Americans are selling everything from the hair on their heads to what’s coursing though their veins to make ends meet, as the US economy continues to tank.
Websites offering advice on selling plasma, sperm, or locks of hair have seen huge upticks in traffic, as have the individuals and businesses that will buy the highly personal items which are now being used by desperate Americans for their own personal bail-out.
“I’m having problems paying rent, food, car insurance, bills. Ten, 20 or 40 dollars is a little help I’m glad to accept. I wouldn’t have thought I would go this low… but I’m trapped,” a woman named only as Emily said in a message sent to Phil Maher, founder of the bloodbanker.com website.
Maher has seen traffic to bloodbanker.com increase more than 50 percent in the past three months, he said.
“Single moms have written to me saying they never thought about donating plasma but just got laid off. So they’ve been going to a clinic, giving plasma and getting their 25 dollars a time,” Maher told AFP.
Another site run by 32-year-old Maher, spermbanker.com, has seen a whopping 80-percent rise in traffic.
Giving plasma twice a week could bring in about 240 dollars a month and “help pay the heating bill”, while giving sperm can be much more lucrative, said Maher.
“You can donate every two to three days, twice to three times a week if you’re lucky. So three times a week, 100 dollars per donation, with a year’s commitment. It can get really interesting,” Maher said.
The number of women who have applied to become egg donors has also risen, in spite of the fact that the process is more invasive and uncomfortable than sperm donation.