Nerf guns saved Larry Lubarsky's life.
Well, not just Nerf guns. But also lozenges, shampoo and cookies and the thousands of items he sells on Amazon as a third-party seller.
Seven years ago, Larry Lubarsky was a 31-year-old high school dropout who had no money saved and was $100,000 in debt. Today, he's 38 and running a company that has 10 employees and brought in $18 million last year selling thousands of different products on Amazon.
"I was living with my mom, I was severely in debt, I couldn't afford my phone, my car. I couldn't afford to, you know, take a girl out on a date, anything like that," Lubarsky tells CNBC Make It. "So, it saved my life financially."
Lubarsky buys products — like electronics, beauty supplies or toys — in bulk and then re-sells them on Amazon for a profit. For example, if Lubarsky sees Nerf gun selling for $20 a piece on Amazon, he will buy hundreds or thousands of the toy for $10 per unit wholesale, then sell them on Amazon and for a profit $5 per toy (after Amazon's fee's are taken out), he says. Of course, that's assuming it's a desirable product that people will buy.
"Basically, we're looking for that one percent of products from the thousands that you look at that actually sell well and have a nice profit," Lubarsky tells CNBC Make It.