Three Bizarre Sources to Make Extra Cash


I’m exhausted with writing about traditional sources for down-payments. My solution: I’ll list the three most bizarre, yet actual, sources of cash I could think of.  I’ve actually done two out of the three sources mentioned. Have you tried any of these?

Let’s face it: your real estate investing strategy would be a lot easier to implement if you had some extra cash for a down-payment, renovations, etc. So, below are three ideas to make some substantial cash in a limited amount of time.

(I also recommend reading Ben Leybovich’s AWESOME blog post: 5 Ways to Buy a House with $2,000 or Less )

How to Purchase Real Estate With No (or Low) Money!

One of the biggest struggles that many new investors have is in coming up with the money to purchase their first real estate properties. Well, BiggerPockets can help with that too. The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down can give you the tools you need to get started in real estate, even if you don’t have tons of cash lying around.

Click Here to Download

Make Extra Cash by Selling Novelty Products

Extra CashI’m not going to get too detailed here because I don’t want to get political (I’m politically agnostic), BUT I’ve actually written an Amazon best-selling book… and its blank inside.   I’m not going to reveal how many copies I sold, but I will give you some data for other blank books:

Blank books aren’t the point.  The point is having  a product that is fairly cheap and will make people laugh.  As real estate investors, we sometimes get bogged down in the numbers and long-term strategy.  I can tell you from first-hand experience that selling a novelty item is extremely freeing.  There is no long-term strategy (it’s a gimmick) – it either makes you laugh or it doesn’t.  Additionally, there are huge margins in novelty products so you can make a lot of cash in a short-term time frame.  Christmas is just around the corner, and millions of dollars will be spent on white elephant gifts.  The only question is, will it be spent on your product?

Make Extra Cash by Selling Your Plasma

Make Cash Selling PlasmaOk, so I did this through college and saved every dollar.  At the end of college, I used this money for a down-payment on our first house.  It’s a little demoralizing because most people that sell plasma (that I gave with anyway) were homeless.  However, I choose to just love the adventure life throws at me!  Needless to say – I had some interesting conversations!  It only takes about an hour to give plasma and you make $20-$50 every time you give, but you can only give twice a week.  Sure this isn’t a ton of cash, but it adds up and you basically get paid to watch a movie!

Make Extra Money By Signing Up for a Clinical Trial

How to Make Extra CashI haven’t participated in a clinical trial, but I know people who have. Typically, a clinical trial pays between $1k-2k… and this is actually a $24 billion industry! However, these studies can actually be hard to get into and you usually have to have some pre-existing problem with you already. Finally, there are probably some side-effects.  (YOLO!)

To learn more about clinical trials, check out

Bonus for the Females: Sell your eggs!  You can make $8K-$15K.  Obviously I haven’t done this but I know people who have.  Cash Talks!

In summary, I hope everyone reads this with a grain of salt and it sparks some ideas in your head to get some cash in the door.  Remember, it’s not the idea that counts, it’s the execution!

Have you ever used a bizarre method for a down-payment?  Let me hear about it in the comments!

Photo: Krissy Venosdale, Mike Willis, jypsygen,Brett Arthur Donar

About Author

Jimmy Moncrief is a bank underwriter and real estate investor. He blogs at where he talks about all things real estate. He also is the creater of free evernote templates for BiggerPockets members to learn how to better organize and automate their real estate investing.


  1. Haha! I loved this article.

    Your first idea about the gag gift is great. My main question is, say you actually come up with something really cool and funny, how do you actually get it to the people? I mean how can you know if somebody else is already making them and how would your produce them?

    Make them in your garage or basement???

    I know with the different website creators out there, you can make a site really easily and having buying options on it….I just don’t know how you would actually produce the actual product.

    • Nick! Excellent question!!!!

      For my book, I was really held back at first because I kept trying to go with an actual book publisher and they kept trying to upsell me editorial services. I was like: it’s a blank book!

      Anyway, I ended-up going with a printing company that was awesome to work with – they did cover design, ISBN, everything…

      Then when it blew-up with around the world PR, I couldn’t keep-up with the orders, so I outsourced fullfillment to them.

  2. Are you pulling our collective leg, Jimmy? 🙂
    I thought so but then I went to Amazon’s site and found your blank book there. $9.95 for a thick notebook with a fancy title. So, how many copies have you sold and what were the start up costs?

    • Mike

      Great questions – I haven’t told anyone how many I’ve actually sold – it’s just a gag gift. I actually sold more through my site. Amazon is actually kind of a hassle to deal with from a sellers point of view.

      I literally had 45 made up for a couple of hundred dollars just to give away. People kept buying them even though they weren’t even for sale.

      And the story grew from there…

  3. In college I participated in a clinical study. I was the first person in line to get the injection in my stomach. They ended up giving it to me in the wrong location and wrong way and I had a terrible reaction to it. They decided to excuse me from the program. Believing it was their fault I expected them to pay the full amount they promised. They paid only the prorated amount and this was the first full day of the trial that would go a week. I felt pretty ripped off having the junk in my system and getting squat for it. I can see doing a lot for money, but never would I recommend this.

  4. Focus groups.
    Super easy money if you can get into them.

    Not as lucrative as the clinicals but usually can get $50-150+ for 1-2hrs of just answering some questions. It has some of the drawbacks mentioned for the clinicals where you have to qualify by being in the right demographic which often involves having some particular condition or habit.

    Also not great if you have a normal 9-5. Apparently the people they want to sell ANYTHING to usually have nothing to do from like 1-3PM on a Tuesday…

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