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 its legitimacy though. I'll talk more about 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 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 occasionally. 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 Legit?
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 the scam, not TPT.
Others have been accused of just copying materials from places like Pinterest and trying to get a few bucks for it here.
But again, to be clear, this is not promoted or condoned by Teachers Pay Teachers. As a company, Teachers Pay Teachers is legit.
Having said that, although it's not a scam, it's still important to pay attention to who you’re buying from. Unfortunately, these scammers make it harder for new (and legit) sellers to establish themselves.
How Does It Work?
If you’re looking for a work-at-home JOB, then this might not be for you. The pay is not guaranteed, and your schedule is not structured.
On the other hand, if your entrepreneurial side is looking for a side hustle, Teachers Pay Teachers will be right up your alley.
Signing up is simple, and in minutes, you can set up your online store.
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. This is because teachers know what other teachers are going through and therefore have a much better understanding of what they want and need.
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 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 (or you want to learn) and put in the research to find product gaps, it’s possible to create something extraordinary.
How Much Does TPT 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 (even 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 licensed products 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 pricing 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 also a popular Kindle marketplace price.
The Teachers Pay Teachers Pay
Just to get the payment details out of the way… Teachers Pay Teachers deposits monthly (no later than the 21st) via PayPal or Dwolla (US only).
As far as earning potential, as mentioned earlier, it depends on you.
$10 is a common seller price, and I’ve seen things like musical instrument courses priced at $900 to $1999.
So, based on your selling price and cut of the sale ranging from 55% to 80%, you can do the math.
Having said that, making sales won’t be easy and probably won’t come overnight. It's not impossible, but it's competitive and takes time like most marketplaces.
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.
For example, many people create products and just “hope” they find an audience. Instead, it's better to start by developing a clear value proposition. Identify your target audience and define the specific problem they need help solving.
Create a product, lesson plan, etc. that lifts a specific burden off their shoulders.
You may also want to create a professional website and social media accounts so that potential buyers doing off-platform research can see you're legit.
Use targeted keywords and hashtags to increase your exposure. Platforms like Wealthy Affiliate provide free (and paid) training courses and tools that show you how to do this.
Starting with a plan and a specific problem you intend to solve will save you a lot of time and frustration.
And even though Teachers Pay Teachers is not an online JOB, it can be part of a larger marketing and sales project that not only makes a few extra bucks on the side but scales into a full-time online business, potentially creating passive income.
So as far as how much Teachers Pay Teachers pays… 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 take a big cut (45%) unless you pay sixty bucks for a premium membership.
- You can invest a lot of time creating materials that no one buys.
- The marketplace is not being monitored for plagiarism. Some sellers have had their work copied and re-packaged by someone else.
The positive 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 as part of a full-time business strategy.
- 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 that never sell.
- It’s competitive.
- This isn't necessarily a negative or something I don't like, but rather an obstacle some will have to overcome, which is… to make it work as a business, you'll 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 start.
On the other hand, those with an entrepreneurial hunger can also leverage the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace. It'll require a more comprehensive strategy, but as a teacher, learning is your thing.
As a specific business model that helps you establish a foundation and leverages high-demand/low-competition products (the low-hanging fruit) and sets you apart from the majority of casual sellers, you can find more details here.
I hope this Teachers Pay Teachers review was helpful, and if you have any comments or questions or Teachers Pay Teachers, please share them in the comments section below.