Work From Home Mom Sells $275,000 of Stuff in One Year

mom sells 275,000 of stuff in one year

Interview with Jessica Larrew – The Mom Who Sold $275,000 of Stuff in One Year

I love meeting people that have been extremely successful in building a work from home business, and Jessica, two things that immediately caught my attention about you; you are working from home, and you are earning an outstanding amount of money doing so.

Many people are either afraid to work from home, or would love to work from home, but do not know what to do. I believe that many people will benefit immensely from hearing your story.

At what point in your life did you choose to begin working from home, and why?

jessica larrewI have always had an entrepreneurial mindset, but just never really knew what to do with it. I tried things like MLM businesses and even real estate. But, I knew that ultimately I wanted to be a business owner working for myself.

Soon after getting married I started dabbling with selling items on eBay for fun money.

When I was 23 I was laid off from my job and decided that was my time to make owning a business a reality instead of just a dream. The biggest reason was that we were ready to start our family, but I wanted to be able to be home when we had kids, so that was the biggest motivation behind making this business happen.

From what I can see on your blog:, you and your husband have created a business selling products on Amazon, correct?

Yes. When I first started the business it was solely on eBay. After about 9 months, I had replaced my previous income, but there was not much potential for growth. At this point we were expecting our first baby and there were only so many hours a day available to work on listing and shipping items.

It was then that I really started looking into how the Amazon business model worked. They have a program called Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) where they store and ship all of our inventory. This was a game changer for us. Now, we were not limited to the amount of products I could ship out.

After a year of working Amazon on my own, I replaced my husband’s income. At that point we decided to turn this into a family business and he quit his management job and came home and we continued to grow the business even more.

What I find extremely interesting are the types of products you sell on Amazon. Please tell us about why you chose Amazon and about the different products you sell.

The biggest reason we chose Amazon was because of the FBA program I mentioned before. The other reason is that there is a HUGE following of people who go to Amazon with every shopping need that they have. Unlike starting a webstore and trying to drive traffic to it, we can use the Amazon website and benefit from the traffic they are already receiving.

We sell a huge variety of items. I would say that our niche is health and beauty products. About 50% of our sales come from that category. We look for items that are on clearance and then sell them at retail price (and sometimes more).

So, we sell things like shampoo & conditioner, lotion, toothpaste and floss. It sounds boring I'm sure, but it is like a big treasure hunt when we are looking for items that will be profitable to sell.

Do you physically purchase products and then ship them to customers or do you use a drop shipper?

We personally shop for all of the items that we sell.

work from home mom sells 275,000

Where do you typically purchase your products from?

We are going to regular retail stores looking for clearance items, as well as discount stores that carry discontinued products. We even shop online stores. Basically anywhere we can get a deal.

How do you know which products will give you the best ROI?

Really, it comes a lot from experience. In the beginning we would check everything that was marked down. Now, we have a good idea of brands that have big followings.

We have apps on our phone that we can scan the UPC code and then see what the selling price is on Amazon. This has made a big difference in the learning curve for new sellers. When I first started, I would make a list and then go home and research the products.

How much does it cost to sell on Amazon?

It doesn't cost anything upfront to sell on Amazon. You can create an account for free, and even list your products for sale. You get charged a commission when the item sells. If you use the fulfillment program, then there would be shipping fees to get your products to the fulfillment center, which are upfront costs.

Then you have the cost of your products you want to sell (or you can sell things you already own). It's great because it has a really low cost of entry. There are things you can spend money on that make business easier, but to just try it out, you can get away with not spending much.

Did you use cash or credit to buy your very first products?

I actually used my last paycheck to purchase my initial inventory for eBay. When I started Amazon I took $500 from savings and used it to purchase inventory just for that venue.

Do you ship your products anywhere in the world, or only within the US?

Currently, I am only shipping to US customers. But, there is the option to ship internationally.

How many hours per day do you spend working on your business?

I spend a few hours almost every day on the business in some form. Whether it is shopping, shipping, pricing or researching. I try to keep a schedule and find that I average about 20 hours per week. My husband spends about the same amount of time per week.

What is the most difficult part of operating a business like this?

