Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – January 15th , 2013”
Alan: Hi, this is Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief,’ and today is our bi-weekly massage chair industry update and today is January 15th. And we’ve got lots of good stuff to cover today, and I’m going to be needing my glasses a lot because I’ve got a lot of notes here.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]
Alan: First of all, we’ll get in to stock. We have some back order issues. The Human Touch 9500, the HT-9500, in both ‘Espresso’ and ‘Black’ are back ordered until late January. Inada stock is good, Panasonic stock is good. Infinite Therapeutics stock is great on all their models, except for the ‘Brown’ IT-8200, and that will be in later this month, later this month in January. Omega is back ordered on their, on the ‘Brown,’ I think it’s the ‘Brown’ – or anyway, the ‘Gray’ Montage Pro is the only chair they have in stock for the Montage Pro, which is a popular-selling chair – and the other color is back ordered until March. Osaki is back ordered on, the only color they have on the Osaki OS-3000 is the ‘Charcoal’ color – and in the OS-4000, they are out of the ‘Cream’ color 4000, and Osaki does not know when those are coming in, there’s no estimated time for their arrival to fill that back order. And the Osaki 7075, they just received a shipment this week, but they were, all those chairs were already spoken for. They’ve got another shipment coming in Monday, but they believe that those will be spoken for as well, so those chairs are pretty popular, the Osaki 7075. So, I would encourage you to get – if you’re going to order one of those, order it soon – don’t wait for them to be in stock because by the time they do come in, they may already have all been spoken for. And I’ve mentioned it, I mention this to you almost every week, or every two weeks, because it is a common problem with popular chairs.
[SCREEN TEXT: Immersion Seating Info Updated on our Website]
Alan: Now, I have updated all the information on my website for the ZeroG 2.0, the ZeroG 4.0, and the WholeBody 2.0. We have carried those chairs for a while, but I have been remiss in getting all of the information lined up for them. So, now we’ve got all of the information updated, our comparison chart is updated, so all of the data for those three chairs is up to date, and they are great chairs.
[SCREEN TEXT: We’re Getting the ZeroG 4.0 in our Showroom This Week!]
Alan: As a matter of fact, I just ordered my first ZeroG 4.0, which is their top-of-the-line of the new Immersion Seating line that they introduced last year, and I’m excited to get it here. When I was on my trip to Human Touch in Long Beach back in November – and you’ll see the video on that on our channel if you’d like to see it – I was very impressed with that chair, I liked the feel of it, I liked the look of it, I liked the motion of it, it was a very nicely designed chair. I’m looking forward to having it in the showroom, and of course, I’ll be doing some videos to highlight certain features and functions of that chair for your knowledge, and for your due diligence and research.
[SCREEN TEXT: Ed Cini, National Sales Manager for Panasonic Coming to our Showroom!]
Alan: Also, oh we are also – I have a man named Ed Cini, who is the sales manager for Panasonic’s Wellness Division, which is the division of Panasonic that deals with the massage chairs – he reached out to me a week ago, or two weeks ago, and asked me if he could come out to Utah from the East Coast to come and visit us in the showroom, and bring us the MA70 to try out. Because I don’t have it in my showroom yet, and there were a couple of things that are prohibiting me from having it in the showroom, and we’ll be able to discuss those things when Ed comes. But I’m quite excited to have Ed come, not only to have the MA70 brought to my showroom to try it out, for all our interest and for all of our information, but also, to talk to Ed about some of the concerns I have about Panasonic, like some of their customer support issues, some of their pricing strategies, and some of their inventory accessibility. And I’m curious to ask him some questions, and whatever things are appropriate to share, either on my blog or in this bi-weekly update, I will.
[SCREEN TEXT: Panasonic MA70 Coming to our Showroom Soon]
Alan: And I’m very excited to meet Ed, and very excited to have him come to our showroom, and of course, very excited to try out the MA70, and get a first-hand feeling for what this chair is like. We intend to have one in our showroom very, very soon, but there are some pricing integrity issues, price-integrity issues that I have a bone to pick with them, and I’m very excited to discuss that and remedy that so that we can have that chair in our showroom.
