Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update 07/09/2013”
Alan: Hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ and today is July 9th, 2013, and this is our biweekly massage chair industry update. We’ve got a few things to go over today, some good stuff.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]
Alan: First of all, I’ll go over stock with you. I just found out that Panasonic is finally going to have the MA70 in stock on July 15th along with a new shipment of 1285s. However, because of the stock issues with the MA70 for so long, now they’re out of stock on the 30007s, which will not be available in July at all and hopefully will be here in August. Inada is not back-ordered on anything, but they do have a low-inventory alert on the ‘Black’ leather Sogno; all their other chairs are in stock. Human Touch is good on all their stock. Infinite Therapeutics is good with all their Infinity chairs; they are all in stock. Osaki is out of stock on the OS-1000 for the next three to four weeks, and the 7075 is out of stock in the ‘Ivory’ and the ‘Taupe’ for another four weeks. Their ‘Black’ and ‘Brown’ are in, and all their other chairs are in, including the newly redesigned OS-3000. So that is it for stock. Oh, and iRobotics – the Luraco – apparently is in stock now. We were back-ordered on a couple of their colors, but they are in stock now on their iRobotics 6.
[SCREEN TEXT: American-Assembled iRobotics 6 Chair Price Now $7990!]
Alan: But I should also mention that their prices went up on July 1st. If you recall, I was in a bit of shock when I first announced this, but their original price was $4990 on this chair, which is an American-assembled chair. I think 40% to 50% of the components are made in China; the other 50% to 60% are made here in the U.S. and then assembled in the U.S. And that chair just jumped up in price to $7990 from $4990, so it went up $3000. And that chair is now in stock, and I suspect they’ll have good stock if that’s the chair you’re interested in getting. But anyway, this is just to let you know the price on that chair jumped from $4990 to $7990, which, personally, is the biggest jump I’ve ever seen in a massage chair in eight to ten years in this industry.
[SCREEN TEXT: Lots of Interest in the New Infinity Iyashi]
Alan: Now, the Iyashi – I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls on the Infinity Iyashi, which is their new model that is not out yet but is supposed to come out sometime this month. That is the first chair that is going to mass produced and marketed and distributed in the U.S. that has rollers that go down the back and under the seat in to the buttocks and the backs of the thighs. It’s a 49-inch roller track; most chairs nowadays have about 29 to 31 inches of roller track. I believe the OS-3000 – the newly redesigned Osaki chair – has 36 inches, but 49 goes all the way down to just behind the knees. That will be interesting to see how that feels.
I sat on a prototype at the Las Vegas Furniture Market last year by another company, and it was just to test the chair they brought in to see how people responded to it. And I remember sitting on that one and it had a roller track that went underneath the thigh, and I thought it was pretty cool. The design was very, very simple, and I don’t know how this one is going to work with design. The one I sat on, I don’t believe it had airbags or foot massage or anything for calf – no, actually, that chair had rollers that went all the way down the back and then under the buttock and then underneath the calves, so all the way down to the ankles but did not have any airbags. So this one will be a little different because it combines the airbags of the arm and calf massage and, I’m sure, the shoulder and the waist and neck airbag massage and also foot rollers on this Infinity Iyashi.
So it’s going to be a cool chair – I’m looking forward to seeing it. I’ve had a lot of calls about it, a lot of interest since I wrote a couple of articles about it and since I mentioned it on my last one or two massage chair industry updates. And this is also the chair that has the sliding base of the chair so you can put this chair right up against the wall, half an inch away from the wall, unlike most of the chairs where you have to be a foot and a half, a foot to 18 inches away from the wall. This one right up against the wall, but when you recline the chair the base slides forward as the chair reclines, so it moves away from the wall and that is a great space-saving idea. Anyway, I am intent on getting one of these chairs and I may get it as early as this week, a floor model, but they’re still working on some software programming on the chair. Once I get it, I will immediately write a review and start recording some videos for your perusal; I know how much you enjoy those videos. We will get them out as soon as we can on the Iyashi.
So far, they’ve got a Droid app available for their Bluetooth connectivity. They’re still working on the iOS with Apple; that one is not ready yet, but it should be available when the chairs come to market later this month. In the floor model that we get, we’ll probably just get the Droid app – and that’s OK, that’s what I use. I use a Droid phone so I’ll be able to use it and see how it works.
[SCREEN TEXT: 1 Week Old Black IT-8200 Chair for $2795]
Alan: Also, I do have a couple of used chairs available for those who are interested in them. I have a one-week-old IT-8200. A fellow ordered it that he wanted to use after prostate surgery; he wanted to use it for rehabilitating but it was a little bit too much for him and so he returned it just a week later. That one is in the box ready to ship; it’s in immaculate, perfect, like-new condition, it was hardly used – how much can you use a chair in one week? That chair is available; regularly, it retails for $3195, we’ll be selling that one for $2795 and that will include free shipping.
