Content of the material
- 1. Taking Online Surveys
- 8. Become a hacker
- 5. Play the lines like an illegal sports gambler
- 94. Sell Plasma
- 95. Sell Hair
- 96. Sell Sperm or Eggs
- 97. Sell Your Poop
- 98. Be a Standardized Patient
- Sell Your Old Stuff
- 85. Poshmark
- 86. Yard Sales
- 87. Plato’s Closet
- 88. Sell Your Textbooks
- Why Would Someone Want to Make Money Illegally?
- Final Thoughts on How to Make Money as a Teenager
1. Taking Online Surveys
This isn’t an opportunity that I’m terribly enthusiastic about, because most sites pay rewards, rather than cash.
But if being paid in rewards, including gift cards, is okay for you, then you can try sites like:
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8. Become a hacker
Continuing with the theme of cyber-crime, if spamming is too low-brow for you, consider keeping things high class and becoming a hacker instead.
In fact, many hackers actually make a ton of money, legally.
Apple famously offered a $1 million reward to any hacker who could hack the iPhone. And they’re not alone.
Companies all over the world flock to websites like HackerOne, a global conduit where companies like Google, GM, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and even the U.S. Department of Defense offer bounties to honest hackers who can exploit vulnerabilities in exchange for lucrative lump-sum payments, before the bad guys find them.
From those companies’ perspectives, it makes a lot more sense to tap into the world’s most talented freelance hackers than it does to try to salary an in-house security expert, who still might not find everything.
From the hackers’ perspective, making a ton of money legally sure beats risking jail time.
But for those hackers unphased by some time in the clinker, things can get even more wild.
One of the most notorious is the Carbanak Hackers. This group of Eastern European hackers used phishing emails to exploit bank vulnerabilities to the tune of an estimated $1 billion dollars.
Some of their favorite techniques sound like something straight out of a movie:
- Hackers altered bank databases to pump up individual bank accounts, then siphon off the excess cash unbeknownst to the user.
- They infected point of sale systems to lift credit card information from customers, then either go on unauthorized shopping sprees or sell the card details on the black market.
- They infected ATM machines with scripts that dispensed all their cash at specific times of day. At the same time, money mules would be waiting nearby, ready to collect the slot machine style shower of dollar bills.
Speaking of the last one. Apparently, there’s an app called Winpot.exe which you can buy on the deep web for around 1 bitcoin (roughly $7,000) that you can install on a USB key, plug into any ATM, and have that ATM immediately dispense all its cash. 🤷
5. Play the lines like an illegal sports gambler
While most gambling has a reputation for degenerate losers, sports betting holds an interesting subset of big time “whales” who’ve had so much success in the industry, they’re known to move the odds of a game by themselves.
Some famous gamblers, like Billy Walters, made a name for themselves by being one of the first gamblers to use computer analysis to help his sports predictions. The result was a 30-year winning streak that earned Billy millions of dollars, and eventually got him banned from Las Vegas casinos.
Other sports gamblers take a less glamorous approach.
One of the most common strategies is to utilize arbitrage. That is, gamblers will look for less popular games or events and try to find discrepancies in the odds at various casinos.
A minor league baseball game? Perfect. A horse race nobody’s ever heard of before? Even better.
By laying strategically hedged bets at different casinos, a clever gambler can virtually guarantee a profit in certain instances.
Easier said than done, for sure.
Interesting, this only becomes an illegal side hustle if you’re placing your bets in a state where sports gambling is outlawed.
A more accurate title for this section would be “selling your body,” since not all of these cases are strictly related to medicine. But that seemed like it would give the wrong idea.
Here are some ways to make money selling parts or byproducts of something everybody has (unless you’re a ghost reading this, in which case I apologize).
94. Sell Plasma
This is the classic college kid gig, but it’s perfectly legitimate. You go to a local center (research it online first to make sure it’s not sketchy) and spend anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours as your blood is drawn from your body.
The blood is filtered to remove red blood cells and other cellular components. The company keeps the plasma, and they return what they’ve filtered out to your body along with a sterile saline solution.
