#49: Dr. Faive Kovalis, SmartOD.com: Striving to be the "Zappos" of your Optical

AdminWolf

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Episode 49: Dr. Faive Kovalis and SmartOD

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In this ODwire.org Radio Show, we interview Dr. Faive Kovalis, the founder of SmartOD.com.

The company provides an online site for eye care professionals to directly order frames and lenses WITHOUT the need for sales rep visits or 'boots on the ground'. This removes a great deal of cost.

Using Zappos as a model, docs can go to the SmartOD.com web site, order product that they want to evaluate, and return any product they don't want in a pre-paid box.

We get into:
  • The history of SmartOD -- Why it was founded
  • How the SmartOD business model keeps costs low and improves profit margins for docs on frames and lenses
  • How Dr. Kovalis and SmartOD have incorporated feedback from ODwire.org members as the company has evolved
  • How the "force of habit" in purchasing is preventing docs from saving money in their opticals
  • Updates on the latest frame lines that they now carry
  • How docs can get started with SmartOD
If you have any questions for Dr. Kovalis, please post them here!
 

Ronald Bodman

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Will have to watch...Zappos is convenient and has good selection and fast shipping back and forth for free is fantastic....but zappos is expensive and I don't think Faive wants to be seen as expensive. My wife and I have found things on zappos and then jumped over to amazon (who owns zappos) and found the same item for MUCH cheaper.
 

AdminWolf

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Will have to watch...Zappos is convenient and has good selection and fast shipping back and forth for free is fantastic....but zappos is expensive and I don't think Faive wants to be seen as expensive. My wife and I have found things on zappos and then jumped over to amazon (who owns zappos) and found the same item for MUCH cheaper.

I say 'Zappos' in that you can order a big box of frames from SmartOD, take your time looking them over (as opposed to having a frame rep hovering over you), then return whatever you don't want in the pre-paid box he provides.

Just like Zappos.

And as you mentioned, his products are value-priced, because he cuts out the middle-man.
 

Ronald Bodman

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I say 'Zappos' in that you can order a big box of frames from SmartOD, take your time looking them over (as opposed to having a frame rep hovering over you), then return whatever you don't want in the pre-paid box he provides.

Just like Zappos.

And as you mentioned, his products are value-priced, because he cuts out the middle-man.
Gotcha
 

AdminWolf

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btw, i totally disavow paul's recitation of our family history at the start of the show. he clearly made it up.
 

Paul Farkas

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btw, i totally disavow paul's recitation of our family history at the start of the show. he clearly made it up.

Fortunately European family history stays in the "Old country". ;)
 
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