For a price, you can take a wild taxi ride, order bacon-flavored truffles, hire a professional liar or buy a surprise. They’re unique experiences and products — some of the most bizarre businesses we’ve seen.
And while you’re enjoying your weird purchase or experience, someone else is making money.
Could you start a business earning money by providing a unique product or experience? Get ready to be inspired by these 10 weird businesses.
1. Have a Smashing Good Time
One of the first businesses to tap into our desire to break things for stress relief was Sarah’s Smash Shack in San Diego, which opened in 2008. As CNN explained, customers could smash 15 plates for $45, pay to break wine glasses, or buy the “Mystery Box,” with 10 assorted items ready to be broken.
Alas, Sarah’s closed, but the idea of therapeutic destruction lives on. The Anger Room in Dallas, Texas lets customers break things for five minutes for $25, or buy the “Total Demolition” session (25 minutes) for $75. They’ll provide safety gear, but you’ll need to sign a release-of-liability waiver.
Then there is Das Breakroom, which brings stress-relieving “recreational destruction” from town to town via their mobile unit based in Portland, Oregon. They offer special group rates and even have a happy hour.
2. Buy a Lie
Suppose you want to meet up with your high school boyfriend to talk about old times (sure, just to talk; we believe you), but you don’t want your husband to worry. What can you do? Order an alibi!
That’s right. Alibi Network will provide you with “alibis and excused absences as well as assistance with a variety of sensitive issues.” You can arrange for emailed alibis, faxes or even have a live operator ready to back up your lies.
ABC News reports how one client met a “friend” while supposedly in another state. She had a full itinerary as an alibi, thanks to Alibi Network. She paid them $600 and returned happily to her unsuspecting family afterward.
Mike DeMarco, the marketing chief of the company, says the service has worked well so far, and adds, “We’ve never been caught.”
3. Keep Your Hands in the Car
The Climax Gentleman’s Club in Congruity, Pennsylvania billed itself as the “World’s Only Drive-Thru Strip Club.” Customers could pull up and watch the show from their cars. It has since closed, but this business is likely to be replicated.
4. Get Married… Anywhere
Well okay, not anywhere, but the Wedding Wagon in Las Vegas will come to you if you’re within a reasonable range. So if you’re in the street with at least $129 left over from the slot machines where you just met your future wife, you can make a quick call and soon you’ll be married right where you’re standing. And that $129 includes the wedding, filing the legal paperwork, a witness and photos!
5. Pig Out on Bacon-Flavored… Everything
What if everything could taste like bacon? That’s a question Justin and Dave of J&D Foods decided to answer when they invented bacon-flavored salt. After quickly selling out their first 6,000 jars they knew they were on to something. Soon they were selling a variety of bacon-flavored products, including:
- Bacon-flavored truffle crisps
- Bacon-flavored mayonnaise
- Bacon-flavored popcorn
- Bacon-flavored lip balm (really)
6. Buy… Something
Perhaps inspired by tales of selling the Brooklyn Bridge, the founders of SomethingStore.com will sell you… something. As they explain: “We will send you something, an item selected randomly among many products from our inventory, for $10 (free shipping in the US) and you will discover what your something is when you receive it.”
Now we’ve seen everything… or something.
7. Hire Nit Pickers
In Houston, Dallas and other cities in Texas you can have a nit-picking good time at The Lice Place, “The right place for all your head lice removal needs!” And yes, in case you’re wondering, they are members of the National Association of Lice Treatment Professionals. Now there’s a business that will make you scratch your head.
8. Take a Wild Ride
What’s more colorful than a bus in India, louder than your deaf grandmother’s TV and has more lasers than a Pink Floyd concert? It’s the Ultimate Taxi in Aspen, Colorado. Driver Jon Barnes says your ride will be “a rock concert, amusement park ride, magic show, movie ride and 3D laser light show.”
Go as a group and your “45-minute musical, magical adventure” will cost $200. Included is a page on the Ultimate Taxi website with photos and video of your trip.
9. Get Revenge on the Washing Machine
What can you do when the washer or dryer eats one of your socks? You can just laugh and put on your matching pair right there in front of the machines if you bought a set of three at Throx.com. They sell “three socks for the price of two” so you’re all set when you lose one.
But who gets the last laugh? It could be Edwin Heaven, the inventor of THROX. After all, you pay more than $20 (with shipping) to get three socks delivered to you.
10. Thumb Your Nose at Friends on Earth
Sure, being taken up to heaven in the Rapture is great and all, but how do you rub it in to your disbelieving friends back on earth? Just pay $14.95 per year to You’ve Been Left Behind. As the company explains:
We have set up a system to send documents by the email, to the addresses you provide, six days after the “Rapture” of the Church. This occurs when three of our five team members scattered around the U.S. fail to log in over a three-day period. Another three days are given to fail-safe any false triggering of the system.
The company suggests this is “one last opportunity” for the “salvation of your loved ones.” But the name of the service suggests customers are buying a chance to give skeptical friends and family a big raspberry from heaven.
Your Turn: What’s the most bizarre business you’ve seen or heard about?