Have you ever wondered why some stores are so much more successful on TpT than others? There are hundreds of factors, but one of the main reasons is that successful sellers’ products often offer higher value. In this post, I’m going to talk about the reasons why you want to add value to your TeachersPayTeachers store, and I’ll discuss several ways you can do it.
What does it mean to add value to your TeachersPayTeachers store anyway?
When sellers are first getting started with TpT, it’s easy to just want to get as many products as possible on the site. That means many of our first products are often bare bones and simplistic. We often price them to reflect that, setting prices at just a dollar or two. This can be a great strategy for some stores, but many of us would like to increase our earnings. One way to do that is to add value to your TeachersPayTeachers products so that you’re not only providing a higher quality product, but you can also increase the price and therefore earn more.
Why should you add value to your TeachersPayTeachers store?
There are two main reasons for adding value to your TpT products: (1) creating loyal customers and (2) earning more money.
Creating Loyal Customers
In order to add value to your resources, you’re going to need to go above and beyond the minimum baseline of offering a good product. That means doing things like adding additional elements, offering multiple versions, providing answer keys, and several other strategies discussed below. By providing your customers with more of what they need, and going beyond what other sellers on TpT may be offering, you’re going to build a loyal fan base that knows they will get high-quality resources when they shop in your store.
Earning More Money
Higher priced products are going to earn you more money. Duh. Customers are willing to pay more for products when they offer more value to them. Often this means adding things to your product that will save buyers even more time.
Offering Resources at Various Price Points
Before we get into talking about ways to add value to TpT resources, I think it’s important to note that there are many stores on TpT that only sell $1-$2 products and they’re doing just fine. In fact, some of them are doing quite well for themselves. I personally think the best strategy, though, is to offer items at a variety of price points in your store. I like to compare a TpT store to a wedding registry. Some people, like your rich aunt Beatrice, are more than happy to spend $400 on that set of crystal goblets you’ll never actually use. Other people, like the random coworker your parents invited for some inexplicable reason, will only feel comfortable buying you something cheap and practical like a $20 Amazon gift card. Your wedding registry should have both options (and everything in between) so there’s something for everyone.
The same principle applies to your TpT store. Some customers only need a $2 item to help them get through today, while others are looking for a $300 course bundle with everything they’ll need to teach writing for the entire year. So it makes the most sense to offer products at a variety of price points for all the potential customers visiting your store.
9 Ways to Add Value to Your TeachersPayTeachers Store
Okay so we’ve talked about the importance of adding value to your products, and now it’s time to look at different ways you can actually go about doing that. Here are nine strategies for adding value to your TpT resources, each with a little explanation for why you might consider them. As you read through the suggestions, you may want to take notes. To help you, I’ve created a handy mind mapping organizer that you can download and use for free by filling out the form below.
1. Answer keys and/or rubrics
Teachers love it when answer keys are already created for them. You probably already include answer keys for your products that have straightforward answers, but it’s important to consider answer keys for open-ended questions too. If student answers will vary, you can still provide a sample of what a student response might look like. For things like essays, you may also include a rubric to help with grading.
2. Differentiation and extension
We all know today’s classrooms are becoming more and more diverse. You can save teachers valuable time by providing resources that are already differentiated. For example, a reading passage might be adapted to include three different reading levels. Or a crossword puzzle might come with an optional word bank for struggling learners. If you have resources that you don’t want to differentiate, you can always provide ideas for how teachers can differentiate the resource themselves instead.
It’s important to remember that many teachers need to differentiate up too. They may be looking for extension activities for those students that already have a firm grasp on the material. These activities could also include extra practice for those students that seem to finish everything faster than everyone else. It’s important to distinguish the purpose of your extension activities though. An extension activity that is more rigorous is different than one that just offers additional practice at the same level of rigor.
3. Accompanying handouts
You may have resources in your store that don’t necessitate a handout. Take a PowerPoint presentation, for example. It works fine as a standalone product and doesn’t necessarily need a handout for taking notes since students can just do that in their notebooks instead. But adding that handout is also a great way to add value and could justify a bump in price. Graphic organizers, guided notes, and foldable activities all make great accompanying elements to add to your products.
If you’re an elementary seller, consider adding an accountability sheet to your resources. If your product is teaching about a certain sight word in whole-group, add an accountability sheet to your resource. This way, the teacher can teach the concept, then see if their students can complete the concept independently.
Sometimes it makes sense to provide a list of references you used in your product so teachers can find additional information themselves. For example, for an interactive notebook activity, you could also provide sources where the teachers could go to learn more about using interactive notebooks in the classroom. If you have any other products or even blog posts that could help, this would be a great place to list them too!
