The following is a selection of unusual ways to make money fast, they either have been tried or might be worth trying. In other words, some of these have actually been profitable, while others are unproven, speculations, and daydreams.
Maybe you can copy the success of the first type or be the first to give those of the second type of money ideas a try.
Gas Station Target Practice
I recently visited a money-making blog and saw a hilarious idea. The author wanted to set up a gas station that gave away free gas.
What’s the catch? The gas would come out very slowly, and mounted cameras with paintball guns attached would give people online the opportunity to shoot at the customers for a fee.
This may not work, of course, and he mentioned that the city wouldn’t allow him to do it (hey, at least he asked).
But the general idea of interactive cameras and devices for use online is full of potential, especially during this crazy time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
People are bored at home and are looking forward to pretty much do anything they can to keep themselves busy.
People might pay to see people walking by, for example, if they could also say what they wanted to them through a speaker, as they passed.
And there are certainly some better ideas than this out there.
You may have read the true story of a woman who had a business online selling her “fetal greeting” cards. They have a picture of a fetus announcing his or her next entry into the world.
She got the idea while looking for a unique way to tell family and friends that she was pregnant.
A friend drew pictures for her, and she liked the results so much that she decided to do business out of it.
When I first wrote about this, her website had been online for seven years, so it is probably safe to assume she had some success.
Having failed to find her site just now, I suppose we can see this as a lesson about businesses based on a fad.
There are currently a few companies selling “fetal greetings” online (apparently, the name was not trademarked).
But they seem to be selling them as one of many types of cards, not as a primary product line.
So if you happen to hit it big with something that may be a fad or a passing fashion, make what you can out of it, save some of what you make, and get ready for the next project.
Make Your Auto a Billboard
Using one’s vehicle for advertising is certainly not new. Many small businesses use their vehicles to promote themselves.
But why not try renting space to businesses in your personal car? You should probably document how many miles you usually drive and where, so the advertisers will know their ads are being seen, and by their target audience.
A couple of years ago, there was at least one company that actually arranged this for you.
If you qualified (you had to live in a well-populated area and drive a certain amount of miles each year), they would pay you for the use of the space in your car and sell it to advertisers.
Since a search for this company online yields little now, you probably have to try it on your own.
From Garage Sale to eBay
You have undoubtedly heard about people buying things at garage sales that they then have sold on eBay for big profits.
I once met a man who bought some old jeans for $2 and sold them on eBay for over $250. I had to look that night and see the bids (some were actually higher than that) before I would believe him.
The problem, of course, is knowing what will sell and for how much. If you have a laptop computer with a satellite internet connection or internet access from your smartphone, you are in business.
You can take it with you to garage sales and buy things only after seeing that they are selling on eBay — and seeing what the current bids are up to. This almost guarantees you won’t guess wrong and lose money too often.
At Home Grocery Store
When I used to rent a room in my home years ago, I also sold groceries to the renters out of a closet. They simply took what they needed and marked it on a sheet of paper.
The cost was added to rent; this was one of several additional sources of income I made from my tenants.
Now, to expand on this, what about the general idea of groceries being available to people for purchase at home? Perhaps a mobile grocery store in a truck or van would work.
Like an ice cream truck, you run a route with your store, playing music or some announcement to get attention, and then you stop on each street to see who wants to go shopping.
Or maybe there’s a way to put a grocery store in an apartment building (an oversized vending machine) and stock it once a week?
Weird and Uncommon Jobs to Make Money
I know something about weird and uncommon jobs. In the past, I have been a “skip-tracer” (one who tracks people down – in this case, to serve subpoenas), a repo man, and a newspaper ad-inserter.
I’ve even had a few unusual business projects, including selling stuffed animals in jars (“Canned Critters” – they never did catch on), and Ecuadorian earrings made from fish scales (these sold better).
The following are some weird ways to make money that I haven’t tried – and hopefully never will.
Circus Elephant Tender
The job involves taking care of the elephants for a circus. Mostly this means lots of shoveling of large piles of – well, you get the point.
Not only is this a dirty job, but it can be dangerous too.
Bird Poop Jewelry Business
I’m not making this up. There really was a man who had (has?) a business selling jewelry made of bird poop.
The various types are encased in clear acrylic and made into pendants and earrings. (Having researched this again in 2020, it seems that most bird-poop jewelry for sale now uses fake poop.)
You don’t think politicians write their own pamphlets, brochures, and other campaign materials? Really now – they hardly think of their own thoughts.
One writer reports that she charges $25 to $35 per hour for writing for politicians. Qualifications? Writing skills, and perhaps an ability and willingness to lie.
Weird Restoration Business
Ever see an old merry-go-round still functioning. They need to be restored if they are not thrown away. Someone has to do it and probably gets paid fairly for this highly specialized field.
At mycarousel.com, they appear to focus not on the whole machine as much as restoring the horses and other animals taken from carousels.
Technical Manual Translator
Want to translate that technical manual or user guide for the VCR from Japanese to English? Call someone who does this type of work. It may be tedious, but the pay is above average.
Awful and Weird
I recently came across the story of a woman who worked as an assembler of hypodermic needles. Her job was simply to attach the needles to the syringes.
Unfortunately, she was paid by the piece, and made less than $6 on one shift, due to all the time spent tending to her wounds.
Perhaps you don’t want to be a sumo wrestler’s assistant, or for that matter a proctologist (now there’s a weird job), or have any of the weird jobs listed here.