Transcript of Video Titled "Massage Chair Industry Update - October 23, 2013"
Alan: Well hello, I'm Dr. Alan Weidner from 'Massage-Chair-Relief.com' and today is our biweekly massage chair industry update. Today is October 23rd, 2013 and boy, have we got some good stuff to go over with you today.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]
Alan: I just got back from a trip to Dallas, where I visited with Osaki and Luraco, and I'll go in to that in detail in just a moment, but first of all, let's go over some of the stock. There's not much to announce as far as stock goes. The 'Chocolate Brown' Inada Sogno is back-ordered until – oh no, sorry, sorry, no, no, no, no, the 'Black Leather' is back-ordered until October 30th – the 'Chocolate Brown' Sogno has been discontinued, so that color is no more, there's no more in stock, and it's discontinued. The OS-4000 is back-ordered on the 'Brown' and 'Black' until November 12th. As you know, the Osaki 4000 is kind of their middle of the road, I think it's $2695, very, very popular chair that kind of got them, kind of launched the whole Osaki line quite successfully, but anyway, that chair is back-ordered.
[SCREEN TEXT: Infinity IT-8200 Discontinued]
Alan: The IT-8200, which was the chair that was similar to the 8500, but missing a few of the bells and whistles of the 8500, has been discontinued completely, and they're out of stock, so the IT-8200 is no more. So, that chair is actually off of our site now, but if you've been thinking about the 8200, forget it, it's not there anymore.
[SCREEN TEXT: Infinity Price Increases]
Alan: Now also, Infinite Therapeutics announced a couple weeks ago, it's almost two weeks ago, the increase in price of their Iyashi, their 8100, and their 8500. The 8500 went up $300, so the after instant savings price is now $3995 instead of $3695, and the Iyashi jumped up, their sale price jumped up from $4895 up to $5295, and the price of the 8100, you know, I can't remember what that price went up, I think it went up $200. Now, the IT-7800, which is kind of their lower level, you know, no bells and whistles chair, that chair dropped, their sale price dropped from $1795 down to $1695. So, they kind of announced that to us, I think it was like Wednesday night or Wednesday afternoon, a couple of weeks ago, and then the price change went in to effect that Friday. So, there was a bit of a frenzy of buying of the Infinity, especially the 8500 and the Iyashi, but those prices have now gone up, and those prices are now stuck, so you won't be able find that 8500 or the Iyashi at the old price, and by the way, I might mention that they're very, very popular chairs, and I think it was probably a good move by the company, by Infinite Therapeutics, right before Christmas for those two popular models, selling as well as they do.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Osaki OS-3D Pro Cyber]
Alan: Now, Osaki has a new model out called the OS-3D Pro Cyber, and I alluded to this two weeks ago, but they wouldn't allow me to mention the name of it. Well now, two days later after I said that, of course, the name was out and the chair was out, and we'll be getting it up on our website today. I sat on that chair this last, on Monday, when I was in Dallas at Osaki's place, and it's a great chair. It looks like to me, like a real modern-looking 7075. Now, the price on this one is $4795 after the instant discount, but it's a good chair, and the 3D, I'm telling you something, it's intense. The 3D is intense, and when it's in the automatic programs, you can only adjust the 3D a little bit. Remember, 3D rollers means that the rollers move forward and back, and the further forward you move them, the more intense the massage is. Now, on this one, as is the Pro Dreamer, which I have in my showroom, when you use, when you put those chairs on in the manual setting, not – the automatic setting, it can increase, but only by one setting – but when you it on a manual setting, you can increase that roller phenomenally high, and it is intense, like it was probably the most intense massage I've ever had, but you can also pull it back, so it's just a regular, normal massage.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Osaki Models with 3D Roller Technology]
