Fast-cash options abound

by Juliette Crane

From selling compact discs to donating sperm, there is always a way to make fast cash.
The University campus has a variety of places students can go for a quick buck.
The adventurous male can always sell his sperm. Not too far off campus in Roseville is the world’s oldest commercial sperm bank. The bank will pay up to $320 a month after the evaluation process.
Director Russ Bierbaum said the clinic is always looking for donors, but only the most qualified are accepted. But once accepted, all it takes is a simple blood test once a month, and then donations pay $40 per visit.
For desperate students who can handle the sterile environment, plasma donation is an option. Centeon Bio-Services Inc. officials said about 25 percent of clients are students.
After a few medical forms and a brief physical, brave students will be $30 richer three hours later. Plasma is 90 percent water, so it’s safe to donate up to twice a week.
There are some downsides to easy money, though. For some students, lightheadedness is a factor after donating plasma. Maggie Stockhaus, a University art history major, said she would “only donate plasma if there was absolutely no other way to get money.” Instead, Stockhaus has a bag of old clothes at home she has been meaning to sell.
Dinkytown’s Everyday People buys “current, casual fashions” for at least 40 percent of the original purchase price or 60 percent for store credit. Vintage items are worth the most, so for even more money, students can raid grandmothers’ old hats and faux fur jackets.
Those who can’t part with that hot pink kimono from last Halloween can sell old compact discs.
Depending on its release date and popularity, a Hootie and the Blowfish compact disc can go for 25 cents, or a new George Clinton album for $5 at Cheapo or CD Warehouse, and $3 to $5 at Last Stop CD Shop.
Still not enough? Students can make fast cash selling books, too — not textbooks, of course. Local bookstores are always looking for used books.
Roger Williamson, owner of Magus Books, said used books on the metaphysical, especially material on Wicca and witchcraft, are in high demand.
Cummings Books in Dinkytown also gives cash for most books. Even if a book’s value is indiscernible, students might be surprised at what the store will buy, said owner Jim Cummings.
Local musician Dan Turpening said he “makes enough money to live on” by playing his accordion in Dinkytown. Sometimes he stands on the corner of Fourth Street and 14th Avenue Southeast for 12 hours a day.
Although many students sell belongings when extra money is needed, University art student Rita Panton said she is not about to start selling stuff, even though she has only $6 until next week.
When the “amount of money that they will actually give you hardly makes up for the cost of the bus ride to the CD store,” it just isn’t worth it, she said.
Juliette Crane welcomes comments at (612) 627-4070 x3238.