For some Americans in these uncertain economic times, resorting to selling hair or other body parts to make ends meet is allegedly a new reality. You may not know it, but the hair on your head can fetch four-figure prices if it meets very specific length and quality requirements. What do you think yours is worth?
Bloomberg's Victoria Stillwell spoke with people desperate enough their body parts, whether their hair, breast milk, eggs, or even an internal organ, to get by now that the economy's bad and possibly getting worse. Hair, it turns out, is surprisingly lucrative. Two women made huge pay days, at a time when they desperately needed the money, after selling their hair online:
With naturally red hair, the 25 year-old posted an online ad on Oct. 1 looking to sell up to 18 inches of her locks for $1,500. Since then, she’s received more than 100 responses.
If you've been blessed with strawberry blonde hair, you're in luck. Because your parents birthed you with valuable goods sprouting from your head at all times. On a hair marketplace like buyandsellhair.com, after a quick review of the sales available this morning it's clear that long, virgin hair (no chemical alterations, ever) fetches the highest prices.
The value of other body parts or fluids ranges from very high to relatively low, depending on scarcity and possible uses. Of course, the sale of a kidney is illegal in the U.S., feeding urban legend horror stories of black market organ theft. But that's not to say marketplaces where one could possibly sell a kidney don't exist. (Remember, one did exist and then the FBI shut it down.) Previous research showed a kidney could go for as much as $262,000, if you could find a way to properly extract and preserve it without killing yourself. (That's quite the mess, though.)
The sale of eggs or sperm, has long been a lucrative way for people in a bind to make a quick buck. Women can earn between $7,000 and $8,000 for full egg donation cycles at some facilities. Even breast milk can be sold for $5 an ounce, one mother told Stillwell. Just don't ask what the people who plan to do with it.