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Massage Business Building Blocks

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Business Building Blocks

By Angie Patrick

Massage Equipment Amortization 101

At some point in our lives, we have all had an expectation that was proven to be unrealistic in the normal course of life. This might be expectations we have from family, from friends, from our car, maybe our relationships, even down to the products we buy. I think it is only human; we all want what we want, when we want it, and how we want it. It is the society we live in and it is an incredibly common happening.

While I am no expert in on human behavior or interpersonal skills, I am an expert on products. And I have had the good fortune to be in this business for over a decade and have pretty vast experience with various manufacturers, products and suppliers. I have seen things happen to therapists and spas in the course of business that could be easily avoided with a little information. Below is some insider information intended to help make buying massage products and equipment a bit easier, whether it be from a supplier or direct from a manufacturer.

Tips on Buying Goods

Buying goods should be a task in which you have full confidence. I believe buying Professional Grade Products can help you make certain your products can withstand the rigors of professional repeated usage. Manufacturers and suppliers want nothing more than to please a client. (It is our prime directive!) But sometimes meeting those expectations are not so easy.

A product warranty is a miraculous thing. Most Professional Grade Products offer a limited or lifetime warranty to protect the buyer against manufacturer defects or shortcomings. These are especially handy when something breaks down within the warranty timeframe, and you can get a replacement or repair in a timely fashion. Often, the warranty is offered as a safety net for the buyer, given the buyer follows and complies with all usage directions and procedures.

And while manufacturers should have no problem whatsoever in caring for items in the marketplace still under warranty, there is always a segment of customers who have overinflated expectations about product performance. The purpose in sharing the following scenarios with you is not to say there are any issues with particular products, rather to point out some common unrealistic expectations of product performance.

Scenario One

Customer: “I am very disappointed with my massage sheets (XYZ product), I am seeing them begin to pill and fade, and I want my money back.”

Me: “Oh I am so sorry to hear you are dissatisfied, let me pull your order up in my system so we can get your issue handled.”

After a few moments of searching for the XYZ product in the order history, the manufacturer notices they purchased the item in January 2009.

Me: “I am looking in the account, and I see this was purchased in January 2009.”

Customer: “That’s right! I cannot believe how these things are showing wear, I am very disappointed with the quality. What can you do for me here?”

Me: “Well, how many times a week are these used?”

Customer: “4-5 times a week, we launder them often.”

Me: “And just to confirm your usage of these items since 2009 is that correct?”

Customer: “Correct”

After some quick calculations, I came to the following conclusions:

107 weeks in usage
535 washings
535 clients
Original cost: $14.99
Cost Per Client Use: .03 cents per client

I shared this with the customer, and suddenly they saw things in a whole new light. Even cars depreciate after two and a half years. And they are not laundered every day! Suddenly, someone who was very disappointed with the product in the beginning was impressed with the same item, once they considered how much use it had provided. They purchased more massage sheets happily. They began to see the product replacement after due course of usage as a cost of doing business rather than a failure of manufacturing or supply.

Expecting items to last forever with daily and repeated usage is unrealistic. Just as people age, so do products. One way to see if you have actually received substantial benefit from your investment is to amortize the cost of your product across the number of clients seen since you purchased it.

Another thing to consider is timing. Consider this, you have bought an inflatable Christmas decoration from the Big Box Store down the street and have used it for the past two seasons. Now, in season three, it no longer inflates. But the likelihood of getting a replacement is really remote since it is three years since your purchase, and it might not occur to many to even try. It is accepted that things wear out, or can deteriorate with poor storage and lack of usage.

Scenario Two

A customer is opening up a new location, and has ordered various massage equipment from various manufacturers. The items arrived, but are not inspected before they are signed – stating they are in good condition. They are put into a room to store until the location opens, which may well be two or three months later. These items may need to be moved within a facility a couple of times before the facility is ready to open.

Nearer the opening date, the items are finally opened and it is found the item may be damaged due to shipping, the wrong color, or even non-functional. Obviously, this is a problem. However, because it was not inspected upon receipt, months have now gone by, and the opportunities to file any claims with the shipping company have long passed. Additionally, if the product is just simply the wrong color, or not what you expected, you will likely now have to pay the shipping back to the manufacturer and possibly pay a restocking fee. This is the best argument I can provide for taking the time to inspect your equipment upon arrival and ensure it is in working order. Once you have stored it for months, moved it from room to room, it is very hard to prove an item was improperly working from the start. Many manufacturers are now cracking down on this type of return.

A business owner/manager/director should be responsible to make sure the items arrive in-tact. If something looks amiss, the packaging is damaged, do not sign the paperwork that says everything is fine without notating on the delivery slip that there are problems with the packaging. Notating it can help the manufacturer file a claim and get your issue resolved far faster with this information, but you have to let the manufacturer know upon delivery. If too much time passes, it will be harder to get your issue resolved. Also, if you are buying equipment that must be assembled, a smart rule of thumb is to do it in the first 30 days following purchase. The reason for this is to be proactive and report any issues with your equipment in a timely fashion to the manufacturer or supplier you have utilized, and gain resolution proactively rather than a delayed report months down the line.

