Best Weird Side Hustles for [2024]

MAKE MONEY - SIDE HUSTLES
Weird ways to make real money.
Updated April 10, 2023
Fact checked
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You might be surprised at the interesting ways you can make money. Weird side hustles, like standing in line or acting as a gift consultant, allow you the chance to bring in extra cash each month. Chances are, if there’s an unusual or tedious task out there, someone doesn’t want to do it — and will pay you to do it on their behalf.

Let’s take a look at some of the weird side hustles that can bring in the money.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • About 44% of Americans had side hustles in 2022.
  • There are many tasks that others don’t want to do, and you can make money by doing them.
  • Use money from side hustles to pay down debt, save for a long-term goal, or make a major purchase.
  • Compare different side hustles to determine which you’re likely to complete effectively.

Weird side hustles

As you consider how to make money, here are a few weird side hustle ideas that could provide you with the cash you’re looking for.

Standing in line

Pros Cons
  • You can do other money-making tasks such as answering surveys while standing in line
  • No special training required
  • You can make extra money during high-demand times like Black Friday
  • You might spend a long time in line
  • There’s no recurring revenue — you have to be present
  • If you don’t have all of what you need ahead of time, it could be a waste

Did you know you can get paid to stand in line? This is one of those weird side hustles that exists because you’re doing something tedious that others don’t want to do.

In some cases, you might be standing in line to purchase a product or get tickets on behalf of someone else who might not have the time or inclination to wait for hours in line. You might also be tasked with standing in line until someone else arrives, or you might be sent to pick up a package or mail something. Just make sure that if you’re picking something up, you have whatever documentation, paperwork, or information is needed.

Some of the places you can find these types of jobs include Same Ole Line Dudes, TaskRabbit, and Run Us Raggedy. You can also answer personal ads on Craigslist, but it’s important to be careful of scams.

Corporate gift consultant

Pros Cons
  • Work on your own schedule
  • Network with companies and executives
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and unique items
  • It can be difficult to find these jobs or start your own business
  • You need to remain current on trends and that can take extra time
  • No recurring revenue as a consultant

Many companies like to provide memorable gifts to high-end clients and employees. However, the gift often needs to be interesting and somewhat trendy. As a corporate gift consultant, you can research options and provide recommendations. You might even coordinate the process of getting the items ordered.

You can apply for these positions through companies like Magpie & Co or Bestowe Gifting. There are also similar jobs listed on sites like Indeed.

You can also start your own business and offer these services to local companies in your area. Using sites like Uncommon Goods and Lula’s Garden can help you source interesting gift ideas.

Testing games

Pros Cons
  • Fun side hustle for gamers
  • Could lead to other work in the gaming industry
  • Some sites allow you to work from home
  • Many of the best-paying jobs require you to go into an office
  • You might need technical skills, such as being able to identify bugs
  • You won’t receive recurring revenue, since game testing is an active side hustle

Knowledgeable gamers could put their hours of gaming to use by testing video games. This type of user testing can help game publishers figure out when something isn’t working and test gameplay before they go public.

To become a game tester, though, you need to have some skills and knowledge surrounding gaming. It’s not always enough just to be an avid gamer. You might need to have some technical knowledge of identifying and fixing bugs, as well as an idea of how storytelling might work in a gaming setting. Game testers need to know how to submit bug reports, as well as be good communicators so they can let the publisher or designer know what works and what doesn’t.

There are some websites, like uTest, that allow you to test games and apps from home. However, many of the best-paying game-testing side hustles are those that require you to go in person. You might be able to find work as a game tester by visiting the websites of game publishers and developers or looking on websites like ZipRecruiter or Indeed.

Being an extra for TV or movies

Pros Cons
  • You can develop a good reputation by being on time and following directions
  • You get to appear in movies and TV shows
  • Often, you get free meals while on set
  • Days can be very long and you often have to start early
  • You have to meet certain qualifications to be eligible for union membership
  • It can be difficult to be chosen as an extra in some cases

As an extra, you could potentially be paid to be in TV shows or movies. Usually, extras appear in the background for scenes and don’t have speaking roles. However, it’s important to note that there are some demanding aspects of this weird side hustle. You need to be on time and you might spend all day just to appear in one scene — or not be in a scene at all.

