Selling plasma for money may sound a bit extreme to some people. But given that you can actually make money donating plasma and all you have to do is sit at a clinic for an hour or so, you may see that it’s a great way to earn some extra cash.
There are, however, some points to be aware of before you make the decision to proceed with selling plasma.
So keep reading to find out things like how much is your plasma worth, what are the plasma donation requirements, how you can find a plasma donation center – and, importantly, does plasma donation hurt!
Is selling plasma for money a good way to make money?
Selling plasma is definitely a great way to make some extra cash, as long as you keep in mind that it won’t be able to replace your main source of income.
Nevertheless, as a way to earn some money on the side, it’s a great idea.
You do have to have between one hour and 90 minutes free for the appointment. But, assuming you can find that time, you can use it to read (a friend of mine uses it to study!) or simply play on your phone – which you may have been doing anyway!
(You could even use the time to earn even more money from all that phone playing: 9 OF THE BEST SURVEY SITES TO MAKE YOU MONEY ONLINE)
What is plasma?
According to donatingplasma.org, plasma is the clear, straw-colored liquid in your blood that’s left behind when red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other components are removed.
It makes up around 55% of your blood and is vital for a number of bodily functions, such as clotting blood and fighting diseases, by helping to transport cells.
What is plasma used for?
Plasma is critically important for saving lives, especially as only a very small number of people who are able to participate in donating or selling plasma actually do it.
It helps treat a variety of conditions by helping people who:
- Are unable to clot properly, which can lead to internal bleeding, organ damage and even death
- Suffer from a disorder that means their immune systems don’t function properly, leaving them exposed to infections
- Have genetic conditions that may result in serious lung or liver disease
- Need burns treatment
- Need treatment for a range of conditions like rabies and tetanus
Essentially, donating plasma is a great thing to do for others. And the fact that you can make money selling plasma is just icing on the cake!
How much is my plasma worth if I’m selling plasma?
The amount of money you can make selling plasma varies depending on the plasma donation center you go to as well as how often you donate.
That said, in general you can make between $20 and $50 per donation, which can add up to $400 per month.
The amount you receive depends on how much plasma you can donate, with the volume of plasma you’re able to donate being set by the FDA.
As an added bonus, first time donors are often offered extra money for selling plasma. This bonus can even apply for the entire calendar month from the first time you donate, not just your first appointment.
You can also show coupons to make more money for each donation.
For example, at the time of writing this article, this coupon gives you $6.00 extra for your plasma donation.
So make sure that before you go to donate plasma, you search on Google for something like “plasma donation coupon [your city]”, just in case there are a few extra dollars to be made.
Finally, there are also referral bonuses if you help the plasma donation center to get a new donor. Which is great motivation for also getting your friends on board!
(I agree that it sounds a bit weird to have bonuses for giving something from your body, but that’s how it works so you may as well take advantage of it!)
Payment for selling plasma is generally made on a debit card that the plasma donation center will give you rather than in cash.
That said, this card can be used to make purchases anywhere and you can simply withdraw the money at an ATM if you prefer.
How to donate plasma for money?
It’s super straightforward to get started with donating plasma for money!
Sometimes you’ll have to make an appointment but that’s not the case with every plasma donation center, so check the website of the one you choose to see whether this is necessary.
(And we’ll let you know below how to find a plasma donation center near you!)
Keep in mind that your first visit may take a bit longer than usual – up to around two hours in total – as they need make sure that you meet the plasma donation requirements, which will include a brief physical examination.
You’ll need to bring a valid form of identification, proof of residency (such as mail from the last 30 days with your name and address on it, your current lease or a driver’s license) and proof of your social security number.
Once it’s been confirmed that you meet the plasma donation requirements at your first donation, you’ll be connected to a machine and the collection process will begin.
This is done through a process that separates the plasma from the blood, collects the plasma and then safely returns your blood to you – which is why you can donate plasma more frequently than you can donate blood.
As mentioned above, this will take between an hour and 90 minutes, depending on how much plasma you’re able to donate (which primarily depends on your weight – the bigger you are, the more you can give).
What are the plasma donation requirements?
The plasma donation requirements vary between each plasma donation center, but they’re all fairly similar.
Age requirements for selling plasma
You have to be between 18 and around 65 years old to be eligible to donate plasma.
The upper limit may be slightly different at your plasma donation center so if you’re in your 60s, it’s best to call and check beforehand if you’re eligible.
Physical requirements for selling plasma
You have to weigh at least 110 points and be in good health and feel well on the day you donate.
If you’ve recently had a body piercing, you may not be able to donate plasma for between four and twelve months afterwards, although it depends on the type of procedure used to undertake the piercing and if there are signs of infection.
Similarly, a recent tattoo may also may also affect your eligibility for between four and twelve months.
Medical requirements for selling plasma
At your first plasma donation, you’ll be asked a number of questions about your medical history to determine your eligibility.
