What is the trade up challenge? Woman attempts to swap hair clip for house as part of social media trend

Using classified pages and swap sites, one TikTok user has traded up to an item worth 160,000 times more than her original hair clip

Demi Skipper (left) from San Francisco has successfully traded from a hair clip to a car. TikTok / trademeproject
Demi Skipper (left) from San Francisco has successfully traded from a hair clip to a car. TikTok / trademeproject

You may have thought it was impossible to get a house for the price of a hair clip, but that is exactly what one woman in San Francisco is trying to do.

Demi Skipper has started the TikTok account @trademeproject, and has already successfully gone from a bobby pin to an electric skateboard, worth $1,600 (Dh5,876).

The idea is to use swap groups on social media or classified websites to successfully trade in one item for something of a higher value, and repeat, thus eventually ending up with something many times the price of your original object.

"Like everyone else in quarantine right now for my friends on TikTok, so here's the plan: I am trading a bobby pin, up until I get a house," Skipper explained in her first video, which was posted on May 19.

"If you think I am crazy, in 2006, someone traded a red paperclip up until they got a house, so let's do it."

Skipper is referring to Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald, in her video. He traded his way from one paperclip to a house in a series of online trades over the course of a year. He made 14 swaps in total.


Trading a bobby pin for a house. PS watch til the end 👏 #fyp #foryou #trademeproject

♬ Pelican Kygo - Nilax

Skipper has already made 15 swaps, going from the bobby pin (hair clip), to earrings, then four cocktail glasses, a vacuum cleaner, snowboard, Apple TV 4K, Bose noise-cancelling wireless headphones, Xbox One, Macbook Pro, Canon camera, Nike Blazers worth $800, Nike x Off-White Hyperdunks, Nike Jordan 1 Shattered Backboards, iPhone 11 Pro Max, 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan to a brand new Boosted Board, which is where she currently stands. The Boosted Board electric skateboard is worth $1,600.

She has predominantly been using Facebook swap groups and classified websites, however she has also had people contact her directly about potential swaps.

Skipper hasn't added any money to the exchanges, but has upgraded or cleaned up some of the items before swapping, including the vacuum and snowboard. The only other rule is that the trades cannot be with anyone she knows. She has amassed 3.7 million followers in the two months she has been trading.

Skipper told Daily Dot that she hopes to have the house within 30 swaps.

Swaps made by brothers Jawaad and Juned Khan so far: from a paperclip to a 4G smartwatch. TikTok / theclipventure
Swaps made by brothers Jawaad and Juned Khan so far: from a paperclip to a 4G smartwatch. TikTok / theclipventure

She is not alone in the trading game. Brothers Jawaad and Juned Khan from Ipswich, England, are on a similar mission.

The Khan brothers aim to trade from a red paperclip, much like MacDonald in 2006, to a Tesla worth Dh128,500.

"Starting with a red paper clip, trading all the way up to a Tesla Model 3," they wrote on Instagram. "Valued at around £0.01 (Dh0.04) let's see what we can get."

They are using their TikTok page @theclipventure to document the journey. Since establishing the page on Sunday, June 28, they have gained about 12,000 followers.

The brothers have so far made six swaps, from the paperclip to a pair of mugs, gaming mouse, coffee machine, digital camera, Samsung 4G watch to a pair of noise-cancelling Bang and Olufsen headphones worth £270.

"Ever since the [Tesla Model 3] was released back in 2017, I always wanted to get it. I was inspired by a man who traded a red paper clip in 2006 for a house, and @trademeproject who is trying to trade a hair pin for a house," Jawaad explained on Instagram.

"This got me thinking, maybe I could get a Model 3, but without the need to spend any money. What if I traded my way up from a red paper clip to a Tesla model 3. So the journey begins."

Published: July 26, 2020 05:24 PM


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