4 Super Unconventional Ways to Make Money

With the Covid-19 pandemic raging, many individuals are out of work. Others face underemployment. You might be desperate for money right now, or perhaps you’re just looking a few interesting side hustles.

Luckily, there are tons of things that you can do if you need some cash. Let’s look at some of the most unusual ones right now.

You Can Participate in a Police Lineup

If you’ve seen “The Usual Suspects,” you probably remember that infamous police lineup scene. Maybe you’ve wondered if it would be fun to be part of such a lineup yourself.

You can sometimes make yourself available to be in police lineups if you’re not working a full-time job.

You can usually do it if:

  • You don’t have purple hair, facial tattoos, or anything else that might disqualify you
  • You don’t mind sitting around the police station to see if they can use you that day  

Studies have shown that eyewitness testimony is often unreliable, and so are police lineup results. In fact, maybe the witness might identify you as the perpetrator if you look menacing enough.

Don’t worry: if that happens, the cops won’t prosecute you. Most police departments pay about $10-$20 to each lineup participant.  

You Can Rent Out Your Vehicle

There are lots of people who are making money driving for Uber and Lyft these days, but there are other ways for your vehicle to make a profit for you.

For instance, if you have a van or truck, then you can help people move. You can advertise this service through social media or create a website for yourself by using Squarespac or Wix.

You might dress it up with a theme and some graphics, and you’re all set (if you need help building a website, you can also check out our list of recommended web designers to hire!). Keep in mind that with this business model, though, some people won’t feel comfortable enough to hire you. After all, you’re uninsured, and you don’t answer to anyone.

If you can garner some good reviews for your services or at least some positive word of mouth, that should get you started if this is something you’re interested in doing.

You Can Collect Scrap Metal

If you have a large vehicle, then you can also put it to use collecting scrap metal to sell. If you want to do this, the first thing you’ll need to do is learn the trash collection days for different neighborhoods. Then, you’ll have to wake up early to roam the streets before the garbage trucks come.

You’re looking for scrap metal, such as old refrigerators, rebar from construction projects, old bulkhead doors, etc. When you find them, you can hop out and load them onto the back of your truck or place them inside your van.

When you have a load, you’ll drive it to the nearest scrap yard, where they’ll buy it from you according to weight. How much you get depends on supply and demand factors, but often, you can expect about $10 for every 100 pounds you collect.

Make sure that you don’t mind your vehicle getting scratched up if you do this. You also need to be quite strong to lug all that metal into and out of your truck or van.

You Can Collect Cans and Bottles

Another viable way to make some quick cash is by collecting cans and bottles and selling them back to collection centers. This is similar to scrap metal collection, but you don’t need the bulging muscles.

The business model is similar. You learn different neighborhood recycling days, and then you drive around on those mornings, looking for empty bottles and cans. This only works in the states that have recycling programs.

In most states, you can get five cents per can or bottle, but in a couple, ten cents each is possible. You don’t need to be strong to collect them, but there is another aspect to it that some people don’t like.

You’re essentially picking through garbage, and those cans can be quite sticky. Like everything else on this list, this isn’t exactly a strategy that’s going to make you rich, but you can make an extra $20-30 for a good haul.

On the plus side, you’re helping to save the environment, since recycling aluminum and glass is a planet-friendly thing to do.

These aren’t jobs or side hustles that will allow you to retire comfortably, but if you’re in a tight spot, they can get you some grocery money. In these tough times, there are plenty of people who are looking for that very thing.

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