Don’t worry: answering positively to most of them won’t necessarily make you ineligible.
For example, you won’t be able to donate if you are HIV positive, if you have lived in an area that had Mad Cow Disease, if you had a blood transfusion within the last 12 months or if you’re pregnant.
However, as mentioned, other medical conditions won’t necessarily disqualify you depending on the severity of the condition and how it is or was being treated.
This also means that if you’re on any medication, including birth control or even antibiotics, you’ll likely still be able to participate in selling plasma.
If you’re concerned that you may not meet the plasma donation requirements for a medical reason, just call the plasma donation center beforehand and they’ll definitely be able to clarify it for you.
Things to do before donating plasma
It’s very important that you’re well hydrated before selling plasma so make sure you drink plenty of water the night before and day of donation.
On the same point, you won’t be able to donate if you’ve consumed alcohol within the previous day, so make sure you stay away from this both before your donation and within four hours of your appointment.
You should also eat a healthy meal no more than three hours before donating – although noting that “healthy” doesn’t necessarily mean “large”.
It’s particularly important that you’re eating enough protein and iron. So make sure that you’re getting as much eggs, beans, meat and fish as you need.
Keep in mind that your protein and iron levels will be tested, so no trying to avoid this requirement!
You also won’t be able to donate if you’ve eaten fatty foods before your donation. They can make your plasma look milky so if it has this appearance, you won’t be able to donate.
Finally, have a good sleep the night before, avoid smoking up until 30 minutes after your donation and if you’re not feeling well, simply change your donation to another day.
Does donating plasma hurt?
It’s never fun to have a needle inserted, so there’ll obviously be some discomfort then.
During the donation itself, some people say that there is some aching at the donation site while compared to give blood, while others say that there’s no difference at all.
Afterwards, much like when you give blood, there could be some mild tenderness where the needle was injected, but this should soon pass.
However, if you notice any sign of infection after your appointment for selling plasma, contact the plasma donation center and they’ll be able to help.
How often can you donate plasma?
You can donate up to two times in seven days with at least one day between each donation.
What are the side effects of donating plasma?
Selling plasma for money is widely considered as being very low-risk with a minimal chance of side effects.
That said, there’s a chance of the possible side effects of donating plasma affecting you, so it’s important to know what they are.
Essentially, they’re the same as those you may experience from donating blood.
For example, some people experience dehydration after plasma donation, but it’s usually not severe and passes quickly with some water.
There’s also a chance of feeling dizzy or even fainting, especially if you haven’t eaten properly beforehand, or of feeling mild fatigue.
Some bruising and discomfort at the injection site is also possible. In rare cases, as mentioned above, there’s also a chance of infection where the needle pierced the skin.
It should be noted though that there are also some even rarer but quite serious side effects of donating plasma.
During a plasma donation, the blood collected in the machine will be infused with an anticoagulant, which uses citrate to prevent blood clots from forming.
When the blood is returned to you, most of the citrate is kept in the machine. But some does go into your body and a very small percentage of people can experience a reaction to this.
Staff at your plasma donation center are trained to deal with this, so let them know if you’re feeling anything strange and they’ll be able to help.
This is what happens if the technician accidentally inserts the needle into an artery rather than a vein.
They’ll be able to tell immediately that this has happened due to faster blood flow and the blood being a lighter color than usual.
It’s easily treated: the technician will remove the needle and hold pressure on the site for about 10 minutes which, in the vast majority of cases, will stop any ongoing bleeding.
Where can I do plasma donation near me? Where’s my nearest plasma donation center?
If you’re asking “Where can I do plasma donation near me?”, the answer is super simple!
This page lets you search anywhere in the US for your nearest plasma donation center, with over 700 included.
It also features around 100 plasma donation centers in Europe and a few in Canada.
If you’d rather approach them directly, the main companies that facilitate selling plasma for money are:
Make sure you check the website of your nearest plasma donation center before proceeding with selling plasma so you can check if there are any vouchers or first time donor bonuses!
Final points on selling plasma for money
Hopefully this information has shown you that selling plasma for money isn’t anywhere near as scary as it sounds.
In addition, now you know what is plasma used for, you’ve hopefully seen that it’s a great thing you can do that can truly save lives.
As long as you meet the plasma donation requirements and there’s a plasma donation center near you, selling plasma can be an excellent way to make some extra cash.
That said, you have to make sure that your personal answer to “How much is my plasma worth?” makes it worth your time.
For example, if you try donating plasma a few times and you notice that it tends to take the full 90 minutes each time for you but you only get $20 for selling plasma, it’s up to you to decide if earning $13-ish an hour is worth it.
If, however, the amount you’re earning for 60 to 90 minutes of sitting around works for you (especially when you consider that you may be able to make $50 – or even more with coupons!), then it seems like a no-brainer.
Overall, if you have the free time, selling plasma for money is a really good way to make a few extra hundred dollars each month that you should definitely consider doing.