Desperate times call for desperate measures—what would you do to make some money if you really needed it? There are unusual paths to financial success, and some people get very creative. They see a unique gap in the market and take the opportunity to fill it. It’s a strange world, and things only get more interesting with each passing day. So why wouldn’t someone’s money-making scheme follow the trend? Here are the top 10 weirdest things people sell and actually make money on.
Well, sex literally sells! Sex is a mostly taboo subject that initiates debates throughout the world. However, there is no doubt that virginity is a prize and something people hold in high regard across many communities. For men, getting to sleep with a virgin may be something of a conquest. For ladies, it may be a sacred act reserved only for the special person they choose.
But some women keep their virginity and then sell it to the highest bidder. With the amount that they get, they can set themselves up for a more comfortable life if they plan well. A night with a stranger may mean paying off student loans, opening an education fund, or a business downpayment. One lady actually sold her virginity for $3 million.
Air is free, found in nature, and just about everywhere, right? That isn’t always the case, depending on which part of the world you are in. Some parts are so polluted that some individuals would do just about anything to get to breathe in some fresh air. The cost isn’t such a big concern in these cases.
Air farming in fresh spaces is a solution to help those in polluted countries. Some enterprising people in the U.K. and Canada are cashing in by selling air, quite literally. For customers in China, air in a bottle is a prized possession and such a relief to their lungs, which are usually exposed to smog.
8 Toilet Paper
Answering the “call of nature” should not really be a luxurious experience. Or should it? Some may go to the bathroom just for some peace and quiet. They’ll stare at the wall or scroll on their phone while they do their business. But apparently, alone time isn’t the only priority when people go to the bathroom. Some people want to use nothing but the best, even when it comes to toiletries.
Some toilet paper manufacturers make luxury black, camouflaged, or Sudoku tissue paper to appeal to different markets. An example of the most expensive toilet paper is Toilet Paper Man’s 22 karat gold tissue, worth $1.3 million. There is a demand for this tissue in Dubai, and it is considered the perfect choice for golden toilet seats, which are more like thrones.
7 Human Waste
Although this may sound crazy, one man’s poop may be a life-saver for another. Some patients suffer from Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection that is stubborn and fatal and responsible for 15,000 American deaths in a year. Doctors can treat this with a fecal transplant. Healthy microbes from the human waste of a healthy person are placed inside the intestines of the patient. This helps remove Clostridium difficile from their system. In 2015, one researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sold his stool and earned around $1,000.
But not anyone can qualify to be an OpenBiome stool donor. You need to pass a thorough clinical assessment and be free of any infections. You also cannot have traveled to a country in which there is a risk of contracting diseases. You cannot be obese and should not have used any antibiotics or illicit drugs within a specific time frame.
6 Professional Mourning Services
Funerals and burials are somber affairs, and the ones mostly affected by the loss are usually the deceased’s loved ones. However, some people are actually making money selling professional mourning services. They put up an act and cry on demand.
Professional mourners research the person who passed on so they can get to ‘know them’ and talk a bit about them as they mourn. Professional mourning services are common in African, Asian, and Hispanic countries. However, they are also gaining popularity across Europe and the U.S. Some are known to charge different rates for crying and doing other activities such as rolling on the ground, threatening to jump into the grave, and actually jumping into the grave.
5 Used Underwear
To some, handling or having someone’s underwear may be down-right disgusting. However, to others, this is a fetish, and they may be willing to pay a premium price to get ahold of someone else’s used underwear. Apparently, there is a considerable demand for the undergarment. The grosser they are, the bigger the demand.
This creepy business thrives on the sale of used women’s underwear. You get a better price if the underwear is tight-fitting, worn out, and has weird stains. Gross, right? A pair goes for around $50 bucks at a fair price. What makes it more bizarre is the vast market available for these products. Japan had vending machines just for this business. Of course, the government shut it down, but only on concerns that it was men that were wearing the female undergarments.
Yes, mothers vend breastmilk at a reasonable price, and it’s a lucrative business that has existed for quite a while. While this may seem suitable for infants whose mothers can’t breastfeed, it still tops the list of strange things people sell for cash. The World Health Organization advocates that infants should get breastmilk from other healthy mothers in the event their biological mother is unable to produce milk. So, yes, you can make money selling your breast milk. There are sites like onlythebreast.com that facilitate this sale. Still, we can’t completely ignore the concerns about online breast milk customers.
Whether it’s for a full-grown adult with a fetish for human milk, we can’t tell. There are also medical concerns about the health of the lactating mother selling her milk.
3 Selling Real-Life Horror Moments
For most of us, we like to keep our dark moments to ourselves. We seldomly want to remember those times life dealt us a cruel hand. However, for others, this a money-making opportunity. People are actually getting paid to narrate and sell their real-life misery moments to magazines and newspapers. As the old cliché goes, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”
It may not work for everyone, but to some, it’s business as usual. These stories may range from your near-death experience, an illness, or even your spouse’s affair. The prices vary depending on the sensitivity of your story. It gets even creepier when the agencies require that you produce photographs or document proof to validate your story. Of course, they will publish these.
Even though it sounds callous, you can get between $200-$2,000 for a single story. If you are more aggressive with your bargaining skills, you can convince a magazine and a newspaper into a joint deal for your story.
2 Blood Plasma
Plasma is the clear fluid in which other blood components like platelets and red blood cells are suspended. This is why it is different from conventional blood donations. It takes much longer since the doctors have to extract the plasma from the blood. Apart from the fulfillment of knowing you’re helping a sick person somewhere, you also get paid well for it. To sell your plasma, you have to be screened for specific viruses, be 18 years old and weigh more than 110 lbs. If you are of the right weight and healthy, you can make two donations per week.
For each donation, hospitals pay anywhere from $20-$50. Hospitals pay you depending on the amount of plasma you can donate. The amount of plasma you can safely donate is directly proportional to your weight.
1 Selling Weird Jewelry on Etsy
Conventionally, jewelry is supposed to be beautiful and unique and probably shiny. However, there is an equally huge market for jewelry that is down-right weird and creepy. On Etsy, hundreds of sellers make creepy jewelry out of unconventional material like deer teeth.
Even more astounding is the market for such jewelry. You’ll see soap in the shape of mutilated human body parts and denture-inspired earrings and finger rings on the site. Now with the advances and capabilities of 3D printing, the array of weird stuff on Etsy just got bigger. Sellers get quite an impressive passive income selling bizarre jewelry.