Demi Skipper got the bizarre idea in May 2020.
According to her, this has been done once before. In 2006, a person named Kyle McDonald is said to have switched from a red paper clip to a house.
– Then I thought, why can I not do the same ?, Demi Skipper said on his own Tik Tok account in early May 2020.
The idea for Skipper was simple. By bartering with strangers, and with a goal of not spending a single penny on the barter itself, she was to switch from a cheap item to a house.
Millions of supporters
Demi’s project was documented on her own Tik Tok account. Since the beginning of May 2020, more than 5 million people have followed the project.
The American started with little: She found a brown hairpin, and placed an ad on the websites Craigslist, Facebook and Ebay. When she got her first bite, it went fast forward.
The first switch
Shortly after Demi Skipper started the project she called “Trade Me Project”, she found a woman who wanted to invest in her idea. The woman agreed to give away a pair of pink earrings, in exchange for Skipper’s single hairpin.
More and more people hung on. Despite the fact that the items that Skipper got exchanged for were more expensive than her own item, people stood in line to join an exchange. Many became involved in the project.
Two days later, she exchanged the pink earrings for four margarita glasses. Shortly afterwards, she exchanged the glasses for a vacuum cleaner, a vacuum cleaner for a snowboard and a snowboard for an Apple TV 4k, which had twice the value of the previous switch.
– Wilder and wilder
Barely a week later, she made two new changes – the Apple TV was replaced with a headset from Bose, which was later replaced with a new Xbox. All six changes were made in less than two weeks.
– These barter deals are only getting wilder and wilder, the 30-year-old told his followers in early June 2020.
Just seven days after she got hold of the Xbox, she arranged a meeting with a man who wanted to give away a Mac Book Pro. From there, she switched to a brand new Canon SLR camera with two lenses, several pairs of shoes from Off White and Jordan worth at least 850 dollars each, to an Iphone 11.
The prey became larger, more expensive and wilder than most had imagined. Skipper drove across the continent to meet people willing to change.
But despite the fact that the barter could look simple and easy for her followers on Tik Tok, she met a lot of resistance along the way. Skipper exchanged everything from broken cars to fake diamonds. But that did not stop her from continuing.
At the end of November 2020, Skipper barely began to see the target in front of her. Her biggest and perhaps most important barter was a white Jeep which she exchanged for a mobile cabin, and a tractor for a very lucrative membership in the restaurant industry Chipotle – a membership that could not be bought for money, and which was only distributed to famous people .
The membership could give you a year of free consumption of as much food as you wanted from the restaurant industry, and was according to Demi highly sought after.
Reached the goal
Despite the fact that Skipper put on an item worth 40,000 dollars, several of her followers thought that this was by far the worst barter she had done. But Skipper refused to give up.
After completing 28 substitutions across the United States, she reached the goal. In late November 2021, she swapped a solar-powered trailer for a house in Nashville, Tennessee.
– It has been completely surreal. I have been working towards the goal every day for more than a year and a half, and now I think «is this real? Is this actually my house? », Says Skipper NBC News.
In a TikTok video from mid-December, you see a tearful Demi Skipper who finally gets to see his new house.
– My God, I can not believe it. I have done it, said Demi Skipper in the video.
The project continues
The 30-year-old says that the response has been enormous, and that she is overwhelmed by positive feedback.
– People have doubted my project all the way, and I have done that at times. But I have learned a lot about myself, and I am surprised at what I have achieved, says Skipper.
Despite the fact that Skipper has reached the goal of switching from a hairpin to a house, she is anything but finished. According to her, she has now got blood on her teeth, and she has decided to do something extra special as the crown of the work.
The skipper has decided that she and her husband will move from California to Tennessee to renovate the new house. Then she will switch to a new and better house, and then give it to a person who actually needs it.
– I want to give it to someone who needs it, no mortgage, no rent, says Demi Skipper.
TV 2 has not succeeded in getting a comment from Skipper himself.