If you’re a teacher, a homeschooler, or a tutor, you may well be familiar with Teachers Pay Teachers already. It’s a great teaching resource site, stuffed with freebies, and an excellent place to source ad-hoc mini topic resources or specialist curricula. However, it’s also a fantastic marketplace for educators to buy and sell* self-authored resources to fellow educators! If you haven’t previously sold a product on TpT, I’m going to run you through my TpT sales guide.

TpT Sales Guide for educators; become a Teacher-Author!

Getting Started on Teachers Pay Teachers

The first thing you’ll need to do is set up a free account*. You can’t change your username later on but that doesn’t matter. Your TpT store can be any name you like; my store is called SLOAH.

Select the free Basic Seller Account and fill in your details. Don’t worry if you signed up to regular TpT Membership by accident; you can switch to a seller account later. Alternatively, you can go straight for a Premium Seller Account at 59.95 USD but I’ll tell you more about that later in this TpT sales guide.

TpT Sales Guide: First Product Listing

One of the reasons why Teachers Pay Teachers is so popular and has so many great freebies is because every seller’s first product must be listed for free. This is very important. By gifting a freebie to the community, you are establishing trust and goodwill. Most educators, whether homeschoolers or teachers, actually pay for most of their own resources. Every little helps, and the education community really appreciates it. Also, by making a sample of your work freely available, you’re allowing your potential customers to get a feel for your writing style. Buyers need to know that your resources are a good fit for their teaching style.

Don’t be tempted to throw something together quickly for the sake of rushing out a freebie. Make sure it’s as good as your paid resources, or you’ll quickly turn off your potential customers. If educators really like your free sample, they’re more likely to return to buy a paid resource.

TpT Sales Guide: Your First Sale

When you’ve listed your first paid product – or, maybe even a few – and get that very first sale, it’s a wonderful feeling. More so than when customers first started to download your initial freebie. You’ll never know for sure if people only download free products simply because they’re labelled “free”. However, when someone pays for a product, you know they’ve done so because they think it’s worth buying!

Yay! You’re a real TpT seller now, and the only thing that will give you a bigger thrill will be your first feedback comment on your products. I absolutely adore receiving feedback; I love knowing that someone cared enough to tell me their thoughts. Customers don’t always leave feedback comments on freebies. They’re more likely to do so for paid products because TpT incentivises buyers to leave feedback. For every one dollar spent on TpT, buyers can earn one TpT credit – but only if they leave feedback on the product. After they’ve earned 20 TpT credits, they can redeem them for one dollar against TpT purchases.

Premium TpT Sales Guide

As soon as you’ve sold your first paid product, you should consider upgrading your account from Basic to Premium. Some sellers like to upgrade as soon as they’ve had that first sale. Some like to wait till they’ve sold 60 dollars worth of products. There’s no right or wrong answer but it’s worth thinking about the costs involved.

First up, the Premium account costs 59.95 USD for a year. That sounds like a lot of money but it’s only 5 dollars a month. (That’s currently about ¬£3.80 GBP per month. You could easily spend that in Costa or Starbucks and have nothing to show except delicious coffee foam and an empty cup!)

Secondly, Teachers Pay Teachers charge commission and a transaction fee on all your sales. If you have a Premium account, they charge significantly less! Premium sellers pay 20% commission plus 15 cents transaction fee (on sales under 3 dollars). If your resources are priced higher than 3 dollars, Premium sellers don’t pay any transaction fees at all. Compare that to Basic accounts; they pay 45% commission plus 30 cents transaction fee per resource.

Can you see the benefits now? Even without all the extras like increased file size allowances and access to Premium marketing tools, Premium is a significant saving for high volume sellers.

TpT Sales Guide: Self Employment

Now that you see how easy it is to sell your self-authored teaching resources on TpT, maybe you’re now thinking about self-employment? All sellers on TpT are self-employed Teacher-Authors. (Yes, it’s an odd job title but that’s what you’re officially called. Put it on your LinkedIn profile with pride!)

The laws for self-employment vary from country to country but, in general, you’ll need to register with the tax office and keep accurate records. Your overheads are minimal. You just need a computer, an internet connection, and a suitable Office software package for creating your resources.

  • Internet connected computer
  • Microsoft Office, LibreOffice or Google Docs
  • Teachers Pay Teachers account*
  • Email address
  • Free Paypal account
  • Great ideas

That’s pretty much all you need! You can set up a spreadsheet with your Office software, to track your sales and expenses. A graphics editing program, and maybe a graphics tablet, would be a great bonus if you create your own graphics. However, you can readily buy commercial license graphics on TpT.

So, now you know what to do and how to do it, I hope you’ll consider a new career as a Teacher-Author. It’s so much fun to sell your self-authored resources on TpT!

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