I'd buy THAT for a dollar
October 18, 2010 8:08 PM   Subscribe

What's that site or story where a guy keeps trading up and makes a million dollars or something? I recall a story, verrry fuzzy on the details...

...where he has something little in value and then he keeps trading it and trading it for more expensive things and then in a year he has like a yacht or something ridiculous. Pls forgive if this is a repeat question, my searches led to nothing. Is there a link, or is this an urban legend?
posted by bunny hugger to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: One Red Paperclip
posted by adipocere at 8:10 PM on October 18, 2010

Best answer: One Red Paperclip
posted by iconomy at 8:10 PM on October 18, 2010

Best answer: there's a guy who traded a paperclip for a house
posted by yeoz at 8:10 PM on October 18, 2010

Is it this?
posted by lee at 8:10 PM on October 18, 2010

To expand on that - One Red Paperclip is a recent example of a narrative that people find compelling. There's several examples of similar (folk) stories in that first link. Aarne-Thompson is a system of folk story classification. Other relevant classifications in Aarne-Thompson include: 170a, which is pretty much the same as 1655, except everyone's an animal, and 1415, which is 1655 backwards, in which a rich person makes a series of poor trades.
posted by zamboni at 8:22 PM on October 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

There's a lot of salt to be taken with the paper clip story. A lot of the perceived value in the exchanges was being part of the narrative, so many of the exchanges were not two people walking away each thinking they ha gotten a deal, but rather one party giving over something both knew had more value just to be part of the story.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:00 PM on October 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: also, there's this story about a teen who started with a cell phone on craigslist and is now driving around in a Porsche.
posted by KogeLiz at 7:30 AM on October 19, 2010

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