Massage Chair Industry Update – March 24, 2016 (Video)

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golden microphone

Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – March 24, 2016”

microphoneAlan: Hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com’ and today is our biweekly massage chair industry update for Thursday, March 24th, 2016, and not a whole lot to talk about today. Of course, I always say that, and I end up yakking forever, but here’s the things that we’ve got cooking.

[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]

Alan: Let me get in to stock just briefly. I emailed the massage chair companies last night for information about their stock, and the only one I heard back from was Infinite Therapeutics, so – or Infinity now, as they’re more commonly known as, they have the – oh, and then Human Touch also notified me that the WholeBody 5.1 is out of stock. They didn’t have an estimated time of arrival of the new models. So, that’s the Human Touch WholeBody 5.1. They discontinued the ZeroG 2.0, and I think they’re also discontinuing the Human Touch 7450, so there are some changes there. Now, Infinity, they’ve discontinued the ‘Ivory’ IT-8500, they’ve discontinued the Iyashi, white exterior with the caramel interior, and they’ve discontinued the IT-8100, but I’m going to talk about a new model that they just introduced, to kind of replace that one, and I’ll talk about that in a moment, and also, the black on black Iyashi is just on back-order. So, that’s the only chair they have on back-order, and that’s back-ordered for two to three weeks. As far as Inada goes, I think they’re all in stock there. I haven’t heard of any other Human Touch chairs that’re back-ordered. Osaki, Titan, and, Apex, I never really quite know until I place the order, if they’re back-ordered. I believe the Ogawa chairs are all in stock. I think the Ogawa Refresh was back-ordered until the middle of March, I believe that’s in stock now. So, anyway, if you have any questions about stock at the time of purchasing any particular model, let us know, and I will say that sometimes we think that they’re in stock, or that we’re told that they’re in stock, and then you know, a week later, someone places an order, and then we send the order in, and they tell us ‘Oh, that’s back-ordered.’ Well, sometimes they don’t know fully if the chairs are back-ordered or not, at the moment – well, let me put it to you this way – at the time that they tell me that they’re stocked, or not stocked, I believe that, but the stock could disappear in a day or two, or three, or four after I do this recording. So, a week from now, the stock may be gone, and we’ll let you know if the stock, if it’s back-ordered, and usually it doesn’t take longer than one or two weeks, except for the Infinity Escape, which took like two-and-a-half months. January, February, oh my goodness, yeah, we didn’t – we got it, January, February, half of March – yeah, it was two-and-a-half months. That’s rare, that’s very bothersome to me as a retailer, and very bothersome to my customers, but sometimes that happens. So, anyway, having said that, let’s move on.

[SCREEN TEXT: New Infinity IT-8500X3 & Infinity Evoke]

