5 Money Making ‘Schemes’ That Are Actually Legit

Earn money the unconventional way with these schemes.

There’s a certain subset of the population that will always be willing to work really hard to find ways to not have to work. Sure, finding a reliable profession, buying a modest home with an affordable mortgage and keeping up regular 401k contributions is a tried-and-true method for building wealth, but that’s just not the right path for some people.

And that’s okay. Just because you’re committed to being a hustler doesn’t necessarily mean you’re relegated to chasing bogus get-rich-quick scams or not-bogus-but-very-much-illegal get-rich-quick schemes. There are still some schemes out there that, although they sound a little shady, are nonetheless legitimate and might help you make money quickly.

Crowdfunding Your Business

Typically, in order to start a new business, you need a lot of money. And if you don’t have it yourself, you’ll need to either take out business loans — which includes paying interest and assuming liability for repaying the loans — or take on investors who will ultimately own a chunk of whatever you’re building.

Fortunately, the internet has given rise to a whole method for getting your business idea off the ground without investing one dime of your own money: rewards crowdfunding.

Plenty of private businesses turn to sites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter to raise startup capital. And if you can make a killer video and upsell your personal story in the right way, you can get thousands — even millions — of people to send you cash. In the end, if your business takes off, you’ll owe them nothing aside from any promised rewards and reap all the benefits yourself. The best part: It’s completely legal.


Everyone at this point is no doubt aware that bitcoins¬†are worth money — around $6,513 per coin at last check, but that can change in a real hurry. However, can anyone really say for certain why? The truth is, things are worth whatever someone else will pay for them, and despite the fact that cryptocurrencies were essentially invented out of thin air less than a decade ago, there are still plenty of people willing to pay for them.

It’s part of a concept in investing called “the greater fool theory,” wherein it’s never stupid to pay for something as long as someone else is ultimately willing to pay more. So, as long as you’re not among the most foolish people in the game, swapping different types of magical internet money back and forth can be quite lucrative.

Not Sure About Bitcoin? 10 High-Risk, High-Return Alternatives to Bitcoin


The old adage that the house always wins can’t be ignored: Those table games are rigged. Not weighted-dice or marked-cards rigged — but rigged with math that ensures the odds are always in favor of you losing.

However, there are still ways to place bets where you’re putting your money up against other gamblers rather than the casinos where, if you really can find an edge over the competition, you can make money legally.

Read: 101 Ways to Make Money Without a 9-to-5

Sportsbooks, for instance, essentially act as brokers, taking a cut of the total action but trying to keep the money riding on both teams even so they make consistent profits regardless of who wins. If you can be smarter than the other gamblers, you can be profitable. Poker, likewise, is a game that can be mastered and played for profit. In fact, poker has repeatedly been recognized as a game of skill that’s classified as a “trade or business” by U.S. courts since the mid-1980s.

None of this is easy. Very, very few people actually get good enough to be consistently profitable playing cards or betting on sports, but the elite who do make a good living.

Write Amazon Reviews

Amazon has become an enormous driver of retail, a massive e-commerce ecosystem consisting of millions of different buyers and sellers. Pretty much anyone who can get some traction with positive reviews will be able to start getting their product to pop up in more and more consumers’ searches. As such, plenty of companies are ready to pay you for your opinion or give you a product for free. It’s technically against Amazon’s review guidelines, though, so you are putting your account at risk of termination.

Of course, you can also find plenty of options for just writing fake reviews. Is it immoral? Quite possibly. But is it illegal? Not at present.

Make More: How To Get Free Money: 21 Ways

Multilevel Marketing

As most people behind multilevel marketing schemes will tell you, they are not pyramid schemes. Pyramid scheme adjacent, sure, but technically not pyramid schemes.

Multilevel marketing is the system made famous by companies like Herbalife. In this system, a company relies heavily on a salesforce working entirely on commission. Not only do those people sell the products, but they also recruit their own team of salespeople and collect a cut of the commissions from anyone they bring on.

There’s certainly plenty of money to be made for an enterprising salesperson who’s good with people and can recruit a team to sell under them, just be aware that the key difference between this and a pure pyramid scheme is the product itself. If actual consumers are buying and using what you’re selling, it’s a multilevel marketing scheme. If the vast majority of the product is sitting in boxes in the garages of salespeople, well, it’s not.

Click through to learn about some money-making skills you can learn in less than a year.

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About the Author

Joel Anderson is a business and finance writer with over a decade of experience writing about the wide world of finance. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in writing about the financial markets, stocks, macroeconomic concepts and focuses on helping make complex financial concepts digestible for the retail investor.