Thanks for stopping by to check out my Teachers Pay Teachers review. If you're a teacher with an entrepreneurial streak, this may be an opportunity worth looking into. It's a hard-to-ignore combination of helping your fellow teachers, their students… and earning money in the process.Some have questioned it's legitimacy though. I'll talk more that, as well as what it is, how it works, and whether Teachers Pay Teachers is worth the effort.
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Teachers Pay Teachers. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info
What Is Teachers Pay Teachers?
Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) is an online buy-and-sell marketplace specifically for educators.
Founded in 2006 and based in New York, teachers from around the world can gain access to school resources such as lesson plans, exams, quizzes, whiteboard activities, PowerPoints, worksheets, entire curriculums and even classroom decorations.
Marketplaces like this are typically used for buying or selling a product every once in awhile. Where it gets interesting, is that you can turn Teachers Pay Teachers into a small business by creating, marketing and selling materials at scale.
At first, it might sound like a way to make a few extra bucks. But some have turned it into an online business making hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Since TPT began, over 5 million teachers have accessed the marketplace and there are currently 3 million resources available.
Is Teachers Pay Teachers a Scam?
Teachers Pay Teachers is not a scam, however… like any marketplace, you will find people trying to sell over-priced and underwhelming products.
The bigger problem though, is plagiarism.
Marketplaces are great, but they are hard to regulate. A team of people combing through millions of documents is not realistic.
As a result, you get people copying someone else's hard work, sometimes changing it slightly, and even bundling it with another person's products… and then selling it as their own.
That seller is running a scam.
Other’s have been accused of just copying materials they from places like Pinterest and trying to get a few bucks for it here.
Teachers Pay Teachers is not a scam… but it's still important to pay attention to who you’re buying from. Unfortunately, these scammers make it harder for new sellers to establish themselves.
How Does It Work?
If you’re looking for a work-at-home “job”, this won’t be for you. Pay is not guaranteed, and your schedule is not structured.
On the other hand, if you’re a little more entrepreneurial by nature… Teachers Pay Teachers will be right up your alley.
It’s simple to sign-up and you can be setting up your online store in minutes.
There are no educational requirements… however, you’ll have a better chance of connecting with buyers and selling your products if you have a background in teaching.
Teachers Pay Teachers is available worldwide, and although they prefer materials in English, other languages are welcome.
What’s appealing here, is that the opportunity is really what you make it. You can treat it like a hobby and sell original content you’ve already created for the classroom.
Or, you can make it a serious side hustle and aim for the moon.
It won’t be easy… but if you have a background in online marketing and put in the research to find product gaps, it’s possible to create something extraordinary.
How Much Does It Cost?
There are two seller memberships, Basic and Premium.
- Basic (Free) – earn 55% of your sales minus a $0.30 transaction fee.
- Premium ($59.99/yr) – earn 80% of your sales minus a $0.15 transaction fee on orders under $3.00.
You can sell items for as little as a few cents (as well as give them away for free), or as much as several thousand dollars.
Big sellers create entire lesson plans and courses that cover multiple grades and sell them as a licensed product for as much as ten thousand dollars.
Of course, you’ll need to walk before you can run, and the sweet spot for pricing is much further down the price scale, at around $3.50.
I took a mini-course a few years ago about selling Kindle books, and if I remember correctly, that was the same price-point (or close to it) that was popular in that marketplace as well.
Teachers Pay Teachers Pay
Just to get the payment details out of the way first… Teachers Pay Teachers deposits monthly (no later than the 21st) via PayPal or Dwolla (US only).
As far as earning potential, again… it depends on you.
$10 is a common price for products, and I’ve seen things like musical instrument courses priced at $900 to $1999.
With your cut of the sale ranging from 55% to 80%, you can do the math.
Having said that, making sales won’t be easy, and they won’t come overnight.
There are certainly thousands of sellers on Teacher Pay Teachers with quality products who haven’t made a single sale.
The research and marketing strategies you would use to succeed at that level are beyond the scope of this review, but there are free resources online that might not be specific to Teachers Pay Teachers, but cover the same principles.
Wealthy Affiliate for example (which I am also a member of) offers free training for keyword research, which is critical for researching what people are looking for… and more importantly, what has the least competition.
If you’re creating a product to sell, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration with that information.
As mentioned above, Teachers Pay Teachers is not an online “job”.
It’s an opportunity to make a few extra bucks on the side, with the option of investing in yourself, and scaling it into a full-time online business… and creating passive income.
So as far as Teachers Pay Teachers pay… it'll depend on your approach.
Reviews and Complaints
By a wide margin, the Teachers Pay Teachers reviews are positive. As far as complaints go, the most common are…
- Teachers Pay Teachers takes a big cut (45%) unless you pay the sixty bucks for a premium membership.
- You can invest a lot of time creating materials that no one buys.
- The marketplace not being monitored for plagiarism. Some sellers have had their work copied and re-packaged by someone else.
The positives comments are…
- The feeling of giving back and having a positive impact on students
- Being able to set your own price.
- The opportunity to take original content created for your own classroom, bundle it into an actual product, and earn real money with it.
What I Like About Teachers Pay Teachers
- A 100% flexible schedule.
- You can use Teachers Pay Teachers as a casual side gig, or a full-throttle business opportunity.
- Passive income potential. This is big! The compounding effect of passive income is life changing.
What I Don’t Like
- The potential exists (if you don’t start with research or put in any marketing efforts) to spend a lot of time creating products and never sell them.
- It’s competitive.
- To make it work as business you need additional training in online marketing… things like SEO (search engine optimization), audience research, and driving traffic to your online store.
There's no question that Teachers Pay Teachers is a great opportunity for the right person.
If all you're looking for is to make a few extra dollars by selling classroom materials you've already created, it's easy to get started.
On the other hand, those with an entrepreneurial hunger can leverage the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace as well. It'll require a comprehensive strategy but, as a teacher… learning is your thing.
There is a specific business model that will help you establish a foundation, and leverage high-demand/low-competition products (going after the low-hanging fruit) to set you apart from the vast majority of sellers. I go into more detail here.
I hope this review was helpful and if you have any comments or questions, please share in the comments section below.