Just as online retailer Ruslan Kogan loves to take on the establishment, a pair of newcomers has decided to take on Kogan at his own game - starting with an aggressively priced TV.
While online retailer Ruslan Kogan has got plenty of publicity from his attacks on older-style retailers like Harvey Norman, it was inevitable that we'd see the rise of new players gunning for Kogan himself, with online business models and products they claim are just as competitive, if not more so.
One of the first is a new online retailer called Ohki. Run by a business turnaround specialist and an investment banker, Ohki is lean, mean and offers what it claims is the best 42in LED TV deal in the market, at $999 (delivery is extra).
While a look at several retailers reveals several 42in plasmas selling for well below $1,000, the Ohki is as cheap as 42in LED HDTVs come. Ironically, the other $999 42in LED HDTV is sold by Kogan, who'll probably match these guys all the way. But the Ohki product is not all about cheap. It's actually quite a good package with features one finds in more expensive, latest generation TVs. There's LED, backlighting, of course, which uses LED sidelighting instead of the traditional CFL lighting to deliver better contrasts and colour. Even better, the TV comes with 3 HDMI ports and a USB port - the latter meaning you can plug in a USB drive and play media off it (the TV has media player functionality built in) or even record what's on the TV with a USB-based recorder. The TV comes with a one-year in-home warranty and can also be purchased using the Flexi-rent system.
Right now the Ohki TV is undergoing tests in our Labs, but we had a preliminary look at it when Ohki's directors, Lucas McEntee and Jason Littlewood, brought it to our offices. It certainly looked like something we'd be happy to have in our lounge room at home, for even though it's branded Ohki, the panel is actually made by big brand TV maker, LG.
Will these guys be around in six months? It depends entirely on whether they can deliver on their promises. Kogan did, and look at him now. But we liked the chutzpah of Ohki's owners - they reminded us of, well, Ruslan Kogan two years ago, representing a new generation that sees limitless opportunities in running online businesses freed of the costs and geographical restrictions of bricks and mortar. Kogan and the likes of Ohki will change the face of retail forever.
Predicting that the boom in online spending will continue, Ohki have launched their online store with a single product, a 42in LED HDTV that's one of the better TV deals around.
The panels in Ohki's TVs are actually made by a big brand TV maker.
Lucas McEntee runs through the features of the Ohki TV.
Lucas McEntee and Jason Littlewood explain how they got their business started.
McEntee explains why online shopping is the way of the future.