is an online marketplace that enables teachers to buy and sell original content
and lesson plans with other teachers. The design is reminiscent of Amazon, in
that teachers can browse content created by other teachers through filters like
grade level, subject, price, and type of resources. TpT highlights top sellers,
featured resources, and sales of the week. The site makes “resource sharing” into
a full- featured shopping experience, where teachers can simultaneously be an
entrepreneur and a customer.
of 2013, the TpT marketplace hosted over a half million resources, of which a
majority devoted to primary grades; there are also prominent ELA and math
categories. Each resource’s profile includes an overview on what it is and what
it does, ratings and comments from other customers, and detailed information
about the seller including descriptions of their teacher experience and their
Buyers can directly ask sellers questions about an individual resource that’s up for sale through the site. Buyers can also download a preview of the resource before they commit to buying. Teachers can “follow” their favorite sellers and get updates on future releases. And much like Amazon, buyers can maintain a wishlist of items they would like to buy.
Anyone can sell resources on the TpT marketplace, whether they are a teacher or not. Before sellers can upload resources to sell, however, they must share a free resource. Once the free resource is up, the site lets sellers set their own prices for additional materials. Resources must be uploaded in pdf, Word, Wordperfect, or HTML files.
pricing sweet spot for individual items seems to be around $3.50, says Paul
Edelman, founder of the site. Customers buy in groups, with typical customers
spending about $14 per order (about three items).
TpT has excited some controversy. Some teachers love it and appreciate the extra money which they frequently spend on additional resources for their class. (Most teachers spend several hundred dollars of their own money each year to supplement school supplies.) Others have complained that since teachers are paid with public funds, the resources they create for their job is public property and belongs in the public domain. Copyright issues about who owns materials created for the classroom are still unclear.
Creating a TpT account is free for buyers. However, sellers choose between the free version and a paid membership: The company takes a 40% commission on sales from sellers using a free account. Those who pay for a premium membership of $60 per year get charged a 15% commission.TeachersPayTeachers is solely a resource-sharing site. Beyond being able to get ready to use resources for the classroom, teacher will receive no further coaching or advice on what it takes to implement the resource in their own classrooms.
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