Winter 2015
Massaging Profits

IQ Massager|Selling Points

Headquarters:
Las Vegas, NV

Number of RMUs in US: 
500

Number of RMUs globally: 
800

Number of corporate employees: 
5

Company mission: 
Saving money, saving time, and most importantly, saving pain.

Company strength: 
Quality, FDA approval, customer service and our five year guarantee, making all sales final sales for retailers.

Website: 
www.iqmassager.com

|

Φ Average sale: $200-$250. 

Φ Profit margin of over 900%.

Φ Retailers start to make money right away.  If you do the demo, you will sell.  

Φ Five-year warranty.

Φ “It’s a yearlong business. It’s not a seasonal business for the holidays. The IQ Massager has established itself as a good name in the industry.” – Elli Josef 

 

IQ Massager has kneaded its way into the world of specialty retail, with a brand new model, and over 500 owner-operators massaging the sales.

The wellness market is big business today. According to a 2014 Consumer Electronics Association’s report, the sales of connected health and wellness devices are expected to grow substantially. More than 40 million personal health and wellness products were expected to sell in 2013, and this figure is expected to increase to more than 70 million by 2018.

“Consumers are turning to alternative therapies, especially massage,” says Elli Josef, CEO of IQ Massager, manufacturer and wholesaler of IQ TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) devices in Las Vegas, NV. As more consumers seek out alternative therapies, such as massage and chiropractic, they often aren’t able to afford the large price tags that come with repeated visits. Couple an affordable solution with the ability to captivate an audience and you have the answer to the IQ Massager’s success.

Pro_V_Kit_BlackAs customers heed the call of a free massage, the visible signs of releasing pain and stress are noticed by other mall patrons, who in turn want a piece of the relaxation for themselves.

Research has shown massage is effective for low back pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, boosting the body’s immune system functioning, decreasing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, lowering blood pressure, reducing headache frequency and fibromyalgia, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

Testimonials from IQ Massager customers support this finding. Customers have written in to report less back pain, more freedom of motion, and less swelling. “I was contacted by a customer suffering from fibromyalgia, a woman who was living with pain on a daily basis, to say the IQ Massager changed her life. The beauty about our business model is we are not just making money, we are helping people with pain,” says Josef.

In addition to pain relief, IQ massagers promote relaxation and stress reduction. Units can also be used to improve muscle performance. Muscle stimulation builds muscle in the same way it would work in the gym, says Josef. “When you lift weights, your muscles contract, and when you stimulate your muscles, you build them,” he says.

Spa beginnings

kioskJosef owned the perfect testing grounds for a TENS/EMS device the moment he first laid eyes on it, in 2004. At that time he owned three spas by the name of Roni Josef International Salon and Spa in Las Vegas, NV. One of his locations was inside the Stratosphere Hotel, in which he also ran a kiosk for waterbed massages. It was here the IQ Massager was first introduced.

When Josef traveled to China in 2004 for a real estate convention, he got in a chair massage. On display was a massager available for home use. “I bought one,” says Josef. “And I realized its potential.” In 2006, Josef began retailing the massagers on his kiosk, and the response was all that he had hoped it would be. Shortly thereafter the concept was rolled out to four other locations in the Las Vegas area.

Not only were the massagers a huge success among consumers, they were a magnet for those seeking new retail opportunities. “Vegas attracts people from all over the world,” says Josef. The resulting exposure grew the business on all sides. Today, they receive dealer requests on a daily basis, he says.

In 2010, Josef decided to focus on manufacturing and partnered with his factory. “We knew the wholesale business was going to be our future,” he says. By partnering with his factory, he gained more control in product development. “We designed the units to look like iPhones and added more features,” he says. But perhaps the most important part of garnering control was the ability to gain FDA approval (more on that in a moment).

Today, IQ Technologies has exclusive distributors in Canada, UK, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

Selling simplicity

Circle-ImageInside each IQ Massager box, customers will find a small handheld device to direct the intensity and type of massage desired, a charger, and electrode wire outputs that connect to massage pads. A quick assembly and the customer can enjoy a customized massage at home.

The IQ Massager works by sending a number of different patterns of electronic impulses – low voltage currents – to muscles and nerves through massage pads, via a process called TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation). Muscles contract and relax in response to these impulses.

