One Red Paperclip

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Dec 29, 2005 3:43 PM

With his last post, Hugh reminded me of another great Internet scheme I'm jealous of. I saw it a while ago and forgot to post it.

One Red Paperclip is a blog that follows Kyle MacDonald's quest to trade up from a single red paper clip to a house. He fields offers from all over the world-- simple trades, no money involved-- and he travels to the best offer for the transaction, and documents the trip and the trade.

He started July 25th with a paperclip. A couple trades later, he was the proud owner of a snowmobile and a good bit of notoriety. Now up for trading is a three-day, all-expenses paid ski trip to Yahk, British Columbia.

From the F.A.Q section:

Q: Why are you doing this? A1: Why not? A2: I pay rent but I'd like to own a house. I didn't have enough money for a house - but I did have one red paperclip.

Fair enough. Wish I'd thought of it. If you're interested in making an offer, all the info's on the site.

Andy at Club for Growth, who first pointed me to this, says there's an economics lesson to be learned here (and I do love a good economics lesson!):

All econ professors should use it in their course material to illustrate how a good’s value is subjective. And how commerce is not a zero-sum game...

The blogosphere — and the ideas and dreams of the people behind it — never ceases to amaze me.

Take that, Kathleen Parker. Savage children, indeed. Savage children with snowmobiles!