Massage Chair Industry Update – March 9, 2015

March 14, 2015
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
March 14, 2015
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Massage Chair Industry Update – March 9, 2015

Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – March 9, 2015”

microphoneAlan: Hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘’ and today is our massage chair industry update for March 9th, 2015, lots of stuff to talk about today. The biggest thing I’m going to chitchat about, and I’ll talk about a little later, is my trip to Dallas, Texas last week to visit Osaki and Luraco, and I got lots of great – had a great experience visiting those companies, and learned lots of information about new models – and I’ll share that with you in a moment.

[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]

Alan: First of all, as far as stock goes, you know, this LA dock strike has been a pain in the royal rumpus for months, and it seems to be at Christmas time when the dock workers go on strike. I understand their positioning as a union to leverage the time of the year to try to get their demands met, but holy cow, does it mess up a lot of business here in the United States, because a lot of the products that come from overseas, like – well, they all come through the dock – but a lot of companies import their stuff from overseas. So, it’s been a real pain in the rumpus, and it’s now over, but they’re still back-logged, trying to get the ships in, and all the containers in, and everything accounted for, and processed. So, massage chair companies are still back-logged as far as – or still on back-order on a lot of their models – because of this this dock strike, even though the dock strike’s now over. Well, one of the chairs that was back-logged – or back-ordered for three months, well, pretty much, almost, three months – was the Osaki OS-4000T, and we have a lot of orders that have been waiting since as early as before Christmas, and those orders are finally coming in. So, even though they’re still coming in slow, I believe the ‘Cream’ and the ‘Charcoal’ came in last week, the ‘Brown’ and the ‘Black’ are coming in this week, if they aren’t in already.But that has been a thorn in our side, especially my side, because I’ve had to talk, and appease my dear customers who’ve been extremely patient, waiting for these chairs to come in. Also, the Titan 8400 is back-ordered for another couple of weeks, two to three more weeks. The Inada ‘Red,’ the ‘Red’ Inada DreamWave and the leather ‘Black’ DreamWave are also back-ordered because of the strike, they should be in within the next week or two as well. The Infinity IT-8500 is back-ordered until the end of the month, for the ‘Black,’ that is only the ‘Black,’ I can’t remember if I mentioned that, but just the ‘Black,’ and so there are lots of chairs that are back-ordered right now, but they’re starting to come in again, and stock will be in full supply. Of course, it’s after the holidays, and when we really needed them, but stock is coming in again, so we’re very grateful for that. Also, I will mention to you that – oh, the Panasonic MA73 is also back-ordered – their last shipment came in, and there was hardly any in it, I don’t understand why they don’t bring in more chairs, but there were hardly any chairs in the last shipment, and now they’re back-ordered until the end of the month, the 1st of April. So, the MA73, which is a good chair, and an in-demand chair – you know, it’s Japanese designed and engineered, though manufactured in China, in Panasonic’s own warehouses there, or their own factories – the quality control is still Japanese, and all the benefits that come with a Japanese-made chair are still part of the MA73 makeup, but that chair is back-ordered. So, we’ve got all kinds of back-orders, and I’d like to thank the LA dock strike for that, but that should be, again, that should be ending soon. Oh, actually, I can’t blame the LA dock strike for the – well, no, maybe I can, Panasonic did say it was because of the dock strike that things were back-ordered for the Panasonic MA73 as well – so maybe we do have to thank them as well.

[SCREEN TEXT: Inada Flex 3s on Sale – $5999!!]

Alan: Let’s see, oh, speaking of Inada, the Flex 3s is on sale for the month of March. It’s down to $5999 now, it’s regularly $6799. When this chair came to market in October or November, it was $6499, with a promise that the price would increase in December to $6799, which it has, and now for March, they’re offering a March madness sale of $5999. So, if you go on our website, and you go to the Inada Flex 3s page, you’ll see an $800 instant discount, go ahead and click that, and it’ll give you the $5999 price, but it’s only for the month of March, but it’s a great deal. So, for a Japanese-quality chair made, designed, engineered, and manufactured in China, it’s a great deal.

