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Massage Chair Online Purchase Deceptions 

Given the growth of online resellers of massage chairs, massage chair online purchase deceptions happen more and more, with misleading and confusing claims to attract buyers from their competitors.

ORLANDO, FL, UNITED STATES, October 6, 2022 / -- The massage chair industry has undergone explosive growth in the last decade. The marketplace is now replete with nearly 100 brands and many hundreds of models of massage chairs being sold online. These models are nearly indistinguishable from each other online and range in price from a few hundred to over thirty thousand dollars.

"Many online resellers have three hooks to attract customers away from a local retailer, and all are very misleading and are ultimately deleterious to the consumer & the wellness chair industry"

Don DePaulis

/Owner, Relax in Comfort

Massage Chair Online deceptions
Free returns sign
Massage Chair Deception disclaimer

"FREE RETURNS" disclaimer from Massage Chair Online Re-Seller

Don DePaulis, Owner of Relax in Comfort, America’s oldest and most awarded back care & sleep store, remarked “There are only a dozen good quality brands sold in the USA – with hundreds of other brands being marketed online with no local support after the sale, no track record of durability, and having no chairs that operate in brick & mortar locations that have passed the test of time.”

A recent industry analysis revealed that out of the hundreds of models sold online, less than 10% offer on-site warranty coverage, meaning you must ship the chair to their service center for warranty coverage. Many others have been in business a very short time and many others have numerous complaints with the Better Business Bureau for false and misleading claims or practices.

DePaulis continued, “Online resellers of massage chairs have a huge disadvantage in the marketplace - they are all trying to sell a massage chair experience to someone online, who cannot experience the feeling of the chair. That seems to encourage misleading and deceptive promises to attract buyers away from their competitors."

Internet resellers have been under ever increasing competition from each other and in their attempt to attract buyers many have crafted online offers that demand additional scrutiny. DePaulis continued, “Many online resellers have three primary hooks to attract customers away from a local retailer, and all are very misleading and are ultimately deleterious to the consumer."

"Lifetime" Warranty disclaimer from Massage Chair Online Re-Seller 

The first technique is to offer a “Lifetime” warranty – often only covering 1 or 2 service calls, only if you happen to live within 25 miles of the technician, and only if you order and pay for the parts in advance. Additionally, the entire “Lifetime” warranty coverage is voided once parts are not available or the technician is unable to repair. DePaulis continued “The average massage chair brand no longer handles parts once the chair is discontinued. Our Global brands commit to parts availability for 5 -10 years after a chair is discontinued.”

The second online technique is to offer a “Risk Free” or “Easy Returns” in home trial. Sadly, only the risk is free and nothing about returning a chair is easy. There are most often hidden consumer charges to include outbound shipping, White Glove set up fees, installation fees, restocking fees, chair disassembly fees, and return freight charges with deductions for any damage during transit or for any missing items, the sum of these charges often exceeds the value of an entry level chair. Since consumers are investing in a chair for its massage experience, it makes sense to try them out in person to determine what massage chair will best fit their wellness needs, comfort and budget. Comparing specs alone does not allow the consumer to properly ascertain the chair that would best fit their unique needs. Even worse is relying on an online sales person to make a recommendation online for you, given useful advice requires your feedback while using the chair to be helpful.

The third technique, which is blatantly misleading, is for an out of state merchant to claim or imply “no sales tax” is owed to the State of Florida when shipped from other states. The State of Florida has a Sales and Use tax which clearly requires Florida residents to pay the Sales and Use tax incurred on all items purchased on the internet shipped into Florida. DePaulis explained “The online resellers have no legal nexus to Florida, however this is not the case for the Florida resident, and they do have a legal obligation to remit the Sales/Use tax based on the county of their residence/delivery. However, the State of Florida does offer a sales tax exemption from sales tax when purchased for a medical ailment when prescribed by a licensed physician. With a valid Rx the sales tax is exempted, the customer has a legitimate tax deduction that may be utilized, and the consumer does not have to fear penalties and interest for sales tax fraud at a later date. DePaulis continued “The sad truth is the Florida resident is on the hook for the sales tax due, including penalties & interest, not the out of state online merchant.”

A massage chair is a long-term investment that when properly researched and examined will bring years of comfort and wellness. DePaulis ended with, "After all, the most effective massage chair buying decision is made with your whole body, it's not a left brain mathematical analysis that can be done well online." The internet remains the Wild West of bold claims and snake oil salespeople. For after purchase support and long-term satisfaction, it is wise to seek out a local merchant, with a proven track record.