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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Teachers Pay Teachers Tips for New Sellers

I joined Teachers Pay Teachers in October 2013 as a seller and since then, I've been making more money each month.  I used to be a consultant for a direct sales company (you've all been to the parties at your girlfriends' houses - listening to the lady talking up the products from the catalogue) but by listing my products on TpT, I'm making the same amount - but I'm making money while out to the movies with my sister or celebrating a friend's birthday at the pub!

The products that I have in my store are all products that I created for my classroom or while I was on practicum as a student teacher.  I'm not doing any extra work (other than a bit of formatting for each product), but I am getting a little boost in income that is going to send me to Vegas this year for my sister's 30th birthday!

I get an email every time a product has sold and I get so excited about it!  I love getting feedback that an activity or unit I built for my class is useful for another teacher in another part of the world.  As soon as I started writing this post, I got this piece of feedback on a French unit I created:

"I ADORE this product!!! I started using it last week, and will hopefully finish it next week. I especially love the listening activity!!! Please keep creating products like this!!!"

It made my day!  Thank you to the teacher who took the time out of her day to respond to me.

Because I have found success with the site, a few friends have asked for advice on how to optimize their selling experience.  I thought I'd share some tips that have been helpful to me.

1. Colourful cover pages catch more attention.  It seems so silly, but it really works. I have styled my covers with similar borders, fonts, and clip art to help to brand my store.  Adding my logo to each of my covers also helps to brand my store.


 2. Pin, Pin, Pin! I don't know about you, but I am on Pinterest ALL the time!  I have a bit of a pinning addiction, but it has helped me a lot in promoting my TpT products.  While I only have 26 TpT followers (so far), I have over 200 Pinterest followers.  I pin the cover sheets of my products (another reason to have clean, professional covers) and link to the product in my store.  If you haven't done it, adding pins to Pinterest is super easy.

Open your Pinterest page, and next to your name, there is a little + sign.

Press the +, then select "Add from a Website"

Enter the URL address of your product page on TpT, and click on the photo you want to use as your "pin."  Couldn't be easier!

3. Use the seller's forum! On TpT, the seller's forum is very active.  There are threads about every topic that you could want, including promotion of products.  There are always active "Linky Parties," and "Pinning Parties," in which you post a link to a product in your store or a pin on your Pinterest page that you want to promote.  The other sellers on the thread will link and pin for you if you link and pin for them.  It's so easy, and you make a lot of connections with other sellers.  I have even made a new Pinterest board just for the products that I pin from these pinning parties!

4. Optimize your previews.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to spend money on something that I haven't seen.  If you are selling a product, I would strongly recommend adding a preview file.  I won't buy anything from TpT without a preview file.  Your preview file lets your buyers know what your product will look like, and should highlight its best features.  Many of my best-selling products are full units.  I include pages from the unit with questions - but not answers; puzzles; snippets of tests; etc.  You want your buyer to know what they will get for their money.   A word of caution - check that you are uploading your PREVIEW file (not the product file) as the preview.  I couldn't understand why one of my products hadn't sold for over a month until I realized that I had uploaded the product file as the preview, and everyone who downloaded the preview got the whole unit for free, and didn't need to make the purchase!

5. Become a premium seller.  As a basic seller (which is free), you earn 60% of your sale price minus a 30 cent fee for each purchase.  This is not bad, but I was finding that after all the fees, I only earned about half the gross sales I made.  Once I started selling more products, I became a premium seller.  As a premium seller, you pay a fee of $59.99 per year, but you no longer pay any 30 cent transaction fees, plus you earn 85% of your sale price.  My increase in earnings offset the cost of the membership in the first month.

6. Refer your friends! Every premium seller has a unique promo link to refer friends.  If a friend or colleague uses that link to sign up as a seller, you will earn 5% of their sales for their first two years as a seller.  This 5% comes from TpT, and not out of your friend's sales, so you don't have to worry about taking any earnings from them.  Sign up, then ask your friends to sign up!

Now that you know how amazing it can be to sell your products on TpT, why not sign up!  And since you are now all my friends, why not use my referral link?  Click here to sign up and become a seller!

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