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Teen barters phone for a Porsche convertible

By Adam Blank, CNN
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Trading from a cell phone to a Porsche
  • Steve Ortiz posted a used cell phone on Craigslist under the barter section
  • Ortiz bartered up cell for iPod touch, computer, dirt bike, SUV and then a Porsche
  • He says anyone can do it, but warns it takes patience and a lot of research
  • "It's trying to catch people who want what you have," Ortiz told CNN's "American Morning"

(CNN) -- Thanks to the age-old art of bartering, a California teenager became the envy of all his friends when he pulled into school in a Porsche convertible.

Steven Ortiz, 17, dreamed of one day owning a luxury sports car -- a dream that became reality after he posted a used cell phone on Craigslist.

"My friend gave me a free phone and said, 'Do what you want with it,'" Ortiz told CNN's "American Morning" Thursday. "So I put it on Craigslist on the barter section."

After some serious patience, research and a lot of talking, his cell phone trade landed him an iPod touch, which he managed to barter up for a dirt bike and then to a Macbook Pro laptop computer. Before long, he was the proud owner of an 1987 Toyota 4Runner.

Eventually, he landed a classic Ford Bronco SUV -- the golden ticket that would soon get him into the driver seat of a luxury sports car. "I just went for it," he said. "I knew the Bronco was worth more at the end."

So what's his secret?

"It's trying to catch people who want what you have," Ortiz said. "The man that needed the laptop had an extra car," so both parties got what they wanted, he added.

He advises anyone looking to get into the barter game to be cautious before committing to a trade. "Always inspect everything," Ortiz said.

Although he accomplished his goal of owning a Porsche, Ortiz says it's time to move on and he plans on going back to what he does best -- bartering for something else.

"I don't have a job right now and I really don't like asking my parents if I can get an oil change, so I want to trade [the Porsche] for a mid-sized truck," Ortiz said. "We'll see what comes along."