How to Trade Online

By 09.07.2014 interact > Money

Maybe you’re a master at Monopoly, but do you have the skills to bargain for real products online? If you’re anything like 17-year-old Steven Ortiz, then maybe you’re capable of getting the car of your dreams — without paying a dollar.

That’s right, Ortiz bartered for two years and made 14 trades, beginning with his cell phone. He swapped items on the classifieds website, trading his unwanted items with others until he got a Porsche.

“I have this cell phone I don’t use, you have the iPod that I want, why don’t we do a little trade there,” said Ortiz about the process. Soon he was trading the iPod for a bike, then a small motorcycle, then a larger one.

The swapping later led to a Mac Book Pro, Toyota Forerunner and a Ford Bronco. As Ortiz traded products, the value of his items gradually increased, until he got the car he wanted.

“I feel power and luxury, you know? Not many 17-year-olds can sit behind the wheel of a Porsche, and say it’s theirs. That’s the best part.”

How can you make a smart trade online? Check out the tips below.

How to Barter Online

  • Seek Details

    What’s the make, model, and year of the car (or other item)? How long has person owned it and are there any problems with the product?

  • Get Pictures

    Never buy anything without seeing it first. It’s completely fair to ask for photos. Or, if you have a parent or guardian to go with you, see it in person (if the car or product is local).

  • Create a Contract

    Trading sites create a market place where people can connect, but websites like Craigslist, and the people who use them, don’t guarantee anything. You have to establish the terms and create a contract that is fair to you and the person with whom you are trading.

  • Agree on a Price

    You must come to an agreement on price because even though no cash is being exchanged, you need to know the value of the item.

  • Report on Your Taxes

    Even though no cash is changing hands, you must report the “purchases” on your taxes — this is why both swappers must agree on the value or price of an item.

  • Be Safe

    Do not trade online without your parents’ permission and NEVER meet a swapper without a parent or guardian present.


  1. jennifer

    i feel that this is dangerous because you don who u are trading with

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