A woman who traded a hairpin for items like an iPhone and a minivan says she has no intention of stopping until she has a house.
Defying the modest ‘bobby pin’, Demi Skipper’s Trade Me Project included replacing a vacuum cleaner for a snowboard and an iPhone 11 Pro Max for a Dodge Ram van since it started two months ago.
Due to the rules of her challenge, she cannot trade with someone she knows and no money can be exchanged.
The 29-year-old from San Francisco works for the restaurant booking app OpenTable, but says early in the morning and late at night that it’s “ everything, ” sending around a thousand messages for items every day.
Her success has gone viral, but Ms. Skipper says she has also faced hundreds of rejections to her requests on a daily basis.
“You really have to be resilient and you just have to know you’re doing something strange,” she said.
I’m taking a screenshot of some posts where people say ‘you’re the most insane person ever, why would you ask me that? ‘
“I’ve been joking that I’m going to frame them when I get the house and just have a wall of all the people saying ‘this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard’.”
She was inspired to take up the challenge after watching a video of Kyle MacDonald – who swapped a red paper clip for a home between 2005 and 2006 in a year and 14 transactions.
“During quarantine, I think many of us are going a little crazy about what we’re going to do with our lives,” Ms. Skipper told PA news agency.
“Watching (Mr MacDonald) I was really inspired … this felt like the ultimate challenge of moving from something so small to a house.”
Mrs. Skipper’s hairpin, which she says was just the smallest thing in her house, was traded in for a pair of earrings and then a set of Margherita glasses – which, in turn, were traded for a vacuum.
Ms. Skipper bumped into a bump when she received the minivan – which broke down shortly after it was driven around the US for delivery.
“I couldn’t move it and had one more day before it was going to be towed … so I exchanged that for a $ 2,000 electric skateboard,” she said.
Ms Skipper says she takes precautions to ensure she is safe when meeting traders over the internet, but “surprisingly” people who are willing to trade are “open and very nice.”
When she took up the challenge during the lockdown, she said, “It is a Catch-22 because on the one hand many people are willing to do strange things and do transactions.
“But Kyle McDonald was able to trade for experiences, so when he got closer to home, he swapped for a role in a movie or a meet & greet with a band.
“I can’t do that in good faith in lockdown … I’ll have to be a little more creative.”