In 2006, a 26-year-old Montreal man succeeded in his quest to barter a single red paper-clip all the way up to a house.
It took almost a year and 14 trades, but Kyle MacDonald was offered a two-storey farmhouse in Kipling, Sask., for a paid role in a movie.
MacDonald began his quest last summer when he decided he wanted to live in a house. He didn’t have a job, so instead of posting a resumé to look for a job, he looked at a red paper-clip on his desk and decided to trade it on an internet website.
He got a response almost immediately from a pair of young women in Vancouver who offered to trade him a pen that looks like a fish.
MacDonald then bartered the fish pen for a handmade doorknob from a potter in Seattle.
In Massachusetts, MacDonald traded the doorknob for a camp stove. He traded the stove to a U.S. marine sergeant in California for a 100-watt generator.
In Queens, N.Y., he exchanged the generator for the “instant party kit” — an empty keg and an illuminated Budweiser beer sign.
MacDonald then traded the keg and sign for a Bombardier snowmobile, courtesy of a Montreal radio host.
He bartered all the way up to an afternoon with rock star Alice Cooper, a KISS snow globe and finally a paid role in a Corbin Bernsen movie called Donna on Demand.
“Now, I’m sure the first question on your mind is, ‘Why would Corbin Bernsen trade a role in a film for a snow globe? A KISS snow globe,'” MacDonald said on his website “one red paper-clip.”
“Well, Corbin happens to be arguably one of the biggest snow globe collectors on the planet.”
The town of Kipling, Sask., located about two hours east of Regina with a population of 1,100, then offered MacDonald a farmhouse in exchange for the role in the movie.
“We are going to show them the house, give them the keys to the house and give them the key to the town and just have some fun,” said Pat Jackson, mayor of Kipling.
Last week, Daniel Cerventus posted about a similar challenge but instead of a paperclip, we’ve to make RM10,000 from RM1. Being the end of the year with more chill time than I’m used to, I said would join. And if you know me, you’ll know I’ll go all out to make it work, somehow.
The goal is to continue trading up until the desired end result is achieved — RM10,000 value is reached by 31 December 2024. This sets the stage for a cascade of creative and unexpected exchanges.
Now, what should I buy with my RM1 that is so unique that you’ll trade something you have for it?
Follow my journey on our IG and blog!
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