Alan: That 3D is quite a bit more pronounced than what we saw on the Sogno, which was the company – you know, Inada pioneered the 3D technology with the Sogno, and there is a noticeable difference on that – but on this one, boy, oh boy, it is intense, it's an intense massage. So, if you like, this 3D thing's going to create all kinds of opportunities for folks buying chairs because you can pull the rollers back, and make it less intense, and it'll be easier on those of you and your family that don't like an intense massage – but if you want to really get beat up, and a lot of people do, that's why the 8500 from Infinite Therapeutics and the 7075 from Osaki are so popular, because they're cool chairs, but boy, can they massage you intensively, but there's no intensity adjustment on those chairs – well now, Osaki's come out with this Pro Dreamer, the Pro Cyber, and the Pro Intelligent, all three of them have the 3D. Boy, oh boy, I sat on all three of them when I was at Osaki on Monday in Texas, and holy cow, those will move you. So, if you want deep tissue massage, that new Cyber, the new Dreamer, and the new Intelligent will do the trick for you, especially that Dreamer and Cyber. I was really, really impressed with how vigorous that massage was, and of course, the foot massage also in all of those models, and that can be quite intense, and if you're not used to it – you know, when you think about the amount of tissue that's protecting your foot bones, and your foot muscles, and then you think about the tissue in the back, you know, the rollers in the back don't bother a lot of people, and most people can deal with that – but foot rollers, a lot of people are very, very sensitive down there. It's one of those areas where you either love it, or you can love it, but just for a few minutes, and then you got to shut it off, and all these chairs have the ability to shut off that feature, but it's neat to have the foot rollers. That's a nice feature, and I think that that is going to be something we'll see more and more and more in the chairs coming out from all the companies. So anyway, that's that about the Cyber. I will have the Cyber up on the website later today, and I may not have all the information up on it, I'm still kind of gathering all the data about the chair, but I should have the chair up as a product, and with images. I just got the images yesterday from Osaki, and that's a neat chair, I like that chair. We're going to get that in our showroom in the next week or two, and of course, I'll write reviews about it.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Article Feed for Each Product Page]
Alan: Let's see, what else can we talk about – oh, a new feature we added and I really, really like this – if you go to any of our product pages, you'll see that there's some tabs, underneath the pictures, and the 'Add to Cart' of any product page, you will see, underneath that, some tabs. It'll say 'Overview,' 'Features,' 'Functions,' 'Specs.' Well, we combined the 'Features' and 'Functions' under one tab called 'Features,' and the 'Functions' tab, we've turned in to an 'Articles' tab. What my Web guy has been able to do is extract all the articles that I've written about each of the products, if there are articles I've written, they're all now referenced on that page, and you can scroll down, and see all kinds of articles, just about that product. Now we, you know, that allows us to have a correlation between our article library and the product page. So, rather than going to the article library, let's say you just want articles on the ZeroG 4.0 from Human Touch, well you've got to go – you can search for those, of course, on our article library blog – but if you want to just find all the articles, right there, lined up for you, go to that tab on the ZeroG page, and click 'Articles,' and you can see them all there, you can scroll down, and read all the articles, and click whichever ones you want to read. Of course, some of them are massage chair industry updates, some of them are, you know, letters that I got, 'Mail Bag' letters that I got from customers that might include a little blurb about that chair, but some of them, of course, are full blown review articles, or answering questions about those particular models, but that 'Articles' feature is a great feature. I think you're going to really, really enjoy that when you do your homework or your due diligence with regard to whatever chair you're looking at.
[SCREEN TEXT: Check Out New Article Library / Blog Posts]
Alan: Oh, I've written a couple new blog posts, or put up a couple, some new blog posts that you might find beneficial. As I think I mentioned this last time, we did an interview with Cliff Levin, the president of Inada USA, and he is – that's a three-part interview and I've posted that, it's on our blog, it's on our YouTube channel – and you can go and check it out. That's quite informative, and always, there's always something revealing that each of these heads of the companies say that maybe we're not aware of, or that we didn't think they could mention, but I really enjoyed the interview with Cliff.