Making sure your business runs efficiently is in large part dependent on the products you utilize. Taking a moment to consider the information in this article can help you make sure your next expansion goes well with your equipment and product needs. They may also help you determine if there is a basis for complaining about performance or whether it may just be time to replace your goods. As with most suppliers and manufacturers, the whole reason we exist is to serve our customers.

I hope the scenarios I shared can provide you a behind-the-scenes glance of what may be entailed in a return and how you can help yourself (and the manufacturer) by notating and documenting issues, while considering the age and longevity of usage. No doubt your massage supplier will work hard to provide you the best service possible, and that is made far easier by utilizing these tips along the way!

Other Articles on Massage Today

Thumbby Soft Massage Cone

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Thumbby™ Soft Massage Cone FAQ

Q. What is the Thumbby™ massager made of?

A. The Thumbby™ massager is made of solid silicone, the same material used for many household and personal items. Silicone is non-reactive, meaning it can be used with most massage lotions and oils.

Q. How hard is the Thumbby™ massager?

A. The Thumbby™ massager is approximately the same hardness as a human thumb. In use it is often indistinguishable from a thumb by the person receiving the massage.

Q. How big is the Thumbby™ massager?

A. The Thumbby™ massager is about 3 inches across by 2 inches high, and weighs about 5.5 ounces – small enough to fit in a purse, briefcase, backpack, or carryon.

Q. Is it better to use the Thumbby™ massager dry or with oil?

A. The Thumbby™ massager can be used with or without oil. Each is better for certain types of massage.

  • When the Thumbby™ massager is used dry, it grips the skin. This is good for deep pressure/trigger point work, cross-fiber massage, and vibration (shaking the muscle).


  • When the Thumbby™ massager is used with oil, it glides over the skin. This is good for effleurage (broad strokes using the slope or shoulder of the massager), petrissage (circling movements using the point of the massager), and muscle stripping (slow heavy pressure along the length of a muscle). When using oil with a Thumbby™ massager, use your other hand to guide it.


Q. I’m a small person with weak arms and hands; my partner is very strong and needs deep pressure. How do I use theThumbby™ massager to give deep massage?

A. Thumbby™ massager is designed to let you use body weight instead of strength to achieve deep pressure. Use this method to support your wrist while using body weight:

  1. Hold the massager in your non-dominant hand with the point on the knot you want to loosen.
  2. Make a loose fist with your dominant hand and place your knuckles on the back of the massager, as shown.


  1. Hold the thumb of the non-dominant hand for stability.
  2. Keep your arm and wrist straight and lean into it. Your upper body weight will be transferred to the point of the ThumbbyTM massager.

Q. I have back and shoulder pain, and no one to massage me. Can the Thumbby™ massage tool help me?

A. Yes. The Thumbby™ massager sticks to smooth surfaces, so you can stick it onto your refrigerator (for example) and be able to press the sore places into it. You can also place the massager inside the back of a chair and lean on it. And if you want deeper pressure, you can lie on a Thumbby™ massager on a bed, a futon, or the floor.

Introducing Bubalina Natural Body Products

Friday, January 7th, 2011

A Mediterranean term of endearment, Bubalina is an appropriate name for a company that encourages nourishment and pampering of the skin. Bubalina products are natural, gluten free, made without parabens, and contain certified organic ingredients. All Bubalina products are also available in professional sizes for spa treatments.     

Bubalina Sugar Scrub                          Bubalina Massage Gel Oil                      Bubalina Shower Gel     

Shower Gel
In your shower or bath, use Bubalina Shower Gel as soap or bathe in our almost edible scents of fruits, floral, herbs and more. Glow with the natural ingredients that nourish and hydrate!

Body Sugar Scrub
Bubalina’s Body Sugar Scrub with natural extracts exfoliates gently and leaves skin spectacularly clean. Perfect as a scrub following Bubalina’s Bath and Shower Gel.

Professional Massage Gel Oil
Pumps out like a gel for ease of use and then melts into a warm, delicate, fragrant oil when put on the body. The organic jojoba oil helps condition the skin and the coconut oil aids in healing and repairing for lasting benefits. A small amount goes a long way!

Hand and Body Lotions
Pamper yourself! Soften and moisturize your skin after showering or throughout the day. Hand and Body Lotion is ideal as a moisturizer after showering or bathing, especially in conjunction with the bath and shower gels! Available in 8 oz and 1 gallon sizes.

Body Butter Crème
Bubalina’s rich and hydrating Body Butter Crème is perfect for keeping dry skin hydrated. Use after Bubalina’s Body Sugar Scrub for a pampering and moisturizing experience! Available in 6 oz and 1 gallon sizes.

Gift Sets
Perfect for any occasion, all are packaged attractively in a beautiful organza bag tied with ribbon and decorated with a charm. Gift sets include one 6 oz butter cream, one 2 oz body sugar scrub, one 2 oz hand and body lotion, and one 2 oz bath and shower gel.

