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This is the surprising first thing ever sold online

It wasn’t pizza.

Image: Screenshot

IT USED TO be this time of year when we’d be practically throwing our wallets across retail counters to get the latest bargain.

But things have changed. Now, people don’t even have wallets and barely know what cash is. Since early November last year, we’ve been taking advantage of huge sales online.

Irish people spent a stunning €40 million online on Cyber Monday alone.

So, how’d this “ecommerce” thing get started anyway? What was the first thing purchased on the internet?

Despite what Pizza Huts says, a large pie with mushrooms and extra cheese doesn’t actually deserve the title.

In a short video called ‘Proceed to Checkout: The Unexpected Story of how Ecommerce Started’, producers from Shopify trace online shopping to its roots.

It’s a twisting tale that involves marijuana exchanges and a way-ahead-of-her-time grandmother.

Hint: The person responsible for the first item sold is probably watching every move you make.

But you should really just watch the full video:

Source: Shopify/YouTube

Read: ‘They were intrigued to hear about three Irish guys with no company… no product’

Read: The Irish kings of online ‘mystery shoppers’ now with $20m in their coffers

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Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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