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More Strange Ways to Make Money


Looking for new and strange ways to make some extra money is a regular task here. I watch for items reported in magazines and newspapers, talk to friends about their past jobs, and watch for odd roadside businesses when driving around. But I also use the best tool yet for this: the internet. To save you the trouble of scouring all those web pages yourself, I collect all the oddest money-making schemes, jobs, investments and businesses and report on them here on this site and in the Unusual Ways Newsletter. The following are a few strange ways I have not yet covered, which I just discovered.

Smashing Profits

Can you make money by charging people to break things? Actually, businesswoman Donna Alexander has been offering this service (product?) for a while now. If you are angry and feel like breaking things to get some relief, you can visit her Anger Room in Dallas, Texas, and start smashing furniture, vases, or any number of items. You can have the room set up to fit your own personal fantasy; smashing up printers and computer equipment as in the movie Office Space is one common one.

How much does Alexander get for a session? Customers pay $25 for five minutes, $5 for fifteen minutes and $75 for the "Total Demolition" session, which gives them 25 minutes. The room is loaded with used items that are acquired for little or no cost.

Yes, this is supposed to help "get out the anger," but it isn't sold as therapy. A disclaimer on the Anger Room website reads:

Anger Room LLC does not claim to be a mental help or medical facility, we do not treat, give diagnosis or provide medical therapy of any kind. We are classified as entertainment only, if you feel that you have any mental or medical issues that needs to be treated please see a licensed physician or obtain a referral.

By the way, this is not the first business of this sort. In the Unusual Ways Newsletter a few years back I reported on Sarah's Smash Shack in San Diego, where people paid to break dishes and vases. That one has closed, but Alexander says that business is growing for the Anger Room.

Other Strange Ways to Make Money

A recent article on ABC News looked a handful of odd money makers, which included:

Hoarding Pennies - The point here is to eventually sell them for their copper value, which is more than twice the face value. Unfortunately you have to collect only those minted before 1982 to get maximum copper content (the mint went to more zinc in later years), and you have to wait until it is legal to melt them down, which might be a few years from now, when pennies are no longer used as currency. But at least one man they interviewed for the story had saved 200,000 pennies, which are worth around $4,800 at current melt value.

Shopping Videos - Also called "haul videos," these YouTube presentations are simply videos of the results of a shopping trip, where you show off the deals you got and perhaps add a review or two of the products. Some of the hundreds of thousands of haul videos online get more than a million hits--traffic which can be monetized with pay-per-click ads.

Rent Your Things - According to the article, "On websites such as loanables.com and snapgoods.com, you can rent -- or rent out -- almost anything: a barbecue, bungee cord or backyard, power tools, a parking space or a storage space." They even interviewed a couple who rented out their dog.

Be a Mommy Blogger - There are thousands of bloggers out there who dish out child rearing and home keeping advice. When they get enough of a following, they can make money at it. The ABC article says, "companies will often try to connect to the blogger, asking them to try and possibly endorse products for cash. The most successful blogs, like Dooce.com, can net tens of thousands of dollars a month."

Be an Online Liquidation Retailer - Liquidation products, which are often returns and overstocked items, can be bought online and then resold online for a profit. Big name stores sell their returns to places like Liquidation.com, and then others buy from them in order to resell the items on eBay or Craigslist. The article notes, "Carmel Harris said he buys discounted TVs from Liquidation.com three times a week, and then resells them for a profit, earning twice as much he did at his old job installing car stereos."

Watch for more strange and fun ways to make money in the newsletter (see the side bar to subscribe), and on the pages of this site.

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