The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Selling Your Body: Not Illegal, Just a Way to Pay the Rent

By Marcus Gilmer in Miscellaneous on Feb 9, 2009 5:20PM

2009_02_09_hair.jpg The recession has prompted people low on cash to do all kinds of wacky things - such as roaming the streets with “Hire me” signs - but the latest craze? Selling your body parts to make ends meet, says a CBS 2 report. For example, Chicagoans - and others across the nation - are increasingly selling their hair using sites such as Sellers looking to make a quick buck on their locks can rake in anywhere from $150 to $2,500.

“Because of the economy, we've experienced about a 40 percent increase [in users] over the last few months,” The Hair Trader’s Jacalyn Elise told CBS2 Chicago on Friday.

Plasma and ovary donations are also on the rise, experts say. While plasma donations run at about $20 to $40 per donation (you can donate twice a week), egg donors typically receive between $3,000 and $8,000, according to a December article in the Wall Street Journal. “Whenever the employment rate is down, we get more calls,” the president of Chicago-based Alternative Reproductive Resources, Robin von Halle, told the WSJ. In recent weeks, inquires from would-be egg donors to von Halle’s agency are up to about 60 calls a day, she said - a 30 percent increase.

“We're even getting men offering up their wives,” von Halle said. “It's pretty scary.”

Post by Kalyn Belsha
AP Photo/Lindsay Pierce