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

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

Saanich to recognize Coun. Judy Brownoff for a quarter century on council

Award presentation will take place Monday evening

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to fall fake eagle tree at Ogden Point

Last year a fake tree was installed to try to entice eagles to stay in the area, without much success

Saanich police arrest suspected purse snatcher after witness tracks him down

Man known to police attempted to steal the purses from Red Robin restaurant

Ambitious B.C. Aviation Museum need $10M to get iconic Lancaster back in the air

Volunteers flock to work on bomber, restoration expected to take 10 years

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read