Do you need some quick cash? Maybe you need a little extra money every month, but none of the typically touted side hustles work for you.
The good news is that there are a multitude of ways to make extra money popping up seemingly every day. While most of these side hustles are straightforward, some are downright bizarre.! Nowadays, you can do almost anything to generate some extra income.
This is why today, we’ve set out to bring you weird ways to make money that almost anyone can do. As crazy as some of these may sound, they might end up being perfect for you.
Check out these 25 weird ways to make money.
25 Weird Ways to Make Money
1. Sell Jellyfish
Do you know someone with a pet jellyfish that isn’t named SpongeBob? I don’t either, but jellyfish are surprisingly expensive, and there is an increasing market for them as pets.
In fact, jellyfish are now frequently featured in tanks in businesses and restaurants. They come in a variety of species and need special tanks to ensure their survival. There is also a continuous need for more jellyfish because the average one only lives about 6 months. If you are a jellyfish supplier, you are almost guaranteed to be in high demand.
If you’re curious about owning jellyfish yourself, there are some great sites to help you start. According to one jellyfish site, the least expensive starter kit will run you $330. This kit comes with a tank, food, and one jellyfish.
2. Become a Professional Eater
Yes, this is a thing.
You’ve likely heard of eating contests and may have even seen them on TV and in the news. But did you know you can actually make money as a professional eater?
These eating contests often come with a good deal of prize money for the winner. In fact, several professional eaters have won over $100,000. Additionally, there is an entire competitive eating league called Major League Eating.
While it may seem like fun to eat for a living, there is a lot of work and training that goes into competitive eating, and this “sport” should not be attempted without serious preparation.
If you’re interested in learning how to train for a competitive eating contest, check out this article about how professional eater Yasir Salem prepares and recovers from his competitions.
3. Become a Lice Removal Technician
If you live in a dry climate, you may not have any idea what I’m talking about. But for those of us who live in wetter parts of the U.S., the problem of lice is something you’ve likely scratched at least once in your life.
Head louse, or lice, are tiny insects that live on your scalp and feed on your blood. They are passed from person to person through shared hats, brushes, or clothing and are most typically found in children.
They are also a huge pain to eradicate.
While not a glamorous job, a lice removal technician makes around $30 per hour. You can join a lice removal company and receive all the training you’ll need.
4. Become a Sperm or Egg Donor
While being a sperm or egg donor is often laughed at, the truth is these donors are helping people conceive and start families who otherwise may not be able to.
However, it isn’t as easy as it may seem. Sperm or egg donors must meet a long list of qualifications and go through extensive screening. This screening includes:
- Most sperm donors must be between 18 and 39, and most egg donors must be under 31.
- Physical exam
- Semen or egg testing
- Genetic testing
- Psychological evaluation
- Family medical history
- Sexual history
- Nonsmoker and no drug use
If you meet the requirements and successfully complete the donation, you can expect to receive around $70 for each sperm donation and between $5,000 and $10,000 per egg donation cycle.
5. Test Ice Cream
Get paid to eat ice cream like John Harrison, a professional ice cream tester for Dreyer’s who samples around 60 ice cream packages a day.
But this job isn’t just about eating ice cream. Tasters must assess the ice cream for its appearance, flavor, texture, smell, consistency, and a host of other factors. Plus, you only taste the ice cream, not eat a large sampling of it. It’s also not guaranteed that all ice cream will taste good to you.
While it’s unclear how much an ice cream taster would make, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed market research analysts had an annual wage of around $63,000 in 2019.
6. Sell Used Underwear
Believe it or not, there is a market for used underwear, and sites like Pantydeal make it fairly easy to get started. You can sign up for free and begin posting your used underwear.
Interested in learning more about the panty-selling industry? Check out this article to learn from some panty-selling pros.
7. Sell Rocks
Depending on your age, you may or may not remember the pet rock craze of the 70s. Pet rocks were a collectible toy made in 1975 that were really just rocks marketed as living pets. The rocks came from Rosarito Beach in Mexico and were shipped in cardboard boxes with breathing holes.
While the fad only lasted about 6 months, founder Gary Dahl sold over 1 million pet rocks and became a millionaire. Recently, pet rocks have made a comeback, and you can now buy them on Amazon.
Although you would likely get in trouble selling rocks at pet rocks (the name is trademarked), there is a large market for special and unique rocks. Rockhounding is a popular pastime, and it is possible to find various types of unique rocks on the beach, in rivers or streams, and just lying on the ground.
Check out this article to learn how to sell rocks and minerals and get started today.
8. Be a Professional Sleeper
Companies spend a lot of money on market research to ensure their product will succeed with the public, and sleep is no different.
Thus, there are often opportunities to test various sleep products such as mattresses, blankets, pillows, and other sleep-related items. There are also opportunities to participate in various sleep studies that often offer compensation.
