It’ll cost you a kidney, and maybe a cornea

I have the weirdest conversations with my editor, I think that if we lived closer we could have a pretty epic podcast going with just our odd talks. The other day we were talking about selling body parts, I can’t remember why exactly but we ended up going through what different parts are worth so I thought I’d share. Just in case you needed a new pair of shoes or iPad or the bank wants money, or perhaps you are on the waiting list and just can’t wait any longer.



How Much Is Your Body Worth on the Black Market?

Organ trade is illegal in every country except Iran and yet over 2 million products derived from human tissue are sold in the US yearly (I couldn’t find proper statistics for SA though I did find out that there was a legit (illegal) hospital/clinic thing set up where you could go if you needed new organs. Probably a don’t ask don’t tell kinda thing. So if you wake up in a bath of ice…)

Welcome to the Red Market

Blood, bones, and organs: Of the 106,879 known transplanted organs in 2010 (which is only 10% of the global transplant need)  1 in 10 were from black market organs. Kinda dodgy…

Body parts the living can sell:

$337 per pint of blood. – Apparently there is a thing called blood farming where they siphon blood from prisoners for profit. Not sure how I feel about this, blood should be free and not for profit but we know that a utopian and unrealistic thought.

$70 for ten inches of hair – and here I gave mine away for free…

  • Sri Tirumala Temple in southern India is home to many pilgrims who shave their hair for the god Vishnu. As they leave the hair is gathered and sold.
  • Men’s hair is reduced to an amino acid used in baking goods.
  • Women’s hair is turned into wigs and weaves.

Bone Marrow – The most valuable part of your body sells for a high of $23,000 per gram. You can donate bone marrow, but it’s illegal to sell it. So you have to give it up for free and then the Dr’s sell it to the patients… makes total sense :/

Eggs: $12,400 per IVF cycle in U.S. – no one wants mine though even though it’s legal and I could have so done with the money when I tried to sign up to donate back in the day before menopause started (I’ll tell you about that at some point) and I was listed as “defective” because I have BPD… way to discriminate there egg people.

Surrogate Wombs: $20,000-30,000 in India, $80,000-150,000 in the U.S. – Fertility Clinics are legal in most places but people still tend to black market “moms” cause they are cheaper. I would donate my eggs but I don’t think I’d ever actually choose to be pregnant again even if I could. Pregnancy is so not for me, I’d have to adopt or come up with $150 000 :P

Kidneys – So these apparently make up 75% of the global organ trade due to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems. Which explains why so many people wake up in a bath of ice. (I don’t know the statistics of the ice thing so it might just be in movies, don’t quote me on it)

Theoretically, your body is worth up to 50 million Rand (but that’s only if you could harvest every usable chemical and part from it and now I’m re-thinking the donating myself to science thing and instead leaving it to Fysh in my will so he can sell off all the parts haha)

From the dead:





$24 400 implanted



$997 700

$119 000


$557 100

$157 100


$262 900

$150 000

Ligaments and bone

Depending on which ones

$150 000



$10 per square inch



$2 993 to 5 500


Pair of eyeballs


$150 000




Skull with teeth






Coronary artery




$157 000


Hand and forearm









Small intestine







Sources of Body Parts:


  • Donated by Family, Friends
  • Charities, non-profits


  • Looted Graves
  • Crooked morticians
  • Paid donors (often very poor)
  • Executed prisoners
  • Live prisoners
  • Blood Farms

*Disclaimer – I don’t know where you can buy and sell organs other than at a butcher so don’t ask cause I can’t tell. CSI has taught me though that the dark web is where the answers are but am no hacker so *shrugs shoulders* but I have learnt that organ trading is legal in Iran… Also, most of these stats are probably old and not 100% accurate so keep that in mind and please don’t go sell your organs and then sue me cause I got the prices wrong.