Most of us allocate a certain amount of “play money” to do with as we please after accounting for bills, food, and other necessities. And though it’s completely up to you how you choose to spend this extra cash, it’s no surprise many people fork over their savings to weird services that end up being a complete waste of money.
And savvy business entrepreneurs take notice of our completely irrational spending habits. These days, there’s no shortage of strange services available to the public for a sizable fee. And it seems the weirder the services are, the more customers they attract.
Some of these businesses will have you scratching your head, while others will leave you feeling stupid for not thinking of the brilliant idea first. Either way, these 15 services bring in the big bucks by capitalizing on our overwhelming need to waste money on frivolous services.
1. Anger rooms
Have you ever been so mad you just want to break something? Instead of your ex’s windshield or your invaluable household antiques, try relieving stress on a room full of someone else’s unwanted items. At first this sounds like a crazy idea — until it doesn’t.
It’s actually kind of brilliant, which is why businesses, such as the Anger Room, are successful. For $25 you can enter into a room and unleash your fury on computers, walls, chairs, dishes, and mirrors without any of the morning-after regret that typically results from unchecked anger spells in your own home.
Next: See how people waste money to feel like a celebrity.
2. BYOP (Bring Your Own Paparazzi)
Image is everything, and it seems people are willing to spend good money for the illusion of fame and fortune. Crowds on Demand has been known to create an A-list experience for all clients. Anyone, including politicians and wannabe celebrities, will hire crowds to follow and worship them. Whether your product launch could use some publicity or you’re simply feeling a little blue, this is exactly the kind of “unsolicited” attention you need to get back in the game.
Next: How much is hangover relief worth to you?
3. What hangover?
Hangovers are no fun. But instead of enlisting the help of a greasy breakfast sandwich to cure your throbbing head, many are shelling out hundreds for the hangover bus. The Hangover Heaven Bus will provide medical treatment and first-class hangover comfort in the form of a 45-foot RV bus. IV treatments start at a whopping $149, something that might be tough to swallow after a substantial bar tab the night before. But if you think it sounds like an irrational spend, many Americans view it as worthwhile.
On the other hand, if your hangover is the result of a house party and the smells wafting from the kitchen are unbearable, many rely on the Hangover Helpers cleanup and breakfast services to save the day. Or you could just grin and bear it like you did in college — for free.
Next: Online dating coaches
4. Virtual dating assistants
Now that dating apps have become the new norm, a single man or woman’s online dating profile must really stand out in order to land that date. Navigating the online scene can be rough for the amateur dater. Do you swipe right, left, wink, flirt? And who makes the first move? What about the witty bios and engaging headshot?
That’s where Virtual Dating Assistants comes in. According to its website, it makes finding women through online dating effortless. For $247, assistants will rewrite your online profile, edit your photos, and provide dating coach services to hopefully help you make a love connection. Is this amount of money worth it? Your not-so-patiently waiting mother probably thinks so.
Next: A new kind of massage
5. Snake massage
A man in Israel opened a massage parlor to relieve muscle aches and tension. But forget the sea salts and exotic oils. Ada Barak uses snakes as his primary method of relaxation. After allowing snakes to crawl over your body as a new kind of massage method, word about his new business venture spread almost instantly. He’s been featured in National Geographic and was invited to appear on a United States talk show, despite there being any scientific evidence the snake massages actually work. Yet, people keep paying.
Next: Where to buy funeral attendees
6. Rent a mourner
By now it’s pretty clear money is no object when it comes to personal need. In addition to the thousands of dollars already spent on funeral services, some people in the U.K. are willing to fork over cold hard cash for fake “mourners” to attend a funeral service or wake. This service markets itself as “professional” and “discreet” and is the go-to solution for funerals with low attendance expectations.
Next: A service to keep in mind during the holiday season
7. Invisible boyfriends
Try not to lose faith in humanity. It seems people have become so desperate to appease inquisitive relatives at the Thanksgiving dinner table that they’ll pay $25 per month just to have a fake boyfriend or girlfriend. That’s right. Even the most single of single men and women can create an online boyfriend they can then show off to their friends, family, co-workers, and Facebook friends.