9. Sell Coffee Mugs
Many people collect coffee mugs, and there is a robust market for collectible coffee mugs online.
Collectible mugs can sell for between $30 and $50 and can generally be purchased at garage sales and secondhand stores for a few dollars.
If you’re a frequent garagesaler, you might want to start keeping an eye out for mugs that are vintage or depict famous people and events. A quick eBay search will often help you find a good price for the mug, so you’ll know if it’s a good deal.
10. Be a Hangover Helper
While you’ll likely find the largest market for hangover helper services in college towns, the job could be applicable to anyone planning a party.
Hangover Helpers is a company based in Melbourne, Australia, that helps clean up after a party and even provides drinks and other remedies to help deal with any hangovers.
Advertising your own hangover helper service is a great opportunity for college students or anyone living near college towns to make extra money.
11. Play Video Games
Many people game competitively and make money. Some of the games that offer prize money for competitions include Dota 2, Counter-Strike, and Fortnite, but there are many more. Check out this list and see if your favorite game is offering a tournament opportunity.
Another way to make money gaming is to start a YouTube channel and post videos of your gaming. Many people are making serious money just for playing Minecraft or other popular games and showing off their tips and tricks.
12. Be a Pooper Scooper
Everyone has to go sometimes, and dogs are no different. Many people have successfully started their own dog poop scooping business, and there is a decent market for the job.
Being a dog pooper scooper is just what it sounds like. You go to clients’ houses, pick up the dog poop in their yard and then dispose of it.
You can advertise your services on Craigslist and Craigslist alternatives, Facebook groups or the Marketplace, or in your neighborhood groups. Simply set your rates and establish a scooping schedule with your clients, then get scooping.
13. Sell Your Hair
If you’re fortunate enough to grow long, healthy hair, then selling your hair may be an option.
There is a huge market for wigs and hair extensions, and while some clients look to buy simply for style, there are also a significant number of medical patients who require quality wigs.
What you can get for your hair will depend on the length, color, thickness, and whether or not your hair is “virgin” (meaning whether or not it’s been dyed, treated, or damaged in any way).
You can calculate the price of your hair and then begin looking for interested buyers.
14. Be a Snake Milker
This next one isn’t just for anybody, but if you love snakes and are experienced in handling them, you may make money as a snake milker.
The venom from snakes is vital in making antivenom and other life-saving medications and is in high demand. In fact, one gram of some snake venom can sell for as much as $2,000, and the average snake milker makes $2,500 a month.
However, it’s essential to understand the regulations and take the proper safety precautions when dealing with venomous snakes. Make sure you wear protective clothing and have antivenom nearby.
15. Sell Empty Boxes
You read that right. You can make some money selling your empty boxes.
The influx of selling used items online has created a demand for boxes and other packaging to ship items in. In particular, Tech boxes are in demand so that used items can be shipped or given in the box it would normally have come in new. Additionally, designer brands’ boxes and bags may be especially in demand as influencers look to portray a certain lifestyle.
The price you’ll be able to get will depend on the demand for that particular box or bag, but getting something for your unwanted boxes is better than nothing.
16. Sell Your College Class Notes
If you’re a college student or taking college classes and you take notes, you can offset some of your expenses by selling them.
Whether students are unable to attend some classes or have a disability that prevents them from taking effective notes, there are a surprising number of people who are willing to pay for someone else’s class notes.
While many colleges offer note-taking jobs to help students with disabilities (I did this for a quarter when I was an undergraduate), several websites will pay you for notes from various courses.
Make sure your notes are neat and detailed to give yourself the best chance of selling them.
17. Sell Your Poop
This is definitely one of the most weird ways to make money out there, but it’s a viable option nonetheless.
Thanks to a medical treatment called fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), healthy poop is in high demand and used to treat various gut microbiome-related diseases.
While many stool banks look for donations, others will pay you for your samples. The best option is OpenBiome in Boston, MA, which will pay donors up to $40 per sample. Another possibility is the Taymount Clinic in Europe. Additionally, FMT studies occasionally crop up needing stool donors.
While it may sound easy, stool donation is a very selective process, and only 2% of prospective donors are deemed eligible. If you make the cut, you could make up to $13,000 a year just for pooping.
18. Sell Your Plasma
Like selling poop, plasma donation is in high demand and provides life-saving treatment for millions of individuals. Plasma donation is very similar to blood donation, except in this process, the plasma is separated, and the red blood cells are returned to you.
As with blood donation, there is a screening process, although it is more likely that you’ll qualify if you’re healthy and have not used substances or had any major diseases. The first visit takes about 2 hours from screening to donation, with subsequent donations lasting around an hour.
Plasma donation can be a lucrative endeavor, with regular donors (twice a week) making between $50 and $80 a donation and between $300 and $700 a month.
However, be aware that some may react to plasma donations, including nausea, bruising, and fatigue. It’s best to be well-hydrated and eat a healthy diet if you want to be a successful plasma donator.
