A teenager used online Craigslist trades to turn an old cellphone into a Porsche over the course of two years.
Steven Ortiz, who was 15 when the trades began, traded 14 times on the "barter" section of Craigslist. Starting with an old cellphone that a friend gave him for free, Ortiz traded up until he was able to get dirt bikes, a MacBook Pro, and eventually, in 2010, a 2000 Porsche Boxster, according to Jalopnik.
Ortiz, who was 17 when he traded for the car, says that he managed it by carefully seeking out trades on Craigslist over two years. He first traded the phone for a better cellphone, and then traded that phone for an iPod Touch. He was able to barter the iPod Touch for a dirt bike, and then traded for several better dirt bikes until he managed to trade for a MacBook Pro.
"I got to the dirt bike," Ortiz told KTLA. "And I told myself, 'If I can get here, where else can I get?'"
He was able to find someone willing to trade a Toyota 4Runner for the laptop, which was then traded for a custom golf cart, because, at 15, Ortiz could not yet legally drive. Ortiz then swapped the golf cart for an expensive dirt bike, which he bartered for a street bike, and then several cars, until landing on a 1975 Ford Bronco.
After all of these trades, Ortiz had reached legal driving age. He drove the Bronco for a time before deciding to trade up again. This time, he went for the Porsche, which was reportedly a trade down in monetary value, since the Bronco was likely worth more than the $9,000 that the Porsche was commanding.
Ortiz said that the maintenance for the Porsche proved more costly than he had hoped. "At 17, paying $1,200 for a tune up on a Porsche," he said. "I can do a lot with $1,200."
In a similar story that was widely reported in 2005, Kyle MacDonald traded up from a single red paperclip to a house, in a series of 14 trades over a single year. The trades included a fish pen, a generator, a cube van, and a role in a movie, according to MacDonald's website. In July 2006 he received his final trade -- a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada.