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20 strange ways to make money

Marc Crosby 5th Dec 2020 6 Comments

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Would you like some strange ways to make money to liven up your weekend??

Are you a bit bonkers yourself?

A bit out of the ordinary?

Not your usual Joe?

Then these are just the money making ideas for you.

At MoneyMagpie we’ve got loads of articles on ways to make money, but these are the ones which are just plain weird…and frankly, we like ’em!

Oh, and if this tickles your fancy, check out 10 more strange ways you can make money!


1. Make money being a friend

Young female friends hugging

The first of our list of strange ways to make money is a money making opportunity you probably haven’t heard of: being a friend.

Yes, there are people out there who will pay you a fee to be their ‘friend.’

What does it involve?

Whatever the person wants – whether it be someone to show them around the area, to go the cinema with, a workout buddy, an instructor or even a wingman!

If this sounds like an interesting way of making money you should sign yourself up to Rent a Friend.

It’s absolutely free to join and you keep 100% of everything you earn, only people looking for a friend pay.

People tend to charge anything from £5 – £30 an hour for their time, so there is good money to be made.

Click here to find out more about making money being a friend.


2. Make money taking part in clinical trials

Docotor giving young woman medication

Did you know you can earn up to £4,000 taking part in clinical trials?

Actually you might do. Clinical trials are already popular so you might find it odd that it is in our list of strange ways to make money. But frankly, we think it’s pretty strange that people are willing to put all sorts of odd drugs in their body for money.

However, when you see the money people can potentially make, it looks a little less strange!

Most clinical trials are Phase One drug testing, meaning you’re one of the first humans to try a drug.

So if the idea of being a human guinea pig fills you with terror, then this probably isn’t the thing for you.

But if you understand the risk and are still happy to go ahead with it, there is certainly money to be made. You can earn anything from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand pounds for a few days’ testing.

For example, Trials4us do overnight trials that pay £120 for every 24 hours you spend with them. FluCamp in London offer up to £3,750 for taking part in their studies, but to do so you will have to contract some kind of cold, flu or respiratory virus. Ugh!

Click here to find out more about making money taking part in clinical trials.


3. Make money by playing video games

Happy family playing video games together

If you’re a big gamer then making money playing video games is probably the ultimate dream.

But it doesn’t have to be just a dream.

There are, in fact, several ways you can make money playing videos. Some of these ways will just supplement your income, but others can be full time money makers.

If you just want to make a bit extra money from your hobby, why not set up a gaming blog? You’ll be able to put some adverts on it so once it begins to get a lot of visitors you’ll start to make money.

Or, if you prefer making videos to writing up articles, you can upload videos to YouTube or twitch.tv and see how much you can make there.

If you want to make serious money with video games, though, then why not become a video game tester with a starting salary of between £12,000 – £18,000?

There’s also the chance to win BIG money in e-sports tournaments (one winner won $500,000) but you have to be incredibly good to win!

Click here to find out more about making money by playing video games.

4.. Make money selling breast milk

Breast pump and bottles with mother breast feeding in background

Admittedly this isn’t something that everyone can do – at least half the population (men) are already unqualified for it!

But when it comes to strange ways to make money…this is pretty high on the list!

Yes, amazingly, you really can make money selling your breast milk.

The World Health Organisation has said that the best food for a new born infant is breast milk from another healthy mother if the infant’s mother cannot breast feed herself, which has resulted in a demand for healthy breast milk.

You’re able to donate to UK milk banks but you won’t get paid for this, or you can sell your breast milk online.

Sites like Onlythebreast.com allow you to post an ad online and wait for a response from someone who requires breast milk.

You can make good money as well, at the moment four fluid ounces of milk are being sold for £15.

There are genuine concerns, however, about people who buy breast milk online. Buyers are rarely sure of the health of the mother they’re buying from and so risk getting milk contaminated by drugs or infections

Click here to find out more about making money selling breast milk.


6. Make money sleeping

Couple sleeping comfortably

Could you imagine getting paid to sleep?

How brilliant would that be?

Well some lucky so and so’s get to do just that, and they’re called bed testers.

Bed testers get to test out a whole range of beds, often luxury ones, and then give a verdict based on the night’s sleep they had.

We’re really including this one for a bit of fun because it’s really hard to become a full time bed tester – as you can imagine, it’s very competitive!

Most people were first introduced to the idea of being a bed tester after Hotel Chatter put out a call in 2006 for a professional to test their 25,000 beds.

Could you imagine? Well, we can always dream (although, unlike bed testers, we won’t get paid for it!)


7. Make money testing food…yes, even chocolate

Silly woman holding chocolate

Getting paid to test food sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

And, unlike getting paid to sleep, it’s something you have a good shot at actually being hired to do.

As a food tester, research companies are interested in getting your views on food products.

Once you’ve tasted the food you’ll be asked to give your feedback on the product – this might be as part of a focus group or you might simply just have to give it a score in a questionnaire.

In between each food sample you’ll be given a palette cleaner, such as a cracker and water, so you’re ready for the next taste.

Tests tend to last around an hour or two, but maybe slightly longer if you’re taking part in a focus group.

You’re not going to make a career out of it, it’s really just a nice way to supplement your income, but you can earn between £5-£55 depending on whether you’re just completing a questionnaire or if you’re taking part in a focus group.

Click here to find out more about getting paid to test food.


8. Make money donating sperm and eggs

Man holding sperm donation pot

Selling sperm or eggs might sound desperate, but it’s perfectly legal in the UK to do so.

If you’re a man, well, frankly it’s easy money! It could even be described as a leisure activity.

The only requirements are that you should not have any history of sexually-transmitted infection, or a personal or family history of inheritable disorders. You must also undergo medical screening, including a HIV test.

Be aware that you may also be turned away if your sperm quality isn’t high enough (don’t take it personally!)

According to the HFEA you can’t technically be paid for donating sperm, but you are given £35 per donation to cover expenses.

Egg donation, however, is a much more serious procedure…and not a lot of fun.

The egg donor must be between the ages of 18 and 36 and, before the donation takes place, a donor will have to undergo screening to limit the chance of genetic abnormalities and sexually-transmitted diseases.

If you’re found to be suitable to donate, you’ll be matched with a couple who have infertility issues. You’re then given fertility drugs to administer at home; these stimulate the ovaries into producing a number of eggs.

The HFEA has capped the amount you can make for egg donation at £750, hoping that this will only encourage people to give eggs out of altruistic intent and not because they need the extra money.

Click here to find out more about making money donating sperm and eggs.


9. Make money by queuing

People lined up in a queue

Have you ever been told you don’t get paid to stand around and do nothing?

Well, here’s a job that genuinely pays you to do just that – getting paid to queue (or line sitting).

How does it work, you ask?

Well, we’ve all seen the long queues as people wait in line to be the first to get their hands on the latest Apple product, sometimes even enduring a whole night of rain. Chances are at least one of those people would have paid you to take their place.

Equally there are many people who would love to get the latest iPhone or concert tickets but can’t because they have work or family commitments. They may well be willing to pay for your line sitting services.

Despite success in the US, it’s still a relatively unheard of practice in the UK so you’d be leading the way with this money making opportunity.

You’d be able to set your own price, either at a fixed rate or an agreed amount per hour/half hour. For example, you could charge a fixed rate of £100, or agree on £6 an hour.

Click here to find out more about making money queuing.


10. Make money watching TV

People watching tv

Ok, unlike the last point, this is a slightly misleading title.

You can’t make money JUST by watching TV, but there are certainly ways you can incorporate watching TV into your money making process, and that’s pretty cool right?

For example you could make money by giving your views on the latest television programmes by joining a focus group or taking part in relevant online surveys. You could even set up your own blog reviewing the latest TV programs.

There’s loads of other ideas of as well, so click here to find more ways to make money watching TV.


11. Make money selling your hair

Woman cutting her hair

This one isn’t really that bonkers, but it sounds strange at first – you can make money selling your hair.

Despite huge scientific progresses, we still haven’t found a cure for baldness so wigs, hair extensions and hair pieces are still in high demand.

You’ll need at least 6 inches of hair and it must be clean, healthy and shiny – any damaged hair will not be accepted.

If you’ve got an unusual natural hair colour then you can get more for it, although remember to speak to a wig seller to find out the price before cutting your hair. It’d be awful to lose all that hair only to find out you don’t like the price!

Prices vary, but some wig sellers will pay up to £200 for your hair, so there is potential money to be made.

Click here to find out more about making money by selling your hair.


12. Make money from misery

Unhappy woman sat at her desk

If you’ve had a real life horror story then you can make money selling it either to a magazine or newspaper.

We know that might sound callous at first but we all know the saying ‘When life gives you lemons…’

For a good, unpredictable story newspapers will pay between £200 – £2,000. In fact one of our readers managed to get £2,200 for their story.

You could go on to do more. If you can help others, why not write a self-help book?

Click here for more ways to make money from misery.


13. Make money beekeeping

Bee keeper

Why not become a beekeeper and make money selling the honey?

Maybe you can think of several reasons not to – the fear of getting stung or not having the first clue how to start.

But it’s a good money maker because it’s also vital to the environment. We need good bee keepers to help act against the number of bees dying all around the world.

You don’t need loads of room or time to be a beekeeper, in fact professional beekeepers can get away with inspecting their bees only once a month.

However, you’ll just need to put some initial time investment to learn everything you need to know about bee keeping. It’s important to know the very best way to keep bees as some amateur owners have harmed their bees by not knowing the ins and outs of caring for them properly.

It’s not a quick money maker either. It can take more than one season for your bees to start producing honey, but once they do you can begin to sell it.

