If you are always looking for ways to make money, I can assure you there are countless ways to do so. It helps if you are creative and open to crazy ideas to make money legally whether as a side gig or a full-time job. On a recent online forum, one user asked members, “What are the craziest ways you’ve heard of people making money?” The thread exploded with all sorts of suggestions that we share.
1. Sell Tumbleweed
One person told of a friend who quit college and started a successful business by collecting and selling tumbleweed to Hollywood and TV studios who needed them as props. He took a van to the desert, collecting and storing tumbleweed in a warehouse. Tumbleweed never spoils, and his initial business costs for gas, storage, and website were relatively low. According to this user, “The tumbleweed guy is a top tumbleweed provider worldwide and ships the tumbleweed in high demand globally.”
2. Summarize Articles
One person explained that his job was to read and summarize newspaper articles to their boss. Although it was the only task he was hired for, this type of job is still in demand. You need to quickly read and digest the text, break into down into key points, and include quotes from the author. One user shared, “An actual union job in the film industry is reading scripts and summarizing them in short book reports.”
3. Importing Trambolines
A Norwegian moved to Texan, noticing every house with a garden had a trampoline, which was foreign to him and his home country. He began buying trampolines to bring to Norway, and they quickly sold out. Over time, he became one of the only importers of trampolines for Norway and other European countries and became a millionaire. Many trampoline parks in Norway reflect their love for these things.
4. Sells Handmade Shawls
One woman travels to Nepal annually and fills her luggage with handmade shawls, scarves, hats, and gloves to sell at Farmer’s and flea markets on the weekends the rest of the year. Although she is not rich, she works about two days a week and makes enough money to do whatever she wants.
5. Cyber Wallet Recovery
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One user shared that they had a background in computer science and experience in data retrieval and password cracking, which came in handy when Dogecoin’s popularity was raging. He wrote a guide on recovering old Dogecoin lost wallets. He picked up clients in exchange who had lost passwords or corrupt files for a percentage cut, the industry standard for wallet recovery that he included in his contracts. He made thousands of dollars on every successful recovery, saying, “The biggest one I ever recovered was a 19-letter-long password someone had lost. Although the work dried up when the price of dogecoin dropped, that recovery gave me the down payment on a house.”
6. Racing Horse Sculptor
One brilliant hustle comes from a Dublin cabbie whose passenger was a sculptor. He would watch horse races, and when a horse won, he’d use social media to contact the owner directly with a digital mockup of a life-sized sculpture of the winning horse. The people who own winning racehorses tend to be rich, including sheiks, oligarchs, millionaires, and billionaires. The user continued,” Every now and again, one of these owners would bite and spend €100,000 euros or more on a statue commemorating their animal’s win.” He sculpted two a year and spent the rest of the year enjoying life.
7. Hershey Bar Wrappers
One person found a niche buying Hershey bars and rewrapped them into customized designs that celebrated birthdays, retirement, and corporate logos to be given at events. The user who shared the story said he became the richest guy in a wealthy town.
8. A Successful Candy Business
One father noticed that the family quickly ran out of ziplock bags every week. His 10-year-old daughter was the culprit, mixing gummy bears and worms with Hispanic spices and chamoy, a savory Mexican sauce, and selling them at school for $5 a bag. She was bringing in about $100-$150 a week. He continued, “Now, she is about to turn 15, and I helped her build her candy business. She has candies in our city’s stores and is still expanding.”
9. Credit Card Rewards
One person benefited by putting all his cash-paying customer’s bills on his credit cards and keeping the cash to pay off the credit bills promptly, building up his reward points for airfare and hotels. It worked for a while until the restaurant manager noticed that one employee’s card processing fees were rising, and he was shut down.
10. Finding Suitable Names
In East Asia, it is common for kids to have secondary English names they use in English classes and potentially travel for business. An English girl who helps wealthy Chinese parents gave their kids suitable English names in exchange for payment. She made a full-time business out of this.
11. Sell Unwanted Things
A college student bought an old school bus, removed the seats, and drove around the affluent neighborhood off-campus, picking up unwanted items at the end of the semester. She found usable flat-screen TVs, couches, computers, and tables discarded, selling them on Craigslist over the summer, and made a substantial amount of money.
12. Participate in “Just Another Lab Rat” Studies
One user participated in clinical research studies, applying on the website.” He participated in several studies. In one study, he shared, “They took three pieces of my muscle in my thigh. The study was to see if the drug would help muscle growth in the leg that wasn’t getting any use. It was like $12k for one month, and I would do it again.” The websites tell volunteers the studies are typically safe, but they need to take 30 days off between studies they can apply for, and some people make as much as $28,000 per year.
13. Flushing Toilets and Picking Up Packages
Those with multiple homes often need people to do some chores while away. Among paid chores for those who are away are flushing toilets and driving their cars several times a month. Additionally, the house requires work and deliveries, and someone would be paid to provide access to the home. According to one user, he knows ” A wealthy family that pays a guy $50,000 a year to pick up their packages from outside and bring them inside.”
14. Panning For Gold
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Many states, including California, have legal panning for gold and often permit-free. One user told of his friend who went through college by panning for gold. He said, “Although most days he made nothing, occasionally he would come home with a couple hundred bucks worth, and I think once he found a night worth over $1k.” Be aware that if you find gold and sell it, you typically will pay taxes at the capital gains if you hold long enough.
15. Maintain Tire Pressures On Fleets
Someone touted a friend who became a millionaire because he figured out how to efficiently maintain the tire pressure of car fleets of big companies. The user said, “He randomly checked the pressure of some cars in the parking lot and provided them with a data-driven calculation of how much they could save on gas per car per year by just having the tire pressure regulated. He made a ton on commissions.”
16. Sleeping On The Job
You can get paid for sleep studies. However, this is a different opportunity offered by a local office building owner who wanted someone on-site 24/7. They hired a woman to enter the building in the evening when the maintenance finished their work. She slept in a bedroom when the building was vacant until morning, when she would turn over the office to its employees. She claimed it was the least stressful legitimate job she ever had for full-time pay.
17. “My Secret to Making Easy Money”
A person recalled a guy he knew who put an ad in the newspaper’s classified section that read, “For $10, I’ll tell you my secret to making easy money. Send $10 cash to (address) to find out how.” He went on, “Apparently, there was no shortage of people who would send him $10, and he would instruct them to put a classified ad in the newspaper telling people to send $10 and how to make money.” Somehow, this rang a familiar bell of something my Dad told me about years ago.
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With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.