How this American woman managed to exchange a hairpin… for a house

At 30, Demi Skipper works for the Cash App mobile payment service. From her apartment in San Francisco (California) in May 2020, she came across a TED talk on YouTube. This lecture series developed by the non-profit organization The Sapling Foundation aims to share “worthwhile ideas”.

And indeed, Demi is well inspired by the video in question. It talks about the story of a certain Kyle MacDonald, a Canadian blogger who, in the 2000s, managed to obtain, from a paper clip and after 14 successive exchanges, a house. Demi Skipper then decides to embark on a similar adventure based on a process as old as the world: barter.

The 30-year-old starts her project with a hairpin and imposes two main rules on herself: do not exchange with people she knows and do not spend money.

Sneakers, a MacBook Pro, cars…

She obviously starts small, swapping her barrette for a pair of pink earrings. The earrings are then replaced by four Margarita glasses, which are exchanged with a vacuum cleaner…

Demi Skipper spends hours on the American classifieds site Craigslist and on Facebook Marketplace to find buyers for her objects. She publicizes the project on TikTok @trademeproject (4.9 million followers and 73.6 million likes), Instagram and YouTube, which helps her to concretize the exchanges.

How this American woman managed to exchange a hairpin... for a house

In total, for 18 months, Demi Skipper carried out 28 barters which included three pairs of sneakers, a MacBook Pro, an electric bicycle equipped with a food cart, four cars…

The antepenultimate product that the young woman has is a Chipotle Celebrity loyalty card, which offers one year of unlimited food in the fast food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill. This card is rare, and only awarded to a few celebrities who agree to promote the chain’s restaurants on social networks.

An 80,000 dollar house

A resident of Canada, an unconditional fan of the restaurant chain, offers Demi the opportunity to exchange this card for a caravan worth 40,000 dollars equipped with solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall (a battery system that stores electricity). solar energy). Border closures due to Covid and delays in paperwork delay the exchange, but it eventually happens. The few months of break thus leave time for Demi Skipper and her husband to think about the ultimate barter… by going through the house advertisements.

Finally, a resident of Clarksville (Tennessee) offers to exchange the solar caravan for a small house that she is renovating near the Kentucky border. It is therefore, always a little incredulous, that Demi Skipper and her husband find themselves owners of a small shack of 70 square meters and two bedrooms, worth 80,000 dollars. All this instead of a simple hairpin!

The couple moved in last January and are currently finalizing the renovation of the house with a sponsor kept confidential.

“Once the house is restored, my plan is to trade it in for another hairpin…said Demi Skipper in an interview with the washington post. I’m going to give the house to someone who really needs it, and start the adventure again…”

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