the Titan Summit, so there was the Titan TP-Pro Alpine, and the Titan TP-Pro Summit. Well, now they’ve moved that over to the Osaki family, so now it’s the Osaki Pro Summit, and I like this chair, because what they’ve done is I think they’ve upgraded a little bit of the guts of the chair, but the essential function is the same, the look is exactly the same, but now they’ve added these side-shoulder airbags, and the cost of the chair is only $300 more than the Alpine. But I would encourage you to take a look at that Osaki Summit, if you’re looking at the Alpine.
[SCREEN TEXT: Osaki Pro Maxim]
Alan: Also, from Osaki, I mentioned that we had this new model called the Maxim, and I’ve got to tell you, I really like this chair. We have it in our Utah showroom, I thought I would only have it in the Utah showroom. My contact at Osaki had encouraged me to get it, and I was a little leery, because I didn’t have much room in my showroom, and I thought ‘Well, is that the model that I want?’ You know, another L-track, and a $3000 price point, because every company seems to have a chair in that price point, including Osaki/Titan. So, I was a little leery, but I bit, and we got the chair here, and boy, oh boy, do I like it, and boy, oh boy, has it been popular. We’ve had three sales of that chair in a week-and-a-half from people that have come to the showroom, tried out that chair, compared it to other chairs that are in the same price point, and more expensive, and less expensive, and that Maxim has been a hit. And I think, you know, you can point to the Bluetooth technology, you can point to the touchscreen remote, but none of those things actually affect the function of the chair, in terms of how it feels when it’s massaging you, that is something that’s a real personal experience. So, when you sit in a chair, you might look online, and see that there’s like, you know, five models that have the same features, and you think ‘Well, geez, these are all the same chairs, maybe you know, give or take a few hundred dollars.’ It’s not like that, you have to sit in the chair to really get a feeling for what it’s like, and when people sit in the Maxim, they love that chair, and you know what? I like it, and it’s just a good – you know what it kind of reminds me of – it kind of reminds me of the Infinity IT-8500, which is not an L-track chair, but which is one of our most popular-selling Chinese chairs, because when people sit in it, it just kind of feels right, and it has the same features as other chairs, but it just kind of feels right when you sit in it. That’s how the Maxim feels to me, and I really like this chair, so anyway, take a look at the Osaki Maxim. Oh, and I was just visiting my California store, just earlier this week, and I told the boys there that we’re going to carry this chair, so we have to make room for it. We have to sell off a couple of other floor models in our California showroom, but we’re going to carry that Osaki Maxim in the California showroom as well. It’s a nice chair, and it’s $3295. It’s $3995 on the website with a $700 instant savings, but you know, $3295, a very good price for a really good chair, a great bang for the buck. That’s a great bang for the buck. OK, let’s see if I’ve got anything else about Osaki. Nothing else, they – no, nothing else – we sell a lot of Osaki product. It’s a very popular company for us. We sell a lot of the Osaki/Titan/Apex models, and we don’t even carry all the models, but the ones that we do carry, we feel are the ones that are best for us to carry, and we love them, and they seem to be very popular. I mean, you got the Apex Ultra, you got the Osaki Maxim that I just told you about, we have the Titan Executive, which is a very popular chair for us as well, so this is a company that provides some chairs that our customers really like.
[SCREEN TEXT: Ogawa Sale Until 10/21/16]
Alan: Anyway, OK, let’s move on. We’ve got – oh Ogawa, now Ogawa had a sale where they were offering $500 off the Smart 3D, $250 off the Active, $100 off the Refresh – now they’ve rebooted another sale, and this is similar to the one they had earlier in the year where you get a free Foot Therapy Plus foot-massage device if you buy the Refresh. You get a free extended warranty with the Active and the 3D, so right now, you can get the extended warranty at no extra charge for those two chairs, the Ogawa Active and the Ogawa Smart 3D. So, that goes on until October 21st, so if you want to get that chair, or if you want to get those bonuses when you get that chair, act now, and get the chair now before the 21st.
[SCREEN TEXT: HT-7120 Discontinued!]