[SCREEN TEXT: 2 Month Old Black LEATHER Inada Sogno with 5 Yr Warranty – Only $7999!!]
Alan: We also have a ‘Black’ leather Sogno. Now, this chair usually retails for $8799. This one’s a couple months old. They also bought the extended warranty, so they spent I think it was $9249 for this chair, they spent a pretty penny on it. It was a fellow who bought it for his folks, but his folks don’t like it – and I don’t know how many times that’s happened since I’ve been in this business. People buy it as a gift for their parents and one or the other doesn’t like it. Sometimes it has to do with it doesn’t feel good, and other times it has to do with, “Why on Earth would you spend that much money on a chair?” Sometimes the older generation – and I know this because both my parents are still alive and they’re in their eighties, and both of them would probably say the same thing, coming from very austere years in their early years. But anyway, for one reason or another, these chairs do get returned once in a while because the parents don’t like it, and this is one of them.
We’re going to be selling this one for – let’s see, it’s the black leather – we’re going to be selling it for $7999, which is the price of the regular Sogno. So if you’re interested in this chair, let me know. It’s a very good price, and I’m sending out an email tomorrow morning to my list, to put it out there and have it sold. So, if you want it, call me as soon as possible and we’ll get you hooked up with the chair. If you’re in southern California, the chair is at my delivery guy’s business in southern California. So if it’s to there, we can include the white glove delivery; otherwise, it’s regular delivery outside of southern California but the white glove if you’re in southern California. And that includes the 5-year warranty, remember, the extended warranty, and it’s black leather, not the regular Naugahyde or synthetic leather upholstery.
[SCREEN TEXT: Is the Inada Sogno Still All That After 5 Years?]
Alan: Oh, I’ve written a couple of great articles – well, this might be a little biased, but I’ve written a couple of good articles. One was about the Inada Sogno. I get asked all the time about the Sogno, and the Sogno is kind of like the standard, the gold standard in this industry. All the other chairs basically imitate its design; all the newer chairs like the Infinity, Osaki, Cozzia, Omega, they’ve all knocked off the design of the Sogno. Inada really revolutionized the chair industry with the design and then also with some of the features such as the 3D massage; the iliotibial band airbag massage on the thighs; the Dreamwave technology in the seat; the air massage on the shoulder, on the top of the shoulders; a full arm massage, it had bicep massage as well. We’d never seen any of that stuff before this chair came along, and so that chair when it came to market, it just kind of took the whole industry by storm, and it’s been our top-selling chair since it came out in 2008. But it’s been near five years; it’s also one of the longest-standing models out there of the ones that we carry with the major name brands.
Well, I get asked all the time, “Is it going to be different? Are they going to upgrade it or make it different?” No. “Do they have a chair to replace it that’s going to be even better than the Sogno?” No. “Is it still worth the money that is asked of it; for a Japanese-made chair, is it still worth the $7999 price tag?” And I have to say yes based on a number of criteria. I go over that in this article. The title of the article is, “Hey Doc, Is the Inada Sogno Still All That After Five Years?” And I’d have to say – based on its innovation, based on its pioneering status, and based on the iconic position of this chair in the market – “Yes,” I would have to say, “Still all that.”
And no one has been able to replicate all the features of the Sogno. The Infinity 8200 and 8500 have tried to imitate the Dreamwave technology where the seat goes from side to side. It’s not the same as a Sogno, but it is an imitation of it. Luraco with their iRobotics has this airbag thing that comes around the head and pushes down the shoulders. The Osaki 7200 has – no, well, I need to talk about that, too, but I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about that yet – but the 6000/7200 from Osaki had airbags that pushed down on the traps from the headpiece as well, even though there is a new 7200 out that does not have that feature. And I don’t know if I can talk too much about that, but there are some changes brewing in the 7200 model – good changes, but hopefully we’ll be able to talk about that on the next video. Also, they have full arm massage on the Sogno; Luraco came out with an airbag that pushes on the front of the bicep as it pulls, too, and a totally embracing airbag as on the Sogno. Only the Panasonic MA70 has airbags that actually massage the iliotibial bands, like the Sogno does. Oh, and the 3D feature where the rollers – all rollers go up-and-down and side-to-side, those are 2D rollers – the 3D goes forward and back as well, so it’s not just up-and-down and side-to-side in the X and Y axes but also goes forward in the Z axis to create an even more dynamic massage, but it’s primarily to increase the intensity of the rollers. Well, now that’s becoming a fairly popular feature in some of the newer chairs – not all of them, a lot of chairs still lack the intensity control of the rollers.
