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Is Martin Provost the next Kyle MacDonald?

Mar 10th 2011, 16:35, by Swapsity

Martin Provost is on a quest. The Ottawa resident and Swapsity member is on the road to becoming the next Kyle MacDonald. Instead of swapping his way from a paper clip to a house, Martin started with a used Minolta Maxuum SLR camera and is determined to keep trading until he reaches the planet-friendly car of his dreams—a Tesla Roadster. Martin’s desire for the battery electric vehicle is fueled by his two passions, technology and living green, which are also the focus of his swaps. He’s reaching his goal by trading tech and eco-gadgets like computers, iPhones, iPads, solar panels, electric scooters and much more. Martin plans to make it happen within a year, all on barter. He says, “The obvious benefit to this alternative financing is that, if you succeed, you get to your goal without spending any money—all this while helping the environment and meeting interesting people.”

Read our interview with Martin to find out more about him and his incredible journey! You can also stay up-to-date on Martin’s progress, submit barter offers and cheer him on through Swapsity’s portal.

Tell us more about your quest to trade up to a Tesla Roadster.
My quest started with an old film camera and I have slowly worked my way up to a used computer. My ultimate goal is to trade up to a Tesla Roadster and hope to do so in less than one year.

I decided to follow the path of Kyle MacDonald. He’s the person that traded his way to from a red paper clip to a house. But I wanted to put my own flair into it by adding a technology feel to my adventure. My quest consists of trading mostly gadgets and items that are tech/green related. I’m also purely relying on the power of social media and online swapping tools like Swapsity.ca to get me to my goal.

What got you started on this barter adventure?
For the past few years, I have been dreaming of owning the Tesla Roadster but I knew I would never be able to afford it. I would have to save up my full salary for about four years to purchase this car. My wife and I also started a family with the birth of our beautiful son, William, almost two years ago and have a brand new house to pay for. Obviously, our financial priorities are elsewhere.

So I had to get creative. I had to find a way! I was inspired by the guy who traded a red paper clip for a house—Kyle MacDonald—and decided to attempt to reach my goal like he did, by swapping item to item until I reach my dream car.

Aside from its sleek design and its high speed, the Tesla Roadster is a pretty environmentally-friendly car. Is that part of the reason why you’re interested in it?
This is the main reason I want this car. I believe that it's ridiculous to still be relying on machinery that pollutes to get us around. We have the technology so why aren't we using it? Car makers need to step up! Electric motors have been tried and tested for years in other applications and have been proven to be extremely durable with minimal maintenance—not to mention the savings in fuel cost. It's a no-brainer. This benefits both the environment and the consumer.

This is truly the green car of my dreams! An electric car that can be pitted against some of Porsche’s best. 

How expensive is this green car?
The Tesla Roadster starts at $125,000.

Does being green matter to you?
Being green does matter to me, especially when I think my son will be living in this world. So I do my part as much as I can by recycling, composting, conserving, etc.
My passions are technology and cars. I love visiting the many automotive blogs out there but pollution is always in the back of my mind when imagining myself in exotic gas-powered cars and I get excited when they feature  electric vehicle concepts. But it really frustrates me that car companies aren't moving quicker to release electric cars.
Like with electric cars, I believe that through technology, we can eliminate transportation and energy pollution (efficient electric cars and upgraded green electricity infrastructure) and reduce our dependence on oil.

I also consider electric cars as one of the first steps to solving our environmental issues. If we fix the way we also generate electricity, transportation has the potential to be 100% pollution free. Wouldn't that be nice?

So this why I set my eye on the Tesla—this is the ultimate electric exotic and every green/tech geek's dream car! I think this car also sets an example of where the car world should be heading.

What has your barter experience been like so far?
I have experienced so much already having just started my adventure. My quest was mentioned on a popular morning radio show in Ottawa and I had my first live interview on CBC radio! Plus, the people that I have swapped with already have been absolutely amazing to deal with. 

What do you love most about swapping?
I love communicating with users of communities like Swapsity.ca and trying to make my next big swap. Although I haven’t traded with many people as of yet, my first two trades where great opportunities where I was able to meet interesting people.

I also love the learning aspect of it. After each trade you learn something new and adjust your tactics in negotiating for the next big trade. 

Based on your experience, what advice can you offer other barter-savvy Canadians eager to trade things?
My advice would be to take each swap as a new learning experience and a chance to meet interesting people with the same passion. That’s what I’m currently doing and having a blast doing so.
What do people say when they hear about your mission?
Most people are supportive of my idea, including my wonderful wife, Jessica. But there are others that think I’m crazy. They tell me that it will never happen. I simply mention the story of Kyle MacDonald to show them that it is possible.

Check out Martin’s profile to see what he has currently up for swap then make an offer to help move his journey forward!


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