Teen Trades up on Craigslist from Phone to Porsche in 2 Years

Glendora teen image

In a world where many teens seem to lack both patience and common sense, one teen in Glendora, CA, demonstrated both masterfully.

According to Los Angeles Ferrari Dealers, Steven Ortiz, 17, used Craigslist to trade his way up from an old cell phone to a Porsche.  It took him 2 years of bartering like mad, but it appears that the effort was worth it. He’s the only student at Charter Oak High School who drives a Porsche to school.

His path from old cell phone to Porsche included working his way up to an iPod, then a MacBook Pro laptop. Eventually, Ortiz traded up from electronics to dirt bikes, then cars and trucks, and an SUV.

“A lot of my friends are jealous,” Ortiz said. “A lot of my friends come up to me and tell me, ‘You want to trade my phone for a car? Try to get me a Ferrari.’ I tell them it’s not that easy. It takes time and patience, definitely.”

According to Dayton Mazda, Ortiz’s skill at identifying a good deal started years ago when he would buy cell phones off of his friends. At $30 each, he would turn around and sell the used cell phones online for three times the amount he paid. He also picked up a knack for repairing electronics, which enabled him to take something that was almost worthless and get it functioning again.

Eventually, Ortiz discovered bartering. Many people online are looking for ways to exchange something they don’t need in order to get something they do need. These same people often realize that they can get more through bartering than through selling the item for cash.

“A lot of people don’t have money right now, in this economy. So they think, `I really need a new phone, but I don’t have the money. Here I have this CD player lying around that I don’t use anymore, maybe I can trade,”‘ Steven’s father Esteban explained.

Like many Americans, the Ortiz family has been hit hard by the economy. But with his uncanny ability to scour the Web for incredible deals, Steven Ortiz has still managed to get whatever he wants, despite facing economic hardship. Greensboro Porsche applauds Steven’s determination.

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Read more Automotive News.
(Hat tip: Paul)

This entry was posted in Auto News, Odd Auto News, Porsche and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

191 Responses to Teen Trades up on Craigslist from Phone to Porsche in 2 Years

  1. A6M4 says:

    Now I’m not trying to “hate,” but if anything on that car breaks, he is screwed, expensive cars lend to expensive replacement parts. Still, I wouldn’t bet against him if he needed to find anything.

  2. chris says:

    who was the idiot who traded their Porsche for an old Bronco?

  3. C-los from LA says:

    This article was great, the kid…..smart as hell!

    Still we can all see how someone’s success breeds hate in others. One thing that stands out the most in society right now is pure hate. It doesnt matter what good anyone has done. There is someone out there always prepared to spread their petty hate and attempt to make someone else’s effort seem worthless.

    The kid is 17 and parlayed a phone into a Porsche, and Iknow from experiance that having a nice car will certainly get you some good and dirty looks, especially when your 17 and ROLLING!


  4. Rebecca says:

    Boy with car!!!!

  5. Kellie says:

    Yeah, go ask your daddy. Spoiled brat. Have fun in the real world when you have no idea what to do because your daddy fixed everything for you!

  6. Kellie says:

    I think this kid shows some real skill- hell, do you what you need to right? he gets my thumbs up!

  7. XrisP says:

    From the insurance (@Emme) to the actual trade up value, how about the taxes of recieving it? The problem is that sure he did this feat, but paying for the taxes on a car, even if free, makes most people just sell the car.

    If you want reference, Oprah gave away a brand new 50+k car. Each person then had to pay the taxes on these “free cars”. Same with scratch ticket winners, its something that comes by on taxes.

    Great job trading up, but its less patience and more resources. Now every craiglist trader will be trading up, yay bartering going up in value :(

  8. TrueLies says:

    He traded alright. He traded some weed for a gun, then carjacked a white guy for the car. Spics aren’t smart enough to pull things like this off.

  9. Patrick says:

    Well he ended up with a Porsche with little to no money and his hard work.Dont hate him he played a good game and did it legally.However….. Id love to see his face when he has to pay for insurance,or Maintenance on an exotic car or better yet California’s Registration and Tags LMAO He’ll wish he had his iPhone

  10. Nick Oropall says:


    inspiration to me, anyone want a dollar for something useless?

  11. Anne says:

    The reason there are so many haters in the world is that so many people have abandoned God, Jesus, Christianity. God is the source of all love. When you know Him, you’re plugged into His love, wisdom, etc. But when you don’t, you arent. I drive a 2006 PT Cruiser and I’m thankful to have a car to drive. I also have a cute apt and am grateful for that as well. I can even afford to eat dinner this evening. Think of all the people on this planet with no food, bed, car etc.

  12. JD says:

    Why does Rucker have his byline on another reporter’s story? How does that work? This exact story ran in other at least 2 other newspapers. It was published on 7/16. Even the LA Times/KTLA credited the Pasadena Star-News for the original story.