The most difficult part would be not becoming obsessed with it. Especially in the beginning, you see so much potential that it consumes your thoughts. I have to purposefully take days off from working and just enjoy life.

On the other hand, and I think this is true with most businesses, is that you have to stick with it. Just because it is a work from home business doesn't mean that you can slack off. If we didn't stick to our schedule, then we would see that in our sales.

So, what I am trying to say is it is hardest to find / keep balance.

What do you enjoy most about this business?

The greatest thing for me is that we are truly building a family business, with unlimited potential. My son, who is almost 3 years old has grown up with this. He loves to help us! It is so awesome to be able to be home with him and see all the things he is accomplishing at such a young age. If we had to be working “regular jobs” we would be missing all of that.

The other day you posted the following on your blog: Spending $2500 to make $8,000+ In One Afternoon! What has been your best deal since you began doing this type of work?

Every day is so different, you just never know what you are going to find. Most days we spend about $500 and will see about that much in profit from it. But, there are those times where we just strike a gold mine. We just purchased 3,000 units of a seasoning for $.75/each that sells for $8/each. The investment on that one was $2250 and the potential sales amount is $27,000. That is definitely the biggest single item return we have seen so far.

Jessica, can you share how much profit you made in 2012? Was that your best year so far?

In 2012 our gross sales were $275,000. Our profit from that is about 1/3, just over $90,000. This was our first full year where my husband and I were both running the business together. So, I anticipate that we could grow that even further :) So far though, that was our biggest year.

On your blog you share a lot of great information about how you operate your business so that others may do the same. I think it is wonderful that you are so open about how selling on Amazon works and how people can use it to make a very sweet income. You also offer some great resources that people can use. Please tell us about them.

Yes, I started my blog just to share what it was like from the perspective of an Amazon seller. I realized quickly that people wanted to know more than just the stories, they wanted to know the How To's. So, this year I have really been working more on trying to help others to build their own Amazon business. I offer personal one on one coaching sessions via Skype. These are great for people who just want to ask a real person all of their questions before diving into Amazon, or they are already selling but need some extra guidance.

I also offer group coaching in a Facebook group. This is where sellers can come to get support from myself and a couple of other full time sellers.

Just last month I wrote a book about buying liquidation items as a major inventory source, it is called “Liquidation Gold”.

Lastly, I have a short free guide that explains exactly why selling on Amazon works as well, if you sign up for my website newsletter.

For more information you can contact Jessica at: Jessica on Twitter, Jessica on Facebook, Jessica's Blog

From Sicorra: Jessica, thank you very much for sharing all this excellent information about your work from home business. You and your husband are clearly doing a wonderful job, and I know this will show others that it is definitely possible to work from home and earn a full-time income, and then some.


Please click Work From Home Mom Sells $275,000 of Stuff in One Year to Tweet. Thank you!


    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 06/27/2013 4:50 a.m. #

      This is an awesome work from home success story! I have definitely considered looking into selling on eBay and/or Amazon and it's great to see that others have found success on it.

      • Jessica @ Successfully Selling

        Jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/27/2013 12:16 p.m. #

        You should definitely look into it! It would add nicely to the things you already have going on.

    • krantcents

      krantcents 06/27/2013 9 a.m. #

      Very interesting interview! I never realized you could make that much money online. You no longer need a traditional brick and mortar location, so your entry is practically zero. You need the right products and you are there!

      • Jessica @ Successfully Selling

        Jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/27/2013 12:14 p.m. #

        That is so true. You can get in and be profitable your first month, rather than having to wait a year or more with a brick and mortar.

    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 06/27/2013 1:58 p.m. #

      First let me congratulate you on your success! You have definitely proven it's possible to make money online without putting up a lot of start up money.

      I've taken some great notes and I'll be visiting your blog for sure. I do have a there a tool you use to see what the "hot ticket" items are or did you just randomly choose to sell health and beauty products?

      Sicorra this was such a great and inspiring interview! Have a great day ladies!

      • Jessica @ Successfully Selling

        Jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/28/2013 12:22 p.m. #

        Hey Corina, nice to meet you. We actually have apps on our phones that we can scan barcodes and see how the items are selling on Amazon, and judge from the store.