If you want to be an extra and work regularly, consider getting professional headshots. You might also sign up with a casting agency that can help you get more placements. You might have to pay some small fees to get started, but watch out for shady companies that charge exorbitant fees.

Otherwise, you can look for ads for extras put out by production companies. Additionally, your state’s tourism office may have information about movies being filmed in your area.

Search engine evaluator

Pros Cons
  • Usually remote
  • Project-based, so you can work on your own time
  • No specialized knowledge or degree required
  • Work can be sporadic
  • There might be restrictions on whether you can work with competing companies
  • You’re often paid hourly, and there’s no opportunity for recurring revenue

The internet runs on search engine results. And one weird side hustle you can do is evaluate the top results and how useful they are. In general, you need to have access to a reliable internet connection and a laptop or desktop computer. For some projects, a smartphone might be necessary.

As a search engine evaluator, you’ll look at the results and provide detailed feedback and documentation about what you’ve found and whether the results are relevant and useful. You need to be able to understand and follow the evaluation guidelines and make a report. Companies like TELUS International and Appen hire search engine evaluators. You might also find jobs like this on a website like FlexJobs.

Mystery shopping

Pros Cons
  • Free products, services, and food in addition to pay
  • Work on your own schedule, as long as you meet the deadline
  • No specialized training required
  • You usually have to go in person
  • Generally, you need to live in an area where there would be demand for someone to evaluate stores and restaurants
  • No recurring revenue

Want to get paid for shopping? Becoming a mystery shopper is one way to go about it. Companies hire mystery shoppers to go to a business and make a regular purchase. It might be for a specific product or service, or it might be more general. In some cases, mystery shoppers are paid to go to restaurants. While you’re there, you’ll evaluate how clean the store is, how helpful the staff is, and other items requested.

Once you finish the shopping assignment, you’ll be required to fill out information and report on your experience. In general, you’ll be reimbursed for the money you spend, plus receive additional pay for completing the work. Some of the companies that hire mystery shoppers include IntelliShop, Sinclair Customer Metrics, Mystery Shopping Service, and Market Force Information.

Selling photos

Pros Cons
  • Easy to start if you have the equipment
  • Multiple ways to make money with photos
  • Plenty of websites that will handle most of the transactions and administrative work
  • You need to market aggressively so others can find your photo products
  • Using a third-party site reduces your revenue since it will take a cut
  • Offering services or selling prints can be time-consuming and doesn’t offer recurring revenue as easily

If you take good pictures, you could sell the images online. There are different routes you can take when selling photos:

  1. Receive royalties: You can list your photos on stock image websites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, or iStock. When others use your images for content, you receive a portion of the royalties, which could become a good source of passive income. You can also license your own photos and handle all of this yourself, but selling the images on these websites streamlines the process and makes it easier for you to manage since they handle the administration.
  2. Turn photos into other products: Another option is to take your photos and sell them on other products. You can have your photos printed on t-shirts, mugs, calendars, and other products with the help of websites like CafePress and Redbubble.
  3. Sell prints of your photos: You can also sell prints. There are websites like Mixtiles and Canvaspop that can help you create art prints of your photos. You can then sell these to interested customers through an ecommerce website or your own website.
  4. Offer photography services: Finally, you can sell photos by offering your services. Websites like Thumbtack and Upwork can help you list your photography services to locals who might want wedding photos, senior pictures, and photos of other events.

Getting started requires that you have the ability to take high-resolution photos and that you take pictures of interesting subjects that others might be interested in.

Other side hustles to consider

Some more traditional side hustles might be more your speed than some of the weird side hustles. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be interesting. Here are some other side gigs that might help you earn extra cash:

