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How Much Money Can You Make Selling Plasma…And Is It Safe?

By Brady Cook |

As an entrepreneur, you’ve sold your time, skills, and probably a product or two. But did you know you could sell your blood plasma?

Wait. Sell my what?

Sure, it may seem weird to sell part of your body for extra money, but it’s one of the easiest “side hustles” to get into. And for someone that is motivated enough, it can generate a nice, consistent stream of income.

So, how much can you make selling plasma exactly?

How Much Can You Make Selling Plasma?

Let’s be clear here: you’ll never get rich selling your plasma. You’ll always be limited by how much plasma your body generates, and by how much the doctor can safely pull out of you.

That being said, it’s not uncommon for someone to get an additional $200-400 a month just selling their plasma. That’s more than enough to pay a few bills or save up for a down payment. 

Or, at the very least, bootstrap a side hustle that doesn’t involve selling off body parts.

Tack on enough incentives, and some people have even been able to clear the $1k mark in their first month. Doing so can be tricky, but most plasma donation centers have tons of ways to help boost your earnings. They want you in their chairs as often as possible and will pay extra for it.

But how much can you make selling plasma? On average, you should expect about $65 per visit, but that number depends on a few primary factors.

Your Location

Just like McDonald’s, there’s usually a plasma donation center on every corner. The largest ones are franchised and operate in nearly every state. 

In fact, some of the most profitable centers you could visit may just be right around the corner from where you live.

Your Weight

This is one of those times where being a larger individual really pays off…literally. Fortunately, they don’t check your Body Mass Index to determine pay scale, just sheer weight.

CSL Plasma, one of the most widespread centers in the country, pays a certain amount per weight range:

Your Incentives

You name it, there’s probably a plasma donation center incentive program for it.

First-time plasma donor bonus? Check.

Referral bonuses for friends and family? Yep.

Loyalty programs that allow you to accumulate points over time? Got it.

Bonus based on blood type? Sure.

Lottery and raffle incentives that you can only “enter” by donating? Why not?

Since the profit margin on plasma donation is absolutely insane — as much as 92.5% for some places — centers will try every trick in the book to get you coming back.

But for those who are willing to exploit the system back, there are serious returns to be made. You just have to know how to stack it all properly and time your visits appropriately.

How Are You Paid?

Back in the “old days” (read: early 2000s), you used to be able to hand over your plasma in exchange for a fistful of extra cash.

Most centers today opt for a reloadable debit card that operates just like a regular card. This allows them to track your rewards and minimize paperwork every time you come in.

You may still get the occasional center that gives you cash under the table, but those are becoming fewer and farther between.

Just remember that anything you make from a plasma center is technically taxable, so you’ll have to file it at the end of the year.

Am I Able to Donate Plasma?

The demand for plasma is huge, and the U.S. is one of the largest suppliers in the entire world. Nearly 70% of the total global supply of plasma comes from the U.S., but U.S. demand is around 40%.

Supply is only expected to increase, too. Plasma centers plan to open more doors over the next decade, bringing with them an exponential increase in revenue as well. 

Suffice it to say that if you plan on relying on plasma donation as a source of income, your chances are good. Selling plasma should generate semi-stable passive income for years to come.

What Are the Qualifications?

Before your first visit, you’ll need to pass a (very) basic health examination. The requirements can change from location to location, but generally speaking, they are as follows:

That’s it. If you can pass those requirements, grab some relevant documentation and head down to your local plasma center.

Can I Sell Plasma If I’ve Had COVID-19?

This one is a little trickier. The American Red Cross doesn’t allow people who have received the vaccine or who have been diagnosed with COVID to donate. They claim their current stockpile should suffice until the crisis is deemed more manageable.



Private donation centers don’t have those caveats. In fact, some are actively encouraging convalescent plasma donations if you’ve either had COVID-19 or the vaccine as a way to fight against the virus.

The FDA agrees with the private centers. They argue that those who have recovered from COVID-19 may have valuable antibodies, so check with your local center to see what they allow.