But as you can tell from what I’m explaining, the Sogno is still very, very unique in this feature set. No other chair has been able to take all of them and put them in to one chair. There are chairs out there that say they are like the Sogno for half the price or less than half the price, but that is not a true statement because they are not like the Sogno; they’re quite different. They may look like the Sogno, they may have a feature like the Sogno, but it does have the full feature set. And you know what, things work in synergy, don’t they? Your body works in synergy: Your circulatory system works in harmony with your respiratory system, which works in harmony with your nervous system, and they all kind of work synergistically together to create this beautiful thing called a human being. Well, the chairs are similar to that – without the living component, of course, without the vital component of the human body – but what the Sogno does is it takes all these different features that work synergistially together to create this beautiful experience. And other chairs are beautiful and they create magnificent massages and they are great bang for the buck, but they are not the Sogno. Anyway, this article goes in to that in some detail; I’ve already yacked too long on it, but just FYI, if you want to read that article, take a look at it on my blog.
[SCREEN TEXT: IT-9800 Review & Videos]
Alan: I also wrote an article about the IT-9800, and I’ve done some video recordings of it. The IT-9800 is kind of like this lesser-known Infinity chair. Everybody knows about the 8200, the 8500, now the Iyashi, and the 8100, but very few talk about the 9800. I’ve sold a few of them and I actually had one in my showroom – I just sold the showroom model – but I really like that chair. It’s a great chair and they’ve got some amazing features like a full inversion, which is a complete recline past horizontal. No other chair has that. It has leather upholstery; it’s made in Taiwan as opposed to mainland China; it doesn’t have airbags but it has a calf massage called the swing that moves the calves, the legs from side to side. And I remember, when I was a chiropractor, there was an actual therapeutic device – I can’t remember what it was called – but the idea was to put your feet in to this device and it would move your legs from side to side, which creates this rhythm in your body which would help heal. I don’t know much about that – I just remember seeing it – but that’s kind of what this chair has. Again, leather upholstery, inversion, it has zero gravity.
This is a chair that is not talked about a lot. There’s an old Neox chair that was made by the same manufacturer in Taiwan, but I think that company is not really out there anymore. But the IT-9800 is that chair, and it’s a very nice chair. I really like it. It’s a comfortable chair just to sit in; it doesn’t have arm massage, so it has just regular armrests so you can just sit in it. Anyway, we videotaped about five or six videos on that chair. We uploaded the first one last week to YouTube, and I wrote an article about the 9800 because it is a nice chair. Now, I didn’t understand how to use the remote at first and I talked to Mike over at Infinite Therapeutics to kind of walk me through some of the basics of the functionality of the remote and how it works in the chair. It’s very easy to follow, very easy to use – I really like that chair. So take a look at the article, take a look at the chair. It’s kind of priced in the same ballpark as the other Infinity chairs, 8200 and 8500 – somewhere in between $3300 and and $3600, $3700. So, it’s kind of in the same price point, it’s just a different chair with a different feature set.
[SCREEN TEXT: Series of Massage Chair Warranty Reviews]
Alan: OK, that is that for those articles. I have also, and I think I mentioned this in the last one, but I’m writing a series of articles discussing the specifics of the warranties of the massage chairs. You know, we always just say ‘one year, parts and labor, two year structure, or two year parts, three year structure, or three year parts and labor, or whatever, in house.’ But there are certain, you know, caveats to each warranty, and so I’m going over them. We’ve done the Inada, the Panasonic, and the Human Touch, I’ll be doing Infinity this week. But, you know, keep an eyeball on those. We carry eight major brands, we may be carrying more, we get people asking us all the time to carry their chairs, and it’s kind of a slow process for me. I’m a kind of a slow guy when it comes to making change. I really want to make sure I’m carrying the right chair, and I’m carry a chair that has good customer support, and blah, blah, blah. I’m kind of anal about that because I don’t want, I don’t want my customers, and pardon the vernacular, I don’t want them to get screwed over by a chair that looks great on paper, and feels good when you first sit in it in the showroom, but you know, two months later it breaks down and you can’t get any help for it at all. That was one of the reasons why it took me so long to get on board with Osaki and Infinity. They asked me to carry their chairs for quite some time before I did. But until I, you know, knew or heard about the chairs a little bit more, I was not too quick to jump in to it. And anyway, the eight major name brands that we carry now are chairs that I feel relatively comfortable with. There are some issues with a couple of the chair companies that kind of bother me, but they still take care of my customers, and they still make a decent product. But I’m writing about the warranties now, so you can understand, you know, ‘Gee, is this going to be covered for me?’