Alan: Infinity, now, I told you that they were discontinuing – or that they discontinued the IT-8100 – well, they’ve made a couple of exciting announcements, one of which is very interesting to me. The Infinity IT-8500, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the Infinity IT-8500 is a Chinese-made chair, all the Infinity, and Osaki, and Human Touch, they’re all Chinese chairs, but their chair, the IT-8500, has been our top selling Chinese chair for as long as I’ve been selling it. I figure that’s probably five, maybe five years, and our top selling Chinese brand, or Chinese model, made model. It just continues to be a popular chair, and the one thing that it lacked, in my humble opinion, was – it was a – it didn’t have the 3D rollers. Well, people were fine with that, because, and I’ll talk about this a little later as well, as far as adjusting intensity, for a chair that does not have 3D rollers, but this chair, the IT-8500, very popular chair, good bang for the buck. It was priced, for the longest time, at $3995. Now, it’s $4295; still a very good price, for a good feature set in a chair. Well, they’ve come out now, with the new IT-8500X3, and that has – and the X3 alludes to the 3D technology – so it has the same fit, and same body. I’m just looking at the thing here, excuse me, the spec sheets, and let you know what they have. They’ve got new 3D auto programs, they’ve got an auto extend neck feature, they’ve got five 3D intensity levels. Let’s see the chair is going to be selling – it’s going to be retailing for $5795, with a $300 off promo code, so that’s – instant savings, that is, so it’s $5495. So, it’s going to be $1200 more than the IT-8500, which will have the – but it’ll have the 3D rollers, it has – oh, it says here also, it has the Bluetooth compatibility. You know, the 8500 has the older, you know, download your music to a jump drive on your computer, and then plug it in to the USB port in the back of the IT-8500. Well, now it’s going to have Bluetooth connectivity, which is great because you can just connect from your cell phone, and play your music. It has a sleeker, redesigned remote, so I don’t know what sleeker looks like, but I know the remote right now, it’s a fairly, good rectangular shape. It’s a good size, easy to see, but we’ll see how it looks, and it still has the decompression stretch, and spinal alignment. They call it spinal alignment, it’s the shoulder airbags that pin the shoulders back. The stretch program on the IT-8500 is awesome, the neck massage, awesome, foot rollers, awesome, it’s a great chair. So, I’m very curious to see how this new IT-8500X3 is, and I’ll let you know once I find out more about it. I’m sure we’re going to get it in one of our showrooms – but one, maybe both of our showrooms – but definitely we’ll have it in the California showroom. Anyway, there’s another new model they’re sending out, or introducing now, to the market, called the Evoke, E-V-O-K-E, Evoke, and here are the basic features – and again, I’m sorry for not looking at the camera, I’m just looking at the stat sheet that they sent me – zero gravity, deep tissue massage, space saver, airbags from head to toe, well, everybody seems to have that, lumbar heat, foot rollers, heel rubber, and I think that’s the same thing that they have in their Escape, which is their lower priced L-track chair. And that heel rubber kind of – it’s a great foot massage – and I don’t know if it’s going to have the same six rollers per foot that the Escape has, but the heel rubber is pretty cool, as it grabs the heel, and gives that a massage. So, anyway, that’s the Evoke, and that one’s going to be selling for $2695, so it’s going to compete price wise, with the Osaki 4000T. The Osaki 4000T is a real – it’s a workhorse, it’s been around forever – it doesn’t fit some people very well. I’ve found that the Osaki 4000T, and probably the 4000 that you can get on Costco, the Dreamer, the Osaki Dreamer, and the Osaki 7200H, and 7200CR, they have shoulder airbag housing that’s a hard stop, and so what’ll happen is when you sit in the chair, and then you put your arms out, to go in to the armrests for airbag massage, the bottom of the housing, the shoulder airbag housing, digs in to your upper arms, and it can be quite uncomfortable. It’s worse on the Osaki 4000T, and the Osaki 4000, not as bad on the Dreamer, or on the 7200 series, but it is burdensome for a large, broad-shouldered person to sit in that bloody chair, it becomes irritating. Well, this is a chair, $2695, that kind of competes with the 4000T. It has the deep tissue massage, the 4000T is the more moderate, mild massage, this Evoke seems to be more deep tissue. It’s a space saving technology, none of the Osaki 4000, or 4000T models, have it, lumbar heat, foot rollers, the foot rollers on the Osaki 4000T are pretty mild. I suspect with Infinity, knowing their other chairs, it’s going to be a good, intense foot massage. Anyway, that’s the new Evoke, so I don’t know if I’m going to be having that in my showroom either, maybe I will. The 4000T is kind of an older technology, it’s been around for years. That’s kind of – that was the flagship chair for the Osaki brand, and then, of course, they’ve now got so many other models, and model – brand lines, and you know, whatever, so anyway, just so that you know.

[SCREEN TEXT: Update on the SoCal Showroom]

Alan: Alright, what else have we got cooking? Let’s see, oh, our Southern California store, I was just down there last week. We were doing some recording for a television commercial. Well, our walls are still as bare as the day is long, I mean, and they’re long walls. So, the guy that did our buildout is going to put up some sconce lighting for us, and some nice trim, and we’ll put up some pictures, and you know, we’ll have Mona kind of pick some nice artwork, or whatever, or maybe some nice pictures of massage chairs, heaven forbid, and we’ll put that up on the wall to kind of make the wall look a little busier. But I’ll take the videotape of that when we have that done, and it’ll look sharp, but we’ll post that up for you to take a look at, but that Southern California store is a nice store. I like it, it’s wider than our store here in Utah, it’s deeper than our store here in Utah. You feel like you can have more than one person in there at a time, looking at chairs, but I really like that store, great store, and great staff. So, go down and meet Michael and Chris, they’re just awesome, and for those of you that don’t know, and of course, if you’re only Vietnamese speaking, you’re not going to understand a word of what I’m saying now, but Michael Nguyen is our showroom manager, and he’s bilingual, Vietnamese and English. And so, you know, feel free to give us a call at that – at our, well, here – our number there is 562-865-4607, 562-865-4607. Go ahead and call, and you can talk to Michael, if you’re Vietnamese, of course, talk to him, but for Anglos, you can talk to Michael or Chris.

[SCREEN TEXT: Massage Chair Tip!]

