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Related Topics ~ The industry, bizplan, startups, hosting a web site, Your web site , wired shopper

In it's first year of operation sold enough merchandise to make Jeff Bezos mildly jealous, nearly $115 million dollars worth, according to published reports.

This Alieso Viiejo, California-based company employs a controversial business model which critics claim is unlikely to ever make profitable. Unlike other web-based retailers who offer surfers modest discounts on retail goods, slashes prices dramatically, selling products at or below cost. The company relies on increased advertising revenues to generate income.

For example, a Compaq Presario 5726 with 19 GB of memory, 6xDVD player, internal Zip drive and 56.6k modem which sells for $1,699 at, is sold at for $1,396 plus shipping.

However, sudden success has had its price. The realities of running a popular e-business have stung more than once. Earlier this year the company made the news when a programming glitch caused some shoppers who used credit cards to pay for small purchases to be overcharged.

In November, an Orange Country, California attorney filed a multi-million dollar class action suit against for failure to deliver merchandise it had promised customers.

The problem?

The company had already billed customers for the 19" Hitatchi monitors before it realized a clerical error had resulted in the items being listed for almost $400 less than the correct price.

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