Showing posts with label Unusual Jobs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unusual Jobs. Show all posts
How To Sell Your Haire ?

How To Sell Your Haire ?

I decided to research and write this page on selling hair after reading about hair thefts around the country. That's right, the news magazine This Week reported in May 2011 that a thief in Houston stole $150,000 worth of human hair from a salon that does extensions and make wigs. He took a couple big bags of "Remy" hair, which is the most durable and silky kind and typically comes from women in India. Apparently this is becoming more common.


Other recent thefts include $10,000 worth from a San Diego salon, $85,000 worth in Missouri City, Texas, and hair valued at $60,000 San Leandro, California. A theft in Dearborn, Michigan resulted in the owner of the beauty supply store being killed.


Obviously there is money in that pony tail if you have one. But how do you cash in? There are a couple ways. One is to sell to a company that directly buys your hair.

You are likely to make more if you list it for sale on a site where people bid on it. You can see what your type of hair is worth by browsing through the listings to find those that are most similar. There are all sorts of factors that influence price. It is better if you have never dyed it, don't wash it too often, keep it covered, and so on. Some sellers even list the vitamins they take.


Now for the bad news. You will generally need to have ten inches of hair to get any decent price, and it can take almost two years to grow that much, so you won't be able to cash in too often. Of course growing hair is not difficult work, but obviously selling your hair is not going to be a regular income source. It is just a quick way to raise some money if you are willing to chop off that ponytail. And as one writer on the subject says, it is "less painful than selling any other body part."


What's Your Hair Worth?

What is referred to as "virgin hair" (no chemical treatment) is the most valuable. Longer hair gets more of course, as does hair that has some natural shine to it. Younger might be better, but in looking at the listings for sale on one website, I did see this: 17" mostly pepper, little salt, European hair, weighs 5 ounces; virgin hair – never colored, last perm done when 16, now 60! She was asking $681.

In looking at websites direct buyers it became apparent that the higher prices are found on the sites where you accept bids. One company paid just $10 per ounce for hair, for example, which would make the woman's hair mentioned above worth just $50.

Some other listings I found included:

  • 10-12 inches dark brown; $600
  • 12" thick, dark blond, Scandinavian; $1,000
  • 15 inches wavy brown, healthy lifestyle and diet; minimum bid $750

Of course another way to make money is to sell other people's hair. For example, you could convince your friend with the long blond ponytail that she would look better with short hair, then buy the hair from her for $50 to resell for $1,000. If you have a few friends with long hair you might have a temporary business doing this!

Seriously, though, if you know someone who works at a beauty salon you might make a deal to buy any long hair cut off.


Four Steps to Hairy Profits

1. Grow your hair.

2. Take photos.

3. Cut it off.

4. Sell it.


Best Place to Sell Your Hair?

You could try advertising your hair on Craigslist or other free classified ad sites. But the easiest way to get top dollar is probably to use one of the hair sales platforms online. The biggest at the moment seems to be


How to Be a Movie Extra

How to Be a Movie Extra

Many years ago I had a chance to be a movie extra. A friend and I were fourteen years old and on Mackinac Island in Lake Huron while Somewhere in Time was being filmed there (an early Christopher Reeves film). They were accepting anyone who applied as extras. But we were camping there illegally, making logistics tricky since they would be filming for days. And we would have had to wear clothing styles from the 1800s while standing around in the hot sun in a crowd. My friend tried to talk me into doing it, but with no luck.


Now that I have done the research for this page and see that extras are actually paid... Well if I had just known that...


In any case, it can be a fun job, and there are benefits beyond the usual low pay and the opportunity to tell your friends about the celebrities you see. It is also a way to be close enough to the action to learn the ropes, in case you have hopes of being an actor. There are rare instances where acting jobs come more directly from working as an extra, although extras do not have lines and are not usually considered when characters are cast.


You also might find other jobs that you hadn't thought of and could enjoy. Maybe a talking to a cameraman will lead to a job, for example. Plus, you usually get paid quickly (that day or at the end of the week). And yes, there will be casting directors, writers, agents and producers around the set, so it isn't a bad place to network and hang out if you do hope for an acting career.


How Much Can You Make?

Most extra work is non-union, and can pay as little as minimum wage (a little over $7 per hour as I write this). Sometimes you will be paid a flat fee ($50 for the day is common) for however many hours the shoot takes. If you get a union job the pay will be according to the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) agreement says.


Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

Talk to people once you have a job as a movie extra. talk to other extras and to anyone else, to se what other movies might need your services.

When you are on the set you will be working under an extras captain, second assistant director, or "extras wrangler." This is your boss, and he or she will be very specific about what you need to do, where you need to stand, walk, etc. Follow instructions as closely as you can if you hope to get more work.


Qualifications / Requirements

There are no requirements, although for many movies they need a specific category of extra (you won't get hired to be in a crowd of young students if you are sixty).


