Video: Woman trades her way up from bobby pin to free $80,000 house

Demi Skipper declared on TikTok in May 2020 that she would swap her way up to a home

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Photo: Instagram/trademeproject
Photo: Instagram/trademeproject

Published: Mon 27 Dec 2021, 6:36 PM

Last updated: Mon 27 Dec 2021, 6:58 PM

A US woman has become the stuff of real estate legends after trading her way up from a single hairpin to her very own home in less than two years.

TikToker Demi Skipper, a product lead at Cash App, started the 'Trade Me Project' with a 1¢ bobby pin in May 2020, and traded 27 times to finally reach her goal of a $80,000 house in Tennessee, USA, on November 26 this year - which marks her 28th trade.

"After 28 trades and all the ups and downs, I finally did it," Demi triumphantly said, in an Instagram post dated December 12, showing her walking up to a beautiful, two-bedroom house in Tennessee after receiving the keys to the home.

Skipper explains how she had found inspiration in a similar idea by Kyle MacDonald, a Canadian blogger known for 'one red paperclip', a website where he documented his trading journey, from a red paperclip to a house. Kyle's TED Talk video on the same spurred her into action.

"The moment I realised no one else had done this since, I was like, 'OK, I have to do this," she said.

According to a CNBC report, there were a couple of rules she followed - no money could exchange hands, she couldn't trade with someone she already knew.

Skipper said she accepted sponsorships from brands, but they weren’t included in her videos about the trades.

Beginning from a bobby pin traded on Craigslist, her transactions included a vacuum for a snowboard, tractors, a Peloton bike, an iPhone 11 Pro Max, jewellery, MacBook, and a set of margarita glasses.

However, this entrepreneurial journey brought along its own problems, especially with some of the larger transactions, like the jewellery, Chipotle celebrity card and the trailer - she took closed borders restrictions due to Covid-19, a bungled diamond valuation, and critics in her stride, and continued.

"We plan to renovate the house, and then whenever that's done, my plan is to actually trade the house for a bobby pin. I'm going to give the house away to somebody who really needs it,” she told The Washington Post.

Demi plans to trade and get a bobby pin in order to start all over again; a "new season" of the Trade Me Project.

"There were so many things I gained from it that weren't just trades, like the many people I met along the way, and how much I learned about myself.

“I was the second person to do it. But I want to be the first person to do it twice. There's nobody crazy enough to do it twice, so that's going to be me - I'm going to do it twice," Demi concluded.

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