5. Student resources
Consider providing a list of resources students could use in order to get the most out of your product. For example, I offer a women’s history interactive fan in my store that requires students to conduct research in order to answer the prompts on the fan. I included a list of pre-screened websites that students could use to conduct their research. If you’re feeling fancy, your list of resources could also include video suggestions or print resources available from the library.
Not all your products need an assessment, but it’s likely that many of them could benefit from one. Many teachers hate creating assessments, so even a quick check for understanding in the form of something like an exit ticket would be much appreciated. A bonus of including an assessment with your resource is that it will already be fully aligned with the content of your product. You may also consider creating the best kind of assessment—one that grades itself! Some sellers do this using Google Forms, and this makes a great way to add value to your TeachersPayTeachers store.
7. Black & white and color versions
The printing tools available to teachers varies from one classroom to the next. At my old school, we only had access to black and white printing. Anything we wanted to print in color had to be done using our own personal printers, and of course we were also responsible for buying the ink. Unless a lesson really needed something in color in order to see it properly, I always printed in black and white. Other teachers have access to color printing though, so they might be looking for the more eye-catching and engaging resources available in color. The point is that you don’t know your buyer’s situation, so it’s best to offer both color and black and white versions of TpT resources when you can.
Another issue to think about is that some teachers only have access to a certain amount of ink without having to buy their own. These teachers don’t really appreciate things like thick borders around everything or unnecessary shading that requires more ink to print. Take a look at your own products and ask yourself if they’re ink-friendly or ink-greedy.
8. Multiple paper printing options
In addition to not providing color printing, my old school also had a set limit on the number of copies I could make each semester. We had codes for the copy machines and our codes would be locked if we exceeded 2500 sheets. With 157 students my last year, that meant I could only make ~16 copies per student for the entire semester! You wouldn’t believe all of the creative ways I came up with for saving those precious copies!
I was always so excited when I came across a resource on TpT that already saved paper for me. Take a look at your current resources and look for opportunities to save paper. Especially keep an eye out for any pages that have a lot of blank space on them. Could you duplicate that content on the same page so teachers could just print it once and have two copies to give to students instead?
9. Add options for international buyers
As an American seller, I often forget that other countries don’t necessarily do things the way we do. Major differences include holidays, seasons, measurement systems, spelling, and even paper size. You can provide more value and attract loyal international customers by accounting for some of these differences in your products. For example, you could offer a British English version of a reading passage in addition to the American English one.
You could also consider providing multiple versions of your product using different paper sizes. Most American documents use the U.S. Letter size of 8.5”x11”, but many international buyers use A4 paper, which is actually slightly narrower and longer (8.27”x11.69”). Most international buyers can make the traditional size work, but you could save them a little time by just making an A4 version of your product too. If you create your products in PowerPoint, this could easily be accomplished by just changing your slide size to fit the A4 dimensions. If you’re an international seller yourself, the same ideas can be used in reverse to attract American buyers.
These are just some of the ways to add value to your TpT products. In fact, there are so many ways that I decided to write a whole ‘nother (sorry, English teachers!) blog post about 9 more ways to add value to your TpT store. As you’re considering which of these ideas make sense for your store, it’s a great idea to use and test your product first to help you decide. As you test it out, you will probably find that some ideas on the list are much more applicable than others.
Should you add these to your existing resources or create all new products and then bundle?
You may be wondering if you should add these elements to your existing products or if you should list them as entirely new items in your store. That’s going to be up to you, but definitely think about whether your new additions are able to be used as standalone products or not. If it’s something like a quick check for understanding based directly on your PowerPoint, for example, it probably only makes sense to include it with your existing presentation.
However, if you added an entirely new element such as reading passages that can be (but don’t have to be) used with your presentation, then you may consider adding it as a standalone product instead. Then you could bundle your PowerPoint with the passages to create a new product that adds even more value to your store. Amazing!
Make Sure Customers Know What’s Included as You Add Value to Your TeachersPayTeachers Store
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to add these elements to your products if your potential customers aren’t aware of them. I recommend taking notes about changes you want to make using this free mind mapping organizer. (Just fill out the form below to get the mind map if you didn’t already.) Think through what value your additions provide for teachers and students, and use those thoughts to add information to your product descriptions.
So there you have it, 9 awesome ways to add value to your TeachersPayTeachers store. Did I forget anything? Are there any of these things that you’re already doing? Are there some that you’re definitely going to try? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below! And don’t forget that you can read about 9 more ways to add value to your TpT store next.