First Steps

Check the news to see if there are any movies being filmed near you. Then contact the closest casting agency to see if they are providing extras for the movie or if they know who is. Call and offer your services. There are also companies which specialize in providing extras for movies (see the resources below). You may be able to sign up for work through these.


Unusual Jobs to Make Money - "I Was a Repo Man"

Unusual Jobs to Make Money - "I Was a Repo Man"


"It's just the repo man," the father told his son.

"But daddy, why is he taking our car?" the little boy asked, while his mother was digging out the last of the clothing that was frozen to the floor of the trunk.


"Son, we didn't make the payments, and when you can't pay for it, you don't get to keep it," he explained, and he handed me the keys. I would drive the car instead of hooking it up, and my brother, Jason (who owned the towing business) drove his tow truck, so it would be ready for the next repossession. The little boy watched from the yard as the repo man drove away in the family car.


I don't recall exactly, but they probably owed less than a thousand dollars on the car, and it was worth even less than that. I stopped occasionally to use snow to clean the windshield - the wipers were broken. If only all our repossessions went this smoothly.

Another Repo Man Story

We were in a small town to take some Pontiac. We cruised behind the bars in town - generally a good place to look. At the second one, we found the car, and checked the VIN (vehicle identification number) to be sure. No keys for this one, so we would have to tow it.

The wheels were turned slightly, and Jason decided it would likely hit the brick wall if we tried to pull it out. We would have to go inside and ask the owner for the keys. He was at the bar, and he pretended not to hear a word we said. He just continued to stare at his drink. Everyone else in the place heard us, though, and they were all his friends.

The crowd began to form as Jason hooked up the car. There was nothing more than rude comments, but then, as the car was pulled out, it bounced off the wall. The turn-signal light cover was broken, and the pieces of red plastic drove the crowd wild. They began yelling and threatening us, and unfortunately, we had to stop right there to hook the car up properly.

I took my baseball bat and ran in the back door and through the bar to the phone, where I quickly called the police. I ran back out, waving the bat around, and found Jason standing on top of the tow truck, with the angry mob circling below him. Someone threw a beer bottle, and we later discovered that in the chaos my brother lost a toolbox full of expensive tools.

The police arrived quickly, adding their own insults (nobody likes a repo man), but they kept the mob at bay while we hooked up. At least there was no fist fight, and no gun pulled on us, nor any shots fired over our heads. These things would happen on later jobs.

Jason never was paid enough for the work, in my opinion, and he gave me just $15 per car retrieved (this was almost 20 years ago). On our best night we probably repossessed four cars. The moral of the story is clear - there are better ways to make a living than being a repo man.

Run Errands for Money - Unusual Jobs

Run Errands for Money - Unusual Jobs

 It has always been possible to run errands for money. All you had to do was make it known that you would do so, and then wait for the occasional job. That's the problem; the jobs are not easy to get with any consistency. That may be changing now, thanks to online services that find the customers for you.


For example, there is, founded by Leah Busque. They are considered by some to be the first service-networking platform, although there are others online now. They help people get various tasks done and help those who want to make some money connect with those potential customers.


From a recent article on;

"So if you need dry cleaning pickup, groceries delivered, a seamstress in your neighborhood, you can connect with them right on Task Rabbit," said site founder, Leah Busque, 31.

"We have full-time Task Rabbits that are cashing out at $5,000 a month," Busque said.

The former IBM software engineer began Task Rabbit during the heart of the recession in 2008.

Task Rabbit was looking for "rabbits" in the following cities as of December 2011:

New York City
SF Bay Area

They plan to expand across the country, so it may be worth checking to see if there are any openings in your area. Your application does not guarantee you can use this platform however. Once your application is accepted you will have a video interview (for which you will need access to a webcam and microphone). Then there is a background check and an online training program. They obviously hope to have quality task rabbits for their customers.

You will also be reviewed and that will affect your ability to get future assignments. Customers choose from among the task rabbits who bid on an errand or other task (they are posted on the site by customers). Examples on the site include $105 for moving help, $45 for some office help, and $20 for picking up and dropping off someone. They say on the site, "Most Tasks are completed for $20-$30."

There are other sites that will help you run errands for money, but this seems to be the most developed at the moment.


Unusual Jobs to Make Money : Submarine cook, shot girl and four more

Unusual Jobs to Make Money : Submarine cook, shot girl and four more

 Here are a few more odd jobs and weird professions to add to our collection. We start with one which pays more than you might think, although you apparently have to be in Australia to get top dollar...


Submarine Cook

According to a report on Daily Finance;

In Australia, a senior submarine cook with more than six years of experience earns $200,000 (about $187,000 U.S.) per year, the same as a junior admiral.

The base pay is $58,806 per year, but the key is in the bonuses, which include a capability bonus of $40,000, seagoing allowance of $22,254, submarine service allowance of $26,703, and a bonus of $50,000 a year just for showing up for work, because the job is listed as "critical to the navy."