You won’t just be making money, you’ll be helping the environment and, who knows, you might discover a new passion.

Click here to find out more about beekeeping for money.


14. Make money as a life model

Male life model

If you’re not sure what life modelling is, it’s modelling nude as artists paint or sculpture you.

So, first off you’ve got to decide whether you’re comfortable standing nude in front of a load of strangers…while you’re starkers…it’s not for everybody!

Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re in perfect shape though, this is about interesting and real body shapes so don’t be put off if you do want to give it a go – plus you’ll hopefully end up with a beautiful sculpture or picture of yourself.

You’re paid an hourly rate – the average rate is £10.63, although in London it’s £11.11.

Click here to find out how to make money as a life model.


15. Make money collecting

Barbie doll collection

There’s nothing particularly weird about making money collecting certain items and selling them on at a profit so you might wonder why this one is in our list of strange ways to make money.

Well, there are very strange and surprising things you can collect to make a profit.

For example, did you know you could make money collecting Disney DVD and blu-rays?

Or would you have thought you could make money collecting Barbie dolls?

Other weird collectibles include piggy banks, Lego, comics and action figures.

You’d be surprised just how many ways you can make money collecting.


16. Make money SELLING SELFIES

Women taking a selfie

Instaprints makes it easy for you to get paid for your Instagram selfies. Just link your Instagram profile with your Instaprints account and get paid for pictures you’ve taken… and of yourself! Be aware that anyone can buy them and you can’t say how they will be used – but mostly they are used for prints or photo-books.

With Instaprints you can set your own rate and they will handle all the shipping and printing to customers. You can earn anything from a few pounds up to £50 per image… definitely a bit weird but worth checking out!


17. Make money BUYING GOLD

Investing in gold

Want to avoid inflation-busting cash crashes? Put your money into gold via the smartphone app Glint. Not only can you buy gold which is stored in a real vault in Switzerland, you can also spend it too using a specially made debit card.

You’ll avoid any decreases caused by inflation and you can switch your gold into an actual currency at any time if you’re worried about its value.

It all works in the way of a normal bank, and your gold and money are protected. The Financial Conduct Authority audits Glint.

So, feel like you want to buy some gold? Get downloading the app on the Apple App Store or Android Store, and get your new debit card delivered in just a few days.

Find out more about investing in gold here. 



Recycling ink cartridges

Everyone wants to help the environment, and everyone has empty ink cartridges lying around their home or workplace. But, instead of chucking your empty ink cartridges away, why not recycle them instead?

Printer Cartridge Recycling pays people for each one they receive. You’ll get cash depending on the ink cartridge you’ve sent. A minimum threshold of £5 must be reached in order to send the cartridges to them.

Alternatively, you can send them to the Recycling Factory. All you have to do is box up your cartridges and send them Free Post to the company. They’ll sort out the rest and pay you.



Selling your photos

Snapped a really cool shot? You can earn money easily through Adobe Stock.

Each time someone purchases your photo, you’ll get a 33% commission. If it’s a video, you’ll get a 35% commission. You have to reach at least $25 in royalties before you can request a payout through either Skrill or PayPal.

So, if you’re an avid photographer or think you’ve just snapped something pretty neat, this one might be worth checking out.

Find out more about selling your photos online here. 



Cute little pug

Fiverr is a unique website in that you can get paid to do just about anything. You might get $5 for posting a photograph of your dog. Or, they may want you to buy a fridge magnet from wherever you are.

The site does offer more traditional paying services too such as freelance writing or graphic design. Nonetheless, you can be paid for doing pretty much anything.

It’s worth checking out if you’re short of cash, planning a holiday or just want to earn some extra money on the side.


Bonus money-maker – Make money selling pictures of your feet

Yes, you read that right, you can make money selling pictures of your feet!

It’s a bit of a ‘fetish’ thing, so you’d need to feel comfortable before going ahead, but if you’re proud of your feet and want a bit of extra money, this might be one for you.

You can use a site like FeetFinder to sell pictures of your feet. FeetFinder has over 150,000 verified users, where all models are ID verified and all buyers must add a card to use the site in any way, and to beat the scammers: with FeetFinder you’ll also have to pay – as a foot model – a monthly subscription of $2.99, but for that, the site will do all the marketing for you. 

Find out more about making money from your feet here. 

Which of these money makers are you going to try? What’s the most bonkers way you’ve made money? Let us know in the comments below.

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4 years ago

I’d like to be a bed tester

4 years ago

Very interesting, glad this article was featured in a recent email.

Tony MacDonald
Tony MacDonald
7 years ago

Wow some bonkers ideas there but great if you’re up for it. Think I’ll stick to matched betting to be honest!

Jasmine Birtles
7 years ago
Reply to  Tony MacDonald

I wouldn’t if I were you. Matched betting is certainly not something we would advocate.

Kendra James
Kendra James
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony MacDonald

What is matched betting?

7 years ago


Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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