You might think that this economy is the last time you’d want to get into investing. But there’s plenty of money to be made in more, er, unusual, markets — all it takes is a little sweat and creativity. Read on for a few of our quirky favorites, and the risks and rewards of getting into each one:
1. Sneakers: Not meant for court wear — let alone street wear — Nike’s iconic Air Jordan sneakers have some collectors spending upwards of $2,000 per pair.
Risks: You need to know your stuff, and be able to spot knock-offs. Not any old shoe will do — always check with a certified dealer to make sure your kicks are the real deal.
Rewards: The thrill of the hunt. Rare and vintage sneakers can be found lying around old neighborhood shoe stores, flea markets, even your uncle’s closet. If you spot a good pair, you could be looking at a 4-digit return on your sleuthing. Plus, you get to join the fun, off-beat community of s0-called “sneakerheads” who’s life’s work is all things sneakers.
2. Rare flowers: With a single stem going for upwards of $10,000, rare flower gardeners have been known to employ security teams to keep out thieves.
Risks: Besides the thieves we mentioned above, this one has a high knowledge barrier to entry. You need to know which stems are rare…and which are just overpriced. If you score a bulb, it also takes a green thumb and the right weather and soil conditions to make these beauties grow — and to make a profit. Shadow a local horticulturalist to learn the ropes, and practice your gardening skills on less expensive flowers.
Rewards: You can make big money by selling your stems, or win prizes and cash at local flower shows. And we all know the health and happiness benefits of all of that time spent outside in the garden!
3. Tattoos: As advertising space and airtime become more expensive, some companies are turning to a whole new billboard to tout their stuff…YOU!
Risks: You have to be willing to wear the tattoo, typically at a busy event (think conferences and sporting events) and for up to 48 hours. This money-maker isn’t for for the image-conscious: the tattoo needs to be somewhere visible, like your arm, your belly, even your forehead.
Rewards: It’s an easy and painless way to make $100, $200, even $2,000, and if you’re a sucker for attention, it’s a fun way to get it by showing off that new (fake) tat’!