Light Bender

If you like artistic work, you might like a job as a light bender. As such, you will be making neon lights. This is truly skilled work, for which an apprenticeship is perhaps the best way to get trained. Larger cities provide more opportunity for the work, of course, and particularly those in which neon lights are popular for advertising and decorating, such as resort towns. Las Vegas is perhaps the city where you can make the most money in this field.

Shot Girl

According to a Wall Street Journal article, a good-looking woman in her 20s can make $300 to $600 nightly serving specialty shots of alcohol at some clubs. Severs are paid either hourly or per-shot-sold, but naturally make most of their money from tips. And although it may seem unfair, this is usually just a job for women (but then men would not likely be tipped as well by the typically male customers anyhow).


Revealing tops and short shorts are recommended, and an ability to deal with drunk guys is also helpful. Apparently the bars can do very well also; Jell-O shots can cost as little as 15 cents to make, and are sold for $3 to $4 each.

Snake Milker

This is perhaps one of the most dangerous jobs I have covered on the site. You have to extract the venom from very poisonous snakes. It is used to make anti-venom, which is stocked at hospitals in areas where snake bites are common. I am sure there are some doing this who will claim it can be safe if done properly, but it seems likely that a mistake will be made eventually--and I hope you survive it if you try this odd job.

Airplane Repo Person

I once worked as a repo man, but we only went after cars. The money is better when you repossess airplanes, but you can also go a long time between pay days. This is stressful work, and can be dangerous. You may be asked to travel to foreign countries to get your plane, and getting sent to jail is a possibility if you break any laws. Airplane repossession is a commission job most often, and you can get up to 10% of what the plane sells for after being repossessed. That can be a lot of money on a million dollar plane.

Petroleum Company Diver

Oil and gas divers can make up to $80,000 per year, but this is another truly dangerous job. You will be doing inspections of rigs at great depths, or welding or laying lines or pipes. From what I have read though, there is a growing demand for people to work these positions.

For more odd jobs and weird ways to make money, go get a copy of my book, 101 Weird Ways to Make Money, and sign up for the Unusual Ways Newsletter (there should be a subscription form in the side bar to the right).

Unusual Jobs to Make Money : Wrinkle chaser, chicken sexer, odor judger...

Unusual Jobs to Make Money : Wrinkle chaser, chicken sexer, odor judger...

 Although unusual jobs can be a way to get out of a rut and make some money, they can also be fun. In the past I've worked as a repo-man (very fun) a investigative process-server (fun), and even handed out free samples in grocery stores (not so fun), among many other jobs I've had. Some examples of other odd jobs follow.

Wrinkle Chaser

A wrinkle chaser is the person that irons wrinkles from shoes as they are being made to ensure they are perfectly smooth when you buy them. he or she also inspects shoes or parts for inside or outside for wrinkles and other flaws.

Chicken Sexer

This is a real job title. A chicken sexer sorts through baby chicks to determine if they are male or female, and then segregate them. You may have seen Mike Rowe doing this on his "Dirty Jobs" television program (and it really is a dirty, stinky and disgusting job).

Citrus Fruit Colorer

A citrus fruit colorer, with the help of steam and chemicals, gives citrus fruit a more natural-looking coloring, because fruit is usually picked before it is fully ripe.

Celluloid Trimmer

A celluloid trimmer shaves down a golf club and then adds celluloid bands onto the golf clubs to make the leather grip stay in place.

Odor Judgers

Odor judgers get to smell armpits all day to help make deodorants that will work well. I'm not sure why somebody other than some strange fetishist would want this job, but we all have to pay the bills somehow.

Furniture Tester

Now here's a good one. The La-z-Boy Company (and probably others) employs furniture testers to check out their recliners. Want to relax for a living? Good luck getting one of these jobs though - I suspect there are less than a dozen such positions.


Cowpunchers herd, castrate and brand cattle. When you get bored castrating cattle, you get to repair fences, watering troughs and do other maintenance work on the ranch.

Alligator Wrangler

This is one of the more dangerous jobs, and probably not worth the pay, unless you get a T.V. show like the The Crocodile Hunter. There are two ways to get into the field. One is to wrestle and otherwise annoy alligators as entertainment at a tourist-based alligator farm. The other is to remove alligators from people's property when they become a nuisance.



Get hired as a hot walker or hypodermic needle assembler and Make Money

Get hired as a hot walker or hypodermic needle assembler and Make Money

Unusual Jobs

I know something about weird 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.


Hot Walker

This is the person that walks the racehorses around after a race. It is important, because if a horse doesn't cool down before returning to his stall, the overheating can cause kidney damage. Don't expect high wages, but you do get to work outdoors and with animals.

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 2011, it seems that most bird-poop jewelry for sale now uses fake poop.)

Political Writing

You don't think politicians write their own pamphlets, brochures, and other campaign materials? Really now - they hardly think 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 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 users 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. At least they are fun to read about.