All products are available in the following scents:

Wild Pomegranate
Rich with pomegranate seed oil and rooibos tea extract – excellent moisturizers rich in flavonoids and polyphenol anti-oxidants vital to health and well being

Infused with ingredients like wild-crafted shea butter and high oleic safflower oil to highly moisturize and deeply soothe

Tropical Lime
Natural extracts of lime essential oils will rejuvenate – stimulating cell renewal while smoothing and softening your skin

NRG Face Rest Base

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The NRG Face Rest Base is made of a durable yet lightweight plastic and is made to fit the NRG Chi and NRG Karma massage tables. It may also fit other massage table brands with an 8” on center end plate, including EarthLite Brand tables. The NRG Face Rest Base is not sold with a cushion; however the EarthLite Standard Foam Crescent Cushion can be purchased separately to be used with this base.

What do I do if my face rest base will not lock into place?

To securely lock the face rest base, apply pressure with the palm of your hand to the bolt on the left side of the base. While holding the left side tightly, turn the lever until it becomes tight and lock it. When locking it into place, it will feel like it is going to break or like you are forcing it, but it will not break.

How do I fix the Velcro strips if they’re not staying attached to the plastic?

Use a scraper or adhesive remover to remove the old glue. Then use an adhesive to reapply the Velcro strips. You may also replace the existing Velcro with heavy duty Velcro.

NRG Face Rest Base

CranioCradle FAQ

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

What is the CranioCradle?

The CranioCradle is a versatile, easy to use massage tool that provides quick, effective relief of stress, tension and pain in the body. This is a great home therapy tool as well as an extra set of hands during a massage therapy session.

What is the CranioCradle made of?

The CranioCradle is made of integral skin polyurethane foam. This soft, compressible foam is similar to memory foam with a protective coating and is 100% recyclable.

How do I clean the CranioCradle?

You can clean the CranioCradle with warm water and liquid soap or with a household sanitizer.

Can I heat or freeze the CranioCradle?

You should not heat or freeze the CranioCradle as it may damage the foam.

Should I use the CranioCradle on a hard or soft surface?

The CranioCradle is best used on a soft surface such as a bed, sofa or massage table for most applications. For trigger point release, it is best to use the CranioCradle on a hard surface such as the floor to provide more pressure.

How long do I use the CranioCradle?

The amount of time you should use the CranioCradle varies, but generally 5-10 therapeutic minutes is all you’ll need.

Will the CranioCradle be damaged when it compresses during use?

The compression of the CranioCradle during use will not cause damage to the tool. The design of the CranioCradle allows it to compress during use and then return to its original shape within seconds after use.

How do I use the CranioCradle?

The CranioCradle can be used under the back of the head, neck and body at specific locations. The CranioCradle can also be used for trigger point release. Instructional videos are available on the CranioCradle Product Page.


Earthlite Zenvi Sound Cushion

Friday, November 5th, 2010

The Earthlite Zenvi Sound Cushion is most definitely a helping hand to all massage therapists.  The Zenvi Sound Cushion by Earthlite is a new innovative face rest cover that will enhance your client’s treatment by letting your client choose his or her music with an ipod or any mp3 player. We also know that sometimes there is some excess noise within our treatment facilities and the Zenvi Sound Cushion virtually eliminates all off this excess noise as the music is right with them blocking out anything else.

Massage Warehouse has always been a leader in the massage supply industry and we will always continue to bring you quality products like the Zenvi Sound Cushion. See for yourself what all the buzz is about and give your clients an unforgettable experience with your new headrest cover by Earthlite.

Human Model Skeletons

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Massage Warehouse carries a variety of human model skeletons and other anatomical products which are currently on SALE WHILE SUPPLIES last. You can find any type of skeleton model you are looking for from disarticulated full skeletons to skulls, thoracic spinal columns, lumbar spinal columns, pelvic skeletons, vertebrae, hip joints, elbow joints, Knee Joints, torsos, muscle fiber, lungs and many others. Again, the offer is only good while supplies last. Whether you are a doctor, a school or student looking for anatomical parts or model human skeletons, Massage Warehouse has got it at a price you’ll love. Click here to get your human model skeletons.

Kinesio Athletic Tape For Runners

Friday, September 10th, 2010

SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape has taken the U.S. by storm and if you are a runner you already know about Kinesio tape or have at least seen athletes wearing it at track meets. Kinesio tape helps enhance an athlete’s performance and is an aid to an athletes recovery.  Kinesio tape is now available in pre-cut form to allow for proper application each and every time!  One of the most popular brands of pre-cut Kinesiology tape is SpiderTech tape.  Spider tech Kinesiology tape come in a variety of pre-cut forms for just about every body part including the Precut hip tape, ankle tape, elbow tape, neck tape, shoulder tape, lymphatic tape, knee tape, groin tape, hamstring tape, back tape and much more!

Massage Warehouse has a variety of Kinesio tape available whether you are looking to custom apply your tape or for precut SpiderTech Kinesiology tape.  We offer a wide selection of Kinesio tape for all athletes whether you are a runner, football player, basketball player, soccer player or any other type of athlete. So see what all the rage is about and get a step ahead of your competition today and order online at Massagewarehouse.com along with any other massage supplies and equipment you are looking for.