By Tom Yun, CTVNews.ca writer
Toronto, Canada (CTV Network) — It started out with a hairpin and ended with a house.
TikToker Demi Skipper managed to get her own piece of real estate after making 28 online trades that began with a one cent bobby pin listed on Craigslist.
“It took me a year and seven months and obviously I started small and then, trade by trade by trade, got a lot bigger,” the San Francisco resident told CTV News Channel on Friday.
Skipper has been documenting her bartering journey on TikTok, where she has over five million followers under the handle @trademeproject as something to keep her occupied during the pandemic. She was inspired by the story of Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald, who had started with a red paper clip and traded his way up to a house in Saskatchewan between 2005 and 2006.
“To be honest, I started this journey a year and a half ago with zero followers. I knew nothing about social media,” Skipper said. “It has just blown my mind that so many people just sort of feel something in common.”
Skipper’s trades along the way included items such as earrings, a Peleton, a snowboard, a Macbook Pro, shoes and four different vehicles. No cash was ever exchanged in any of the transactions.
“Every time I traded a car I thought, ‘You know, maybe I could keep this car,’ but I just kept in mind I wanted the house,” she said.
Skipper’s second-last trade involved travelling to Canada to acquire an off-the-grid trailer worth US$40,000, but she ran into difficulty with COVID-19 restrictions at the border.
“Given COVID, given that the border was closed, I dealt with a lot of things between the border of Canada and the U.S. and honestly, it’s all worth it now, seeing the house,” Skipper said.
For her final trade, Skipper gave up the trailer earlier this month in exchange for a two-bedroom home in Tennessee, worth around US$80,000.
“Obviously, it definitely needs some fixes, but I’m planning to renovate it. There’s some old carpet that I just want to rip up, but I think honestly that’s all the fun of being a homeowner,” she said.
“(It’s) pretty incredible to think this entire thing has been able to come true.”
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