You won’t get rich doing it, but as long as you’re in good health, you’re probably eligible.
95. Sell Hair
If selling your blood plasma seems too painful and creepy, then you can sell your hair (okay, it’s still a bit creepy, but no needles involved). Companies that make wigs out of human hair will pay for your locks, though the requirements are often pretty strict (no dyed hair and certain hair colors are preferred).
Don’t have any experience with this, but HairSellOn looks like a good place to start.
96. Sell Sperm or Eggs
Yes, you really can make money doing this. Sperm and eggs are needed for research purposes, as well as for fertility clinics. Selling either will be uncomfortable or even painful, but you can make serious money in certain cases (especially for egg donations). Note that requirements tend to be pretty strict (you can’t be infertile, for example). Learn more about sperm donation here and egg donation here.
(Note that we don’t have any experience or affiliation with these companies. Always do your own diligent research before selling parts of your body).
97. Sell Your Poop
Yep, we went there. I know it sounds hard to believe, but some people will pay for your poop. The uses include research on the human microbiome and treatment of C. diff infections, which can be cured using a stool transplant in extreme cases. To learn more, visit .
98. Be a Standardized Patient
If your university has a medical school, you could have the chance to make money portraying medical conditions for med students to practice identifying. Essentially, you’re a human practice patient. Don’t worry, no one is going to be performing surgery on you.
Generally, you just have to sit in a room and describe symptoms you have while a succession of medical students interviews you. It’s not the most exciting job (and can be a little awkward depending on the nature of the condition you’re portraying). But it pays. Visit your university’s medical school website (or the website of a local med school) to learn more.
Sell Your Old Stuff
You probably have all kinds of crap just lying around that you don’t even use. Why not clear out some space in your room or apartment while also making some extra cash? Below are a few of our favorite ways to make money selling stuff you don’t need or use.
Have fashionable clothing that you don’t wear? Sell it on Poshmark. Poshmark is an app that connects buyers looking for great deals on quality clothing with people who want to sell it. While the app markets itself toward women, you can also use the app to buy and sell men’s clothing.
86. Yard Sales
Yard sales are a time-honored way of selling the stuff you don’t need, all while meeting some interesting characters (if your yard sales are anything like the ones I’ve been part of).
If you live in a dorm or apartment and don’t have a yard, you can sign up to be part of a larger yard sale at a community center or church (or just ask a homeowner you know if they’d be willing to let you use their yard in exchange for selling some of their stuff).
87. Plato’s Closet
This is another option for selling clothes that you don’t want. Unlike Poshmark, Plato’s Closet has physical stores where you sell your clothes on consignment. The clothing you can sell is “gently used clothing for teens and twenty-something boys and girls.” Visit the company’s website to find a local store.
88. Sell Your Textbooks
As a College Info Geek reader, we know you didn’t pay much for your books because you followed our guide to finding cheap textbooks. Still, you might as well make some money selling these books back to the campus bookstore or even to Amazon.
As much as you might think you’ll crack open that calculus textbook 20 years from now, it’s unlikely (you can just look it up on the internet, anyway).
Why Would Someone Want to Make Money Illegally?
After reading this list, you’re probably wondering why anyone would want to make money illegally given the risk of jail time.
Well, for some people, it’s all they know. Their friends are criminals, their family members engage in criminal activities, and their communities are riddled with crime.
With others, it’s a crime of desperation. Their situation has gotten so out of control, that they believe their only option is to commit a crime to make ends meet.
Even other people do it for the thrill. Breaking the law and making money illegally is a dopamine rush that they’re addicted to. Just like sky-diving adrenaline junkies, for them, the risk is worth the reward.
Whatever the reason is, it’s not morally justifiable to break the law to make ends meet. There are plenty of ways to get by or make money legally.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Money as a Teenager
So, there you have it – 50 ways to make money as a teenager. Even better, you don’t have to pick just one way. You can choose two or three, or even more.
You can even choose to do one for a while, then move on to the next. There’s always another way to make money and you never have to get bored.