19. Flip Small RVs, Campers, and Vans
Tiny and mobile living is all the rage as more and more people are looking to invest in more affordable housing options that are also flexible. Tiny homes and conversion projects are becoming more common, so if you have the skills to convert or refurbish RV’s and other vehicles, then you could make some serious money.
Whether it’s buying an old RV, bus, van, or other item and refurbishing it to sell or customizing for a specific client, living in vans and other mobile vehicles is becoming more popular and is a growing market ripe for the picking.
20. Sell Breast Milk
Have you recently had a baby and are producing more milk than the baby needs? If so, you’ll need to pump the excess milk anyway, so why not make some cash?
Breast milk is the most nutritious option for babies, but not all mothers produce enough. Breast milk may also be used in the development of pharmaceuticals.
Only the Breast is the Craigslist of breast milk where women can post a free ad for their milk. These ads are categorized by the baby’s age because the composition of breast milk changes based on the time since birth. Alternatively, mothers can sell to a milk bank such as Mothers Milk Cooperative or the National Milk Bank.
Breast milk goes for roughly $1 an ounce, so you can make a decent side income from it while breastfeeding.
21. Rent Yourself as a Friend
Are you a good friend? You may be able to make money on your friendship abilities by renting yourself out as a friend.
Although it may sound a bit creepy, there are many legitimate reasons for why people may want to hire a friend, including:
- People traveling to a new city looking for a guide
- A companion for a work party, wedding, or other event
- A night out when they don’t have anyone to go with
- To learn a new language or skill
- Business travelers looking for companions for dinner
- Those with extra tickets to events and no one to go with
Most friends charge around $10 an hour, and you may also receive other compensation in the form of tickets, dinners, or other perks.
22. Professional Condom Tester
Like other items on this list, the companies that make condoms need people willing to test their products.
Several years ago, couples were recruited to test new condom designs funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal was to produce the best condom possible in the hopes that couples would be more willing to wear them and thus reduce the spread of STDs and prevent unwanted pregnancies.
While this may sound like the best job in the world, couples who participated were not as impressed. For one, you are required to have sex on a schedule at the laboratory and write about the experience afterward.
Although the above-mentioned study has concluded, you can keep an eye out for similar studies at the California Family Health Council (the top testing center for new condom designs in the U.S.) and other clinics around the world.
23. Become a Professional Whistler
Do you have an iron lung and can whistle all the latest tunes or the classics? You may have a future as a professional whistler.
Professional whistlers are like any other artist or musician and may be hired to perform at a variety of events.
But, like playing an instrument or singing, you will need to practice and hone your whistling skills. Start by entering talent shows and doing volunteer performances. As your popularity and ability grow, you may be able to begin charging for your services. Especially with social media and the online world, you never know what opportunities your whistling talents will bring.
24. Become a Professional Cuddler
Like renting a friend, there are also people looking for non-sexual touch and intimacy willing to pay for people to cuddle with them.
Again, this job is non-sexual and purely for people seeking touch. Professional cuddlers will hold hands, snuggle, spoon, and cuddle in bed and on the couch.
How much can you make cuddling? Professional cuddler Samantha Hess charges $60 an hour and makes about $300 a day. Just make sure you are willing to provide a judgment-free session and unconditional love to your clients.
25. Pretend You’re a Patient
Did you know that you can get paid for pretending to be a patient? It’s true.
Students in training to be medical doctors, nurses, social workers, and a host of other medical fields need a safe environment to practice working with real-life patient situations. A Standardized Patient helps fill those needs by pretending to be patients with various medical needs and acting out various scenarios.
If you have some acting skills, you may be able to work as a Standardized Patient. Medical schools around the country often hire locals to act out these different situations so that students can practice under the direction of an instructor. Plus, you can earn anywhere from $12-20 an hour for a little extra money.
Conduct a quick Google search for Standardized Patient programs in your state and see if there is an opportunity near you.
Moral of the Story
There are more ways than ever to make extra money and more popping up every year. While typical side hustles include everything from delivering food to freelance writing or tutoring, there is an increasing market for odd jobs for those willing to do them.
If you’re willing to step outside the box and you meet the criteria, you may be able to participate in one of the weird ways to make money described above.
Which of these weird ways to make money are you willing to try?
Talk about Money Earned!
Tawnya is an elementary special education teacher by day and co-blogger at Money Saved is Money Earned by night.
She holds an Honors BS in Psychology from Oregon State University and an MS in Special Education from Portland State University. She has had a pretty successful writing career, first as a writing tutor at the Oregon State University Writing Center, and in recent years, as a freelance writer.
Tawnya and co-blogger Sebastian have a wealth of knowledge and information about personal finance, retirement, student loans, credit cards, and many other financial topics. They teach people how to save money, make money, and understand money.