        We choose health and beauty because I was most familiar with it. But, now, we will venture into any category :)

    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 06/27/2013 4:42 p.m. #

      WOW! Very impressive. I certainly knew people could sell things on Amazon but I didn't realize it could be so lucrative. It's wonderful what you've been able to do in such a short time and to know there is really unlimited growth potential.

      • jessica @ Successfully Selling

        jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/28/2013 12:26 p.m. #

        Yes, it's great :)

    • Angela McCall

      Angela McCall 06/27/2013 5:06 p.m. #

      Hi Sicorra,

      What an EXCELLENT read!!!! :)

      This post draws me in coz me and my husband are eBay sellers. Oh well, it's mostly my husband. He taught me how to sell in eBay and I know how but I have been busy trying to get my website going and so no time for me to do eBay, so it's mostly him doing it.

      On eBay, he sells men & women apparels (i.e. shoes, blue jeans), big items like "collectible" guitars, and stuff. And he is pretty good. When he sells they get sold right away. The only challenging part on this is when he sells in another country, the shipping & handling could be tough unless the buyer wants to pay it too. I've been trying to tell him try -- AMAZON.

      As far as Amazon is concerned, I'm a buyer and an affiliate marketer on Amazon Associates. Just recently. So many things to LEARN there. I'm not done checking them out. I have been thinking of writing my first ebook this year...but this is a huge project to me since I have never written a book before. Anyhoo...thanks for sharing this. It's very inspirational. Tweeted it.


      • jessica @ Successfully Selling

        jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/28/2013 12:28 p.m. #

        Hey Angela, it sounds like you guys are in the perfect position to add another stream of income using Amazon for sure! Let me know if you guys have any questions.

        Good luck on the book. I know a few people who have done very well with them. I launched one on my own site, but not on Amazon yet.

    • pauline

      pauline 06/28/2013 11:11 a.m. #

      that is amazing! I lack the eye you have for finding bargains like that. I imagine after a while you are used to putting up an add in a few seconds, I take 20 minutes haha, it wouldn't be worth it! thanks for sharing.

      • jessica @ Successfully Selling

        jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/28/2013 12:30 p.m. #

        Hey Pauline, I understand where you are coming from totally! One of the awesome things with Amazon is the listings are already created, so it takes a lot of the listing time out. As for the bargains, that just comes with time :)

    • Andrew@LivingRichCheaply

      Andrew@LivingRichCheaply 06/28/2013 11:30 a.m. #

      Very interesting, I will be checking out your website. My wife is due in a few weeks and today is her last day working so we were thinking of ideas to supplement income and Amazon FBA was one idea. I thought you shipped to Amazon for them to fulfill the orders and I thought there was a monthly fee. I guess I should check your blog and the Amazon site again.

      • jessica @ Successfully Selling

        jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/28/2013 7:30 p.m. #

        Hey Andrew! Yes, we do ship the items to Amazon to have them fulfill them. so, we pay an inbound shipping charge. You can start without the monthly membership account though. Hope that helps. Let me know if you need anything :)

    • Brian @ Luke1428

      Brian @ Luke1428 06/28/2013 1:36 p.m. #

      Thanks for sharing your story in detail! And congrats on the success. Seems like the key to it all is finding bargains, knowing what sells, and being persistent. Love've got a new follower!

      • jessica @ Successfully Selling

        jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/28/2013 7:31 p.m. #

        Thanks Brian :)

    • Michelle

      Michelle 06/28/2013 1:39 p.m. #

      Wow this is amazing!

      • jessica @ Successfully Selling

        jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/28/2013 7:31 p.m. #

        Thanks Michelle :)

    • Irish Carter

      Irish Carter 06/29/2013 2:15 p.m. #

      What an excellent and informative article for others to read. It is always nice to hear others confirm the capability of making money online legitimately.

      I too am an amazon and ebay seller and know that there is good money to be made from it. Just like Jessica shared, it takes committment and balance. Thanks for sharing.


      • Jessica @ Successfully Selling

        Jessica @ Successfully Selling 06/30/2013 2:04 p.m. #

        Irish, nice to see another seller :) It really is the best isn't it ?

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