TikToker Demi Skipper is trading her way up to her dream house — and right now she’s got a tiny home worth $9,500. She obviously has quite a way to go, but when you consider that she started her home-buying journey with a single bobby pin and hasn’t spent a penny, her results are pretty impressive.
Skipper was inspired by the story of a Canadian man named Kyle MacDonald, who traded a red paper clip all the way up to a house. His trading journey began in 2005, and one year and 14 trades later, he moved into a house in the tiny town of Kipling, Saskatchewan.
According to Insider, Skipper came across a Ted Talk by MacDonald while spending the COVID-19 quarantine in her San Francisco home, and she was motivated after discovering that apparently nobody had replicated his success in bartering.
“I have to be the second person to do this,” Skipper told Insider. “Given all the time we have in quarantine, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try.”
@trademeprojectWhat a wild year it’s been! Let’s get this house! Inspiration Credit: My wonderful friend @mikaylanogueira ð ##trademeproject ##Bye2020 ##NewYearNewMiOâ¬ follow tj_yeslad – TJ
She set two rules for her trade journey: she couldn’t accept any money, and she wouldn’t trade with anyone she knew, even friends of friends. She started looking for trades on Facebook, and the first she made was swapping a single bobby pin, worth about a penny, for a pair of earrings, worth $10, from a woman in Atlanta.
“She had gotten them for her birthday last year and never worn them,” Skipper said. “She was planning on donating them or throwing them away.”
The earrings were then traded for a set of margarita glasses, worth $24, followed by a $60 vacuum cleaner and a $95 snowboard. As you can see, Skipper was able to essentially double the value of her items, leading to a turning point when she traded the snowboard for an Apple TV, valued at approximately $180.
“Getting a name-brand electronic felt great,” Skipper told Insider. “Nearly anybody would want it.”
Several weeks – and pairs of $1,000+ Nikes later — she traded an iPhone 11 Pro Max (worth $1,099) for an old Dodge Caravan (worth about $2,200).
Skipper faced some major obstacles along the way – including when she traded a $5,000 Mini Cooper convertible for a necklace she was told was worth nearly $20,000, but later found out was only worth about $2,500. She detailed that mistake in this TikTok video, which saw her eventually unload the necklace for a Peloton exercise bike.
@trademeprojectI need your help @parishilton ##fyp ##trademeprojectâ¬ In Love With You – BLVKSHP
She’s not done with trading — and fully intends to keep going until she has her dream home, with her 4.5 million followers on TikTok watching her every move.