Alan: And one last thing I’ll chitchat about, just – you know, I should do this every one of these video recordings – these biweekly updates, I should give like a massage chair tip, or something like that. But one thing that people – I tell people, all the time, about in our showroom is how to use – how to change the intensity of a massage chair if it’s too intense for you, and you don’t have the 3D rollers. Even if you do have 3D rollers – by the way, 3D rollers mean that the rollers can move forward or back to increase, or decrease, the intensity of the massage – well, what do you do if the lowest intensity setting of the 3D roller is still too much? Or, what do you do if you’ve got a chair like the IT-8500, which is a deep-tissue massage chair, but it doesn’t have the intensity adjustment ability, it doesn’t have the 3D rollers, or now it does, but if you can’t get it low enough? Well, what we always recommend is using something that we call a throw blanket. Now, I don’t know if you know what a throw blanket is, but a throw blanket is like a decorative blanket that a lot of people use for, you know, to decorate a couch, or a chair, and these massage chairs aren’t the prettiest things in the world, so a lot of people use throw blankets to kind of, you know, try to camouflage the chair. But well, you can use that throw blanket, if you fold it up in quarters, or whatever, and you use that as a back pad. It’ll, you know, lay it down the length of the chair, and use that as a back pad. It’s a wonderful way to do it, because sometimes people use pillows, like sleeping, bed pillows, or couch, decorative pillows. They’re too thick, you’re not going to feel much massage at all. So, you know, if you can get a thin foam pad, or something like that, that’d be great, a memory foam pad, like the iRobotics 7 comes with a memory foam pad now, which is great, but just use a throw blanket, it’s awesome. Plus, if you’re the decorator of the house, and you look at that chair, and you go ‘Oh my goodness, that is butt ugly,’ and you want to change the look of it, use a throw blanket for that too. Anyway, there’s my intensity adjustment advice, and my decorative advice, which is so amazing.

[SCREEN TEXT: 888-259-5380]

Alan: Well, I think that just about does it for this week. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at 888-259-5380, there you go, and of course, you can always email me, comment on our YouTube channel, or on our Facebook page, or you can go on our chat software, whatever. You can always reach me, and if you don’t get directly to me, I will always call you back, but anyway, feel free to give us a call. If you found this video helpful, please feel free to thumbs up ‘Like’ us on YouTube, and of course, share this, or any of our other videos, on your social media platforms to help us spread the word about massage chairs, we appreciate that. Massage chairs are kind of a new thing, relatively infantile in its stage of development here in the United States, and we appreciate you helping us spread the word about it, because this is a great thing. Duh, that’s why I do it. Well, anyway, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ and I will see you in two weeks. Bye bye.

Click on the following link to watch this Massage Chair Industry Update on our YouTube channel.

Mail Bag – IT-8500 for broad frame; IT-8500 vs. OS-4000T; Dreamwave Airbags

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email sign with mouse

Customer Email #1

 

emailI’ve been researching the chairs you mentioned and I’m leaning toward the IT 8500. I read on one of the reviews on you site a gentleman had a broad frame and the IT 8500 seemed to be the best fit for him. Would you say that a broad shouldered person would best fit in the IT 8500?

 

One of the things I liked to do with my Panasonic real pro Ultra would be to scoot up in the chair a few inches when it was reclined to get a bit of glute massage. Not sure if the chair was made for that but I didn’t have any issues with it. The domes on those Osakis appear to restrict any kind of movement like that. Maybe that is a good thing from a safety stand point. Continue reading “Mail Bag – IT-8500 for broad frame; IT-8500 vs. OS-4000T; Dreamwave Airbags”

Review of the Osaki OS-4000T

os4000tAlthough I had sold quite a few of the Osaki OS-4000T chairs over the last few years, I didn’t get one in my showroom until this month! Well, yesterday I had a chance to sit down with the original flagship model of the Osaki line and get to know it a little bit better.

It is a good-sized chair and, in my honest opinion, a great bang for the buck at $2695 (at the time of this writing). It’s feature set is replete with features that we’d normally find in a more expensive chair, including mechanical foot rollers, zero gravity, plenty of auto programs, 46 airbags, low back heat, and much, much more. You can check out the entire feature set on the Osaki OS-4000T product page on our website.

A list of features is one thing, but observations of how the chair feels and works in a functional way is quite helpful in knowing more about a chair. That is what I will go into now: Continue reading “Review of the Osaki OS-4000T”

