Dead Letter? and E-Stamp are struggling as customers resist buying postage online

A little over a year ago, two California startups thought they had an irresistible sales pitch: Buy stamps on the Web and you'll never have to stand in line at the post office again. Investors loved the idea. After going public in June, 1999,'s (STMP) stock soared fourfold, to $48 a share--even before it had sold its first stamp.

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