[SCREEN TEXT: Massage-Chair-Relief Now a Distributor for Cozzia Chairs]
Alan: Also, we have just signed on as dealers for Cozzia massage chairs. Now, you may have heard of Cozzia before, they are becoming an increasingly popular brand, mostly through brick-and-mortar stores. And here in Salt Lake City, they are very, very popular at the RC Willey furniture stores, and they are – RC Willey is not just here in Utah, they are around the West here, western states – but they carry the Cozzia in their brick-and-mortar stores, and we will be carrying, I believe, six of their chairs online. And I’m excited to do that, and we’d like to be able to get one or two of them in to the showroom for testing, to be able to videotape for you, and give you reviews, and get you a feeling for what the chairs are really, really like. There’s nothing I hate more than selling a chair that I’ve never seen, that I’ve never experienced, and I really don’t know what to say other than the statistical sheet that we get from every massage chair company. So, that’s why I’m so excited about getting the Panasonic MA70 in, because a lot of people are interested in that chair. We sell a number of them, but I’m very unfamiliar with the, with personal with that chair, and I’m looking forward to that, and so, we hope to be doing the same with Cozzia. Those are not on our website yet, but they should be on our website within a week or two, knock on wood. It depends on how quickly my web guy can get to putting them up, but I’m quite excited about that.
[SCREEN TEXT: Inada Sogno Dreamwave Price Increase on Feb. 1, 2013]
Alan: Also, let’s see, oh, the Inada Sogno price is going up February 1st, 200 more dollars to $7999. Now, I need to clear some room in my showroom to make room for this new Immersion Seating ZeroG 4.0, to make room for the Panasonic MA70, and to make room for a Cozzia chair, so I’m going to be getting rid of a couple of floor models, and I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, and I’m going to send out an email to my list tomorrow, but for those of you that are watching this can feel free to give me a call.
[SCREEN TEXT: Getting Rid of Some Floor Models]
Alan: I have an Aires, an Omega Aires chair, which is an airbag chair, no rollers, but airbags in the low back, the thighs, the butt, and a nice retractable ottoman for the foot and calf massage, and that is a $999 chair. And I also have an iJoy, iJoy HT-2580, which is about an 1000-dollar chair, 1100-dollar chair. And they are like new, they’ve been in my showroom, I don’t use them very often, we don’t sell a lot of them, and I would like to be able to give those away with the purchase of any Sogno. And I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this, and maybe I shouldn’t even say that. But well, I’ll tell you what, you know, darn the torpedoes, let them – I want to get rid of those chairs, and I don’t want to go through the hassle of trying to sell them – so I will give away one with the next two Sognos that are bought, for those of you that mention it, and I’ll give you those two floor models, or one floor model, one of those, you can pick whichever one. So, if you call and order a Sogno from me before the price increase, and you take the iJoy chair, then the next person will get the Aires chair, and I will pay for shipping for those two chairs to you as well. That’s kind of a good deal. But I know I’m going to get in trouble for having said that, because I don’t think we’re supposed to be giving away promotions like that with any of our chairs. But these are used, these are floor models, and I just want to get get rid of them. And so, anyway, like I say, let the chips fall where they may, but I’d like to get rid of those on the next two orders. So anyway, Sogno price is going up February 1st. Oh, you know what I thought was interesting, I get calls all of the time from people that are shopping for the Inada Sogno, and invariably I get the question: ‘Is there any chair cheaper’ – these are the questions that I get: ‘Is there any chair cheaper than the Sogno, that they’re selling, that’s like the Sogno?’ ‘Are they coming out with any improvements in the Sogno?’ Or, ‘Are they coming out with a model that’s better than the Sogno that’s going to be the next best thing?’ Because the Sogno is kind of the iconic chair of the industry at this time, and people are always wondering if it’s going to stay the same, get better, if another model is going to come out, if there’s something cheaper out there.
[SCREEN TEXT: Sogno and YuMe Still Inada’s Main Chairs]
Alan: Well, I found it interesting that at CES, which is the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which is the biggest electronics show of the year, and it’s every year in Las Vegas, and it’s a huge show, a huge event, and a lot of the massage chair companies go there, a lot of the electronics companies go there. There’s just hundreds of vendors and displays. Well anyway, I noticed on an Inada press release and on a couple of other Google Alerts that I receive that Inada brought their YuMe and their Sogno. They did not bring any extra chairs. They were not promoting any other chairs. They were not pimping any other chairs. They are strictly promoting the chairs that are their bread and butter, which is the YuMe and the Inada Sogno. And as a matter of fact, the Inada Sogno won some kind of recognition from – I think it was Egadget or Engadget or something like that – where they called it ‘The Product of the Conference,’ you know, they’ve called the Inada Sogno ‘The Product of the Conference,’ something along those lines. So anyway, what that means to me, or what I’m reading from that, is that Inada is not trying to promote any other products, there’s nothing else coming out to top the Sogno, the Sogno is still their number one baby, and it’s going to probably stay that way for a while, and the sales seem to indicate that, that is a merited decision. The chairs have gone up in price every year since we got – first introduced the chair to our customers in July of ’08 – but they are now up to, you know, I think $70, they are going to be going up to $7999 February 1st, and they are still our number one top-selling chair, it’s quite remarkable.