[SCREEN TEXT: Panasonic 1285 Discontinued]

Alan: Let’s see, what else have we got cooking? Oh, the Panasonic 1285 is discontinued, so existing stock is available, and then it’s done, and I think someone, one of my customers, bought one on Costco, it was quite cheap on Costco, and I think when you see – when a chair is discontinued like this chair is – you will see the pricing, you know, go all over the place, and you can get some pretty good deals on these closeouts.

[SCREEN TEXT: Blog Reconstruction]

Alan: Let’s see, what else? Our blog is under construction, we’re redoing our blog. Our website has, or the – as I mentioned, I think a couple weeks ago, or a couple of issues ago – our website, and our shopping cart have all been upgraded, and updated, to the most recent technology to make it more amenable for my massage chair shoppers, for you, and also for mobile, and tablet, and you know, cell phone usability is better now. But our blog has not caught up with the times, and we’re actually in the process of doing that now. So, if you see our blog not quite responsive like it used to be, or you see that it’s in a bit of flux or transition, that’s OK, that’s the way it’s meant to be while we’re waiting for it to be upgraded, or updated to the new software, and a new theme, so we’re quite excited about that, but be patient if you find that my blog is a little goofy. If you can not – and I found when I was playing with it the other day, I could not get back to the home page, except by pushing the back button – so if you’re experiencing that, then go ahead and just keep pushing the back button to get back to the main website, or click one of the links in one of the articles, which will take you back to the website.

[SCREEN TEXT: 18 Month 0% Interest Financing – March 11 – 17]

Alan: Synchrony Bank is offering a – you know, and throughout the course of the year – all year long we can offer 6 and 12-month financing through Synchrony Bank, and that’s 6 to 12-month, 0% interest financing. But a few times a year, when they lower their processing fees for us, we can offer the 18-month financing, and we will on March 11th, which is Wednesday. So, if you were thinking of getting financing, from the 11th to the 17th, also a March Madness sale by Synchrony Bank, you can get 18-month financing through us. They drop our processing fee, I think down to around 5 or 6%, which is still quite high. I mean, it’s much higher than a credit card fee, or Paypal, but it is still lower than 10%, which is what it usually is, so if you want the 18-month financing, jump on it, between this Wednesday and next Wednesday.

[SCREEN TEXT: Infinity Iyashi Price Now $5295]

Alan: Let’s see, what else can we talk about today? Oh, the Iyashi, the cost of the Iyashi has gone up, and our cost, and the retail cost has gone up. So, now, what we’ve done, and what Infinity has instructed us to do, is to drop our coupon, or our promo code, or our instant savings, I should say, which is on our website already, which was $800 off, is now $600 off, so essentially, the price of the Iyashi’s gone up $200. Well, for $5295, but for an L-track, the quality of that chair, that’s still a good price, especially – it’s still very much in the ball park of where the other chairs are, I mean, the Alpine – the Titan Alpine is $5495. There’s a new chair coming out called the Apex Ultra, which I’ll talk about in a moment, that one’s $4395, so it’s still in the ball park with the rest of the chairs, of that quality of chair.

[SCREEN TEXT: Titan Alpine Review & Videos Available Now]

Alan: Let’s see, oh, speaking of the Alpine, the Titan Alpine, I really like that chair, it’s a nice chair, it’s got a great neck massage, it’s got the L-track, it’s got good foot rollers, and that chair, we just, I just kind of – I wrote a review about it a few weeks ago – you can check that out on our blog, or our article library. But we’ve also put out some videos on it, I think we’ve got six videos of it so far, and check it out, I really am in love with the extended roller track idea, I think it’s a phenomenal idea. It’s something that is, I think it’s fairly revolutionary in the massage chair industry. I mean, I know zero gravity is cool, and I know foot rollers are cool, but as far as overall therapeutic benefit, I don’t think there’s anything quite like extended rollers down below – you know, going beyond the low back, the S-track of the regular, traditional massage chair, down under the butt, and the top of the hamstrings, I just think it’s remarkable, and I’m a low – I’ve got low back pain periodically, so it’s something I’m very sensitive to, and I like it. So, for those of you that have low back pain, and want to see something extra special, with your hips, or with your sciatica, or whatever, these L-tracks are pretty cool. So, we’ve got some videos up of the Alpine, the Titan Alpine, there’s also the Titan 8400, and as I mentioned the Infinity Iyashi, which also get down, and hit that buttock area through the L-track, or the extended roller track.