There are six products in the line. “We believe in keeping it simple. We have three massagers and three accessories,” says Josef. The three massage units include the Pro IV with 6 massage modes, the Pro IVs with 8 massage modes and the latest introduction, the Pro V has 12 massage modes. “We are always improving our models,” says Josef. “All our massagers has two outputs, with four pads altogether so two people can have a massage at the same time, or one person can use the massager in 4 different muscles groups. Each output is controlled individually. We were the first one to develop and implement this function.” says Josef.

Massage modes include kneading, acupuncture, tapping, scraping, cupping, combination, Swedish massage, Thai massage, Korean massage, Shiatsu massage, foot massage and sport massage, with 20 levels of strength to choose from. There is also an adjustable timer that can be set anywhere between 10-60 minutes, and a rechargeable lithium battery.

Having a variety of massage types, differing in intensity, is a key factor, as bodies will become accustomed to one particular sensation and stop responding to it. Customers can use the device as often as they like, from 20 to 60 minutes each time, 2 to 3 times per day.

Because the device is pocket-sized, the IQ Massager is easy to take on vacation, use in the office or the outdoors. “Anywhere you feel pain,” says Josef. “We call it a chiropractor in your pocket,” he says.

IQ Massagers start at a retail of $399 and work their way up to $549. While this may not be your average common-area impulse price, customers soon see the savings they are getting in relation to a massage therapy visit, where they have to take time off from work, put gas in the car, and it ends up costing $70-$100, and more, each visit, says Josef.

Accessories include slippers, belts and pads. Belts are designed to strengthen stomach muscles and bring relief to lower backs.

IQ Massager Slippers soothe aching feet, and lastly replacement pads for when the original pads wear out. Pads are designed to last for approximately 2-3 months, depending upon use.

HeadMassegerQuality is an important word at IQ Massager, not only in its product offering but in its packaging and retail bags. Packaging is designed to be as simple as the devices themselves, resembling the clean and modern look of an iPad box.

While competition does exist, it’s their FDA approval that makes the IQ Massager stand out from the crowd, says Josef. Dr. Bill Dai, partner and consultant, headquartered in Sacramento, CA, was in charge of the approval process. “The FDA is concerned with safety and effectiveness. To meet their standards, we needed to get into the details of the design and what the allowable range of output voltage and power density were,” says Dai.

In addition, Dai studied the varying frequencies of electrical impulses to deliver two separate results: pain relief and muscle stimulation. “Users will experience pain relief at higher frequency pulse modes, such as the first kneading mode, and improve muscle performance at a lower frequency mode,” he says.

While obtaining FDA approval was timely and expensive, it was absolutely critical, says Josef. “We have to address the problem,” he says, referring to retailers selling these products without FDA approval. “It is a huge risk. It is illegal to sell Class II medical products without approval,” he says.

In addition to FDA standards in the United States: “The IQ Massager complies with most health department regulations worldwide,” says Dai.

The Magic Words: Free Massage

Girl-With-Mini_II_Silver“When we started the wholesale program, we had retail experience so it was a turnkey concept from the very beginning,” says Josef. “Any knowledge we have, we share with our owner operators,” he says.

Because of his retail background, Josef understands how vital demonstration is to the success of the product. The demo starts with sales associates asking customers if they want a free massage. “Everybody says yes to that,” says Josef. From there, therapeutic benefits can be discussed, as well as promotions the retailer might be running.

Company training is offered on site or by traveling to company headquarters, and using IQ Massager’s Fashion Show Mall kiosk as their training ground. There is also Skype training for retailers who want to avoid travel
costs altogether.

“We can also help retailers set up their kiosk. We can help negotiate with mall leasing representatives and finding locations, as well,” says Josef. “Retailers can get started with less than $2,000 in inventory,” says Josef, which will get them up and running. The only other item needed in addition to inventory is a flat screen TV to screen taped demos, he says.

A significant benefit for retailers is IQ Massager’s five-year warranty. “If any customer has a problem, we replace it for free,” says Josef. “For retailers, it is a final sale,” he says. Return rates are less than one percent.

IQ Massager sells their products in stores, at trade shows and through online channels, but their number one venue is specialty retail. After all, IQ massagers are demo products. The common area is where it lives, breathes, relaxes and soothes. “Nine out of ten people purchase it after trying it,” says Josef. “Not only does it feels good, it creates attraction.”

Josef grew IQ Massager with dedication, hard work and a trained eye on the future. “The beauty of this business is not the huge margin, it really works. It helps people with pain,” he says. If you’re a retailer looking for a strong demo product, this might be just the thing you knead to get into.

Emily Lambert

Lambert, a senior writer for SRR, resides in Philadelphia. She can be reached at emilylambert@comcast.net.
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