Forget The Current Economy: Remember Bartering?

I have recently gained a new person to stalk blogging friend, known to her readers as Weaselmomma. She and I have crossed paths in comment sections over at Nuclear Family Warhead and Joeprah, but other than our eyes briefly meeting across a crowded cyberspace, we never really had a conversation. Until the last couple of days.

After we mutually stalked each other visited each other’s blogs, we came to a realization that was confirmed via e-mail: we live no more than ten minutes from each other. Small world, right?

The distance between us–or lack thereof–made it necessary for Weaselmomma to bring something to my attention: she is currently “up” over at the Great Minivan Trade-up. What is that, you ask? (That was the question on my mind, too!) Dad of Divas, a Cheesehead (and I mean that in the most loving way), had read about…well, let me just lazily copy and paste from his website:

“I was reading recently about Kyle McDonald who traded one red paperclip to eventually trade up (14 trades later) for a home in Kipling Saskatchewan , Canada . I even found that now they are trying to trade up the house!

For those of you that have been following me for a while, you know that J-Mom and I have been looking at getting a minivan for quite some time, but for us it has been an issue of money (being on one income and all).

In reading about Kyle and his project, I have decided to try something a bit unconventional. In our research, J-Mom and I have decided that we really would like to get a Toyota Sienna. We chose this based on our test drives, safety features, reliability and overall value for the product.

Why a minivan you may say…well, if you have ever tried to lug around kids, family members, the kids’ friends in vehicles that only hold 5-6 you may now understand our dilemma.

What I am offering is to try a new trade up project for a new (or very gently used – preferably new) Toyota Sienna. The specs we are looking for include: At least an LE version, automatic with tinted windows, side airbag and automatic features, air conditioning. If possible we would like some color choice (but I know beggars can’t be choosers) Would I love the XLE package – you bet, but I am not trying to shoot for the moon (or maybe I should!)

Do I know whether this project will work, no. Do I hope it does work, sure thing!

I will promise this to all of my readers, if this does go anywhere, you are sure to hear more about it along the way no matter what happens (it should be fun). (I wonder how quickly something like this could potentially happen???)

What I am looking for is for people to offer trade ups that have some value to others. Seeing that I live in Northeastern Wisconsin and have a more limited travel budget, I am looking for things to be somewhat transportable (yet again, of value). If items are products, please make sure that items are in working order. If trades are for services, events, vacations, etc, please specify the parameters that must be followed.

So what do you get in return, well first, you get some items that may be valuable to you. Second you get to be a part of history! Third, you will get notoriety and free publicity as I will make a big deal regarding my trade ups! Fourth, for the person, company, etc, that does finally get me to my goal, I will promise you praise beyond compare on this site, and if you would like a continual product review (a year in the life per se of a Toyota Sienna owner)

So don’t call me crazy, just call me industrious and creative… I look forward to what happens!

So be a part of history as I have never found anyone that has done this type of trade up… and help me to achieve my dream of becoming a minivan family!”

Well, first of all you know that I am all for “Praise beyond compare”. You had me at hello, Dad of Divas. Second of all, your main blog has a tiara in the header. Hello again!

Weaselmomma’s trade offer has been up for a couple of weeks now (I told her that I think the lack of bidding is totally not anything against her fabulous personality but more of a distance-thing, because there may not be anybody who lives close enough to be able to take her up on her offer of going out for drinks) and when we discovered that I can practically see Weaselmomma from my house much like Sarah Palin can see Russia from hers, we determined that I am the perfect person to offer up a trade*.

You’re gonna have to visit the Great Minivan Trade-up if you want to see photos, participate, and help get Dad of Divas one step closer to his goal, but here are the details on my trade…

I have basically assembled a “Money Can’t Buy Happiness” package to trade for Weaselmomma’s gift of Herself and Stuff:

1. A practically new (still has the fill-it-in-yourself id card in it) Brighton knockoff wallet: You may remember this wallet from this post.
2. A necklace from Coldwater Creek
3. Large assortment of new-in-package scrapbooking supplies, including a set of alphabet books
4. Four CDs to use for working out; one is 128 beats per minute all the way through and is great for ab work or resistance training (Hint: do you like N*SYNC?); three are custom blends that can be used for spinning or treadmill work (or even housecleaning: vacuuming is way more fun when you are listening to sprint music!)
5. If you’re not the workout type, I have a new-in-package Hallmark CD: “Relaxing Instrumental Music, Volume 1”
6. One hardcover, never-read copy of Anna Quindlen’s “A Short Guide to a Happy Life”. Never read because I’m both too busy and apparently plenty happy enough.

Total value: $270

Crazy, I know. So why not head over there, read more about Dad of Diva’s quest, and consider finding something to trade for my adorably assembled set of goodies? (Or, at the very least, put the word out over at your blog for me! I’d appreciate it!)

Happy Trading!

*Of course, I just “met” Weaselmomma and I’m going to have her put our get-together on ice, so to speak, for a little while as we get to know each other over the internets a little better first. I think we may have to start out with a little long-distance drinking before we jump right into tearing up the suburbs!



  • Kat

    Hehe awesome idea. I actually got Kyle MacDonald’s book “One Red Paperclip” and I thought he had a brilliant idea.

    Go Weaselmomma 😉 The world really is small. So she lives around the corner. Totally awesome.

  • nukedad

    So, you gals going to play beer pong over the phone first? I suggest shots while watching Grey’s Anatomy; I think you’ll bond faster.;)

  • Michelle

    Gotta love the small world of the Internet, right? I’m still waiting until I find out one of my favorite bloggers lives in my neighborhood or the neighborhood next to me 😉

    I heard about the red paperclip thing and thought that was pretty cool. And your trade offer is quite compelling. If only I had something good to offer up! $270 is definitely working its way up though.

  • Mrs4444

    I have a little note in my cupboard that lists Wisconsin bloggers. Weaselmomma is on it. Can that be right? Do you live in Wisconsin??

  • Melisa

    Nukedad: Totally. Beerpong is a great idea, though I’ll have to play with Black Jack Cola. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

    Mrs4444: Hey you! Good to “see” you! No, we live in the Chicago suburbs. Maybe Weaselmomma USED to live in Wisconsin? (which would be hilarious, because I lived there too, once upon a time…)

  • Weaselmomma

    Hey there! Nope I never lived closed to Wisconsin that I do now, Chicago suburbs. Mrs. 4444’s, God Bless her, has been known to drink more than I do. LOL, and that’s kind of impressive.
    We can bond over the presidential debates on our respective couches. But to make them more interesting we play a drinking game. Every time they say “change, right change, economy, Nuclear Iran, Wall Street, Tax cut, middle class or experience, we each take a drink. At least they won’t be dry that way. We can watch Grey’s when the season starts.