What Documents Do I Need?

To sell plasma, you’ll need three forms of documentation:

Once you arrive, you’ll have to fill out a few forms — just like if you’re a new patient at a doctor’s office. You’ll most likely be asked to sign a few waivers absolving the center of any liability from “accidents.”

The whole paperwork process should only take a few minutes. Once you’re in the system, though, you might be able to walk right in and start donating if there’s space.

Since every center operates as its own entity, it’s best to call your local plasma site and ask about specific requirements.

How Often Can I Donate?

The American Red Cross will only allow you to donate plasma once every four weeks, or up to thirteen times a year.

At least one study has shown that rapid donations degrade the quality of the plasma. Since many of these donations are used for medical procedures, they want as much protein and nutrients in the plasma as possible.

For-profit donation centers are much more liberal in their rules. Most allow you to donate eight times as much — up to twice a week if you want. Plasma takes several hours to replenish, so there needs to be at least one day in between donations.

Additionally, if you’ve had a blood donation recently, you’ll need to wait eight weeks until you can donate plasma. Many choose to donate plasma first, then donate blood once they feel up to it.

How Long Will It Take to Donate Plasma?

Your first time donating plasma will take longer than others. You’ll have to fill out paperwork, get familiar with the system, and set up your payment method. Expect an extra 30 or so minutes for this.

After that, the plasma donation process shouldn’t take longer than 90 minutes, provided there’s no wait time. Most of the time, centers are full first thing in the morning, at lunch, and after work. If you want to minimize the amount of time you’re there, shoot for late morning or early afternoon.

What Is the Process Like?

Donating plasma is a lot like donating blood. You lay down on a bed or recliner, allow the technician to administer an IV, then wait.

You’ll notice the blood leaving your system and spinning in a centrifuge, separating plasma from red blood cells.

The biggest difference is that, once you’re done, they put the blood back into you.

Surprisingly, the process isn’t especially painful. You may feel some slight pressure at the IV site, but most people compare it to a mild bee sting.

Once the blood is taken out and separated a few times, they’ll unplug the needle and you’re free to go. Just remember to take a few seconds to get your bearings before trying to walk out the door.

Is Donating Plasma Dangerous?

When asking how much can you make selling plasma, this is by far the most common concern.

The answer? It depends.

Many people have donated plasma for years — even decades — without any negative side effects whatsoever. They may have bruising from time to time, but overwhelmingly, the effects are minimal at best.

Others experience much more serious repercussions. Fainting is the most common, but dizziness and nausea also occur from time to time. If you experience this, stay in the chair and ask for a technician to bring you some refreshments. Most centers will let you wait as long as you need before leaving the facility.

Fortunately, plasma centers have a lengthy list of health permits to follow to stay in operation, so the process is deemed by many health experts as completely safe.

What Is Plasma?

With all the fuss surrounding plasma donation, what exactly is it?

Simply put, plasma is the liquid part of your blood, accounting for more than half of its volume. The other 45% is red and white blood cells, along with platelets.

Most of your plasma is made up of water — 92%, in fact. Vital proteins make up the rest of it, while a small portion is also composed of salts, sugars, hormones, and fats.

Though the plasma industry has received its fair share of criticism through the years, there’s no doubt about its importance. Plasma is given to burn patients, as well as those with liver diseases.

Since it is mostly liquid, plasma helps those who have clotting problems or a bleeding disorder.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a quick way to make an extra buck, it’s hard to beat donating your own plasma. Just remember to take care of your body both before and after the appointment, and you should be fine.

Besides, do you know of many other side hustles that can legitimately save someone else’s life?




Side Hustles

By Brady Cook

Brady is a self-proclaimed efficiency freak with a passion for SEO. Name a side hustle, and he's probably done it: kindle books, Amazon FBA, affiliate sites, even dog walking.

When he's not writing content for digital marketing blogs, he's either hanging out with his family, reading, or on some off-road trail in Texas somewhere in his Bronco.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

Yes! I Love to Learn

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