If you are like me, I immediately want to know the cost of something I see. When I started TPT last year, I wanted to know the costs of selling on Teachers Pay Teachers. Can you sell on TPT for free? Keep reading! This blog post is part of a series we are featuring this month. If you are interested in reading all of them, start with this one.
2 Paths to Selling
There are probably more, but let’s just focus on two. The question is, do you want to make money? Teachers Pay Teachers offers 2 types of seller accounts: basic and premium. The basic seller account is free, while the premium seller account is $60 (USD). Below is a table of the accounts:
Many teacher-sellers start with the basic account. However, if you are seriously considering making money, I recommend you dive into the premium seller account. There is a huge difference in income between the two. The payout rates and transaction fees can really dig into your profits.
Let’s use an example. You create a 20-30 page set worksheets for Grade 2 addition and subtraction. The price decided is $2.50. As a basic seller, $2.50 less $1.13 payout charge, less $.30 transaction fee is $1.07. As a premium seller, $2.50 less $.50- $.15= $1.85. If the buyer purchases more items making their total purchase $3 or more, the premium seller’s 15¢ fee is waived!
Consider this: one of the top pieces of advice seasoned TPTers often give: pay for the premium. Do not think of it as a cost, but an investment!
Now you may be thinking that’s not a big difference. Let’s do it on a higher price item. You create a bundle (2 or more products together) for $15. As a basic seller, you will receive $7.95 but as a premium seller, you will receive $12. You can see that as a basic seller, you can potentially lost a lot of your hard earned profits. By the way, when you do make a sale with TPT, they will not pay you until the 20th of the following month (Sale on May 10th, payout June 20th).
Selling on Teachers Pay Teachers Can Be Pricey
Initially I wondered how teachers would respond to my products. Based on the reviews, teachers seem to be very happy, which makes me happy. That goal to make teachers happy leads me to incur more costs. Depending on your grade, this next cost can range from $0-hundreds! It is the purchase of clipart and fonts. As a primary teacher, many teacher buyers like cute clipart on their products (but not too much).
First off, try to choose only 1 or 2 clipart artists and stick with them. I primarily use Educlips. I started with some of her freebies and now my main purchases at sales times is clipart. You can also look into purchasing fonts. Again, pick a couple and then stay consistent in your creation of products.
Securing Your TPT Products
Other Costs for Selling (Random Order)
- Canva (available for free or $10/month) – I love Canva and use it weekly. I create my square covers for both TPT and Boom on it. You can repurpose the covers for Pinterest Pins, IG posts. If you are interested in a free trial, click here. (This is an affiliate link)
- Tailwind ($15/month) – I will be posting about Pinterest as it is a love/hate thing for many TPTers. However, I love it. I spend about 2 hours a week (usually on a Tuesday night) creating pins for the next couple weeks. A couple months ago I added video pins and last week, I created my first story pin! I’m getting a good amount of traffic from Pinterest to TPT so I’m sticking with it. If you would like a free month (another affiliate!), click here.
- Accounting – when I started I used two Excel spreadsheets – one for sales and one for expenses. I asked an accountant where I live if I needed anything more and she said no. This will be different depending on where you live. Now that I’m making more money, I have purchased Quick Books online.
- Email Provider – having an email list is huge when it comes to your sales. There are many good ones out there. I started with Convertkit. They are free if your subscriber base is under 1000. I’m still under 1000 but I create my emails using Flodesk. They are much more visually interesting. As they are relatively a newer company, Flodesk is offering 50%, now $19, regardless of email size. Click here if you want to try it.
- Equipment – hopefully you have a working laptop or desktop computer to get you started. You will need a good printer. I love my HP Printer and I use the monthly Ink Plan. Last affiliate link!
- Photography – use your Phone! I have a camera as I need it to create Youtube videos, but my phone has been great for taking product pictures.
- Powerpoint – if you are looking to have a business, you are required to use Powerpoint for Business. You can choose a 1-time cost or monthly. I went for the 1-time as my computer is fairly new. Many teacher sellers will purchase this but if you want to avoid this cost, use Google Slides.
- Miscellaneous – I’m sure I forgot something!
Final Total ?
That depends on you! I wish someone would have told me upfront all the costs. Would it have changed my mind? No, but I would have felt better prepared. Initially running a TPT is low, provided you have a good computer, printer, camera, etc. But now, in the maintenance mode, there are monthly expenses. Thankfully I’m making money that covers them.
A Youtube video is coming this weekend to go over some of these expenses.
We’re getting closer to Summer Holidays! We still have 4.5 weeks of school. If you are out now, congratulations for getting through this crazy school year! Have a wonderful summer! For the rest of us still in the classroom,
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