Inada Massage Chair Interview
Q & A with the President of Inada Massage Chairs
Question: What’s new?
Cliff Levin’s Answer: In the past year, we added two new synthetic leather colors – dark brown and red – for a total of six different Sogno color options. We have many new dealers across the country. We’re featured on the holiday catalog cover of the largest back store chain in the world, Relax the Back. This year you can now also find us on Amazon, at Hammacher Schlemmer, in SkyMall, at the Healthy Back Store, and at many Inada dealers.
Q: What do you expect to happen this holiday season?
A: It was just over four years ago that we established a network of Inada dealers in the U.S. With each passing year, interest and awareness of our brand of massage chairs has increased dramatically. In keeping with our past record of rapid growth, we expect 2010 November and December sales to double over the same period last year.
Q: We’re at the tail end of a recession. How do you explain such a dramatic expansion in sales?
A: First of all, I think people just know and appreciate that quality is always the best value…even in tight times, the best value is still the best value. This is really the only way I can explain our success. For the money, there simply isn’t a better massage experience you can buy than the Inada experience. Secondly, the Sogno has become the de facto standard that all others in the industry must measure up to – smart consumers have figured this out and have been snapping up Sogno in a big way. This model has been so successful, that other makers have tried to fool consumers by building Inada look-alikes.
Q: Are you saying that other manufacturers have knocked off Inada?
A: Caveat emptor! Yes. There are unscrupulous types who try to dupe people by presenting chairs that look like Sogno. The insides and functions of these knock-offs are thoroughly third rate, their warranties are substandard, and the overall massage experience can be downright uncomfortable. I hate to think that these knock-offs actually fool some customers into believing that they are buying an Inada-quality product when they are in fact buying pretty ordinary, run-of-the-mill garbage.
Q: Who is doing this?
A: I won’t name names. But some of the biggest retails in the business are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Ask for Inada by name, and you’ll be safe rather than sorry.
Q: What’s your advice when shopping for a massage chair?
A: Learn as much as you can. Hey, if you think you can find a better chair than an Inada chair, I think you should buy it! Just learn as much as you can, try different models for EXTENDED demos. Whether you buy our Sogno for $6800 or some other brand for $3800, you’re going to spend real money. Do yourself a favor and learn all that you can. Don’t trust the hype on websites! Do look carefully at warranty protection! Don’t buy brands that do not support a broad dealer base in the U.S. – brands who must make dealers happy usually must provide good nationwide brand support. And finally, follow your nose. If a deal sounds too good to be true…Caveat emptor – seems I can’t say this enough.
Q: When is the last day to order to receive a chair by Christmas?
A: The last possible moment? You need to order by December 16, 2010. That said, it’s likely that we’ll sell out of certain colors well before the cutoff date. If you want a particular color, today’s not too early to make sure you get exactly what you want for the holidays! And – I really can’t stress this enough – you don’t want to count on good weather to insure that your chair arrives in the nick of time.
Q: Thank you for your time.
A: Thank you. I hope everyone has a warm and relaxing holiday.