If you need a way to make money that requires very little work on your part (but some possible pain), you can look into selling various parts of your body. To get the most value out of your body, it needs to be in great condition. Non-smokers of appropriate weight and with few overall health issues fare best when trying to make money from their bodies. (Unless you want to get into a clinical trial for people with certain conditions and then you’d better have the right disease.)
Who is likely to buy your body parts? Private buyers, research hospitals, drug companies, and private clinics are where most of your money will come from. If you want to be sure the transaction is legitimate, only deal with licensed and approved facilities. Selling things on Craigslist is possible but, really, do you want to meet someone in a dark alley who has a plasma needle? Didn’t think so. That said, here are some of your parts that might earn you some money.
Wig makers will buy hair that is in good condition. You won’t make a fortune, typically $5-$10 per ounce. You’ll need at least ten inches to sell in most cases. Thicker hair will pay more since it weighs more. A typical sale might net you $40 or so. It might not be worth it just to grow your hair out for sale purposes, but if you’ve got long hair and are going for a style change, you can pocket a little money.
Men can sell their sperm to sperm banks and make up $1,000 per month. The catch? Despite media portrayals of this as “easy money,” very few men qualify. You have to be in excellent health, young, of an appropriate weight, attractive, and intelligent. If that’s not enough, you need to have super-sperm that travel faster than the norm and you have to produce an average of twice the normal amount of sperm. Don’t forget the moral ethics. You have to ask yourself if you’re okay with being a “father” to quite a few kids.
If you’re female, you can try selling your eggs. Since the procedure is more invasive than donating sperm, women make more per donation with reports as high as $10,000. It comes at a price, however. Hormone injections, eggs harvested under anesthesia, and other potentially harmful side effects are part of the deal. Just like with men, women donors must be young (generally college age) attractive, intelligent, and athletic. Few will make the cut. If you do, make sure you’re okay with your “offspring” being in someone else’s care.
If you want to go further than egg donation, you can consider surrogacy. You will be implanted with the male’s sperm and you will carry the baby to term. For this you may make upwards of $20,000, with the prospective parents generally picking up your medical tab. After delivery, the baby will be handed over to the parents. There are the usual problems that can arise with any pregnancy and it can be hard to give up a baby you’ve carried. Add in potential legal problems and crazy parents and you may be taking on way more than you bargain for. If you do it, get a good lawyer who specializes in surrogacy issues and make sure everything is in writing, including any visitation rights to the child that you may want and clauses about what happens if something goes wrong.
Most places don’t pay for blood donations, but plasma and platelets are a different type of donation. You may make $50 – $100 per week. If you can give blood, you’re probably a good candidate for plasma donation. You must be free of diseases or iron deficiencies and in otherwise good health. You also can’t be squeamish. The procedure uses a much bigger needle than blood donation and takes about an hour.
Even if you don’t have a condition that is under study, you may be able to enroll in a clinical trial of a drug or procedure (the drugs need to be tested on healthy subjects to find side effects before given to those who it may help). You may also be able to participate if you do have the condition being studied when the trials hit the later stages. These are typically advertised in newspapers, and sometimes on TV or radio. You may also find information in or around research hospitals, or your doctor may know of something. You’ll typically be paid something for your time and travel, as well as given free drugs or procedures. Before you sign up, understand the potential side effects.
And now for a couple of options that stand to make you a lot of money, but which are generally illegal. That’s not to say people don’t do it, just that you have to use your own judgment on these and weigh the money against the likelihood of getting into big trouble.
Kidneys are about the only things that can be sold because most people have a spare. However, it is illegal in the U.S. to sell an organ. There are places in the third world that will allow you to sell an organ, but you’d better be prepared not to survive the operation.
Finally, your body probably won’t net you a fortune in extra money and the money you earn may not be worth the hassle, pain, and other problems that may arise. However, if you’re really desperate for money, but you can try some of these ideas.
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