Zoltan Szoges traded his way to Brazil after an online encounter where he tried to trade a leather recliner. (Facebook/Zoltan Szoges)

Victoria man trades his way to Brazil with Facebook group

Zoltan Szoges founded the ‘This for That’ cashless group and traded his way to South America

A Victoria man who founded a cashless Facebook trading group has traded his way to Brazil.

Last week, Zoltan Szoges founded the “This for That” Victoria trade-only group after an unpleasant posting experience.

Szoges posted a picture of himself sitting in a leather recliner in a Victoria buy-sell group, trying to trade his friend’s chair. The stoic pose prompted one person to comment “creepy guy,” which led Szoges to try to engage with the commenter.

“I said ‘I’m gonna choose to not be a mean person,’ so I took an approach of grace, and asked him if he wanted to get together for a beer or coffee to learn more about who I am,” Szoges said.

ALSO READ: Victoria Facebook community collects toys for police to give to kids

He didn’t hear back from the original person, but many others praised Szoges for his kinder action, and someone even offered to trade for the recliner.

“So I thought, ‘why don’t I take this mini-attention I’ve gathered and make a group?’” Szoges said.

In the first week, more than 1,600 people have joined and conducted trades of goods through the Facebook group.

“It’s been really neat watching how people value things when money isn’t involved,” Szoges said.

Some trades include a new mom trading a women’s raincoat for the service of someone digging a hole for her; another woman traded a party dress for old tires so she could use them in an obstacle course for her horse, and an ongoing discussion on the board has two families considering trading cars.

ALSO READ: Popular Victoria hiking group closing after facing cyberbullying

For Szoges, the group granted him the opportunity to head to South America for the first time.

“One of the first people to join the group said she is coming to Victoria for 18 months for her studies,” Szoges said. The woman was looking for help moving in and for furniture and offered Portuguese lessons, lessons with Microsoft Office or accommodations in Brazil if someone could come before April.

“I thought ‘this could be a cool story,’” Szoges said.

He posted his own services as a photographer in exchange for a flight, and while negotiating with someone who could use his services for a wedding, found an inexpensive flight and went for it.

“I’ve never been on vacation, so I thought if I do the wedding later I can trade it for something else.”

Szoges is booked to leave at the end of February but said in the meantime he’s working with other group members to facilitate a live swapmeet to encourage more community engagement.

“I want to do something to stimulate the community in Victoria both online and offline,” he said. “The online aspect is very much based on kindness … people have been very receptive to that.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

UPDATED: Eco warriors shut down Douglas Street at Fort Street in protest

Environmentalists to call on banks to divert investments into green infrastructure

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Sign forbidding rabbit drop-offs gets stuffed bunnies instead

Residents seemingly undeterred by strict wording this Easter

Islander finding her calling in fledgling community paramedic program

Georgia Nelson’s work in Chemainus part of a new wave of small community health care delivery

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Mandatory spaying and neutering looms for outdoor Chemainus cats

North Cowichan considers bylaw to control stray and feral cat issues

Stranded photographer rescued from rising Comox Valley waters

Responders use kayak to save man, equipment

Electronic music repels mosquitoes

New study finds Skrillex music slows mosquito’s feeding and sex

Most Read