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How to Turn $10 Into $10,000


Do you have $10 right now? How would you like to have $10,000 instead? Let me be the first to tell you that it’s entirely possible! Of course, you’re not going to just walk up to a store and say, “Here’s $10, I’d like $10,000 please.” That’s just completely ridiculous. Tranforming your pocket cash into a wad of hundreds is going to take patience and persistence. But I am 100% certain that it can be done through a magical thing called bartering.

Kid Barters an Old Phone For a Porsche

I read a story a while ago about a 17 year old kid that got a free cell phone from his buddy (his friend upgraded and had no use for the old one), and through various trades, was able to land himself a Porsche! You might think this is completely impossible, but let’s walk through his trades. First, he traded the phone for an iPod Touch (someone really had a need for the phone, and could easily do without the iPod). Then, he was able to trade that iPod for a dirt bike, which allowed him to later aquire a Macbook Pro, and then an old 1987 Toyota 4Runner. He traded the 4Runner for a Bronco, and then made his final trade for the Porsche!

I Could Never Do That!

I know what some of you may already be thinking. You would never have the skills to make these trades and later find yourself sitting in a luxury car, but I disagree. It doesn’t take a professional salesmen to make these deals. All you have to do is find someone with a need and have the item to fulfill it.

I’d say one of the best trades that 17 year old made was the Macbook for the 4Runner, but the actual transaction was quite simple. The owner of the 4Runner desperately needed a laptop for school, and they had an extra vehicle lying around that he never drove. It was a great deal for both parties! Barter Boy got himself a vehicle, which was most likely worth more than the laptop, and the student got his laptop without having to shell out $1,000 at the store. It was a win-win, and as long as you find these situations, I believe that you can turn $10 into $10,000.

How to Get Started

By now, I’m sure that you’ve heard of Craigslist. It’s nothing but a glorified classified section taken to the web, but with thousands of viewers each day (for your area alone), it’s an incredible tool for your bartering game. In fact, there’s an actual barter section within each city for you to post your product. First things first though, you have to find that item to barter!

What Do You Have to Barter?

To start this bartering process, you’ll have to figure out what’s in your house that other people might want to have. Actually, to put it more clearly, I’d look for something that another individual has a desperate need for or that they have a severe want for. Perhaps you have some firewood (people are in definite need of heating their house this winter), a spare tire that’s been sitting in the garage, or maybe you have an old cell phone laying around as well! Post your item(s) on Craigslist and wait for the calls to come in. Let them offer you anything they’ve got, but just remember, it has to be something that a large group of people are going to want/need.

Working Your Way Up

Obviously, in order to work your way up to the $10,000 mark, your second item is going to have to be of a higher value than the first. It doesn’t have to be by much, it just has to be a start. For example, maybe you could trade some quick handy work for an old snow blower. You could trade that firewood for a video game console. Maybe you could trade that cell phone for a space heater. Each of these items – the snow blower, the video game console, and the space heater, would be of definitely interest to quite a few people in any area.

From there, you simply have to trade up again. With that video game console, you could acquire an entire skid of drywall (which is great for those that are trying to finish up some house projects and don’t want to pay $10 per sheet at the store – after all, drywall is drywall, used or new). With the space heater, you could maybe get your hands on a moped (which is great for those that don’t want to pay a ton of money on gas). I think by now you get the drill.

Trade your way up and up and you’ll soon find yourself in a position to barter for a vehicle. That’s when things could really start to take off. After all, the higher and higher value items you acquire, the less the price difference really matters. It becomes more a matter of want and need. When you are trading someone your $4,000 item that they really want/need, they’d probably be willing to trade you something that’s worth $5,000 that they never use.

So what do you have that you could start bartering with? Have fun with it, be patient, and I’m sure that you could soon cash in one of those bartered items for $10,000! Good luck!

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Bartering really is an amazing skill to have. There’s a guy going across the country right now trying to barter for everything in bacon. It’s truly amazing what he gets and how different the prices are!

    • Bartering in bacon? That’s awesome! I think I’d get suckered out of something – I love bacon!

  2. I remember reading the same article a while back – very interesting. When I first read your title, my first response was to start a blog. Easiest way to turn $10 into $10k

    • Starting a blog can be very lucrative as well (surprisingly so), but bartering is yet another way to increase the value of your assets in a relatively short amount of time.

  3. I remember hearing a similar story of someone who started with a paper clip. They even have a bartering TV show now. I have only seen it once but it definitely was interesting. You have to be OK taking advantage of people to make this work though.

    • I heard about the paperclip too! I think maybe we should all have a challange like that soon. It would be pretty cool to see all of our results.

  4. I could probably do bartering like this. I was not very good at bartering with cash when I was in Turkey! Everyone is so confident and firm and I didn’t even know what my money was worth. Good thing I didn’t buy too much 🙂

    • Dealing with different currencies would probably trips me up too. I’d probably end up making a chart for myself with dollar values on it – just so I didn’t end up buying a belt for $200 or something. 😉

  5. I would never be able to do this, but I know people do have the skills to succeed at bartering. I’m not a good enough salesman.

    • Like I said in the article though Kim, it’s not always so much about being a good salesperson, it’s about being patient and waiting for that deal that makes the most sense for you. If someone sees my bartering ad on Craigslist and really wants my item, they might offer up something of more value right away, just because of their desperate need or extreme want.

  6. I have never though about it, but could be a great idea. For me it’s a little bit tough in the beginning but if other can do, I can do. May be this formula can work. I’ll keep it in mind.

    • I think I’ll have to lead by example on this one. It might be time to dig around the house and find something to start my bartering with! 🙂

  7. The question that I have is why doesn’t the owner of the 4Runner sell it and use the cash for a laptop. It would seem that it might be able to sell for double what he got out of it. Even going to Carmax would eliminate the hassle of putting up ads and screening buyers.

    Nevertheless, kudos to Barter Boy!

    • That is a fair question, but it is definitely easier to make the trade right? There’s less steps in the process. Plus, if he absolutely needed his computer NOW, it makes more sense why he’d make that trade.

  8. I’ve heard of this before, and I know for a fact that some people don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling, especially if the item has lost its value to that person. The one person that comes to mind in this actually lost her husband and wanted to get rid of his tools. Not sell them for fair trade; just get them out of her sight.

    • Yep. A lot of time they are sad situations, but when people just want to get rid of stuff, there’s a deal to be had by someone!

  9. This is very interesting and never came to my mind. Bartering is something most of us forget about and go to borrow money for example while they could be doing a nice trade. Thanx for a nice story. Very useful advice to start bartering very small things that can lead you to quite bigger ones. Patience is what all we need in this money involved process.Keep on posting amazing examples so that it was easier to follow advices.

    • Patience is key for sure. Thanks for the comment!

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