[SCREEN TEXT: Upcoming Interviews]
Alan: I have another interview coming up tomorrow with Jim Coppins. We did record one last week, but I screwed up and what it was, was we had the audio of him, but no video, and the video of me with no audio. So, if you don't want to listen to me, that's great, but if you wanted to see Jim, and see the interaction between us, well, you needed both. So, we have to redo it, and I'm terribly embarrassed by it, but Jim has been very gracious to meet with me again tomorrow. Then, next Thursday October 31st, Halloween, earlier in the day, I'm doing another online interview with the folks over at Luraco, to talk about their process of this made in the USA chair, the iRobotics 6S. So, we'll have that interview, and then hopefully, we'll also have an interview scheduled, in the next week or two, with someone over at Osaki. I'll get in to my visit there in just a minute, but I such a good time there, and we'll talk about that in a moment.
[SCREEN TEXT: Massage Chair Commercial Warranties]
Alan: I also wrote an article about the commercial warranties. All the chairs have warranties, but they all apply to residential situations, so for a home, but none of them really apply to commercial settings, so if you're expecting to buy a chair to put in your nail salon, or to put in your tire store, or to put in as an employee perk for, you know, for lunch hours or coffee breaks, the warranties are different. In some cases, like Inada, you have to buy a commercial warranty. In other situations, like Panasonic, they have a 1000 hours, that's your warranty, 1000 hours. If it lasts you three years, which is their maximum warranty for residential, or if it lasts you six months, when that 1000 hours is up, that warranty's up. Then, there's other ones where the warranty is half of what the residential warranty is, others that are just a fraction of it, so I wrote an article about that on my article library, or my blog. Some people don't know what a blog is, but I'll start calling it an article library, just so you know that there's articles there and it's a blog, but anyway, we talked about the different commercial warranties, so take a look at that. Cozzia is the one company that did not have a commercial warranty, so if you use a Cozzia chair in a commercial setting, then you will probably not have coverage, so that's a good FYI. Anyway OK, so that's it for articles that we've written, we talked about the new Osaki model, we talked, oh, talked about the discontinued chairs, the Infinite Therapeutics price increases, and the back-orders, and whatnot.
[SCREEN TEXT: Dallas, TX Trip Recap!]
Alan: OK now, on Monday I flew to Dallas, Texas. I left early in the morning, and I got to Dallas at about two in the afternoon, I rented a car, drove over to Osaki in Farmer's Branch, and spent the whole afternoon and evening with the folks over at Osaki – with Chris, and Jack, and Michael, and Steven, and Manuel – and it was just wonderful, I just had a blast of a time, it was great to see their facility. They're moving out of their 18,000-square foot facility in to a 70,000-square foot facility, and they drove me over there to look at it, it's enormous. As a matter of fact, the warehouse was very reminiscent of the Human Touch warehouse, and if you've seen my video of my visit to Human Touch, you saw how big that warehouse is. This place is huge, and they're moving in there right now, half their stock was over there, half of it was still at the old place, but I had a wonderful visit there.
[SCREEN TEXT: Read About My Visit to Osaki & Luraco on our Blog / Article Library]
Alan: I got to talk to them about their strategy, about their customer support, I had some concerns that I wanted to talk to them about, and they were wonderful, just wonderful. They kind of verbalized for me what their philosophy is with regard to customer support, and it's fantastic, and I was very, very happy to hear what I heard. We talked about the models, all the new models coming out, I think they're going to even have some more coming out, maybe next year, you know, maybe one or two more. We talked about all the new models, you know, just over the last six months they've had the OS-2000 Combo, the OS-3000 Chiro, the OS-7200CR, the OS-3D Pro Dreamer, the OS-3D Pro Intelligent, the OS-3D Marquis, or I don't think it's 3D, but the Marquis – we've got the Cyber, Marquis, Intelligent, I think that's it – but there's all these chairs, so I got to sit on all of them, and it was awesome. I wrote some of my – I wrote about all my observations on the blog, so I just wrote a blog Monday night when I got back to the hotel there in Arlington – and wrote my opinions about, you know, what I saw and what I experienced, and it was great, and there were some features that I really dug about some of those chairs, and I talk about it in there.