Alan: Also, Human Touch has discontinued the HT-7120. I’m a little melancholy about that, because the 7120 has been around a long time. You know, for better or for worse, Human Touch holds on to some of their models for a long time, and you know, the 7120 is pretty much kind of out, it’s kind of an outdated chair, really. My very first massage chair was the Human Touch HT-125, which was the precursor to the 7120, and the 7120 brought heat to the game, brought 3D roller technology, and so it was an improvement over the old 125. The 7120 has been around a long time, and the 7120 is the old Sharper Image HT-275, so but that chair, you know, it’s run its course, just like the 7450, so they’re finally, I think, cleaning out some of these older models that just really aren’t on par with the technology that we have with today’s massage chairs, including Human Touch’s own chairs. And I’ll talk about one of their models in just a moment, but you know, they’ve got the new Navitas Sleep, they’ve got the ZeroG series – oh, by the way, well anyway, I’m going all over the place – but and they’ve got the Bali.
[SCREEN TEXT: Human Touch Ascent Series]
Alan: And so, they’ve got the whole new Ascent series, A-S-C-E-N-T, Ascent series, including the Novo, which I’m going to talk about in this broadcast. So, anyway, Human Touch is finally cleaning out some of the old models, and I think it’s time, and so now we’re moving on kind of a new era of massage chairs from Human Touch. Now, let’s see, so discontinued the HT-7120.
[SCREEN TEXT: Used Chair Directory]
Alan: OK, oh, well, we may as well just go in to this right away. My used chair directory, I’ve added a couple of new chairs there. One is the Titan 8400, which is a discontinued model, and I’m selling my floor model, here at the showroom, for $1995, regularly $2995. It’s an L-track chair, a good chair, great basic L-track.
[SCREEN TEXT: My Opinion of No-Name Massage Chairs]
Alan: And here’s another thing, I had someone come by my showroom the other day, and they were asking me for my opinion on a no-name-brand chair that they saw on Amazon, and it was a name I’d never heard of before, and the price was really good. I think it was like $1800, and they wanted to know my opinion of it, and I said ‘Well, you know, I have no idea how the chair is, the chair might be great,’ but the things that you want to be careful of, and I cannot harp on this enough, my recommendation, my personal opinion, based on being in this industry for 12 years is that if you buy a no-name-brand chair, yes, you will get it for less, but you are going to have trouble with that chair eventually. And that trouble may be in the form of a chair breaking down, or you’re going to need to need parts, or you need some kind of customer support, and the chances are, you’re not going to have it. In other words, the warranty is not what you’d expected, where there are going to ask you to ship the chair back to them for hundreds and hundreds of dollars for them to repair it, and you’re going to have to pay for the return shipping. Or they’re going to send you a part that you’re going to have to put in yourself, even if you have no idea, and no propensity to mechanical things, or fixer-upper things, or you’re going to call a phone number from the people that you bought it from, if you can find them, and you won’t get through. It’ll be a voicemail, and you may never hear back from them. So, anyway, those are the things that I would encourage you to to be careful about when you’re buying a no-name-brand chair. Now, anyway, so sorry, my microphone had fallen off. So, the long and short of it is, if you’re going to buy a chair, buy a name-brand chair, and so if you want to spend under $3000, you know, I’d recommend going to you know, Titan Chair USA, I think it’s Titan Massage Chairs, but anyway, they have a lot of chairs that are not their Pro series, but you know, they’re kind of their intro series to the massage chair industry, and they’ve got a lot of chairs that are lower priced, but they’re a name brand. So, you’re safe with them, so you’re going to be able to have a warranty, and a warranty that has some – you know, some mustard in it, so it’s not going to be like this – in other words, you know who you’re dealing with. It’s a company that’s been around, and they’re well known, and they’ve got a warranty, and they’ve got support, etcetera, etcetera, so if you’re looking at some of those no-name-brand chairs, buyer beware. That’s all I’m going to tell you, because I’ve seen enough misery people’s voices, and in their eyes, when they’ve told me that they’ve bought a chair, and they can’t get any help and support to fix it, to last a lifetime. Anyway, that’s my opinion, and we constantly have upgrades to our used chair directory, so if you want to see what’s cooking there, I’ve just added a ZeroG 5.0. it’s like a month old – well, it’s our floor model – and it’s $1000 off, perfect condition, comes with the full warranty. I’ve got the 8400 I just mentioned to you, I have a Human Touch Bali, which is a floor model that we’re selling, so we’ve got some good chairs there. Not many right now, but we update that, and so when we have new chairs, or refurbished chairs, or open box, or used, or floor models, that we’re selling, that’s the place to go to check it out.
