What's the first thing you remember buying online?


TS Evangelist

Here’s an Internet fun fact: the first-ever online purchase was a Pizza Hut pizza in 1994 -- or so they claim. While some will argue that ‘online’ is too generic a term, and point to examples of transactions that predate the web as we know it, it’s still amazing how long we’ve come in 20+ years. Nowadays we take e-commerce for granted, we buy stuff using our phones, and decentralized, 100% digital currencies like Bitcoin are becoming a thing.

In this week’s Open Forum we ask you: What's the first thing -- or the first you remember -- to have bought online? I had to turn to my Amazon purchase history for this and apparently one of my earliest was a D-Link wireless range extender in 2004 and a bunch of programming and web standards books. I'm pretty sure that's not the first but it's the earliest I have a record of. And you?

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Nigerian Prince
I'm not sure of the size, but I think it was a 128MB stick of pc100 sdram from TigerDirect(when it was still a good place to shop at). Man do I miss getting their catalogs in the mail.


Dragon Ball Z action figure. Specifically, the erroneously manufactured version of the Majin Vegeta figure.


TS Evangelist
Mine was a GeForce 2 MX from Ebay, way back in 2000. I was pretty new to the internet and PC computing and wasn't sure where else to go, but it was way cheaper than Circuit City, Electronics Boutique, or the one local PC parts store. I got a scare, though, when the seller missed several promised ship dates. I was literally a day away from contacting Ebay and my credit card company to report the seller when it appeared on my doorstep, with a hand-labelled driver disk. At least I didn't have to download a new driver over my EarthLink dial-up connection!


TechSpot Paladin
Incredibly the 19" Hanns-G HW191D Monitor I use in portrait mode to this day, paid roughly $240 with shipping from tigerdirect.ca, and that would be about 8-10 years ago now. It's the fastest to turn on out of all my monitors, has the best reproduction of colors specifically white, very sharp too, and this was supposedly a budget brand back in the day, better than most modern monitors sad to say. Brings back so many memories of Lan parties, it'll be a sad day the day the monitor dies...

One thing I don't miss are beige cases. Who ever decided that was the right color needs to be taken out and shot.
This does quite nicely with old technology.
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Julio Franco

TechSpot Editor
Staff member
My earliest memory is buying some new DVD releases from a now defunct store/review site in the late 90s (I think Amazon or IMDB bought them at some point). This was when I didn't have a DVD player connected to my TV, they were expensive and bulky, but I had a DVD-ROM in my PC.


TechSpot Chancellor
Wow..good question. It's been so long I can't remember specifically. But I'll bet dollars to donuts it was a computer game.


TS Rookie
First thing I bought online that wasn't an Ultima Online subscription was a razr cellphone from ebay. Man did I think I was cool with that thing.


TS Evangelist
A: A Paradise video card, probably for my Pentium II. My debit card info was stolen immediately thereafter and some of the first purchases made illegally were from the same online retailer I'd just used. The rest went mostly to porn sites. I immediately started a back-trace and brought the info to the bank. They told me it would be probably be weeks before the authorities could even investigate the theft and in the meantime all I had was the cash in my wallet, which was less than $50. Fortunately my sister was living in the same city as the address I had traced the IP to. Being a brown belt, decorated marksman and all-around kicker of *** she proceeded to pay a visit to said address. She met the mother of a 15-yr old kid who's ADD was supposedly just too bad for him to attend regular school and since his classes let out so much earlier than normal ones he spent most of his time on the computer. When sis explained the situation the mom begged her not to turn the boy in, but the family was fairly poor...probably because of Junior's cutting edge computer rig which left shortly thereafter in the back seat of my sister's car and sold for a little more than what I'd lost to the hacker wannabe. I gave sis a cut of the proceeds as thanks for her assistance. Oh, and a little over a week later the bank surprised me by getting nearly all my money back. I hope that little punk got straightened out - he definitely had some talent and probably would've made a heck of a network engineer and/or web programmer.


TS Evangelist
My first time I got scammed. Iluminated keyboard that was supposed to be same OEM part with OCZ Illuminati , but some half the price. Obviously all the positive feedback was fake, guy disappeared as soon as made few dozen sales.


TS Enthusiast
It was a cd / music player software application back in the mid 1990's. For the life of me I can't remember the name of it, however I got a shareware version from a magazine cd, and then activated it by buying the licence online... felt so hi-tech


TS Booster
Early 1990s when Compuserve was the big online provider, bought some video games for my Amiga. Also picked up some first edition Dungeons and Dragons books as TSR(?) had an online store through them.


TS Special Forces
The first thing I every bought online was my first PC which was from Dell. It was a top or near top of the line Pentium II XPS 750 back in 1999. It still works, I think, but it hasn't been hooked up and turned on for a few years.
NECx Direct early 90's some 512Mb HDD that Stacker 3 converted to a whopping 1Gb when viewed on PCTools. How could I possibly ever need anything any larger than that?