Some of the other companies out there, they don’t have in-home warranty, and those are, I kind of stay away sometimes from those ones, because the idea of having to ship a chair back, they’re like 300 pounds, and packing it up, and shipping it back is a major problem for a lot of my customers. And you know what, baby boomers, I’m a baby boomer, and I’ve got to say I’m still pretty active physically, I play hockey every week, I have six kids and four grandkids that I play with all the time, so I’m an active guy, but the idea, the thought of packing up a 350-pound chair, and taking it apart and putting it back in the box the way it came, that scares the living crap out of me. And I think there’s a lot of people that feel that way, and there’s people that are much older than I am, the leading-edge baby boomers, and folks in their golden years – I mean, could I see my 85-year old dad or my 81-year old mother putting together a chair to ship off to, you know, some company so that they can fix one little part? That kind of stuff worries me, and so I’m kind of cautious when it comes to, you know, accepting chairs if I don’t feel like the warranty is going to serve my customer.
[SCREEN TEXT: If I Had My Own Massage Chair Line …]
And I’ll tell you, if I ever carried my own line of massage chairs, that would be – it’s cool to have a chair that’s got neat features, that’s a good thing – you want to have a chair that people are attracted to, that’s appealing to people, that looks cool, that has neat features. You know, like some of these chairs now that have foot rollers, I think it’s cool, rollers that go down to your butt and thigh, cool, you know, airbags that massage your whole arm, or a seat that moves, cool. But if that breaks down, am I stuck, am I going to be stuck with this chair, that is the area where I would feel, if I had my own line of chairs, that my emphasis would go in to the customer support to make sure that people are taken care of because that is a big deal. So anyway, I’m rambling on, and as you can tell, it’s not a problem for me to ramble on if I really get in the mood. But these articles that I’m writing, this series of the eight chairs that we carry, talk about their warranties in detail so that there’s no surprises for you, and you can take a look at this even before you buy the chair. I kind of take all of the main points of the warranty and kind of lay them out in bullet-point form, and I add kind of a little commentary about some of them that, you know, are noteworthy. So FYI, that’s available, those articles are available for you on my blog.
[SCREEN TEXT: Feel Free to Use and/or Share My Articles or Videos]
Alan: And by the way, if you like any of the articles I write or the videos that I post, please feel free to put them on your own websites, you know, talk about them on your Facebook page, if you have a blog, you talk about health issues or, you know, whatever. Whatever, if you’d like to share those videos or those articles, you’re free to take them and use them in any way that you can that will help you to, you know, to give content your website, or your blog, or your Facebook page, or what not. You know, I think that’s just about it, so if you have any questions, feel free to give me a call. You can always call me toll-free at 888-259-5380. And it comes as a shock to many, but I do try to answer every call, and if I can’t, I have a staff member that takes the calls, and then they – and I basically tell them, you know, you don’t have to feel like you’ve got to know anything about the chairs – if you’re, you know, don’t worry about if you don’t know the specific question of a customer. She’ll text me the phone number, or email me the phone number and the message, and I will get right back to you so I can make sure that you’re taken care of. So, please feel free to call. If you like this video or any of the videos that we put out, feel free to ‘Like’ us on YouTube, or share us on Facebook or Twitter or whatever, we appreciate you helping us spread the news about massage chairs.
I heard it said last week, in a conversation with one of the principals of a massage chair company I sell for, that there are over 60,000 massage chairs sold in the United States each year, or I should say, in the last year. And I’ve got to say, that’s a large amount of massage chairs, but for a country with the tens of millions of people that we have, that is not a lot of massage chairs. It’s a very, very small percentage, if you compare it to the percentage of people in the Orient, particularly in Japan, which is the homeland, the motherland, of massage chairs, that’s not a lot. A lot of those countries have in every home, and every bath house, and every spa, they’re everywhere. Here in the United States, we’re just kind of getting on to it and you know, it’s a good time for baby boomers, you know, like myself, who are older and are starting to hurt. It’s a little harder to get out of bed in the morning, and after a game of hockey, or basketball, or tennis, or whatever you’re playing, or golf, you know, you got to go home and lay down on the couch because you can’t function until you’ve had a rest or you’ve, you know, put some Ben Gay on your back, or whatever the situation is, or go to a chiropractor or sit on a massage chair, these chairs are just what we need.
So anyway, please feel free to spread the word about massage chairs. And if you have any questions, give me a call, email me, you can online chat with me on the website, I’m almost always available and I love talking about massage chairs, it’s kind of a passion of mine. Again, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ looking forward to talk to you in a couple of more weeks. And of course, I look forward to talking to you through articles on the blog any time, and I appreciate your time today, have a good one. Bye bye.
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