[SCREEN TEXT: My Visit to Human Touch – New Novo XT Model]
Alan: OK, so this last week when I was in California visiting the store, I had an appointment with Human Touch. They wanted to introduce me to this new chair they’ve been marketing through Costco called the Novo, and it’s an L-track chair. It’s kind of a cool-looking design. The chair is a big chair, it’s got a fairly intense massage, it comes with foot rollers, lots of airbags, I believe it has Bluetooth technology as well, and the Novo also has a rocking feature. Well, they’re going to continue to sell that chair through Costco, but they’ve upgraded now. They’re coming out with an upgrade called the Novo XT, and they’re coming out with that in November, and that chair is going to have 3D L-track, which means that you can adjust the intensity of the rollers. Most L-track chairs don’t have a 3D function, so they’re going to offer that. The chair is going to be $7999, it’s pretty high for a Chinese chair, but they’ve tested the chairs in some of their east coast markets, and it’s been, apparently, selling quite well. So, you can take a look at their website, HumanTouch.com, to see what the chair looks like. We will have it up in November, I suspect, when they have them here, and we’ll have it in at least one of our showrooms, and you can check it out and see how it looks. I sat in it, I did some video footage of the chair while I was there, I saw new blue, the current blue on the Novo, and the new blue they’re going to come out with on the XT, and that’s kind of cool about this chair. It’s got some cool color options, it’s got a brown that kind of looks like a leather brown, it’s got black, it’s got cream, red, and blue – and the new XT is going to have a darker – oh, and the blue on the Novo is a bright blue. It’s a nice sky blue, it’s really a cool-looking chair, if you’re really want to have some, you know some, you know, what’s the word, some unusual, or non-regular colors of chairs that you usually see, which are black, brown, and cream. So, anyway, take a look at that, it’s a pretty cool chair. We’ll have the XT out in November, and then you can learn more about it. And I’ll show my video on my blog, I should have a blog post up later today or tomorrow, showing the video footage of that chair, as I saw it, at Human Touch on Tuesday. Well, you know, I think that’s just about it for this week. You know, I get asked quite a bit, and I hesitate to say too much, because I don’t ever want to offend anybody, or say the wrong thing, which I have done in the past, and I apologize for those times when I’ve kind of spoken off the cuff, and said a little bit too much, maybe offended some people, for which I’m very sorry, but I get asked a lot about the Inada DreamWave. And it’s almost like it’s kind of on a little bit of a downhill slope, as far as popularity goes. Our own sales of it have diminished a bit, and it’s a higher-end chair, I mean, the DreamWave has always been kind of like the Rolls Royce of massage chairs, since it came out in 2009, but we’re noticing that the sales have dropped off a bit, and these L-track chairs have become quite popular. And I think that’s one of the reasons why the DreamWave maybe isn’t quite as popular as it used to be, because of the L-track, the onset of these L-track chairs, and more competition coming in to the marketplace. And you know, the DreamWave, it was upgraded a couple of years ago, but you know, there’s not one Japanese chair that I’m aware of that has foot rollers, that has zero gravity, that has a music function, or calf rollers, or L-track, not one Japanese chair. So, I think, in some ways, the Japanese chair sales are hurting because of that. The Chinese are coming out with all the innovative stuff, like the L-track, like the foot rollers, like the calf rollers, like the, you know, the Bluetooth, and you know, whatnot, so I have a feeling that’s probably contributing, and every chair has its rise and fall. It kind of has its curve of being real, you know, coming up in popularity, and then kind of dropping off in time, and so I think that’s probably what’s going on with the DreamWave. It’s been a great-selling chair, and it’s a good – it’ll always be a good-quality chair – it’s Japanese workmanship, and it’s a great chair. But its popularity has waned this year, in our experience, and I asked from people about this chair, and why it doesn’t have certain features, and are they going to be adding this feature, or that feature, and I don’t know what Inada has up their sleeves, but those are some of the reasons why I think maybe the popularity of that chair has waned a bit. But anyway, if you have any questions about the DreamWave, or any other chair we carry, you can always give me a call any time at 888-259-5380, and I’d be glad to share my opinions, and my editorial with you over the phone. But anyway, I think that’s just about it for this week. If you have any questions, of course, feel free to give me a call, you know where, and if you found the video helpful, please feel free to thumbs up ‘Like’ on our YouTube channel. And of course, spread the word about massage chairs by sharing this video on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, any social media platform, we appreciate you helping us spread the word. So, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner, and I will see you again in two weeks. Bye bye.
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