Ah, the Internet. Without it, how would a 17-year-old California boy be able to trade an old cell phone for a Porsche? You read that right -- a teen was able to trade a stupid old cell phone for a fancy sports car.
The saga of Steven Ortiz began two years ago when a friend gave him a useless, outdated cell phone. Instead of dumping it in the garbage, Steven decided to trade it for something useful. So he went on Craigslist and found someone who wanted to trade it for a better phone. Then he traded that phone for an iPod touch.
Steven liked where this was going, so he kept on trading, spending upwards of six hours a day on Craigslist looking for deals. After several more trades where he acquired and sent away a few dirt bikes and finally a laptop, he got a vehicle -- a 1987 Toyota 4Runner from someone who needed a MacBook Pro more than he needed a car.
The only problem was that Steven was too young to drive, so he traded the 4Runner for a souped-up golf cart. Then came more dirt bikes, a series of cars, and finally a 1975 Ford Bronco. After driving the truck for a while, Steven decided he was more of a sports car guy, so he swapped it for a 2000 Porsche Boxster S.
Steven actually took a loss on that deal -- the Bronco is valued at $15,000, the Porsche just $9,000. But Steven was happy with his decision; after all, he's the only kid driving a Porsche convertible to school.
But owning a Porsche does have its drawbacks. Maintenance is expensive so Steven is looking to deal yet again, hoping to end up with a Cadillac Escalade.
Steven is not the first person to do this. Several years ago a Canadian man made international headlines when, starting with a red paper clip, he ended up with a house after a series of trades. But unlike that man, Steven did not publicize his quest, nor did he get help from traders who just wanted to be part of the headline-making action.