  13. David R says:

    who would trade a phone for a porshe. lol at the retrads on craigslist

  14. heminger says:

    man there’s some jealous people out there i would like to see one of you punks do half as good as this 17 year old kid i say if you can do it do it if you can’t then keep your mouth shut

  15. Phil says:

    You guys are all ridiculous with this “good luck on insurance” nonsense. I’m sure he has enough money to pay it since hes not paying monthly payments on a car. Haters just mad because this kid has a nice car and your driving around in a Chrysler Town and Country struggling to pay your bills.

  16. highriverhick says:

    It just takes some hustle and not sleeping in till noon and playing on facebook. Although not quite the same, my story involves driving people to work – I always figured I’m going anyway. Couple years ago, I had one guy in a ford escort, then it was five in a windstar, today I had 25 completely fill a small shuttle bus and I’ve just bought a used 36 passenger coach, so I’ll have to start taking this soon. Not only am I making twice what I make at my ‘real’ job, I’m keeping a lot of cars off the road – all without a dime from government. Way to go kid!

  17. Tim says:

    I find it amazing that the first thing Citizen thinks of is “he better pay taxes” sigh. “Gift taxes” are ridiculous.

    I bet you support the estate tax as well. Your parents save their whole lives to be able to hand something over to you when they die and the Government taxes it. Not to mention that income that was saved over their lifetime has been taxed to death already, gotta get em one more time on the way out. Estate taxes hurt the middle class more than anyone. Let’s say the average house is around $100,000 and you inherit that when your parents die.

    “For amounts over $100,000 but not over $150,000, the tentative tax is $23,800 plus 30% of the excess over $100,000.”

    The average middle class American who inherits the family home owes the Government nearly 24 thousand dollars for their trouble. One quarter of your inheritance… insane.

  18. Jaclyn says:

    I can’t believe everybody’s giving him credit for this. One Red Paperclip rip off, and One Red Paperclip was so much better anyways. A Paperclip to a house is crazy.

  19. Phil says:

    I’m doing the same thing with a twist. I’m starting with an iPhone and trying to pay off my debts. I started a blog and twitter to document it all. I’ll be letting readers help evaluate my trade offers and interact along the way. Check it out: http://www.craigstrade.com http://www.twitter.com/craigstrade

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  23. Good job Ortiz! Kudos to you!!! You only no you did something good when people talk about it (-+). Best to you in your endeavors!!!

  24. thad says:

    Where are you getting your info. The estate tax is only levied after 3.5 MILLION in assets:


    Even if the tax sunsets in 2011, it will go back to just affecting money over the first million, so you’re hypothetical example, for your average middle class family, they pay no taxes whatsoever.

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  26. doug says:

    i looked at the paper clip thing and i’m not so sure it’s entirely true. you can’t trade a recording contract, they are specifically for a certain individual or band (as one entity). no label worth they’re salt is going to allow you to just give it to anyone you like.
    secondly, why has someone always got to one-up somebody else. i mean damn, i caught a 4 pound bass this year and i’m proud of it, but i’m sure some else got one at 6lb, 8lb, 12lb etc. well bulley for them. it does not detract what i did.
    give the boy the credit he deserves instead of trying to down play it because your sorry ass didn’t accomplish in your whole life what he did by the time he was 17.
    and if you read the article you would see that he makes MONEY by fixing shit and selling for a profit. can you say insurance ?

  27. dwindle says:

    he owes sales tax on every single item he bartered from the very beginning, which is probably worth more than the car.

  28. craigslist says:

    “picked up a knack for fixing electronics” = this kid ripped a lot of hard working people off. Not to mention getting bikes and trading up. Most the “surprisingly good deal” bikes on craigslist are hot. People who hustle craigslist aren’t the kinda “model kids” people usually write about in these kinda glowing little articles. This kid is a scumbag going to grow up to a life of reselling cars he “fixes” by switching the incriminating plates off and repainting. scum.

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  30. Anon says:

    Yeah, this guy needs to pay the IRS, because everyone knows that bartering earns you a lot of money… oh wait…

  31. Bry says:

    @Emme The insurance on a car is nowhere near what you might think – I pay less for my Boxster than I do for my Volvo station wagon.
    Maintaining a Porsche car, on the other hand, isn’t cheap. Dealership prices are near $1500 for an oil change, so I hope he has a good independent shop nearby or is good with a wrench. They don’t need much attention if you keep it in good shape, though, and the manual only calls for those oil changes every 1500 miles.

    I wish him well, this kid has the drive and patience to succeed

  32. aaron arch says:

    In that photo you can see the left headlight smashed up.

  33. Dr Evil says:

    Holy crap that awesome! I have 3 old phones, craigslist here I come!

  34. Jaymonds says:

    I can’t believe everybody’s giving him credit for this.

  35. Yo says:

    Bunk that.

  36. Alchemelia says:

    Sounds like that “One Red Paperclip” thing, done a while ago.

    Nicely done!

  37. idk says:

    look at the video and you see that the porsche is missing a left front blinker

  38. randomdude898 says:

    Goodluck with that $200 oil change xD

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  41. Mandi says:

    So many haters filled with negativity and jealousy.. but that aint going to lessen his achievements.. so keep on sickening yourselves with hate.

    hahaha sorry ass haters.

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