[SCREEN TEXT: A Massage Chair Made in the USA?!]
Alan: OK, also oh, I had an interesting discussion, a company reached out to me last week, on Friday of last week, and it’s a company that makes a massage chair, and they have previously been involved in government contracts with military builds, and military construction, and engineering, and they have come out with a massage chair, and it is made in America. The components are made here – the plastic and the material, I understand, like the upholstery, is made overseas – but the chair itself is made and assembled here in America, and that is crazy, I’ve never heard that before. There’s never been a chair, that I’m familiar with since I’ve been in the business over the last 10 years, that is an American-made chair. So, I was quite excited about it, but they don’t really – they are kind of just experimenting, and trying to figure out, you know, not experimenting – but they are trying to feel out the market to see if this is something they could do. And I asked them about their warranty, they didn’t really have much of a warranty. I asked them what their prices were, they didn’t even really know what their prices were. They are kind of just in the period of discovery, trying to figure out exactly where this chair fits in this niche, and what kinds of things they should be expecting and planning on. So, I was quite excited to talk to them, and they were quite eager to talk to me to glean some information from me as a – as kind of an expert or a resource in this field – and I won’t leave the name of the company with you, or the name of the chair, but I will get back to you as I learn more about the chair. We have a conference call tomorrow with the engineers, and I’m very curious to find out more about this chair, and more about its, you know, its build, and maybe offer some suggestions and some advice on warranty issues, on pricing issues, and other distribution ideas. But I’m quite excited about it, a chair built in America, go figure, and we get asked that all of the time, ‘Are there any chairs that are built in the US?’ People love to buy USA-built products, but cost is prohibitive here. And of course, that is the crux of many a manufacturer’s problem, is that the cost is so great, and these chairs can be replicated for half of the money in other countries. And so, the fact that we found a company that, or a company found me, that has an American-built model, and there’s only one model, it’ll be interesting to see how that goes, so I’ll keep you posted as I learn more about that.
[SCREEN TEXT: IT-8100 Info Updated on Massage-Chair-Relief.com]
Alan: I wrote a blog post last week – oh also, I forgot to mention – I did get all of the information up on the new IT-8100 chair from Infinite Therapeutics as well, just like the Immersion Seating from Human Touch, I had neglected to get the information up for the IT-8100. It is now up, it’s on the comparison chart, so now we have all the data up for you to follow up on, and use for your due diligence and your research, so I just thought I’d mention that before I forgot.
[SCREEN TEXT: Refurbished and Used Chairs – Buyer Beware!!]
Alan: But the, I wrote an article about a week ago, talking about refurbished and used massage chairs, and there are some things that you need to be aware of. I get people that call me and ask me all of the time: ‘Do you have any used chairs?’ ‘Do you have any refurbished chairs?’ Or, ‘Do you know anybody that’s trying to sell a chair?’ And you know what, I do come across those, I have returns that some people bring back. I have chairs that we sell floor models of, or someone that contacts me and says, ‘Hey Doc, I bought this chair from you, and I’m trying to sell it, can you help me sell it?’ Well, there’s some things that you need to know about refurbished chairs and used chairs, and I talk about these in the blog post, but I thought maybe I would just mention to you a couple of things. First of all, with refurbished chairs, make sure that if you are going to buy a refurbished chair online, or where ever you’re going to buy it, that the company that made the chair or imported the chair still carries parts for that chair.
We had an experience with an HT-1650, which was the precursor to the new HT-9500, and the chair – a customer of mine that had purchased the HT-1650 had it break down, and he called Human Touch to get a replacement part for it, and they didn’t have the parts anymore for it – and I was a little taken aback by that. Fortunately, Human Touch has got the integrity to create a wonderful purchase program for previous owners of the 1650 for the new 9500, and they got a new 9500 at a very, very, very reasonable price. But it was still a little bothersome to me as I contemplated that, that if someone buys a refurbished chair, whether it’s a Human Touch chair, or an Inada chair, or a Panasonic chair, or Osaki, or any chair, if you hear about a refurbished chair, make sure that the company still has parts for it. Because if you buy this chair and a month later it breaks down and they don’t have a part for it, you are messed up, and you’re out that money. The same goes for used chairs, if you’re going to buy a used chair from somebody, there’s two things that you need to be aware of. Number one, well first of all, going back to the refurbished chairs, usually refurbished chairs only have about a 60 or a 90 – sorry, 30 to 60 to 90-day warranty – so you don’t have much warranty on those, so if they do break down after one, two, or three months, then you’re going to have to be getting parts for it, and you don’t have the support that you do for a brand new chair, you need to be aware of that. Also, for used chairs, a couple of things you need to be aware of: number one, make sure that, that chair has a warranty, if you want a warranty, and ask the seller if they have it, but don’t just trust the seller if he has a warranty on it, find out the serial number of the chair, get that from the seller, or call me if you need the phone number to the manufacturer or the massage chair company that imported it, and call that company and find out how much warranty is left on that chair. Because this happens to me all of the time, and it’s not malicious, people will say ‘Well OK, you got that floor model you’re selling, how much warranty do you have left on it?’ And I say ‘Well, I think there’s about half a year on it left still,’ and then I find out that there’s like two months left, because I’ve lost track of time.
