Tales From The E-Commerce Front

The online biz draws players and watchers at every level. Here's how a few are faring

In June, after three years of selling harmonicas on harp-city.com Bob and Barbara Lefkowitz held what may have been the first online going-out-of-business sale. Saying it was too much work, too much time and not enough dough, the Babylon, N.Y., couple abandoned e-commerce, sold their inventory of mouth harps and went back to focusing on their day jobs.

Plenty of bigger companies can probably sympathize. E-commerce is hard, and it's tough to know for sure if it's for you. But with total retail e-commerce sales nearly tripling, from $2.7 billion to $7.9 billion for the 12-month period ending in...

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