When I was in the business of selling electric water ionizers a few years ago, I argued with the owner of the company about pricing all the time. I recommended that the company price their units below $1,000 so that more people could afford the machines. The owner chose to raise the prices based upon his belief that as long as the product was significantly less expensive than the Enagic SD501, he could maximize profits. Neither side of the argument was right or wrong as it was simply a matter of differing goals.
How to Choose the Right Water Ionizer
I receive emails all the time and the most popular question is “which machine should I buy?” I have always remained unbiased as there has never been a “best” machine in my opinion. I would respond to the question by asking the reader to prioritize their needs and provide details of their source water. The answers they provided would help me direct them to the machine that made the most sense. The good news is that there really is no “bad” answer because all the machines work.
I have changed my opinion recently in regards to my opinion that there is no “best” machine. Regular readers will know that I have been testing and playing with the non-electric antioxidant filters for the past six months. I have also now been drinking water from the Alkastream for several months.
Unless you want the benefits of acidic water for external use or for cleaning purposes, I believe the antioxidant filters offer by far the best value on the market today. I continue to believe that electric water ionizers are fantastic machines for providing health benefits. However, the ability of the antioxidant filters to provide the same health benefits plus decent cotaminant removal capabilities at a fraction of the price of an electric water ionizer makes the decision easy for me.
I must qualify this discussion as my wife’s water ionizer business, which sells several brands of electric water ionizers also owns the distribution rights for the Alkastream in Canada. She picked up the rights based upon my findings and recommendations. The rights were not available when I first started investigating the Alkastream. The rights became available when the Ion Ways distributor in Canada walked away from the deal. I think they will regret the decision as they are now faced with selling the Ion Ways non-electric Elita machine that is very similar, but carries a $1,495 price tag. I just can’t see the public paying $1,500 for a machine when they can buy something very similar for 70% less money.
The following is a summary of why I think that purchasing an antioxidant filters is a no-brainer unless you require the cleaning attributes of acidic water produced by an electric water ionizer:
It’s real simple. The antioxidant filters deliver similar health benefits for $329 while my favorite electric water ionizer sells for $1,695.
Both electric water ionizers and antioxidant filters produce the the healing properties of hydrogen ions, but those produced by the antioxidant filters last longer under normal use conditions. By that I mean that the hydrogen ions naturally produced by an antioxidant filter continue last much longer if the water is exposed to air or is jostled around than the unstable ions produced by an electric water ionizer.
The antioxidant filters outperform the electric machines when it comes to removing contaminants from source water. The antioxidant filters remove many of the contaminants found in source water while the electric water ionizer require pre-filter systems that cost up to $250 and they don’t have to be installed under the counter.
When I initially tested the Alkastream, I called it “junk in a box”. The results produced by the original test units were outstanding, but there were many manufacturing flaws. I agreed to work on the machine because of the potential to provide great alkaline water at an affordable price.
Over the following six months, the company implemented thirteen changes to the product based upon my recommendations. They fought some of my recommendations pretty hard because of the additional cost required to make the improvements, but they always “got it” when it came to understanding the value in making the best possible product. I think I drove them crazy during the process, but it has been well worth it.
I expect that the antioxidant filter companies will do well in the future. I will certainly be keeping my eyes and ears open to new ideas and passing them on to the companies involved.
Respect for Dealers
It has been painful for me to watch how the Distributors of the various brands of electric water ionizers have ruined their growth opportunities by undercutting and taking advantage of their Dealers. Distributors can only do so much themselves in terms of increasing sales. In order to create awareness of a product across the general population, a Distributor can either spend millions of dollars on advertising, or build a network of Dealers. Building a network requires obtaining Dealers who support a product and the company behind it, without fear of unfair competition. No matter how hard a company works to create the best product, it is the Dealers who ultimately determine the fate of the company.
For most water ionizer companies, with Enagic being a wonderful exception, the Dealers end up competing with their own Distributors. It is not a level playing field because the Distributors have a huge price advantage and the Distributors have superior product specific websites. Who would blame a Dealer that gets discouraged and walks away? I think it is a shame when Dealers are not enthusiastically supported by their own company.
Alkastream.us has initiated a great program to support its Dealers. I hope that the other companies in the water ionizer industry take heed and learn from Alkastream. It doesn’t surprise me at all that Gabe Hunninghake over at Alkastream has gone to such great lengths to take care of their Dealers because everything they have done so far indicates that they understand what it takes to be successful.
The following are some of the policies that Gabe has put in place that for Dealers that make a lot of sense to me:
* Free Dealer websites which tie in directly to the corporate site
* A “Buy Now” button which provides the Dealer with a shopping cart and instant merchant banking facilities
* A built-in price advantage over the Distributor to insure potential sales are not lost to the Distributor
* A pledge by the Distributor to never undercut its Dealers
* A Dealer specific website for ordering directly from the Distributor and for tracking their sales
* A “Find a Dealer” button on the corporate site that includes full contact information for each dealer
* Referrals to local Dealers in the markets they occupy
* Weekly information and educational conference calls for Dealers
It appears to me that Gabe at Alkastream.us has captured all of the good things offered by the Enagic support system, and they have gone several steps beyond. The fact that the company also has affordable pricing and an outstanding product makes me believe that Alkastream has a very bright future. The most important factor in my opinion is that the company understands that their success depends upon the success of its Dealers.
The bar has now been set much higher than ever before. I hope the electric water ionizer guys rise to the challenge.
I feel optimistic about the future of the industry for the first time in a long time.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.