When it comes to summer jobs, there aren't many options: mowing the lawn, painting houses, waitressing and…selling your hair? Surprisingly, yes! If you're looking to make extra money right now, there are plenty of unusual gigs out there. From turning your car into a moving billboard to keeping the scales of justice in balance as a mock juror, you can pocket some change in plenty of out-of-the-ordinary ways. Read on to find out how these odd jobs can really pay off.
You don't have to be a teacher-or even have a classroom--to make money tutoring. At sites like Tutor.com, you can sign up to help students online with a variety of subjects-from English and social studies to math and science. Once you pass your subject test, complete a mock session and take a final exam, you're ready to start working. The hours are flexible, so you can design your virtual tutoring schedule to work around your other commitments. Some of the site's most active tutors rake in anywhere from $800 to $1,600 a month. Photo by Shutterstock.
Sell Your Hair
Has anyone ever complimented you on your beautiful locks? If so, you might have some extra cash on your hands (and your head). Long "virgin" hair-meaning a mane that hasn't been chemically treated-usually garners the most cash to be used for hair extensions and wigs. The record sale at hair brokering website TheHairTrader.com (which is currently under maintenance) was over $2,500. WorldofWigs.com will pay $3 to $5 per ounce of hair-provided it's at least 12 inches long and meets the Industry Standard Qualifications. Photo by Shutterstock.
Be Your Own Billboard
Sitting in traffic is a pain, but making money while you idle on the freeway might make it worth your time. If you're willing to plaster your car with advertisements, you could pull in some serious cash. FreeCarMedia.com pairs drivers with advertisers looking to promote their companies. Just register online and as soon as an advertiser is available, they'll wrap up your car with signage and you'll be ready to hit the road-and make as much as $900 a month while you're on the move. Photo courtesy of Chris Keating via flickr.
Participate in a Focus Group
A penny for your thoughts? Try between $25 and $200. Participate in a focus group and you could get paid just for giving your opinion. Companies that want to get feedback from consumers about products or services hold sessions where people are paid to answer questions about their products. FindFocusGroups.com, a site that lists focus groups across the country, includes a range of available sessions, which usually last anywhere from one to two hours. Photo by Shutterstock.
Be a Mystery Shopper
Did you know that instead of spending money while you shop, you can actually get paid to hit the mall? Mystery shoppers, or secret shoppers, are hired by companies like ShoppersCritique.com and SecretShopper.com to pose as customers and go to stores to report back on the quality of service provided-from handling simple transactions to dealing with complaints. According to SecretShopperCompany.com, each assignment can pay between $20 and $30, and if you secret-shop at a restaurant, your whole meal will be free. Photo by Shutterstock.
Answer Questions Online
All that random Jeopardy!-style knowledge you have stored in your brain might be useful somewhere other than your local trivia night. ChaCha.com, a site that answers questions about everything from the weather to sports facts, hires guides to answer incoming queries. Guides can log on and start answering questions whenever they're free, and will earn up to 20¢ for every question they answer. Sure, the job won't help you save up for a car any time soon, but it's an easy way for know-it-alls to pocket a few bucks. Photo by Shutterstock.
Participate in a Mock Trial
Compared to the dreaded jury duty, participating in a mock trial online is much less time-consuming and much more lucrative. Lawyers who want to test out their case present it to a group of online jurors, who will review it and send back their impressions. According to OnlineVerdict.com, a site that hires people to participate in mock trials, each case review can take between 20 and 60 minutes, and payment ranges from $20 to $60 per case. Photo by iStockphoto.
Be a Human Guinea Pig
Donate your body to science (temporarily, that is) and earn some extra dough by taking part in a clinical trial. It's not as scary as it sounds: Research studies cover a wide range of topics, including sleep deprivation, exercise and caffeine. According to GPGP.net, an online directory of clinical trials and research studies, participants can earn $100 to $300 a day. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.
Write Software Reviews
Crazy for computer programs? Gaga over video games? If you put your expertise and opinions into writing, SoftwareJudge.com will pay you for your reviews. If your write-up is really great, you can earn up to $50, but each review they publish will grant you at least $1. Plus, some of the best contributors can also score free games. Photo by Shutterstock.
Be an Independent Merchandiser
If you have an eye for detail, you could make a great independent merchandiser. Stores hire these freelance employees to stock shelves and display the company's products in an appealing way that will attract customers. Most companies pay between $8 and $15 an hour and as much as $20 an hour for reset specialists, who break down old displays and set up new ones to accommodate changing merchandise. Photo by Shutterstock.
Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.
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