Curtis Smeltzer of Milford is using the World Wide Web to keep “trading up” until he owns a house or a piece of commercial real estate “free and clear.”
Inspired by Kyle MacDonald of Canada who, in 2006, began with one red paperclip and ultimately traded it for a two-story farmhouse in Saskatchewan, Canada, Smeltzer is certain he is now on his way to inking his own name on a deed.
Smeltzer embarked on his journey on Nov. 8, 2010, when he passed “Go” with a simple vintage Monopoly piece and began collecting offers. The car game piece was found in an old, incomplete game set that once belonged to his grandmother.
In his web blog, vintagemonopoly.com, Smeltzer writes, “I remember as a child playing with the Monopoly game at her house. She passed away a while back and the Monopoly game was missing pieces, so I scavenged a few of the game pieces.”
It took over a year, but after creating his own website to document the journey, Smeltzer finally made his first trade. The vintage Monopoly car went to Milford businessman Travis Barrett in exchange for a Psychology For Life Today textbook and workbook. Barrett, a car dealer, wanted the game piece for his desk. He traded the books that he found in a car in a junkyard while he was searching for auto parts.
The second trade was made just 3 days later when the books were traded for a steel stove. Scrapped, its value was between $38 and $50.
The stove was traded for a 19-foot boat trailer and the game of “bigger and better” has continued through today, which has Smeltzer now in the possession of a K2 Satellite Wide 158cm snowboard and bindings. He got the snowboard for a trade of about 5,000 sports trading cards – some even autographed – which he ultimately got for trading handmade knives and leather sheaths.
Now up for trade is the snowboard and bindings. Total current value: $370. And, because the name of the game is Bigger and Better, Smeltzer is now looking to trade the snowboard and bindings for something even greater.
A graphic and web designer by day, Smeltzer hopes to take his extracurricular ventures to eventually trade for a house for himself, his wife, and their three children; a property that he could even run his graphic design business from, and maybe even house an art gallery.
Smeltzer is not always looking for the most valuable item, he’s looking for items of interest that he will be able to trade for something “bigger and better” and items that will eventually lead to that personal property for he and his family.
According to Smeltzer, there are just two requirements for taking part in his journey: the trade must be “bigger and better” and anyone with an accepted trade offer, must allow him to post it and the continuing story on the web blog.
Anyone want a K2 Satellite Wide 158cm snowboard and bindings and have something to trade? Contact Curtis! He is waiting anxiously to make trade No. 7 and take yet another step forward in his bigger and better journey.
To email Curtis with a trade offer, make sure you have a viable item to trade and will be willing to be documented as part of his journey toward the bigger and better goal.