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10 Unusual Ways to Make Money During a Pandemic


The pandemic left millions of Americans suddenly unemployed. Others saw their hours cut or income from their side hustles diminish. That left many looking for new opportunities. Luckily, there are some unusual ways to make money during the pandemic that can work for many people. If you’re looking for something a bit unique. Here are some options that you may want to explore.

1. Sell Your Hair

While this isn’t something you can do too often. It is possible to sell long locks for a handsome fee. Usually, unprocessed “virgin hair.” Virgin hair is hair that’s never been dyed or chemically treated – snags the best price. In some cases, virgin hair is a requirement.

The color and texture of your hair can also make a difference. Another critical factor is the length of the strands. As some of the length is functionally lost when creating wigs and certain other kinds of hairpieces.

There are online outlets that buy hair directly. While others allow people to list their hair to try and attract a buyer. There isn’t any guarantee regarding how much you can earn. But, if you’re long hair is getting on your nerves and your open to snipping it off, it could be worth exploring.

2. Be a Video Game Coach

unusual ways to make money

If you have some serious video game skills, you might be able to earn some side income coaching other players toward greater success. Usually, you need a strong record in a popular, competitive game, like Fortnite or Rocket League. Additionally, being a great teacher who is willing to share some tricks of the trade is essential.

The benefit of this option is you can work entirely from home. You’ll just need to connect to your student online through chat software, ensuring you can discuss tips and techniques with ease.

3. Sign Up for a Clinical Trial

Universities, research centers, hospitals, and other institutions exploring the effectiveness of various drugs or devices often conduct clinical trials, at times paying participants for taking part. There are numerous trials going on at any given time, each with its own requirements.

Often, you need a specific medical condition to qualify for an individual trial. However, some are more open than others, depending on the nature of what’s being tested. If you want to explore options, ClinicalTrials.gov is a great place to start, as well as any nearby universities with medical departments or area hospital networks.

4. Sell Breast Milk

If you are a woman who has recently given birth and is still lactating, you may be able to sell your breast milk for some extra cash. Buyers are usually mothers who can’t breastfeed, as it gives their child the potential benefits of breast milk even if they can’t do it themselves.

It’s important to note that selling breast milk is a bit controversial. While it isn’t generally illegal, there are some health concerns associated with the practice. And, if you sell your breast milk and the consumer ends up ill after partaking of it, you could be liable.

5. Advocate for a Cause

Companies like NextWave Advocacy hire work-from-home contractors to help bring causes to the attention of the public and Congress. You might spend your time interviewing people about political issues or turning people’s stories about how they were affected by an issue into a compelling letter or document.

6. Sell Plasma

unusual ways to make money

Many blood plasma centers are operating, even in areas that still have some quarantine restrictions. Unlike whole blood donations, plasma is usually purchased by the center. Also, unlike whole blood, it’s possible to donate plasma twice a week.

In exchange for your time, you can earn several hundred dollars a month, suggesting you give plasma at every opportunity. However, even a single session can net you $50 to $100, give or take.

While many plasma centers used to be walk-in-friendly, that may not be the case in all areas today. Social distancing requirements have led many facilities to go appointment-only, so you may want to call ahead if you are open to this unusual way to make money.

7. Be an Online Juror

Many legal firms want to gauge how potential jurors may feel about a case well before they step into a courtroom. As a result, they work with companies like eJury to connect with people who play the role of a juror, hearing the details of a case and discussing their opinions on it.

In exchange for being a juror, you get a little extra cash. While you may not get to participate in a ton of cases each week, the projects can all be done from home and usually take no more than an hour, making them relatively easy to squeeze into a day.

8. Write Greeting Card Poems

If you enjoy poetry, you may be able to turn your love into a bit of money. Companies like Blue Mountain Arts will pay you for short poems that it thinks could work in greeting cards.

Now, the process is incredibly lengthy, as, after you submit your poems, you have to sit back and wait until they review it and make a decision. If they are interested, you’ll be notified within eight weeks that your poem was chosen for further review. However, if it isn’t selected, you won’t get any reply.

Once it moves forward, you have to wait some more. It can take several months to over a year for a formal decision to be made. However, if you enjoy poetry and don’t mind the delay, it could be a worthwhile venture.

9. Give Feedback on Website and Mobile Apps

If you are skilled at expressing your opinions verbally and in writing, and are willing to test website and app designs, sites like UserTesting will pay you to do just that. The process isn’t unlike finishing surveys, aside from the fact that you’ll use a microphone and say what you’re thinking instead of spending the whole time checking boxes or clicking toggle buttons.

Additionally, it pays better than most surveys. Usually, $10 per test is the minimum, and each one usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. However, like surveys, you may not qualify for many tests, especially when you first sign up. But as you build your reputation, potentially giving you access to more opportunities, being able to snag a couple of sessions a week isn’t uncommon.

10. Review Music

There are countless unsigned bands out there today, and companies want to know which ones strike a chord with listeners before committing. At SliceThePie, you can help them figure it out, and get paid a little along the way.

Along with reviewing music, you may have a chance to give your opinion on clothing and other products. How much you earn depends on your rating and the quality of your reviews, so it may start out on the lower side while you build your reputation. But with a little time and some care, you could bring in a nice bit of money on the side, all while working safely from home.

Can you think of any other unusual ways that people can make money during the pandemic? Have you tried any of the approaches above, and want to discuss your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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