Online Bartering Through Craigslist Got Him A Porsche

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-07-226

These days, it seems to take more effort to keep our heads above water. So I found it inspiring to read about one resourceful fellow, a young person, who somehow used Craigslist to snag himself a Porsche in a span of 2 years through shrewd bartering. But part of me really wonders about just how doable this is. It just seems like a whole lot of effort needs to happen to get this sort of thing to work out.

Online Bartering Through Craigslist Got Him A Porsche

But then again, it’s 2 years of patience, hunting around Craigslist and negotiating with strangers (and online personas) to get to this point. Here’s a snippet about this 17 year old who snared his dream car:

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.

There’s a lot more to this than it sounds though. It seems that if you are a very handy person, this scheme can work out well for you. Because it’s not all about “trading”. It’s about “trading” where there’s value. Can you spot an item (for a really good value) that’s being auctioned or being offered in a classifieds marketplace? If you’re able to give it additional value plus turn around and trade this for something bigger, then you could have a great system going. The process is pretty much like a “buy and sell” system. Buy low, add value then sell higher (or trade up). It’s a flipping scheme like many others out there.

How one guy traded up to a porsche: one sweet ride if you can get it.

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As for me, here are my own buy and sell stories involving Craigslist:

Trading Up: From a Red Paper Clip to a House

This story of course is pretty similar to the original “red paper clip” story. Where some guy started out with a red paperclip and somehow traded his way up to a house. I thought this was a really keen example that shows what you can do when you’ve got a few choice skills:

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I also found some details on how the paperclip-to-house acquisition turned out, which took all of one year. Wikipedia details this trading timeline:

This whole adventure started when this fellow first decided to swap a red paper clip for a pen that was shaped like a fish. Ultimately, he achieved his dream of owning a house on the 14th transaction, when he gave away a movie role to get a roof over his head. Wow. Well, here’s the list of trades he made to get where he did:

  • July 14, 2005: Traveled to Vancouver and traded a red paper clip for a fish-shaped pen.
  • July 14, 2005 (before the day was up!): Picked up a hand crafted doorknob and gave away the pen. This was in Seattle, Washington.
  • July 25, 2005: Traveled to Amherst, Massachusetts and swapped the doorknob for a Coleman camp stove (with fuel).
  • September 24, 2005: Traveled to San Clemente, California, and traded the camp stove for a Honda generator.
  • November 16, 2005: Traveled to Maspeth, Queens and encountered some drama. It took him two tries to trade the Honda generator for some kind of “instant party”, which incorporated an empty keg, an IOU for filling the keg with beer, and a neon Budweiser sign.
  • December 8, 2005: Traveled to Quebec and bartered with a local comedian and radio celebrity. Swapped the keg, beer IOU and neon sign for a Ski-doo snowmobile.
  • After a week or so, traded the snowmobile for a trip to Yahk, British Columbia (for two people).
  • January 7, 2006: Traded his spot in the Yahk trip for a cube van.
  • February 22, 2006: Was in Toronto and swapped the cube van for a recording contract with Metal Works.
  • April 11, 2006: Got a year’s rent in Phoenix, Arizona in lieu of the cube van.
  • April 26, 2006: Traded one year’s rent in Phoenix, Arizona, for a visit with Alice Cooper. Say what?! 😉
  • May 26, 2006: Said goodbye to Alice Cooper and traded that visit for a KISS motorized snow globe. What this is, I am not sure.
  • June 2, 2006: Gave away the KISS motorized snow globe to Corbin Bernsen in order to obtain a movie role.
  • And finally, July 5, 2006: he chucked the movie role for a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

Amazing what you can do if you’re shrewd and resourceful!

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick July 23, 2010 at 1:08 am

…that’s the way it is…to have you own goals…reachable ones…your own schedule..and it will work…problem is that some folks don’t have the patience…and usually give up after a short time…

Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers July 23, 2010 at 7:57 am

I think you could do well bartering art and collectibles – trading perceived treasures for perceived trash (which is a perceived treasure to someone else).

I’d love to have my Dogs Playing Poker mouse paid back – and I guarantee that someone in America, an indentical mousepad is being thrown in the trash.

A few years back, my favorite baseball player (Ryne Sandberg) was managing the Peoria Chiefs. I have a lot of friends in that area, and gave a few hundred Cubs baseball cards to a friend’s son. All I asked in return was that he get my Sandberg’s autograph on a card.

Not only did the kid think it was a great deal, but his dad also did. For me, it was well worth the cost.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 23, 2010 at 8:02 am

It’s all about win-win. Wish more of us would be open-minded about this. Just the other day my friend, who’s a landscaper, told me how he got his tax bill wiped out when he worked on his accountant’s garden. He landscaped his CPA’s yard and he got his debt forgiven. And to think that he was paying some minimum amounts toward his debt each month!

Would be nice if we could fix a computer to get our dishwasher repaired. 🙂

Bret @ Hope to Prosper July 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

There was a guy who did this a couple years back in Canada. He started out with a paper clip and traded it up for a house. I thought it was great, except that he seemed to want the publicity more than the house.

Aurel Wong July 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm

How lucky he is ! I will try my luck with Craigslist. Thanks for sharing this article.

Peter Dunin September 8, 2010 at 6:55 am

Great article, cheers for sharing I’m definitely going to check out Craigslist.

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