OK, that came out wrong. You should never sell "yourself" for quick cash, but rather the parts of yourself that you can spare. Again, that doesn't sound right. What we're trying to say is you can sell blood plasma, sperm and even hair for cash. Wow, that was awkward.
College students have been flocking to plasma donation centers for decades to earn $35 for an hour and a half of magazine reading accompanied by a momentary needle prick [source: Bonander]. Donating plasma is perfectly safe for the average healthy young person and can be done up to twice a week. And the plasma itself -- the liquid portion of blood -- is used by doctors to save lives.
Sperm donation pays good money -- $50 to $200 per specimen -- but it's not exactly a "quick money" proposition [source: Bonander]. Sperm banks are very picky about their product and will need to run an extensive background check on your genetic health before taking you on as a donor. Once you get the green light, though, it's a pretty sweet deal.
Hair can also be a lucrative source of quick cash. To sell your hair for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, you will need a lot of it, preferably longer than 10 inches (25 centimeters). It should also be free of color or other chemical treatments and as healthy-looking as possible [source: Lu]. For a look at what sells, check out the live hair auctions on Online Hair Affair.
Author's Note: 10 Quick Ways to Make Money
When I was fresh out of college living in my first apartment, we used to have a change jar, a big glass beer stein that one of my roommates had likely stolen from a fraternity house. Instead of leaving our loose change in our pants pockets, only to lose it in the dryers of the coin-operated laundry, we stuck in it the jar. Besides the coin-operated laundry, we had little use for change, or so we thought. One month, the 31st rolled around and we realized that we didn't have enough cash in our meager bank accounts to cover the next month's rent. In fact, we were more than $100 short. That's when one of us geniuses remembered the change jar. There's something deeply satisfying about lugging 20lbs of pennies and dimes down to the grocery store and hearing it pour out like a Vegas jackpot into the Coinstar machine. The spare change covered the rent deficit and left us with some green to spare. I'd like to say we saved it for the next month's rent fund, but we were 22 and stupid, a dangerous financial combination.
- Bonander, Ross. "How To: Sell Your Body for Cash." Askmen (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.askmen.com/money/how_to_250/266_how_to.html
- Cat Le, Phuong. "Consumer Smarts: Utility security deposit surprises customer." Seattle PI. March 3, 2008 (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/article/Consumer-Smarts-Utility-security-deposit-1266099.php
- Coinstar. "Coin to Card" (Sept. 6, 2013) https://www.coinstar.com/FreeCoinCounting.aspx
- Daily Finance. "25 Unusual Ways to Make Money" (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.dailyfinance.com/photos/25-unusual-ways-to-make-quick-money/
- Derousseau, Ryan. "The Best Bets at the Casino." June 14, 2007 (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.forbes.com/2007/06/14/gambling-casino-risk-ent-manage-cx_rd_0614riskcasino.html
- Didorosi, Andy. "How to Sell Scrap Metal for Money." Popular Mechanics (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/recycling/how-to-sell-scrap-metal-for-money#slide-1
- Foreman, Gary. "5 Ways to Make Quick Cash." U.S. News & World Report. August 8, 2013 (Sept. 6, 2013) http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2013/08/08/5-ways-to-make-quick-cash
- Gordon, Whitson. "How to Return Nearly Anything Without a Receipt." Lifehacker. Oct. 26, 2011 (Sept. 6, 2013) http://lifehacker.com/5853626/how-to-return-nearly-anything-without-a-receipt
- IRS. "Does the IRS Have Money Waiting for You?" (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.irs.gov/uac/Does-the-IRS-Have-Money-Waiting-For-You%3F
- Lipka, Mitch. "How to Turn Loose Change into Cash." Daily Finance. Feb. 23 2010 (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/02/23/savings-experiment-whats-the-best-way-to-turn-loose-change-int/
- Lu, Xin. "How to Sell Your Hair for Cash." Wisebread. March 24, 2008 (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash
- Scrap Monster. "Scrap Prices" (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.scrapmonster.com/scrap-prices
- Walmart. "What's Walmart's no receipt return policy?" (Sept. 6, 2013) http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/190/~/walmart-returns-center#no_receipt
- Walsh, James. True Odds. Merritt Publishing, 1996. Excerpted on PBS Frontline (Sept. 6, 2013) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/gamble/odds/odds.html
Dollar stores — where most items cost just a buck — always seem to make money. HowStuffWorks finds out how they do it.