[SCREEN TEXT: Texas Visit with Osaki & Luraco]

Alan: Let’s see, what else have we got going on? I think that’s about it for the main business, but as I mentioned, I went to Texas last week. I flew in on Tuesday, spent Tuesday afternoon with Luraco, which is the company that makes the iRobotics 6SL, and then Wednesday, I went to visit Osaki, which of course, is the home of Osaki, Titan, and now the new Apex line, and I’ll talk about each of these. First of all, I went to Luraco on Tuesday, as I mentioned, and had a wonderful visit with them, and Manthan was there, and Kevin Lee, and the good people that I met two years ago when I went, and I had a wonderful visit. They’re just wonderful people, and they’re very, very much – they’re very innovative – and they’re continually working on innovations for their massage chair.

[SCREEN TEXT: New iRobotics 7 from Luraco]

Alan: Now, the 6SL is their, kind of their flagship chair for now, but they’ve got a new one coming out called the iRobotics 7, and I got to sit on that. Even though it’s not, the software’s not completely ready, I got to sit on the chair, and I got to experience it with them, and they made a slide show presentation for me, or a PowerPoint presentation. Slide show, that shows you how old I am, we used to have slide shows, now it’s PowerPoint presentations, and they had a PowerPoint presentation for me on the new iRobotics 7, and I like the chair.

[SCREEN TEXT: Japanese > Taiwanese > Chinese]

Alan: Again, it’s assembled, it’s assembled in America, with American-made parts and imported Chinese parts, but now it’s not Chinese, it’s Taiwanese now. On the 6SL, it’s Chinese parts, but the Taiwanese parts are what’s going to differentiate it from the 6SL, and the Taiwanese – now, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but Japanese chairs are considered the best-made chairs – and then Taiwanese are considered the next best, and then Chinese are considered the next best. The Taiwanese chair, the quality of the Taiwanese chairs is better, and they usually, typically have a longer warranty, typically have a longer longevity – a longer longevity – a better longevity, and so the Taiwanese components in this iRobotics 7, I think are a good idea, and I’ll tell you another thing, I’ll tell you a couple of things that I learned from this chair.

[SCREEN TEXT: iPhone-Like Remote Control!!]

Alan: It’ll come in a ‘Camel’ color, which is like a cream, cream color, a nice looking color, a ‘Black,’ and a ‘Chocolate Brown.’ It’s a more of a, a little more, it’s a little more sleek, a little more slender of a chair than the 6SL. It’s an easy to assemble chair, very easy to assemble, and now what’s cool about it is, the remote control has, it runs on an OS operating, or like, the Apple operating system, and so the remote control is actually like an iPhone, and it’s got images that you can touch. It’s a touchscreen, it’s the first real touchscreen remote. All the other remotes, even though some of them, like the HT Bali from Human Touch, and the – what’s the other chair I’m thinking of – oh, the Infinity Iyashi, they have like a more, a different style of remote that’s more interactive on the LCD screen – and now this is the first remote control that actually has touch. So, you can touch an image just like an app, and go and adjust whatever it is that you want to adjust, and it’s very, very user friendly, and very, very versatile. So, you can go in and adjust the intensity, this one has 3D roller intensity, you can adjust the airbag intensity of each individual airbag. You can, of course, manually program whatever you want, but I played with it, and it was very easy to use, and you’ll, you – it’s a little bit bigger, it’s maybe like the iPhone 6 Plus, or whatever that one’s called, I’ve got the 6, and I know it’s a little bit bigger than this one – but it’s a very user friendly remote, and I think you’re going to love that, very, very cool, and then let me see what else we saw on that chair. I mentioned about the – oh, it’s on a Linux platform, it’s compatible with Windows also, body scan sensors – and it’s a significant technology for the body scanning. It’s not just measuring your shoulders and your head, which is what most chairs do. It’s a more sophisticated body sensing system, where, along, the rollers have sensors, and it – and I don’t know how the technology works, these guys are the brains, and I’m just a doofus that sells massage chairs – but it has sensors that work along with the rollers to sense what the shape of the spine is. You can change, OK, you can change the direction of the foot rollers, and the speed of the foot rollers. Now, we saw the change in the speed of the foot rollers in the Titan 8400, which was kind of cool, we’d not seen that before. Well, you can do it in this one, plus you can change the direction of the rollers, and they showed me the rollers, it’s one big wheel, like a big – it looks like one of those big, old, pirate ship steering wheels with smaller balls, or rollers, at the end of each of those – each of the spokes, and so it’s a very different looking foot roller, but you can change the direction, as well as the speed, which is very interesting, and it felt cool, it was a very nice feel, I really liked it.

