I recently posted an article about some unconventional ways to save money that people are using in our down economy. The ideas varied from roasting their own coffee (I’d do that!) to no longer using toilet paper (no thanks!). While I know some of the ideas aren’t for everyone, I think it’s a good exercise to think creatively about ways to save money. Even if you’re not struggling, it can be a good way to get some extra money to save, invest or give.
That last article I looked at the topic of saving money, ways to cut back on spending. I like to look at both sides of the coin on this site, however, and today I thought I would cover the other side of the spectrum – ways to make income that may be a bit more unconventional and weird.
10 Not So Normal Ways To Make Money
- Bleacher scavenger: Some folks will regularly go underneath the bleachers after local high school football games or other events to find and pocket what people have lost (and that isn’t personally identifiable to be returned. People will often find jewelry, cameras, money and more.
- Hunting for diamonds… in parking lots: One idea that sounded bizarre to me at first, but that makes sense once you think about it is becoming a parking lot diamond hunter. The reasoning behind it is this. On hot summer days people drive around in their air conditioned cars with the AC on full blast. When they park and get out of their car and then step into the hot temps that are magnified by the blacktop in the parking lot, the metal in their jewelry can expand a bit and sometimes the diamonds can pop out of their settings. True? I don’t know, but even if you don’t find diamonds, you’ll often find plenty of money and other items in a parking lot.
- Pooper scooper: There’s quite often good money to be made in doing things that other people don’t want to do. I’ve read several accounts of people who start a dog poop scooping business where for a monthly fee they’ll come out on a regular basis to pick up all the dog waste in your yard and dispose of it. Not up for that? Try being a pet sitter with Rover instead.
- Sell your bodily fluids, or be a guinea pig: You can make some regular cash by selling your blood or plasma. If you’re really crazy you can get paid to be in clinical trials for new drugs too! One guy started a site called “Just Another Lab Rat” to detail how he makes extra money from clinical trials. Make sure you know what you’re getting into!
- Sell your hair: Some people will sell their hair to make a little extra money. The hair is usually used to make wigs, hair extensions or used in artwork. One woman sold 27 inches of her hair for $1200, while others routinely make between $300-900.
- Hunting for scrap metal: Some folks will look for and sell scrap metal to make an extra buck. They’ll often go down alleys before garbage collection day and scavenge items that can be resold for scrap, or recycling. Another thing that some people will do is go to places that have music festivals, art fairs and other big gatherings, and then collect and recycle cans and other metal items. People in states where cans have a deposit on them like Michigan can make even more. Some people go too far on this one, however, stealing copper wiring out of houses and power lines to re-sell. I just saw a story about one man who was killed stealing copper from the power lines in one neighborhood. Be careful and stay legal!
- Road kill or dead animal cleanup specialist: Work as a road kill cleanup specialist. Contract with the local city or municipality to remove road kill in the area. You can also do this work for private folks by placing ads in your local area or on craigslist to remove dead animals from people’s property or homes.
- Be a busker and entertain for tips: I know of people who will go and perform on their instruments at local festivals, coffee shops or busy public places to make tips. Others will do juggling performances, magic and slight of hand trickery. On a good day you can make a few hundred in tips, or as little as a few dollars. Of course, to do this you’ll need some entertaining abilities.
- Crime scene cleanup technician: If you’re not averse to all sorts blood, gore, awful smells and disease risk, you can make good money cleaning up crime scenes. By some accounts this can be a six figure career that doesn’t require a college degree in most cases. Of course you’ll have to be witness to the worst of humankind, and cleaning up blood and guts isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.
- Be on a virtual jury: You can sign up to be on a virtual jury for attorneys looking to try out different defenses for a case – to see how it will play. Check out sites like http://www.ejury.com/ or http://www.virtualjury.com/ for details.
So there are 10 weird, unusual and unconventional ways to make money.
If you have your own weird ways that you’ve heard of or use to make money, we’d love to hear it in the comments!
The virtual jury sounds very interesting. I had never heard of it before. Searching for diamonds in a parking lot sounds like a lot of work for little reward, like finding a needle in a haystack.
Roger, the Amateur Financier says
Hunh, the virtual jury one is a new one on me; while I suppose it makes sense, it does make you wonder a bit about the justice system when lawyers need to ‘test’ their cases to see how they play. Makes you wonder just how ‘blind’ justice actually is…
Most of the others I’ve heard of; not the sort of thing I’d want to do for a living, but if you want to hunt for scrap metal (legally, of course) or gather up poop for money, more power to you. (As I’m the one who usually ends up walking the dog, I end up doing plenty of poop gathering for free, so why not make some money off of it if you can?)
marlon @ productivitybits says
The eJury thing made me laugh. I served as a real juror in a real court just more than a week ago which lasted 10 days. It ain’t easy!
World of Finance says
I’d say that’s thinking outside the box :) Hmmm, ejury… never knew this existed. Thanks for sharing.
B Kelly @ MoneyMasteryAcademy.com says
when i saw hunting for diamonds – i immediately thought about the sea near the piers.. a flashback of the movies where the the heartbroken guys will go to the pier/waterfront and throw the engagement rings into the sea!! hahaha.. but parking lots could work too i guess… dont need to have an oxygen tank or a diving suit… ;p
These were definitely some unconventional ways to make money. One I’d like to suggest that is unconventional yet in demand is freelance writing. Many people that are out of work are actually experts at something like real estate or automotive technology. Publishing companies like Demand Media are looking for folks in those areas to publish “how to” article or informative articles. They make money from advertisements on your articles. They pay you anywhere from $15 to $100 up front to write them. Or you can publish your own articles on whatever you want with different sites and make residuals. If you are an expert and out of work, seriously consider it.
Jonny Pean says
If you have just read a bad book written by an author who is very much alive and breathing on social media then tell him (private message) that you’ve read his book and would like to charge money for the torturous experience. Kidding though! But who knows.. you might just be paid a few bucks as well. Tell him you would recommend his book to friends..:D
Robert@OUR FINANCIAL JOURNEY says
We love your article and doing things other do not want! The girls helped me make an easy $1000 this summer cleaning gutters in our neighborhood. Started out with the next door family seeing me on my roof and since i had a tall ladder already the job was easy! Now if i could just get the girls to pick up dog poop on a regular schedule.