Bartering for goods is as old as commerce itself, but the ingenuity and resourcefulness of a teen from California, who traded an old cell phone all the way up to a Porsche is a testament to the power of trade. And also possibly, to the current economy.
Starting two years ago, Steven Ortiz took an old cell phone he had been given by a friend and traded it on Craigslist.org for a better phone; and thus kicked off a cycle of trades that landed him an iPod Touch, dirt bikes, a MacBook Pro, a Toyota 4Runner and a tricked out off-road golf cart. That was all before he turned 16.
After these initial trades Ortiz found himself in possession of several more dirt bikes, street bikes and a '75 Ford Bronco, which, as luck would have it, was a collectible worth approximately $15,000.
It was this Bronco that, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, sealed the deal on a 2000 Porsche Boxster Convertible, which was actually worth less then the Bronco on paper, but not to the Young Ortiz.
This isn't the first time someone has traded an item of insignificant value for a highly-prized possession. In 2005 a Canadian man famously traded a red paperclip for a house in a series of interesting trades.
The value trade partners place on their items is key to a good trade, Ortiz tells the Tribune, making it clear that he didn't swindle anyone out of a dime in his barter up to a Boxster. Finding a good trade is all about taking an object which has lost its value to you and trading it to a person who sees value in it. This has become easier as the economy tanked. Individuals looked to use what they already had to get what they needed.
Speaking of losing value, it appears that the Porsche may soon be up on the trading blocks, as Ortiz has found that maintaining the sports car is more than he can afford after losing his job at a local sushi restaurant. If you're looking for a Porsche and have something you think Ortiz might find valuable, you better visit the Glendora Craigslist.
Teen barters cell phone for a Porsche on Craigslist