  • Dog-walking or pet-sitting: If you like animals, you get the chance to play with your furry friends regularly. Get some exercise as a dog walker, or watch others’ pets in your home or theirs. This can be a good way to enjoy animals while making money.
  • Transcription: If you’re detail-oriented and a fast typer, this could be a good way to make money online. You can listen to interesting videos and interviews while you transcribe them.
  • Selling stuff you make on Etsy: Crafty people can sell what they make on Etsy or other similar sites. This includes woodworking, jewelry, crochet, and stationery. You can even sell helpful printables and patterns on these websites.
  • Starting a podcast, YouTube channel, or blog: By making content, you might be able to make money through ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsorships. As long as the content is interesting and in demand, you have a chance to make money. Being a blogger, podcaster, or YouTube personality can be demanding, however, as you need to continuously make new content.
  • Taking surveys on SurveyJunkie or Swagbucks: You can get paid to take surveys. Pay varies, but you can take surveys in your spare time, while waiting for appointments — or even while doing other side hustles like standing in line.
  • Proofreading: If you enjoy reading and are detail-oriented you could proofread, which is looking for errors and inconsistencies in various types of content. You must be able to communicate well and have a good grasp of spelling and grammar. You can find this type of work on Fiverr, Upwork, and Indeed, as well as other sites.
  • Reselling stuff: Look for good finds at thrift stores, garage sales, and case-lot sales, and then resell. You can use sites like Amazon, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and local classifieds to make your sales.
  • Odd jobs on TaskRabbit: Sign up to become a Tasker, and you might be able to complete any number of odd jobs. This can include shopping, cleaning, furniture assembly, standing in line, and more.
  • Teaching English: If you have a good grasp of English and can help others, you might be able to tutor. You can do this in person, or sign up to do it over the internet with a company like VIPKid.
  • Housesitting: People will pay you to live in their home and keep it in good shape. Maybe you water the plants or take the car out at least once a week. You usually need to keep it clean, bring in the mail and packages, and perform other tasks that make it clear someone is occupying the house. It can be a way to live in other locations for weeks at a time without worrying about paying for lodgings, as well as a way to bring in part-time income.
  • Renting a room out on Airbnb: Have some extra space in your home? Like meeting new people? You could rent out a room on Airbnb. If you live in a place a lot of people want to visit, it could potentially become a way to make good money.

How to choose the best side hustle

Choosing the best side hustle for you depends on your own interests and needs. Carefully consider your talents and abilities, as well as the time commitment involved and the amount of money you’d like to make.

The best side hustles for many people are those that:

  • Offer flexibility in hours and times you work
  • Require little to no special training or education
  • Can be done remotely or at your own home
  • Provide you with the ability to do something you might not otherwise be able to do
  • Helps you reduce some of your costs (such as mystery shopping or housesitting)

You could also look for a side hustle that could lead to building a small business or being a full-time job. For example, you might freelance as a graphic designer or writer and eventually do that full-time. Or you might start reselling items and turn that into a full-time business.

When looking for a side hustle, make sure you’re careful about scams. Watch out for listings that ask for a big fee upfront or sound too good to be true. Think about what matters most to you before moving forward.

FAQs about weird side hustles

What side hustles are in demand?

Some of the biggest side hustles are those attached to well-known gig economy apps for food delivery services and rideshare services, including Lyft, Instacart, Rover, Uber, and DoorDash. These are side hustles that can be signed up for relatively easily and usually have some level of consistent demand since many people use them to save time.

What are some side hustles that can be done at home?

Many side hustles related to freelancing, consulting, and online content can be done at home, as well as being a virtual assistant or doing social media management. Some software and coding side hustles can also be done at home. Call center jobs might be remote as well. You might be able to complete tutoring, child care, and pet-sitting side hustles in your own home.

How much money can I make from a side hustle?

How much money you make depends on the side hustle and whether you are able to grow a customer base. You can make as little as a few cents at a time for survey side hustles or make more than $20 an hour for some weird side hustles like standing in line. When you grow a customer base or create recurring revenue through digital products, you might be able to make thousands of dollars per month and turn it into a real online business.

Weird side hustles: bottom line

Almost nothing is too weird to have someone pay you for it. As long as you have the needed skill, you might be able to provide a service to someone else, whether it’s standing in line, providing photos, or shopping. You can combine some of your unique side hustles with other activities to earn or save even more money.

Look for something that you can do without too much lead time to get started. You can also check out some of the best side hustles for ideas to make extra cash and easy ways to start earning money online.

Methodology

The companies we chose for our weird side hustle list are ones we found to be unique or unusual. We did not review all available side hustles. When evaluating these options, we considered factors such as earning potential, time commitment, and who might benefit most from a particular side hustle.

Author Details

Miranda Marquit Miranda Marquit has covered personal finance for more than a decade and is a nationally-recognized financial expert and journalist, appearing on CNBC, NPR, Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, FOX Business, and numerous other outlets.