Mail Bag – OS-4000T vs. IT-8500; MA70 vs. OS-Pro Intelligent

emailCustomer Email #1

Hi, I’m continuing to research and look for the chair that will be best for me at the best possible price. Initially the Osaki OS-4000t was on the top of my list. My research is making me concerned about the ability of the OS-4000t to massage the shoulders and neck. This is where I carry my stress… I’ve found the Infinity IT-8200 and it sounds very similar to the OS-4000t, but with inversion therapy and hip stretch. It doesn’t look like you carry the IT-8200 anymore, but will ask if you can get the Infinity IT-8200 as well as the best price on this chair. Another chair that is much more expensive, but keeps coming up is the Panasonic EP-30007. Mostly because it seems it does a great neck massage and has foot massage rollers. Panasonic also has the reputation and brand familiarity. I’m not sure if the foot rollers are under the foot or above the foot? I’ve also read the OS-4000t roller range is really more like 26″ instead of the 30″ advertised. I’m not against the OS-4000t, but am trying to uncover its weaknesses. Is the OS-4000t going to give me a better bang for my buck than the IT-8200 and EP-30007? Or, will I be frustrated I didn’t get everything I wanted? And finally, design… Seems in this aspect the Infinity in Taupe is the most attractive and the OS-4000t looks a little space-age for a liviing room. Too bad the Panasonic isn’t available in Taupe or brown. On the other hand, smaller is better so the chair isn’t the “elephant in the room”, putting the OS-4000t back in favor. Is there one that, in person, has nicer leather, materials, and design over the others? Sorry for so many questions but I don’t have the ability to sit in or see any of these chairs near where I live, Fort Collins, Co. Thanks again, Doug. Continue reading “Mail Bag – OS-4000T vs. IT-8500; MA70 vs. OS-Pro Intelligent”

Quick Hits – OS-4000T; Omega Models Discontinued; Used HT-7450

I’ll go into detail on these notes next week in my biweekly Massage Chair Industry Update, but I thought I’d mention them here in our blog as well.

Osaki OS-4000
Osaki OS-4000

1. Osaki has made a modification to their popular OS-4000 model. They have added mechanical foot rollers. Of course, foot rollers have become all the rage as of late and we see more and more models coming out that include this feature. Well, Osaki just added it to an already popular chair. I’ve not experienced the foot rollers in this upgraded model, now called the OS-4000T, but I am told that they are similar to the foot rollers of the OS-3D Pro Cyber and Dreamer models. That means it is not too intense, like the rollers of the OS-7075R tend to be.

They have also made a slight change to the upholstery of the OS-4000. I’m not completely clear on the change, but it has to do with the texture of the material. I’ll post a pic when I get my hands on one.  Continue reading “Quick Hits – OS-4000T; Omega Models Discontinued; Used HT-7450”

Mail Bag – Iyashi Concerns; Customer with Cancer; Zero-gravity vs. Zero Embrace

CUSTOMER EMAIL #1 (Infinity Iyashi concerns)

emailThanks for the follow-up Alan. There are certain things we really enjoy about the Iyashi but others that have us puzzled and unsure of our decision.

Pros:
1. love the ‘wall-away’ feature
2. the bluetooth is nice cause it indicates to me that there may be future customization capabilities with programming
the routines of the chair (possibly just wishful thinking on my part?)
3. the very long track on the back rollers that takes it past the glutes to the upper thighs – very nice!
4. the heat and zero gravity features Continue reading “Mail Bag – Iyashi Concerns; Customer with Cancer; Zero-gravity vs. Zero Embrace”

Osaki OS-4000 vs. Infinity IT-8100 (Part 1 – Similarities)

When the new IT-8100 massage chair was introduced into the market a couple of months ago, the pitch was that this chair would compete with the popular OS-4000 from Osaki. I thought that it might be a good idea to write a comparative review of the two models for those of you looking at chairs in this price range. I should warn you, however, that I have not yet sat on the IT-8100 and I have only sat on the OS-4000 once about a year ago. All I remember about that experience was that the rollers were firm and quite vigorous.

But, anyways, here is my 2-part literature review of these two comparable models, beginning with the similarities: Continue reading “Osaki OS-4000 vs. Infinity IT-8100 (Part 1 – Similarities)”

Is The Osaki OS-4000 The Same Chair As Brookstone’s uAstro?

Shopper’s Inquiry:

Dear Dr. Alan Weidner

Thank you for your information on your web site. It is really useful for a first time buyer. I am looking at buying a massage chair. The chair which I am most interested is the Osaki OS-4000 in terms of functional and price range. But I have a couple of questions on this brand and model.
1) How is the Osaki brand? Sounds like a Japanese name but not heard it a lot as the big name like “Panasonic” or… Looks it has good value. How is the overall quality of this brand and this OS-4000 model?

Osaki OS-4000

2) The Osaki OS-4000 looks very similar to the OSIM uAstro in Brookstone. I also heard that actually they are the exact same chair from the same China manufactory but just with different brand name or maybe control panel. Is that true? What is the real story behind?

Thanks a lot,

Tom

My Response: Continue reading “Is The Osaki OS-4000 The Same Chair As Brookstone’s uAstro?”