Like I mentioned earlier, if you want intense massage, that 3D is the way to get it, while still giving you the opportunity to have a lighter massage for those in your family, or those days when you don't feel like getting beat up real hard, you can have the lighter settings. That 3D massage moves those rollers forward and back, and it's a significant movement, and I was amazed at how those rollers, on the Pro Dreamer and the Cyber particularly, hit areas of my back, I mean, it really works it. So, if you've got – if you like it rough, so to speak, or intense, or if you have a lot of scar tissue in your back, or you just want, you just need some motion in your spine – the 3D man, I'm telling you, that 3D is the way to go, and you'll be fired up by the Cyber or the Dreamer. I've got the Dreamer in the showroom, and I only used the automatic programs so far on it, so I used the 3D on it, but it only moved it up like one setting, bang, bang. Well, when you put it on a manual setting, up and down the back, this thing will go way more forward and way more back, and it was impressive. So anyway, have fun with those chairs if you choose to get them. I think you'll really dig them.
So, and then Osaki, and then what did we do after that, we chitchatted some more, we went out for dinner, had a wonderful dinner, and talked more about massage chairs and the industry and, you know, I got to tell you, I'm kind of an island onto myself. I have a massage chair business, like none of my friends and neighbors are in this business, it's not like I can just go next door and talk to Bob about how cool the new massage chair is from Osaki. Nobody cares, unless they're looking for a chair, or unless they're in the business, and to be able to go there and sit there and talk to these guys for hours about massage chairs, I got to tell you, I was in seventh heaven, it was a hoot, and I didn't want to leave. We, I think we up til – I think we stayed at the restaurant til about nine o'clock, talking about models, talking about the industry, talking about what's coming out, and I tell you what, another thing that really amazes me, there's a lot of – and I don't know what the word is, it seems like it's almost, it's almost crossbreeding, going on in this massage chair industry. I mean, this chair from this company is pretty much the same chair as this chair from this company because they're both made in the same factory, and I didn't know what factories did what, but I learned a heck of a lot from both these companies about what is really going on, and it's quite amazing, but boy, oh boy, the options that are out there are fantastic for the customer. Osaki's come out with so many models now that I think it can cater to pretty much anybody, any of those, you know, one of those models is going to fit your needs, that's for sure, but it was just so fun.
[SCREEN TEXT: Luraco In-House Production]
Alan: Then, the next day, I went to see Luraco and spend the day with them, and of course, as you know, Luraco is the producer of the iRobotics 6S, which is the first US-made chair. Now, there was some push back when I first announced that, and Luraco sent me a chair to beta test and experience. Of course, there was push back because a lot of the components of that chair are Chinese, like the motors, the rollers, and some of the other components, but all the electronics are from Luraco, and the assembly is done by Luraco, and the testing is done by Luraco, and the R&D is done by Luraco. As a matter of fact, even the mold that the chair, of the chair's design, was designed by Luraco, and commissioned out to Doetas, which is the company that actually manufactured the frame of the chair, and some of the components, but Luraco is really behind it all, as far as the design goes, the engineering, the R&D, and now the electronics. I got to go through this place, and this is a big facility, it's 50,000-square feet, and they've got 40 employees there. There are people like, they're making motherboards, and they're making electronic components for this chair, and it was fascinating. I videotaped it all, by the way, and I'll post the video hopefully, you know, later this week or next week. We had like video of – watching these guys, you know, soldering electronic components to these boards, and machines that [buzzing sound], did this to put in, you know, pick up here, and put there, or pick up here, and put there, and another machine that kind of put lead, like a lead paint or whatever, on the bottom of the board – I mean, it was mind boggling, and then they showed me where they test all their chairs.
[SCREEN TEXT: Luraco Tests Every Chair Before it Goes to the Customer]
Alan: Did you know, like some companies will get chairs from China, and they'll randomly pick out a few, you know, one out of every 20 or something like that, to test it. Well, Luraco tests every one of their chairs, every single one of them. They test the components when they're made, so they test it when it's broken down, and then they assemble it, and test it again, and if there's any problems, they take out the components, and retest the components. The cool thing is that they make everything right there, so they can – if there's a problem with the motherboard, they take the motherboard out, put it here, hook it up to the testing equipment, blip, blip, blip, blip, up comes the computer screen, 'Pass,' 'Fail,' 'Pass,' 'Fail,' – and they can figure out exactly what's wrong with that motherboard. Rather than having to call China and say 'Hey, there's something wrong with this chair, we've had a couple problems with this motherboard, what's the problem?' Well, we've got to send the board back to them, and they've got to correct it, and send new parts back. I've seen that with some companies where it's taken a long time to get replacements because they can't diagnose a problem with a particular chair that's recurrent. Well, they can take care of everything right there in-house and it is pretty cool. I really had a good time with them.
