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

After Victoria dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Sun on its way after Greater Victoria sees wettest July in six years

Environment Canada meteorologists say the drizzle is likely to end soon

How Victoria’s little Ecole Beausoleil is at the heart of a national court case

100-year-old Bank Street school and the Sundance facility to be re-designated an elementary school

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read