[SCREEN TEXT: Calf Rollers]

Alan: I believe it has calf rollers in it. It has, oh, it has heat throughout the body, so it’s not just low back and seat, it’s got heat throughout the body, and you can control the heat in various areas from that touchscreen on the remote control, and you can change the heat intensity, which is something we’ve not seen before. You can, oh, and the system has a passcode, you know how on your iPhone, you use a passcode to log in, or to get in, or actually, on the new ones, you got the thumb print, but you still, you can use a passcode? Well, this chair uses a passcode, so you don’t have to unplug the chair, or turn the key in the back of the chair, which a lot of chairs have to make it safe, or keep the kids from playing with it when you’re not there – and it’s a passcode now, and it’s – and of course, that makes sense, technologically, it’s right in line with what’s going on with our mobile devices anyway. It has easy diagnostics, so if there’s a problem, you can call Luraco, and they will be able to diagnose the problem over the phone, Inada has a very similar program with theirs. It’s a, the Taiwanese, oh, I talked about the Taiwanese parts, all the plastic, metal, and upholstery is made in Taiwan, there’s 0% mainland China parts.

[SCREEN TEXT: 3 Years Parts & Labor Warranty]

Alan: The chair will come with a three-year, parts-and-labor warranty, which as I mentioned earlier, Taiwanese chairs usually have a longer warranty, and this is exactly the same thing with this chair. Oh, and it also has a health monitor function, which is kind of cool. So, it’s got this little, like a blood pressure cuff that you put around your wrist, and it will monitor your heart rate and your blood pressure, and of course, Luraco’s always promoted their chairs as medical devices, you know, it’s registered with the FDA. They pride themselves on their engineering to make this chair a medical device, and of course, it’s a massage chair, but it has some medical – like this new health monitor is a very medically oriented thing, and I kind of like that, it’s adding additional features that you typically don’t find in another chair – but are very health oriented.

[SCREEN TEXT: $8499 Price Tag]

