It can pay to think outside the box when it comes to making money. Especially when you find out there’s actually a niche for your crazy idea. Here are the ten craziest ways people are making money, Wall Street wizardry excluded:
1. The Hair Trader
Jacalyn Elise co-founded this online company that lets users post ads selling their hair to the highest bidder. Recently, a bidder paid more than $2,600 for someone’s luscious locks.
2. The Hound About Dog Stroller
Never underestimate people’s ability to fawn over their pets and look ridiculous while doing it. The fine folks that make the ‘Hound About’ sell pet strollers in two different colors and sizes, at a retail price of $199. Crucially, each stroller includes a cup holder for your $5 coffee. Everyone knows that dogs just don’t lie to walk, right?
3. Bag Borrow or Steal
Why should women have to endure the emotional and financial sacrifices that accompany the endless search for the “right” accessory for every event, wedding, and dinner party? They shouldn’t. Now, you can join over 250,000 others who don’t. Also known as the “Netflix for handbags,” Bag Borrow or Steal allows women to borrow luxury rather than forking out hard-earned funds to buy it.
4. Celeb 4 a Day
Tired of hearing George Clooney and other Hollywood superstars whine about jarring run-ins with the paparazzi? Well, now you can find out for yourself exactly what it feels like–and maybe have your servants buy you a few free drinks along the way. Celeb 4 A Day founder Tania Cowher thought it would be fun to provide the everyday person the experience of being famous. As a result of her efforts, you, too, can indulge in low-grade complaining while sipping chocotinis in your limousine.
5. Gum Busters of New York
Featured on Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, these bastions of bubblegum are dedicated to eradicating the dirge that is Doublemint from cities throughout the United States. Gross? Yes. Necessary? If you’ve ever sat on a bench or rode the subway in New York, you know the answer.
6. Sarah’s Smash Shack
Remember the days when your mom would ground you for breaking a plate? Sarah Lavely realized that the sound and experience of throwing a plate at the wall not only tintillates the way only breaking a taboo can, but allows people to safely vent pent-up emotions. So, she opened Sarah’s Smash Shack in San Diego. Take a break and break something!
7. I Want to Cheer Up Limited (Rent a Relative)
Tokyo’s I Want to Cheer Up agency dispatches “relatives” for weddings and funerals when actual family members cannot attend. They also hire out “fathers” to help single women with their parenting duties and “husbands” to help women practice the routine of married life (except for sex).
8. Auld Sod Export Co.
Someone had to do it, right? Two Irishmen started selling dirt a few years ago and are now raking in millions. Their website opens with “Welcome to the Home of Official Irish Dirt.” This is so legitimate that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has given its seal of approval.
9. Mrs. Doe’s Pee Buck Lures
Who knew there was such a thing as Attractant Hunting Scents? Mrs. Doe’s Pee, voted the best buy in attractant hunting scents by Inside Archery magazine, boasts some of the best deer pee on the market. With scents like Fresh Buck in Rut Urine and Female in Estrus Urine, you can’t go wrong. (In case fresh is too gross for your tastes, they also have “High Powered Freeze Dried Scents” for sale.)
10. Clothing Optional Dinners
The restaurant business must really be hurting when shops start resorting to specialty gimmicks such as Casino Nights and Prix Fixe at Five. But this service “strips” away all of the artifice and lays ”bare” the essence of dining…in the nude. Check please!