Sell These Strange Things for Extra Cash
If you are looking for some extra cash you might be looking to sell some personal items or you may want to look for something else to sell so that you can come up with the cash you need. Whether it be odd items around the house or something more personal (like your hair), there are some odd things that you can sell for cash.
Here are some of the strangest:
Ambergris (Whale Vomit):
Every once in a while someone comes across whale vomit while they are walking down the beach and they pick it up. Many people would never think of touching something like that, however, if they do they may have hit the jackpot (depending on how much there is). Whale vomit, also called ambergris, can be sold for over $10 per gram. The finest grades of whale vomit can be sold for even more! Next time you are walking down the beach, keep an eye out for this disgusting way to make some extra money.
Here is a 280 gram piece of Ambergris. It’s selling for $3,800 on Ebay (here).
One Italian artist created an exhibit of work that included 90 cans of his own bowl movements. He began his work in 1961 when his father told him that his work was s***. He began pooping in cans. Each 30-gram can was sold for the same price that an equal amount of gold would sell for. One can was sold for $140,000 in 2007.
There is a species of swallow that builds its nests in the caves near the sea using only their saliva. The saliva is used to bind twigs to make nests. At some point in time someone climbed into the caves and discovered the nests and decided to eat them. Now the saliva is considered a delicacy and is worth $2,000 to $3,000 per kilogram.
This probably isn’t news to most people. Being able to sell your organs and other body parts for cash has been something people have been doing for decades. At any given time there are about 100,000 people in the United States waiting on a kidney transplant and some of them never receive one, resulting in significant social and economic costs (here). In the U.S., kidneys could be worth as much as $15,000. However, Iran has begun to allow people to be paid for giving a kidney ($2,000 to $4,000) and they have eliminated transplant waiting lists altogether.
However, as much as you think getting $15,000 for your kidney is a good idea, selling kidneys is illegal in the United States. Per the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA), it is a federal crime for anyone to knowingly acquire, receive or transfer a human organ. Offenses are punishable by a five year prison sentence and a fine of $50,000.
Kopi luwak (Civet Waste):
One of the most expensive coffees in the world is fermented on civet excrement. That’s right, the tastiest cup of coffee comes from beans grown in crap. If you are lucky enough to stumble upon some of the poop you can get about $300 per pound.
You can sell your soul. Well, more like people will pay to save your soul. One man sold his soul on eBay and the winning bidder paid $504 for the seller to go to church for 50 weeks. That’s much better than most people do when selling their souls. Most people get about $0.
In recent years many towns throughout America have been popping up for sale. In 2012, a town in Wyoming was sold for $900,000. The town sits on about 10 acres of land at an elevation of 8,000 feet and included a cellular tower, five buildings, and U.S. Post Office boxes. And also in 2012, another town, Henry River Mill Village in North Carolina, has 22 buildings on 72 acres and was being sold for $1.4 million because “The Hunger Games” was filmed there, per CNBC.
So, in the event that you own a couple of houses in an old out of the way place, you could always incorporate them and put them on the market.
A Chinese website, Taobao.com, allows people to sell just about anything. One company on the site sells human cadavers (dead human bodies). The bodies are encased in a plastic polymer and are sold for about $20,800 each.
Guano (Bat or Seabird Waste):
As you may have noticed, crap sells. Guano, seabird and bat crap, however, is highly valued. This is because it is effective as a fertilizer and as a gunpowder ingredient. Mining guano is a $1.4 billion industry.
Trilobite fossils is the second-most famous fossil group after the dinosaurs. You can find these fossils many places throughout the world. Some smaller trilobite fossils are only worth a couple of dollars, however, rare trilobite specimens can be worth their weight in gold. Museum-quality fossils can be worth 6 figures.
In Australia there is a restaurant called the Road Kill Cafe. Their motto is “You Kill It, We Grill It.” You can bring in your own road kill, whether you hit it or found it on the side of the road, and they will cook it for you. The restaurant also offers its own roadside finds as well.
You can sell maggots. There are three distinct markets for them. There is a market for those who use maggots for live bait. People also buy the slimy creatures to help pollinate flowers. Other people sell maggots as a medical treatment. You usually get about $12 per batch of 250 maggots or more.
In the early 1980s car salesman Dennis Hope wrote a letter to the United Nations claiming the moon as his and then started selling pieces of it. He has sold more than 600 million acres on the moon so far, as well as land on Mercury, Mars and Venus. One acre on the moon sells for $19.99, plus tax and shipping (here).
In fact, Hope’s story is so interesting that the New York Times covered him. See the video below.
Finally, if you’d like to learn more about extraterrestrial real estate, there is an excellent Wikipedia article on it.
Final Thoughts – Need Extra Cash? Go With Something Tried and True
Reselling any parcels of the moon or old trilobite fossils in your attic isn’t a bad idea. But its might be hard to find enough to make good money. Instead, you could always consider a tried a true method. Many people are making money flipping things on Ebay, turning their hobbies into paying side gigs, taking surveys or developing similar revenue channels.
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Photo: Flickr: Ju Han Kim
Have you sold any of the items or something stranger? Leave your thought in the comments.
Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.