It’s been seven years since we first came across this story, but as we gathered around the watercooler at Sparesbox HQ and pondered some of our favourite automotive success stories, this one is still a standout.
There are numerous stories floating around the web of audacious traders who have started small and finished large. If, like many of us, you’re looking at a used iPhone sitting on your bedside table, this story could just be the motivation that you need to get trading.
Starting with a used cell phone that was passed onto him by a friend, High schooler Steven Ortiz of Glendora, CA, utilised America’s version of Gumtree- Craigslist- to trade up over the space of two years and eventually snag himself a Porsche Boxster.
Ortiz, then a 15-year-old high-school student, spent the better part of two years skimming Craigslist advertisements contemplating how he could turn his old iPhone into something more valuable. Starting with the free iPhone that was given to him by a friend, Ortiz turned to the ‘barter’ section of Craigslist and started working his way up the trade ladder.
Steven traded his used iPhone for a newer iPod Touch, the iPod Touch for a beat-up dirt bike- which was then traded for several different and better dirt bikes- and then, eventually, a MacBook Pro. Once Steven got his hands on a MacBook Pro, the now 17-year old, turned his attention to getting behind the wheel of his first car.
Ortiz traded the MacBook Pro for a Toyota 4Runner, which he then traded for a custom built off-road golf cart. The golf cart was traded for a significantly more expensive dirt bike, which he then traded for a street bike. Following a series of mundane cars, Ortiz then landed himself a 1975 Ford Bronco- an American Icon and the chosen getaway vehicle of OJ Simpson.
After cruising around like a wanted felon in his 1975 Ford Bronco for a few months, Steven decided he was ready for his first European Sportscar. In his final trade, the 17-year-old traded his Ford Bronco for a Silver Porsche Boxster.
So, what was the total number of trades to turn a used iPhone into a Porsche Boxster? Fourteen. The moral of the story? Stop looking at that old phone sitting on your bedside table- you never know what you could trade it up to.