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I’ve been a repo man, process server, walking stick carver, hard-money lender, and a used car flipper. I’ve cut and sold trees to lumber yards, and I once put stuffed animals in jars and sold them as “Canned Critters.”
Naturally, as a writer, I cover interesting and unusual ways to make money.
Will I run out of topics? Not likely. When I started writing online in 2004, YouTube, Lending Club, and Search Engine Evaluation jobs didn’t exist.
I’ve made money with all three, and I’ve written about them too, along with many more new ways to make money.
So if you like to read about, or engage in, new and interesting ways to make money, don’t worry. People will keep inventing new jobs, businesses, investments, and other income sources.
And many unusual ways to make money have been around for awhile, kind of “flying under the radar.”
Here are some examples of both new and established ways to make money — ways that you probably haven’t heard much about.
1. Rent Out Your RV
You thought you were going to use it all the time, but now that expensive RV is just sitting in the driveway for months on end. So why not make some money from it?
RVshare says you can make $120 to $365 per day, and up to $30,000 per year renting out your recreational vehicle using their platform. They check out the renters for you, handle the payment processing, and even provide the necessary insurance.
Naturally how much you make depends on the type of RV and where you’re located, but you might at least make the thing pay for itself.
2. Sell Empty Toilet Paper Rolls
Maybe you’ve seen crafts made from empty toilet paper rolls, but did you know people actually pay up to 20 cents each for those little rolls of cardboard? You can check it out for yourself. Just look at the many listings for empty toilet paper rolls on eBay.
The current rate is about $10 for 50 rolls, if you include shipping. My guess is that leaves you with a profit of no more than a dime per roll. But maybe you could have all of your friends and relatives save their empty toilet paper rolls for you…
3. Write Slogans
You no longer have to work at an ad agency to be a slogan writer. With Slogan Slingers, you can enter your slogans in competitions and “make up to $999 per contest.” There is no sign up fee, but they do charge a “small administration fee” if you win.
Here’s another platform to try: GetaSlogan.com.
Not sure you have what it takes? Who knows? For eight years UPS went with the uninspiring slogan “What can brown do for you?” Almost anyone can do better than that.
4. Clean Up Cleaning Up
Decluttr says it’s a “fast and easy way to sell CDs, DVDs, games and books.” They also buy phones and other tech stuff. You just declutter your home, enter the barcode number for each item, and get an instant quote.
Of course this just a one-time or occasional way to make some extra cash. On the other hand, maybe you can help your friends declutter their homes, and keep a percentage of what you get selling their stuff.
5. Invest in Stocks Using Your Phone
You might think you need a lot of money to start investing in the stock market, but that’s no longer true. With an app from Stash and just $5 you can, “Choose from 30+ investment themes that reflect your unique interests, beliefs, and goals.”
You pay $1 per month or 0.25% per year once you account reaches a value of $5,000. There are no commissions or surprise fees.
6. Get Hired as a Puzzle Cataloger
Good Housekeeping recently reported on a museum that was hiring someone to put together puzzles from the 18th century. It was a full-time gig with the official title of “puzzle cataloger.”
The bad news is it will only last for six months and the position will likely be filled by the time you read this. Still, it’s good to know such jobs exist. And if you’ve ever wondered how you can find these unusual jobs, read on…
7. Get a Turtle Husbandry Position
Out of curiosity I just entered “alligator care” on Indeed.com (yeah, I do research like that). One of the jobs shown is taking care of animals on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Alligators were included, but the primary work was to “conduct all aspects of turtle husbandry.”
Apparently that involves “Tank and filtration maintenance, diet preparation, feeding and behavioral observation, laundry, facility maintenance, and other projects as needed.” It’s a six-month gig, and pays a stipend of $5,000, plus room and board.
8. Stand in Line
I was once paid $20 to wait in line for thirty minutes at the opening of a new casino, in order to save a slot machine for someone. That’s a one-off way to make money, but apparently you can get paid to wait in line on a more full-time basis — if you live in Washington D.C.