So, what I would recommend you do is on a used chair, if you’re going buy a used chair, do your homework, get the serial number of the chair, call the massage chair company that sells the – or not sells the chair, but makes the chair or imports the chair – and find out if that chair has any warranty left, or even if they will sell you a used warranty or something like that. I’ve never seen that, but you never know what a company might offer. And if you need phone numbers of the companies that I represent, give me a call, and I’ll give you the phone number, and you can call and find out. Also, the other thing about a used chair, well, I guess the same thing applies to them, make sure that they’ve got parts for it still, and you can get service for it, if need be, but there’s some really good tips there for you with regard to refurbished and used chairs. And I know there’s a market for them out there, and a lot of people are selling them on Craig’s List or eBay or whatever, whatever, and so just be, buyer beware. Oh, I forgot to say, the other thing is if you buy a used chair, and it’s an Inada Sogno or an Inada chair, if you buy it from a private seller, the warranty will not transfer. Their new warranty stipulates that if you buy a used chair, it has to be brokered by or sold by an authorized dealer or else the warranty will not transfer. So, if you talk to Tom, Dick, or Harry on Craig’s List, and they say they got a chair, and its still got a year or two left on a three-year warranty, and it’ll transfer, it will not transfer unless that is brokered or sold by an authorized dealer, such as myself. So, just buyer beware with refurbished and used chairs, buyer beware, don’t get screwed over, if you’ll pardon my vernacular.
[SCREEN TEXT: Massage-Chair-Relief is a Platinum Dealer for Inada!]
Alan: And speaking of authorized dealers, I noticed on Inada’s website that I am a Platinum Dealer, and I didn’t know what that was so I emailed Inada and I said, ‘I’m a Platinum Dealer, what does that mean?’ And they told me that it’s based on, it’s – less than 5% of their dealers are considered Platinum Dealers – it’s based on sales, it’s based on knowledge of the product, and it’s based on representation of the product. And so, we’re considered a Platinum Dealer, and I could not be more thrilled and excited to be considered a Platinum Dealer for Inada. Because I really enjoy their chairs, and we sell a lot of them, and I feel like I can educate people quite a bit about the chairs, so I was kind of honored that I was considered a Platinum Dealer. But I just thought I’d throw that out there, I get asked all of the time, ‘Are you an authorized dealer for Inada or Panasonic or Human Touch?’ All yes, all of the chairs that we sell on our website – those companies for which I sell their chairs – I am an authorized dealer, and so, you can rest easy knowing that I am.
Well, you know what, I think that is it, I’m just going to review my notes and make sure we’ve got everything covered. Yeah, I think that’s it. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to talk about more news in the massage chair industry, I’ll give you an update on my visit with Ed Cini from Panasonic, I’ll give you an update on the Cozzia chairs, I’ll give you an update on the ZeroG 4.0 that we’re getting in the showroom, and hopefully the Panasonic MA70 that we’re going to get in the showroom. But I’m excited about those chairs, I’m excited to have them in the showroom, and start doing some comparative reviews, and some videos, it’s just wonderful, fun stuff.
But I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, and you want to share it, please ‘Share’ it on Facebook, or ‘Like’ it on Facebook, or ‘+1’ us on Google Plus, or ‘Like’ and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We’d really appreciate that, and we really appreciate people getting to know more about massage chairs because the Baby Boomers, such as myself, we’re getting sore, and we’re getting old, and we’re getting grumpy, and we’re getting stressful. We’re getting stressed out, we need massage chairs, and people need massage chairs, so please spread the word, we appreciate that very much. Again, have a wonderful day, thanks for watching, and we will see you in two more weeks. Bye bye.