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  

facebook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Greater Victoria infrastructure get millions in investments to help with economic recovery

New community spaces, health centre, turf fields coming for region

Ryan Reynolds matching fundraising dollars for B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor appeals to the public with Make Ryan Pay! campaign

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

Victoria International Airport rolls out health and safety initiative

YYJ limits who can enter terminal along with other added safety measures

Greater Victoria housing market sees positive bump in June

Sales up by 76.8 per cent compared to May

UPDATE: Military reservist facing 22 charges after allegedly ramming gates at Rideau Hall

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

a piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016.

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Most Read