Trading a phone for a Porsche sounds like a ridiculous trade, especially for someone as young as him.
But he wasn't going to let anything or anyone stand in his way. He knew that with plenty of patience, research and a little luck, he could do this. He wasn't going to stop until the set of wheels sat in his driveway.
While some teens scramble to balance part-time jobs with school, Steven Ortiz had an entirely different strategy.
He wanted a car and was prepared to get really creative with how he would get his hands on one. The plan? He was going to use a well-known, but little-used Reddit hack.
The idea didn’t come from the Californian teen. A few others had blazed past trails to financial success. However, he was ready and eager to prove he could play with the big Reddit barter boys.
All he needed some something to get the ball rolling. So, one friend tossed him a second-hand cell phone.
It was the very thing Steven needed to get his foot into the barter section of Reddit. Within those digital walls, countless people chatted, traded, and even scammed each other to get their hands on coveted items or up-trade to sell for cash in other threads.
What was the first trade that set the amazing sequence of events in motion?
Someone out there was willing to swap the phone for an iPod touch. It might seem like small beans nowadays, but back in 2008, this was a clear and winning upgrade.
Through careful and methodical research, Steven found the next trade – which no one would have ever seen coming.
He got a dirt bike! This opened an entirely new world of trading options, because there is a lot of turn-over in the world of dirt bikes. So, all he had to do was research what he had versus what he could get and make certain he was always getting the better deal.
But this could only continue for so long until he would need another big-ticket item to breakthrough to the next level.
Big Ticket Item
It fell into his lap in the form of a MacBook Pro. While dirt bikes had a dedicated fandom, the brand-spanking-new computer would open a whole new kind of trading potential.
He could have ended there and had plenty of bragging rights, but Steven wanted a car and wouldn’t stop until he got one! The next bit was just as impressive.
At the time, a MacBook Pro was a coveted item, and it wasn’t long until someone out there was more than willing to trade in their silver Toyota 4Runner. Anyone at this point would think,
“Great! You have something ready for when you get your licence!” But nope! Steven quickly found someone to swap it with a fancy golf cart.
It was getting closer to the endgame and the teen had to be extra careful about his deals. It was like each barter was a long-thinking chess move towards his final prize.
The climb became a little slower and more tedious – with several more exchanges within the bike and automobile world. What were his final moves?
It had been fourteen trades over two years. A vintage 1975 Ford Bronco sat in his driveway, and he now had the licence to drive it.
However, he had started with a specific goal in mind, and he wasn’t going to give up until he took the last step – which would also be the first time he would be on the “losing” side of the deal.
It Finally Happened
It was a sleek, silver 2000 Porsche Boxster. To anyone else, it would have been crazy. However, he was more than willing to take the $9000 hit in value to get his dream car.
After all, he could just jump on Reddit again if he changed his mind! But what did his parents think about their son’s journey.
Plenty Of Support
Even though the barter-capades started when he was 15, Steven’s parents were more than supportive about the entire thing.
They would make sure any trades were done safely, other than that (and glancing at his computer once in a while), they let him do his thing. And what did Reddit think?
Clip To House
Steven became a digital bartering king. He sat right up there with Kyle MacDonald – who became online-famous after he started with a paperclip ... and eventually up-traded to a house.
MacDonald got the idea from a show called “Bigger, Better”, where you go door to door asking people to swap objects. Both swappers, however, had the same advice.
It’s definitely not something anyone should do if they only have the goal of making money or lucking-out to an early retirement.
It should be more for the fun and excitement of the trade – a sort of hobby that might yield financial benefits on the side. Steven also had another interesting challenge for others.
Steven was more than ready to defend his new title and challenged anyone in the world to a barter-off event. He was confident in his skills.
He also found it became a promising path to a career that, in the beginning, he had no idea he was gifted at. And it all started with an old cell phone.
A New Life
Steven Ortiz was a typical teenage boy, with a love for sports and a knack for computer programming. He had always been fascinated by the world of business and was always on the lookout for new ways to make money.
One day, while browsing the internet, he stumbled upon a website called Craigslist. He had an idea.
Small Town Big Ideas
Living in a small town in the middle of nowhere, he was always looking for ways to make a little extra money. One day, he stumbled upon the idea of trading on Craigslist, which changed his life.
At first, he was a little skeptical, but he decided to give it a try, and he was amazed by how easy it was to make a profit.
Steven started small, posting ads for old clothes and gadgets that he no longer needed. He was pleasantly surprised by how quickly he was able to sell these items, and he realized that there was real money to be made on Craigslist.
He thought big and expanded his horizons to more expensive items.
Steven started by trading a cell phone that he no longer needed for a bike that he had always wanted. He spent hours scouring Craigslist, looking for the best deals and negotiating with potential buyers and sellers.
Before long, he had turned that one cellphone into a brand-new bike, and he was hooked on the thrill of trading.
As Steven's skills and reputation grew, he started taking on bigger and bolder trades. He traded a bike for a car and drove around in his own Porsche before long.
His friends and family were amazed by his success, and many people in his community started coming to him for advice on how to make money trading on Craigslist.
Talk Of The Town
Steven's story quickly caught the media’s attention, and he was featured on many news and TV channels for being so intelligent and successful at such a young age. Some of the most high-profile reporters interviewed him.
People on social media couldn't stop talking about him, and he became something of a local celebrity.
As Steven's business continued to grow, he focused on building solid relationships with his clients. He knew that trust and honesty were the keys to success in the world of trading, and he worked hard to establish himself as a reliable and trustworthy partner.
He was a name in the game and had a reputation to uphold.
Real Business Skills
After a few years, Steven's business had grown into a thriving enterprise, and he was making more money than he ever could have imagined.
He was grateful for the opportunity Craigslist had given him, and he knew that he would always be grateful to the platform that had allowed him to turn his dreams into a reality.
Taking The Chance
At first, young Steven was hesitant to use the website. He had heard of scams and fraudulent activity on Craigslist, and he didn't want to get caught up in any of that.
But after doing some research and reading about the safety measures that Craigslist had in place, he decided to give it a try.
Putting In the Hours
Encouraged by his early success, Steven decided to take things to the next level. He began researching popular products and looking for deals on wholesale items that he could resell on Craigslist.
He spent hours each day scouring the internet for the best deals, and he quickly became an expert at finding and negotiating prices.
As Steven's business began to grow, he started to receive more and more inquiries from potential buyers. He knew that he needed to be organized and professional in order to keep up with the demand, so he set up a separate email account and created a business plan.
He also made sure to follow all of the legal requirements for running a business on Craigslist, including paying taxes and obtaining necessary permits.
Steven's business continued to thrive, and before long, he was making more money than he ever could have imagined. He even started hiring other teens to help him manage the influx of orders and keep everything running smoothly.
He had one concern, he needed ways to save his money and invest in growing his business.
As his business grew, Steven began to see the impact that he was having on his community. He was able to provide jobs and opportunities for other young people, and he was able to contribute to the local economy in a meaningful way.
He was always a part of his team and helped everyone around him.
Hard Worker Fast Learner
Despite the many challenges that he faced along the way, Steven never gave up on his dreams. He was determined to succeed and to make a difference, and he was willing to put in the hard work and dedication required to make his business a success.
He saw a way to change his life, and he took it.
In the end, Steven's perseverance paid off. He had built a thriving business on Craigslist, and he was able to use his success to make a positive impact on the world around him.
He was proud of what he had accomplished and was excited to see what the future would bring. He will surely be making waves in online business for years to come.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.