Alan: Now, that’s going to be an extra charge, and I don’t know what the extra charge is, the chair’s going, I think the MSRP’s going to be $10,499, but the MAP pricing will be $8499, and that’ll be the price that you’ll see on the websites. You might think it’s a little high, it’s the same price as the DreamWave, but for an American-made chair with Taiwanese components, and the innovation that has gone in to this, the engineering and innovation that’s gone in to this, it’s pretty phenomenal, and I think you’re going to really, really like this chair. I loved it, and when I sat in it, I was quite impressed with it, and of course, I didn’t even get the full benefit of all the electronics because all the software was not completed yet. But I – oh, and I mentioned to them it’s got to have a strong neck massage, which it’s going to have, it’s going to have the 3D rollers, I think I mentioned that, the stretch program’s going to be good, I just – I told them, please make sure that the neck is good, because the neck on a lot of chairs is not strong. It’s that, most chairs, all chairs have a neck massage, but not all of them have a strong neck massage, which a lot of people are looking for, to hit those suboccipitals, to hit the cervical paraspinals, and the traps, for headaches, and shoulder pain, and for some numbness and tingling in the arms and hands. There’s not enough chairs out there that have a good massage, and this one, I am promised, will have a great neck massage, and it felt pretty good when I was on it, but it was not completely – or the software was not completely there to adjust the intensity of it – to get the full depth of what the chair could do. Also, one thing that I really like about iRobotics, or about Luraco , is that their chairs, they bring the, they bring the Taiwanese parts in, they make all their American components right there in their factory, in their head office, but what they do, whenever there’s an order, most chairs – OK, all other companies, the chairs are all tested in China and Japan, and they come in to America in their boxes, and then they go to the warehouse, and some of the companies, like Human Touch, and Inada, and Infinite Therapeutics, and Osaki, they’ll open up some of the chairs to do some, you know, some testing, and to become familiar with the model, and to see if there’s any flaws, but what Luraco does is, they import all their parts – oh, and all those other companies, they can turn the chair around, and get it shipped out within a day or two, but what Luraco does is, they bring in all their parts, but they do not assemble, and test the chair, until an order has been placed. So, we expect up to a week turnaround time before it’s shipped out because the chair is going to be assembled. So, well, ‘We got an order for John Doe, let’s put it together, and so-and-so over here is going to test it, and so-and-so over here is going to, you know, put it together,’ or how ever it works, and their – by the way, their little assembly line, and their whole warehouse is huge, they’ve even expanded it beyond what I was – what I saw when I was there two years ago. That is pretty cool, you’re going to get a quality assembled and controlled chair before, here in America, before it leaves the warehouse, and I like that about Luraco chairs, and this new iRobotics 7. Now, also, and lastly, and I apologize if I’m yakking too much, but my trip to Texas was awesome. By the way, the weather was freezing, man, they had like, sleet and cold weather, and I was cold. Like, it was colder there than it was in Utah when I left, but I understand the whole East coast, and the South is like this, really funky weather for this time of the year, and for that part of the country, but it was cold, man. I actually brought my swimming suit, thinking I could go sit in the hotel hot tub, man, I wasn’t even going out, there was no way I was going to go in a hot tub, I don’t care how hot it was, there was no way I was going to walk from my hotel room, outside, to the hot tub, it was that cold, man, and I’m a Canadian. So, you’d think I’d have some pretty thick blood, but – or thin, I don’t know what it is, but I’m a wuss, man, I have become such a weakling when it comes to cold weather – and Texas, Texas was cold, and I didn’t like that. Anyway, but the visit was awesome.

[SCREEN TEXT: Osaki Visit]

Alan: Anyway, so Osaki, I went to Osaki, and I went to their new, their new place. I just saw it last time I went, two years ago, because they were just in the process of moving to the new place, on Marsh Lane in Carrollton, which is just in a suburb of Texas, of Dallas, but I’d never been there when it was all packed up, and ready to go, but holy cow – and by the way, I’ll put video of this on the blog this week – I took video of my trip, but they’ve got a huge massage chair warehouse. They got a huge furniture warehouse, they’ve also got like, just regular furniture, and it was a huge warehouse, or not warehouse, but a huge showroom, and a massage chair showroom, and in the back, where they have all their massage chairs, it was enormous. They had tons of chairs, and of course, they, why wouldn’t they, they’ve got the Osaki chair line, the Titan chair line, and now the Apex line, I mean, it’s just mind boggling how many models they’re putting out. When I was there, I got to meet, visit again with Michael, and Chris. Chris is my main guy over there, he’s the guy I do all my contact with, but Michael’s the owner, and I love Michael, he’s just – I love Chris too, but I love meeting with Michael because I don’t see him very often, except when I go there, and he’s very knowledgeable – and of course, he’s from Canada originally. So, and we have that in common, but I really enjoy talking to him about the industry because he’s a very progressive thinker, and he’s – and they’re very, very involved in the industry – and for better or for worse, but anyway, had a great visit with Michael, and his dad, and with Chris, and I really enjoyed my visit.

