TikToker Demi Skipper trades up from a hairpin to a house

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Imagine if all you needed to own your own house was a worthless hairpin.

Well that is exactly the feat Demi Skipper has achieved – by trading up items on TikTok.

She started the Trade Me Project in May 2020 and swapped various things along the way, including a pair of earrings, an iPhone and three tractors.

And the 30-year-old, from San Francisco, California, is now the proud owner of a house in Nashville, Tennessee.

Inspired by Kyle MacDonald, who traded his way from a single red paperclip to a house, in a series of online trades in 2006, Ms Skipper swapped the hairpin for a pair of cheap earrings.

From there, she upgraded to four margarita glasses and then a vacuum cleaner, trawling sites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to find the right types of items.

Her first few trades were done in person around San Francisco.

Later trades were made through road trips across the US.

And along the way, Ms Skipper uploaded videos asking for trades to TikTok and Instagram and explained how her ultimate aim was to get to a house.




The vacuum cleaner turned into a snowboard, to headphones, to a laptop, to a camera.

She then swapped various pairs of Nike trainers before acquiring an iPhone and then a 2008 Dodge Caravan.

The vehicle’s owners drove it all the way from Minnesota to San Francisco – and Ms Skipper’s followers grew in number as the story of her Trade Me Project became more exciting.

From there, Ms Skipper got a Mini Cooper convertible – and a couple of weeks later, she traded the car for a necklace she thought was worth $20,000 (£15,000), which turned out to be worth less than $2,000.

Free food

After a frustrating two weeks of searching, Ms Skipper traded the necklace for a Peloton exercise bike worth $1,800.

The Peloton bike was traded up to a Mustang – and by last December, Ms Skipper had traded up to a tiny woodland cabin.

The cabin became a Honda CRV, then three tractors, then a Chipotle celebrity card entitling her to a year’s worth of free food and a catered party.

Ms Skipper managed to trade the card for a $40,000 trailer with a Tesla Powerwall and then, finally, she made her last trade by swapping the trailer for her very own house near Nashville.


Demi Skipper outside her house


A video she uploaded shows the moment she saw her house for the first time.

More than five million people have followed her journey.

And in January, Ms Skipper and her husband plan to move from California to Tennessee to renovate their new home.

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