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From feet pics to cuddles: 5 of the weirdest ways to make money

Internet personalist Belle Delphine holder a container of her bath water and feet in a bath to represent the weird ways people make money.
People are willing to pay good money for all kinds of unusual things, including Belle Delphine's bath water and photos of feet. (Source: Getty) (Belle Delphine/Getty)

While most of us work regular jobs, there's a whole world of strange ways to make extra cash. These unconventional money-making endeavours might just leave you reconsidering your 9-5.

Feet pics

There's a bustling online market for photos of feet, and some people are reportedly making upwards of $70,000 a year selling pics of their own tootsies. Sites like feetfinder.com, feetpics.com and Instafeet are dedicated to the trade, or you can grow an audience on traditional social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

It's totally legal, as long as you're using your own photos and paying the necessary taxes on your earnings, with photos fetching anywhere between $5 and $100 each, sometimes even more.

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So, who's buying pictures of feet? It's not just the fetish community. Some businesses with links to feet (think health care, beauty or footwear brands) sometimes buy pictures of feet for marketing purposes. Time to book in a pedicure.

Bottled bathwater, nail clippings

Social media star Belle Delphine made headlines way back in 2019 for selling her used bathwater. Announcing the sale to her millions of Instagram followers, Delphine joked, "This is what humanity has come to", then went on to sell 500 jars of the soapy liquid in a single day at $30 each.

The gaming celebrity isn't the only influencer to cash in on unusual personal items. Social media personality Rebekka Blue makes a lucrative living selling used bandages, earwax, vials of saliva and toenail clippings to her fans, reportedly earning $10,000 a month in sales.

"There's nothing as fun as selling weird things on the internet," Blue posted on Instagram. "People judge others if it's not what they're into but being a hustler is in my blood."

Friend for hire

In a strict friends-with-no-benefits arrangement, some people make money renting themselves out as a social partner. In a growing global market for rent-a-friend services, the website rentafriend.com classifies itself as a platform allowing people to hire friends from all over the world.

"You can rent a local friend to hang out with, go to a movie or restaurant with, or someone to go with you to a party or event," reads the site. Renting yourself out as a friend on rentafriend.com will earn you somewhere in the range of $10 to $60 an hour, and whoever hires you must also cover the expenses of your outing.

Waiting in line

In an era when so many people are time-poor, the practice of charging a fee to wait in line for someone else makes a lot of sense. Whether it's queuing for the latest Air Jordan sneakers or waiting days for the latest Apple release, you can become a professional line sitter and promote your services on such sites as AirTasker or TaskRabbit.

One TaskRabbit worker was recently paid US$1,500 for waiting 100 hours for the latest iPhone, while other patient people have waited in line for clients to get into trendy restaurants and bars. Good things really do come to those who wait.

Professional cuddler

Are you a hugger? You could be paid for it. Aussie business Cuddle Therapy hires and trains people to provide platonic touch to people seeking human interaction and connection. Founder of the business Beth Heap said: "With the social isolation people have experienced in 2020 and 2021, more people are enquiring to receive touch therapy, and we need more compassionate therapists to meet this need."

Kevin, a cuddle therapist from Adelaide, said: "Whether it's the simple act of holding hands, being held tightly in someone's embrace, or the feeling of their warm skin against yours, touch offers a closeness and bond that no other therapy can."

You too can take your hugging skills to the next level with an accredited diploma in cuddle therapy.

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