8 Clever Ways People Are Making Money From Pokémon GO

By Brittany Lyte on 26 July 2016 0 comments

Pokémon GO is more than the latest gaming craze — it's an economic boon. Not only did the free-to-play augmented reality game briefly doubled Nintendo's stock value by shattering the record for the most first-week downloads in mobile app history, it's also inspiring a new economy of Pokémon-related goods and services pioneered by the enterprising everyman.

Even kids are cashing in on Pokemania. Read on for our roundup of all the clever ways people are capitalizing on the success of the game that brings blushing yellow avatars, stardust, and healing potions to America's neighborhoods.

1. Selling Handmade Reflective Badges

Athen Salcedo is a concerned American — and, no, it's not the upcoming presidential election that's got him troubled. After hearing news of so many Pokémon GO players getting injured while playing the game in the dark, the seven-year-old entrepreneur had an idea: What if there was a reflector badge that Pokémon GO players could pin to their clothing to make themselves more visible while dashing through neighborhoods at night?

Introducing the Poke Glo: A reflective safety badge that game players can wear to stay safe while chasing Pokémon after sunset. In less than two weeks, Salcedo has made 139 sales of the homemade badges, which range in price from 50 cents to less than five bucks. Currently, he's sold out. But rest assured, Salcedo says he is hard at work making new Poke Glo badges, which he promises to stock in his Etsy store soon.

2. Offering Rideshare Services With a Pokémon Twist

Some Pokémon GO players are avid gamers unaccustomed to spending so much time off the couch. To be sure, the chase for Pokémon can be exhausting. That's why entrepreneurial-minded folks are launching "Uber for Pokémon." Capitalizing on the success of ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft, these businessmen and women offer to drive Pokémon GO players from PokeStop to PokeStop, allowing gamers to play without ever having to exert themselves.

Another benefit: By handing over the driver's seat to a well-intentioned stranger, Pokémon-chasers can play the game seamlessly without having to put the phone down in order to keep their eyes on the road. In Kalamazoo, for example, a Pokémon rideshare service provider named Pat is offering to cart game players around for $1 per mile, plus $1.50 per PokeStop. Not a bad deal for game players who are averse to breaking a sweat.

3. Dropping Lures

Pokémon GO is helping small business owners lure in traffic — literally. Some businesses, especially those that rely on foot traffic, are seeing big boosts in business because, by luck of the draw, their location has been designated by game makers as a PokeStop or Gym. This means that Pokémon GO players are flocking to their address in order to capture Pokémon and other rewards.

But owners of businesses located in the vicinity of these GPS hot spots can also make money off the game by investing in something called Lures. In short, Lures are a game component that boost the rate of Pokémon generation for up to 30 minutes near the PokeStop where they're placed. Lures, which can be purchased in the app for a little more than a dollar, are being used to bring in big crowds to local businesses, as well as garage sales and front yard produce stands.

At least one pizzeria owner is using this method to reap big benefits: "I own a pizzeria that's a PokeStop and I literally did this all day," the business owner wrote on Reddit. "I had a ton of kids and adults (mostly adults) come in for a slice of pizza and a drink until the lure ran out."

4. Opening PokeStop Lemonade Stands

It's summertime, and in most pockets of the nation that means the weather is hot and steamy. Translation: Game players chasing after Pokémon are going to get parched. That's where enterprising, young Americans are coming in, equipped with a tip jar and a pitcher of fresh-squeezed lemonade. That's right, putting a new twist on the old fashioned lemonade stand, business-minded folks across the U.S. are setting up snack and refreshment stations near PokeStops, simultaneously making a buck while quenching the thirst and appetites of hungry Pokémon hunters.

5. Selling Mobile Battery Chargers

At least one Etsy shop owner is helping Pokémon GO players keep their mobile devices juiced up with an on-the-go battery pack craftily disguised as a Pokeball. Though bulky, the $40, thematically on-point device vows to extend your battery life by two full charges.

6. Mastering the Game — And Then Selling the Account

Since the existence of rules, there have been rule-breakers — and the Pokémon GO phenomenon is no exception. Though selling your Pokémon GO account to other players is strictly prohibited by the game's terms of service, there are countless people out there doing it. For $100, you could purchase a New York City-based level 15 account. On eBay, there are advanced level accounts for sale at prices as low as $5 and as much as $1,500. What's a level 10 account worth to you?

7. Coaching Gamers to Be Better Players

Some people play games for the sheer fun of it. Others play to win. And it's the latter that have given breed to a new wave of Pokémon trainers, many of whom are advertising their services on Craigslist for $20 to $30 an hour.

8. Writing Tell-All Guides

Author Doug Morrow's step-by-step guide to becoming a master Pokémon GO player is available on Kindle. And for $2.99, it can be yours. Mastering Pokémon Go: An Unofficial Guide to Catching Them All, is Morrow's unofficial cheat sheet, full of instructions for throwing a curveball and tips on how to find the best Pokémon.

Has Pokemania struck your household? Figured out a way to cash in?

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