I met with Manthan and Bryce, who are the two engineers, and Kevin who is their VP, but their chief, you know, chief technology officer, and Patty, who is their marketing director, and you know what, these people are – these are bright people, this is not just a bunch of, you know, just a bunch of folks that, you know, were working at, you know, working digging ditches yesterday, and today now they're selling massage chairs, you know, like maybe I was – these are engineers that have been trained to do the R&D, and to create the components for these products. They sell other products, but the massage chair, the iRobotics 6, is really their first foray in to the residential market. They've been doing spa massage chairs for three or four years, so they have experience with it, but now they're parlaying that in to the residential, home use, and the chair is impressive. I really had a good visit with them, and I'm looking forward to meet with them on the online interview, and I'll share that with you, of course as I always do, when that video is prepared. I just had a blast of a time in Texas, I came back last night, I got home at about 11:30 last night, I was fired up because I got to see these chairs, and I got to try them out, I got to talk to the people. You know, when I sit in my place here, and I get a phone call, maybe from a customer that's complaining about a chair or whatever, or complaining about customer support or whatever, sometimes you get these notions in your head of – 'Man, you know, I bet you, you know, what are doing over there, are they just sitting back, is it just like one guy over there running the whole show' – well, you know, you go over there, and you meet them, and you see what they're doing, and their ambition and their passion about the profession, man, it was awesome, man, I was fired up, it was cool to be there and meet all these wonderful people. You know what, this is a good, a good industry, I was going to say a good business, but it's a good industry, there's good people, people that are ambitious, people that are passionate. Massage chairs are becoming more popular in our society. It's becoming a real big part of the alternative medicine approach, and you know what, these people have got it, a lot of these companies, they get it, they've got it. They're excited about creating, and brainstorming, and researching, and developing things that are only going to benefit you and me in the long run because we're going to be the ones that get to be benefited by all the cool technologies, and the cool processes, of development. So anyway, needless to say, I'm fired up and excited, and I'm glad to be back to work today, here. Of course, you come home from being out of town, and everything else is piled up, and so your staff gives you all the other things you got to do when you get home, so I get to take care of all that today too.
[SCREEN TEXT: 888-259-5380]
Alan: Anyways, that's pretty much it for the massage chair industry update. I've gone a little bit longer than I usually do, I apologize, but I'm pretty energized and excited about all the things going on. We've got some other things, great things, going on at Massage-Chair-Relief, and over the next few weeks, I'll be announcing those things as they come to be. I'm very excited about the future of this industry, and the future of the whole massage chair phenomenon in the United States, I think it's a great thing, and around the world, for that matter, but particularly here in the U.S. since this is the customer base that I spend 95% of my time serving. Anyway, that's it for this week. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at 888-259-5380, or send us an email, or chat with us on our website.
[SCREEN TEXT: Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!]
Alan: Please, if you found this video helpful, 'Like' us, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and you'll get updated on all the videos that we do, and we put out a lot. I mean geez, I think we've got like 165 videos right now, and we try to put out one to three videos every week, so feel free to subscribe to our channel. Share us on Facebook and Twitter, and you know, '+1' us on Google Plus, whatever. Help us spread the word about massage chairs because it's pretty dang exciting stuff, and I think you're going to dig it once you get your own chair and you start to experience how neat it is, you're going to love it, and you're going to want to share it. So anyway, again, I'm Dr. Alan Weidner from 'Massage-Chair-Relief.com,' thanks so much for spending time with me today, and we will see you in two more weeks. Bye bye.
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