Payment for this service gets you realistic text conversations with your “significant other,” a few voicemails, plausible stories about how you met, and information regarding their personal background — all done through a downloadable phone app.
Next: Busy parents spend thousand for this service.
8. Professional potty training
Don’t want to potty train your kid alone? There’s a professional for that. Busy parents can pay a professional to work with their child on potty-training reinforcement. Shockingly, many are willing to invest some serious dough just to bypass this tough and time-consuming training process. You’ll get a consultation for $600, but $1,175 will get you in-home, half-day potty training support.
Next: But it’s not just humans that people will pay money to potty train.
9. Potty training for cats
It’s true many people consider pets to be part of the family, but at what point do we draw the line between human and feline? Apparently spouses are hesitant to share a bathroom sink with each other, but they see no qualms with sharing the toilet with their cat.
A New York based-company, CittiKitty, has developed a training kit for cats that will permanently eliminate the need for a litter box. For $26.99, you can teach your cat to use the same toilet you do. To put it bluntly, people are totally willing to pay money to potty train their cats.
Next: Weddings for cheap
10. Mobile weddings
Forgo the stress, hassle, and expense of weddings, and just get hitched. Believe it or not, plenty of people are willing to pay a hefty fee just to make their own wedding come to them.
Simply choose your location, and a Wedding Wagon, complete with an officiant, photographer, and witness, will meet you at the desired spot to seal the deal. Although it might lack a bit of traditional romance, lovers looking to get hitched on a budget have commonly paid $129 and up for a wedding-to-go.
Next: Make dating fun again
11. Dating fantasy leagues
No doubt, dating can sometimes feel like work. So why not make dating fun again by entering a fantasy dating league? After all, don’t people toss their money down the drain for fantasy football every year?
In an effort to encourage confidence in the dating field, singles will get points for every number, date, or conversation they initiate with another interested party. At $19.99 per season, it’s no wonder people will pay money just to make their journey to find love more enjoyable and less like a chore.
Next: A new type of cremation service
12. Environmentally friendly cremation
Although we wouldn’t venture to say money spent on cremation or memorial services are a complete waste, we’d be lying if we said this idea wasn’t a little far out. For anywhere between $2,995 and $7,495, Eternal Reefs will turn your loved one’s ashes into cement to form “reef balls,” which it then will lower into the ocean to help create permanent habitats for marine life. Do you think your loved one would enjoy a final resting place under the sea? Then, this wacky service is for you.
Next: A top-secret revenge service
13. Send glitter to your enemies
You could go hog-wild on your enemy’s brand-new car, but maybe your idea of revenge is a bit more passive. If you’ve got an enemy you want to annoy or a friend who deserves a good prank, sending a $9.99 glitter bomb has become a popular choice.
An Australian company has processed thousands of orders for a seemingly pointless product, but when you think about it, glitter is the perfect evil plan. It’s difficult to remove, and the remnants linger for what seems like forever, despite your best cleanup efforts.
Next: Have someone fold your clothes for a few hundred dollars.
14. Folding clothes
OK, so you just can’t part with your old wedding dress, prom dresses, or that three-piece turquoise suit from 1980. That’s fine. Apparently, many people in New York City’s most populated areas have no qualms about paying $300 for a closet professional to clean, organize, and fold those wrinkled garments.
For those in dire need of wardrobe guidance, its team of stylists will help customers decide what should be kept, donated, or trashed, as well as offer stylistic advice to those not blessed with the gift of fashion. If you book additional follow-up sessions at the recommended rate of four times per year, it’s about $200 each.
Next: How much would you pay to rid your room of bed bugs?
15. Bed bug protector
For those of us all too familiar with the struggles of traveling from hotel to hotel, you know all about the accompanying dangers and fears of bed bugs. Luckily, one Australian man has made a fortune offering his bed bug barriers to ease the nerves of squeamish travelers. We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this is a service that’s a complete waste of money or a stroke of pure genius when considering hotel cleanliness.
Follow Lauren on Twitter @la_hamer.