[SCREEN TEXT: Tried Out The Apex Ultra]

Alan: Anyway, I was, I went there mostly because I wanted to try out this new Apex line, and I only tried one chair when I was there, it’s the Apex Ultra, which is a chair that has an extended roller track, like the Alpine. It has foot rollers, it has zero gravity, it has airbags, hither, thither, and yon, like all chairs, but this one also has calf rollers, which is unique, we don’t see a lot of calf rollers. The only other time I saw a calf roller, I think, was when I visited Human Touch a month ago. In their WholeBody chair, they had a calf roller on the 7.1, and I’ve got to work on that, and get that chair up on the website to have a look at it, but that is something that’s very unique to this chair, and that’s something we’re going to see more of in chairs to come, this calf roller.

[SCREEN TEXT: Adjustable Shoulder Airbags Positioning]

Alan: Anyway, it had a good, intense butt roller massage, it had a very intense neck and shoulder massage, and I mentioned earlier, I like that. It has shoulder airbags, and the shoulder airbags are kind of cool, the housing mechanism can move in and out, so it goes click, click, click, depending on how narrow your shoulders are. So, if you’re a very thin, thin, small, petite woman, you know, your shoulder width is going to be different than a big, muscle building hombre, and so here, you can adjust the shoulder airbags in, click, click, and then click it again, and bring it out, so that it can fit the larger, larger frame, so that’s pretty cool. Let’s see what else I noticed about that one – oh, the programs are only listed one through five on the remote, which I didn’t like – but in the user’s manual, it tells you what one through five mean. So, one, two, three, four, five, one of them is a stretch program, there’s – I think, I can’t remember exactly, I just brushed over it, I think there was a ‘Morning’ program, or something, but there’s five programs – but on the remote, it only says program one, two, three, four, five. I don’t know what one, two, three, four, five are, until I go in the user manual, the owner’s manual, and see what they mean, and then of course, maybe you’ll have to remember that, so that when you sit in the chair, you’ll remember ‘Aha, #3 is this program, and #5 is this program.’ It’s got manual settings, which were great, nice chair, I really like the chair, nice looking, nice style, I should have the Ultra up on our website, maybe even today, and the other chair that we’ll have, I think will be the Regal, maybe the Vista, I’m not sure, but the price of this Ultra is going to be $4395. I think the MSRP is $5495, something like that, but the MAP price, and the price on our website will be $4395, which is a good price for this chair.

[SCREEN TEXT: Also Tried Out The Titan 8300]

Alan: I also sat on the Titan 8300, which is another chair from the Pro series, the Titan Pro series that I have. We have the 8300, the Pro 8400, and the Pro Alpine. I have the 8400, and the Alpine in my showroom, but I’d never sat in the 8300, and I sat in it, nice chair. It has six rollers, which is something I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before, six rollers, which was kind of cool. It has rollers and knobs in the feet, so it feels like the whole bottom of your foot is being massaged, I felt like, from toe to heel, my whole foot was being worked over, which is pretty cool, most of the chairs just kind of work on the arch of your feet. It has, it had decent roller intensity, I found that the neck, the neck massage, you know, I had Chris move it all the way up my neck that he could, and I’m only 5′ 9″, 5′ 10″. I found it to be a little shallow on how high it went, it wasn’t – it didn’t go up as high as I’d like – so I think for a taller person, this is not going to be a great chair if you want a good neck massage, but the overall, rest of the chair, was decent. I found it a decent chair for the money, $3495, I think it’s a good price, but again, if you’re looking for an awesome neck massage, I think you’ll be a little disappointed, especially if you’re taller. So, anyway, that is the review of that. I’m just trying to think of anything else that we were chitchatting about, I think that’s about it, and I hope I haven’t gone on too long here today, but boy, there’s been lots to talk about, and we have lots to look forward to in the future. We’ve, well, and I’ll announce some things in the weeks to come, and the months to come, but there’s some exciting things going on here at ‘,’ and we will, we will enlighten you as those things, as those things bear out. I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘,’ I appreciate you visiting here today. Please thumbs up ‘Like’ our video if you found it helpful, share it on your social media platforms to help us spread the word about massage chairs, but in the meantime, if you have any questions, call me on my number 888-259-5380, email me, chat with me on our website, on our Facebook page, on our YouTube channel, whatnot, I’m always available, I’m always lurking somewhere around my website, and my Internet properties, to visit with you if you need it. Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you again in two weeks. Bye bye.

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