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16th Dec 2021

Woman finally manages to trade hairpin for a house after a year and a half

Charlie Herbert

Woman trades bobby pin for house

You’ve got to respect the hustle

After a year and a half of hard work, a woman in the US has managed to trade her way all the way to a house, having started with just a hairpin.

The concept is a simple one: start off with something small and trade it for an item of greater value, which you then trade for something better, continuing until you end up with something you really want.

Demi Skipper, from San Francisco, decided to start with a hairpin and has now managed to complete her trading odyssey by making her final trade – for a house.

The 29-year-old has been charting her progress on TikTok, and posted a video of the final trade earlier this week, which involved her exchanging an off-the-grid trailer for a house in what her 28th trade.

@trademeprojectThe Final Trade ?? ##trademeproject ##letsgetthishouse♬ Inspiring and spectacular emotional epics(869013) – Minette

Skipper had been inspired to start her trading endeavour by a man named Kyle MacDonald, who in 2006 managed to trade his way from a paperclip to a house.

Her journey began in lockdown when she posted a hair clip on Craigslist. She then went on to trade everything from broken cars to diamond necklaces.

Then came a big-ticket item: a Chipotle celebrity card, which gives the owner unlimited Chipotle food for a year, as well as a catered dinner for 50 people, and is worth around $20,000.

And despite scepticism from her followers, Skipper eventually found someone willing to exchange the card for an item. The person described themselves as ‘Chipotle’s biggest fan’, and wanted to take the card in exchange for an off-the-grid trailer with a Tesla powerwall and solar panels worth $40,000.

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But there was a spanner in the works once the trade was made. It turned out that the trailer had wheels that were illegal in the US and couldn’t be replaced, leaving the trailer stuck in Canada.

Skipper had to wait three months to get the trailer after one of her followers volunteered to collect it and hold it on her drive near the US border. Skipper and her husband then made the 15-hour road trip to Canada to see, photograph, and decorate the trailer.

@trademeprojectMark your calendars ?? ##trademeproject ##letsgetthishouse ##fyp♬ a little bit bored (feat. ruuth) – Syence

When they drove it home, Skipper began talking to a house flipper who said they had been following her journey and would love to offer them a house in Tennessee for the trailer.

Skipper described the modest ‘fixer upper’ with two small bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, and a bathroom, as “perfect’.

She told the Guardian: “I think I’ve gotten much better at seeing the negative and flipping it to a positive.

“Had someone said that someone was going to trade something that’s worth not even a single penny for a house that’s worth millions of times more, I feel like people would say it’s impossible. But this makes me feel like anything is possible now.”

And she says that she wants to start all over again, telling the paper: “I was the second person to do it once. But I want to be the first person to do it twice.”

Skipper and her husband are leaving their rental home in San Francisco and are moving to Tennessee to renovate and live in their house and plan to trade the original pin back for something and frame it in their new home.