A Woman with a Bobby Pin Made 28 Trades to Get a House in 18 Months

Don't underestimate the art of trading.
Derya Ozdemir
Demi Skipper's trade project.TradeMeProject/TikTok

In an unusual success story, a woman in the United States, Demi Skipper, has traded a single hairpin for a house through a series of swaps.

It all began during the lockdown in May of last year, when Skipper, who is a San Francisco resident, came upon a TED Talk by Kyle MacDonald, who was sharing how he once swapped a paperclip for a house over a year.

Needless to say, Skipper was inspired and decided to take the challenge with hopes to reach her goal by the end of summer.

From a hairpin to a house

Since she began, Skipper managed to get herself anything from a Peloton bike to a diamond necklace by using whatever she has to score a better asset. Her journey took her from cheap earrings to four margarita glasses and then to a Bissell vacuum cleaner, and so on, as she used Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook to make the trades one at a time. She made a total of 28 trades, and documented the process, dubbed Trade Me Project, through her TikTok and Instagram accounts.

Now, thanks to the magic of trading, Skipper has the keys to a small house with a big garden near Nashville, Tennessee, just a few months later than she was hoping for, with no mortgage, no feeds, and no money paid.

“There were just so many negative people saying it wasn’t possible. I was willing to do this for five years if that’s what it took to get to the house," Skipper told The Guardian. "I wake up and I’m like ‘is this real?’ I have the house. I traded this from a bobby pin!"