It's time to quit your day job, because your organs are worth a pretty penny on the black market

It's time to quit your day job, because your organs are worth a pretty penny on the black market

CultureMay 03, 2014

What to expect when you’re expecting … to sell your body.

By Michael Cole

1. Kidneys

The cliché about waking up in a bathtub full of ice missing a kidney shouldn’t happen, mostly because only a fool would give up such a moneymaker for free. You have two, and really only need one, so why not put that unused kidney to work for you? In 2003, a South African black-market kidney trade operation was busted when it took poor Brazilians to South Africa, separated from one of their kidneys, and sent them home $10,000 richer. The kidneys were sold on the market for $100,000 or more. A 2009 case in New Jersey uncovered a racket in which patients paid $120,000 for kidneys from Israel, which proves kidneys aren’t immune from inflation either. Then again, tens of thousands of patients are waiting for donations across the country and dozens of people die waiting every day, so you could donate it to someone in need— or be a dick and ask for say, $15,000.

2. Gallbladder

What’s a gallbladder do? Makes a profit, that’s what it does. There are some instances in which it’s needed for something, somewhere, so its relative uselessness means it’s not a big moneymaker. It’ll cover rent if you’re strapped, but consider the risk: You’re having illegal surgery to participate in an illegal tissue trade for rent money. Ask for $1,200 for that gallbladder, or you know, ask your folks for some help. Your pick.

3. A pint of blood

You have lots of those. You make more all of the time too. Part ways with a pint, and kill two birds with one stone, my friend: You’ve made maybe $20 and now you’re a cheap drunk because your body is running on less blood. It’s not lucrative by any means. Most places will just give you a handshake or a cookie for your blood every eight weeks. You could score $20 or so, maybe more if you give plasma. Hook up with a back-alley supplier and you could score nicely; illicit blood transfusions allegedly cost $500 or more. You could also score a seriously bad disease from dirty needles. We can’t imagine a situation in which that’s a good idea.

4. Skin

Put the lotion on your skin. Medical transcription shows your skin is worth $10 per square inch, which isn’t creepy at all. Sure, there are places where your skin isn’t strictly necessary right now. Your back has acreage you probably don’t see every day. Think about the backs of your legs and maybe some of your arms, too. Peel some of that off, and sell it for beer money to open up possibilities for the weekend … and to open yourself up to the firehose of airborne infections possible with exposed flesh. Maybe you’ve noticed a pattern here.

5. Eyes

Now we’re talking, strictly for live men here; not for freshmen. There’s questionable logic in giving your eyes to someone else, especially because your peepers’ll only score you a cool grand or so per eye. That’s according to a medical billing record from the feds — more likely for harvested organs, not for morons willing to part ways with their eyes while they’re still alive. If you want to give them to Stevie Wonder or something, the world would thank you, but not necessarily make you a rich person.

6. Heart

Um, does it matter what you can get for it? That’s what dating is for. Not surprisingly, there’s not much info on the black market in the way of pricing for other organs. Perhaps because you just shouldn’t ask.