Starting with an old cell phone a friend gave him, 17-year-old Steven Ortiz of Glendora, CA, used Craigslist to trade up 14 times over two years and eventually end up with a Porsche Boxster. Here's how he did it.
Although Oritz's story isn't the first time we've seen Craigslist-swapping writ large, it's the first one we've seen that doesn't include any outside help. You may remember Kyle MacDonald, who famously created a website to document his attempt to trade one red paperclip for a house. It worked. But MacDonald also had a built-in fanbase and publicity from his website.
Ortiz, a 17-year-old high-schooler, had no such help. Instead, he spent the better part of two years tied to his iPhone, skimming Craigslist and carefully picking out trades he knew he could benefit from.
Starting with an old cell phone that was given to him for free by a friend, Steven used the "barter" section of Craigslist to move up to a better phone. He then traded the phone for an iPod Touch, the iPod Touch for a dirtbike — which was turned around several times for other, better dirtbikes — and then a MacBook Pro arrived, which opened the door to vehicles.
The MacBook Pro was traded for a Toyota 4Runner, which was then bartered for a custom off-road golf cart. Keep in mind that Steven was only 15 at the time, so even if he'd kept that 4Runner, he couldn't drive it anywhere.