Marijuana was first sold online
Sagar Bhagirath

A social media marketer who is expert in strategy formulation and is able to get ROI through Ad campaigns. Has managed more than 50+ clients all over the globe.


Do you know, what was the very first thing to be sold on the internet? You could be lazing on the couch, sipping on your favourite colour coffee, looking to order a good pair of shoes or shirts online. That’s how online shopping has evolved and simplified in the past decade.

Amazon alone had 94 million views in a single month, giving us a strong proof how tech savvy our world has become. We flipped a few pages on the net and went through numerous blogs before coming to a conclusion and here’s what we’ve found.

Just tripped by weed

As high and trippy the situation could get, the first thing that was sold on the internet was weed (marijuana). Yes! You read it right. However illegal and abandoned, two university students in the United States used the power of the internet to stock themselves with weed. The volume of the weed was undisclosed. The deal neither involved exchanging money for weed nor was legal. Hence, the claim to fame of being the first thing to be sold on the internet was annulled.

Also read: The First Barcode Ever Used

Flakes and eggs?

Telemarketing was launched in some British cities in 1984. Jane Snow, an aged British lady ordered flakes and eggs and the transaction was done in cash and the groceries were delivered by hand. Pretty different from how we browse through the online market today. Hence even we didn’t think it was up to the mark of being considered the primary product sold over the internet. So what was it? Ever so delicious pizzas?

Pizza Hut’s false claims!

Pizza slice

Pizza Hut back in the August of 1994 was a blessing and its online ordering site was a joy delivering Santa Claus. The world famous pizza franchise marks strong claims on being the first. According to the Pizza Hut, large pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese was the first product that went through their online site. Their road to glory was cut short until we found an article in the reputed New York Times. Pizza Hut falsely got all the respects for the first e-commerce transaction, the actual recognition goes to Dan Kohn. This 21-year young, dynamic entrepreneur from New Hampshire developed a site named as NetMarket which he used for e-commercialization.

Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales- Legendary in all ways!

Weed was illegal, the pizza was misleadingly hailed and grocery just brushed the technology a little. So what was the product Mr. Kohn sold? The first thing to be sold on the internet was the glorious music album, Ten Summoner’s Tales by the legendary Sting. It was sold online for the first time in the year 1994. Rightly so, Kohn claimed that even the NSA (National Security Agency) couldn’t track the details of the credit card as the encryption technology had been introduced. NetMarket relied on the PGP encryption standards and the users had to download a particular software that worked on.

UNIX for a secured transaction.

First never follows but what followed after the first transaction was phenomenal. The world now relies on online transactions. According to a survey conducted, $22.82 trillion were spent in the year 2015 just using e-commerce. Those numbers are on an escalator ever since as we prefer sitting on the couch, sipping on our favourite liquid and letting the transactions go through. So next time you order something spare a little time and remember Dan Kohn in your prayers.

What was the first thing that you ever bought from the internet? Do comment your first experiences with us!

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