LineStanding.com says it “has been a leader in the Congressional line standing business since 1985.”
They say, “We provide persons to stand in line anywhere in the greater Washington DC area, and specialize in United States Congressional hearings and their respective committees as well as the US Supreme Court.”
It’s not clear how often they hire new line-standers (or if that’s even the right position title), but they do have their contact information on the website if you’re interested.
9. Get Automatic Rebates on Purchases
Okay, so you know that some of your credit cards have price protection, which refunds you the difference if the item you bought sells for less somewhere else.
And many companies promise the same thing if you find a lower price within a specified time. But it’s a hassle to keep checking prices and filling out paperwork.
Earny does all of that work for you by scanning the receipts in your email. The fee is 25% of the refund, and they only charge you when they’ve succeeded in getting it for you.
10. Sell Ladybugs
I once saw some bushes covered in a layer of ladybugs. It was fascinating to watch, but I didn’t know I was also looking at some serious money.
Live ladybugs for sale on Amazon go for $4.00 plus $5.25 shipping for 150 of the critters. If a customer needs a large quantity the cost is about $56 with shipping for 9,000 ladybags. Apparently gardeners value the insects because they eat aphids and other pests.
11. Sell Your Soul
Hemant Mehta auctioned off the right to send him to whatever church the winning bidder chose for a set number of weeks. As part of the experience (a former pastor won the bidding) he visited various other churches and wrote the book, “I Sold My Soul on eBay.”
However, if you want to try this you may have to find another place to sell your soul. According to Business Insider, eBay has a policy against selling your soul.
In any case, you may not get much if you’re not a good marketer. Mehta collected only $504, and Business Insider says the bidding for one man’s soul only made it to $20.50.
12. Sell Your Used Socks and Shoes
As long as this article has taken a weird turn, I should mention that people actually sell used socks and shoes for up to $50 to fetishists. I’ll say no more, but if you’re interested you can follow this link to read about one woman’s experience.
13. Buy and Liquidate Debit Gift Cards
It starts with a sale on Visa or Mastercard debit gift cards. Safeway, for example, often has a $10-off sale, so a $500 card costs $496.95 after the $6.95 fee.
At Walmart you can use the card to buy a money order for $0.70. Deposit that in your bank account and you’ve made all of $2.35 for your effort.
But that’s not the end of it. If you use a credit card that pays 3% cash-back at grocery stores, you make an additional $14.85. A profit of $17.20 still isn’t much, but you can do this more than once.
If you have one of the several credit cards that pay 5% cash back at office supply stores you can do even better.
I’ve done this many times. If you want to try it, be sure to read about the possible problems you could run into. I detail those in my post on manufactured spending.
14. Buy and Sell Board Game Pieces
Laura Palmer made $250 selling pieces from board games, mainly on eBay. Apparently people lose a piece and don’t want to throw the game away, so they buy a replacement online. Or they buy pieces for nostalgic reasons.
In one case Palmer bought a “Lord of the Rings” Monopoly game for $1.99 at a thrift store. She sold the tokens, instructions, ring, and dice from that one game to various buyers, for a total of $22.49.
Garage sales and flea markets are some other places to find you products.
Now aren’t you sad that you’ve thrown away all of those board games and pieces over the years?
15. Become a Sign Spinner
I once held a sign on the side of a hot Florida highway for minimum wage, and I definitely don’t recommend the job.
On the other hand, if you’re in a better climate, and you want to be more artistic about it, you can become a sign spinner. You can watch YouTube videos of sign spinning for inspiration (some of those guys are amazing).
A search of “sign spinning” on Indeed.com turns up plenty of jobs around the country. The wage offered for the first ten results (at the moment) ranges from $11 to $20 per hour.
If you’ve made money in some interesting or unusual ways, please share our stories below… and keep on frugaling!