Teen Trades Cell Phone for Porsche on Craigslist

Fourteen swaps, two years and countless hours online payoff for a teenage trader

High school student Steve Ortiz may be zipping around Glendora, Calif., in a silver sports car these days, but don't let his ride fool you -- he's not a spoiled rich kid, and this isn't his family's car either.

His 2000 Porsche Boxster S is the result of patience, hard work and the Craigslist bartering section.

The 17-year-old student at Charter Oak High School has made 14 trades over two years to finally acquire the vehicle.

He started with just a cell phone.

The teen would spend hours a day browsing Craigslist looking to swap.

"I get so many people who say, 'Can you trade my phone for a car?' I just say, 'Yeah. It's not that easy,'" he told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

At first, he traded the old cell phone for a better cell phone. From there, he swapped for an iPod. After a few dirt bikes, he ended up with a MacBook Pro, which eventually turned into a 1987 Toyota 4Runner.

There was just one minor problem -- Ortiz was too young to drive, so he traded again for a souped-up off-road golf cart.

That led to another dirt bike, a streetbike and then a series of cars ending with a 1975 Ford Bronco.

Ortiz then traded the Bronco -- which turned out to be a collectible valued at about $15,000 -- for the Porsche.

While Ortiz mastered the art of trading up, he's still learning some lessons about upkeep and maintenance on a luxury vehicle. At 17, the $150 oil changes and $1,000  tune-ups are a little bit steep.

So for now Ortiz is back on Craigslist, plotting his next trade.

Contact Us