Here's how a man bought a two-storey house by trading just a paper clip

Canadian Kyle MacDonald was jobless and needed a house to stay in. Continue reading to know how this man achieved his dream with the help of just one red paper clip. 

Published: 17th January 2019 09:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th January 2019 01:07 PM   |  A+A-

By Online Desk

Can you imagine buying a house with just a paper clip? Here's the story of a Canadian who bartered a red paper clip all the way up to a house in 14 trades. Kyle MacDonald from Montreal took only one year to own a two-storey farmhouse in Kipling, Canada.

The idea of bartering a paper clip dawned on MacDonald when he was jobless but wanted a house to live in. Instead of uploading his resume online to find a job, MacDonald decided to put up a picture of a red paper clip on a website.

A screenshot from Kayle McDonald's blog post

He immediately got a response from two young women in Vancouver who were willing to trade a pen that was looking like a fish.

The pen that looks like a fish (Photo | Kayle McDonald's blog post)

He traded the pen for a handmade doorknob with a Seattle potter the same day.

The handmade doorknob (Photo | Kayle McDonald's blog post)

MacDonald later went to Massachusetts with a friend to barter the doorknob for a portable cooking stove. 

The camp stove (Photo | Kayle McDonald's blog post)

Two months later he flew to California and bartered the stove with a US marine sergeant for a 100-watt generator.

The 100-watt generator (Photo | Kayle McDonald's blog post)

A few months later, MacDonald was in New York to exchange the generator for an 'instant party kit'  (empty keg in which one can fill beer bottles of his/her choice), with illuminated Budweiser beer sign.

The instant party kit (Photo | Kayle McDonald's blog post)

He went on trading thing after thing and also managed to barter with some celebrities. Quebec comedian and radio personality Michel Barrette decided to barter his Ski-Doo snowmobile for the "instant party kit" that MacDonald had. 

On one afternoon, he went all the way up for trading with rockstar Alice Cooper the motorised snow globe. This time, in exchange, he got a paid role in a Corbin Bernsen movie titled 'Donna on Demand'.

But why would Bernsen trade a role for a small snowglobe? well, Bernsen is said to be one of the biggest snowglobe collectors in the world.

The  KISS motorised snow globe (Photo | Kayle McDonald's blog post)

Getting an opportunity to act in Bernsen's movie was not enough for MacDonald. He chose to trade that too. This time, it was not trading with just one person but with one whole town. 

A town named Kipling in Canada offered to barter a farmhouse with him for the paid movie role that he had. 

"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," mayor of Kipling Pat Jackson was quoted as saying by a news website. The town then held a competition for the role.

The farmhouse in Kipling, Canada (Photo | Kayle McDonald's blog post)

A few years after living in the farmhouse in Kipling he posted the house up for 'trade'. Soon the offers started rolling in. "Most people wanted to fence off the yard and live in the house. There was a feeling around town that the house should be some sort of living museum. This all seemed like a lot of organizing and responsibility, so at one point I woke up one morning and offered the house to town. Totally free," McDonald wrote in his blog.

McDonald puts up the house for "trade" (Photo | Kayle McDonald's blog post)

The town has now turned the house into a cafe and tourist attraction. Drive into Kipling and you will find some official Saskatchewan tourism signs that announce the Red Paperclip House, one of Kipling's largest tourist attractions. "I'm very proud to have helped contribute to the existence of a large paper clip and tourist attraction in a remote Canadian town," he wrote. 


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp