Thursday, March 1, 2012

Free TpT Pricing Charts



I was inspired to make these charts by a post in the TpT forums by TpT seller Lisa Frase. She was responding to a post about a seller who under priced and she makes some excellent points.. Here is her post (used with permission):

First of all, the seller who has 30 pages for $4 is under pricing, and this hurts all of us. I have bit of a system I've used with pricing: For 1-3 pages I price it at $1 or $1.49 depending on the level of work involved. For 3-10 pages, I price it at a quarter a page. I might increase or decrease a bit depending on the level of work involved. If I create more than 10 pages, I consider the quarter a page, and then increase or decrease depending on the level of work, and other similar product's pricing (although I won't go too low or too high). 

I've seen people under price and over price. I try to think of the price of a book I would buy at a teacher supply store and keep it in range. When I first started, I think I under priced a bit, so I am slowly increasing my prices. 

Now here is something that I'd like to discuss w/everyone: For items that are 20 pages or more, I think a lot of people under price them. I think we should consider how much Scholastic charges for a teacher resource book. 

Some examples from Amazon:

48 pages - List price: $10.99 (Amazon sells it cheaper than the list price.)
63 pages - List price: $11.99
160 pages - List price: $18.99
224 pages - List price: $23.00

This ranges from .10 cents a page to .23 cents a page. The more pages -the lower the amount per page. If you followed this logic @ .25 cents a page, you would price your product $1.75. Now we do have a nitch in that we can create 1 page or 100 pages. Remember that when you make an item -you make it once, but it can be downloaded thousands of times. The sky is the limit. I'm still tweaking and thinking about pricing too. The rule of pricing is to charge what the customer would pay for it. That doesn't mean you have to give it away (there are some people who expect to be given things for free), but it does mean that you must consider what the market will bear. You can't worry about what others charge. It doesn't do any good whatsoever. You can't change their prices, so you can only price your products fairly and consistently. JMHO.

For more on Pricing check out the SoS on TpT post: Product Pricing

8 comments:

  1. The way I see it, making good lessons for my classes is my JOB. My school pays me to do that.

    The buyers are other TEACHERS....I don't want to rake them over the coals.

    It just takes me a few minutes to upload stuff to TpT, I think of the payment as a little bonus not related to the value of the product.

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  2. I make good lessons for my classroom but when I share them with others on TpT, it takes more effort to make it friendly for others to use. Adding descriptions that are easy to follow and making them more attractive to the consumer takes time and energy beyond what I use to create a lesson plan for my classroom. When a great lesson can be turned into a great product I think it deserves compensation. I'm not saying "rake them over the coals" but what teacher wouldn't be willing to pay a little extra for something of high quality that can cut their own planning time in half or more?! I agree with Rachel. We each need to judge the value of our own product and charge accordingly.

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  3. I love paying another teacher for the time that it took to make lessons "just right". It makes me feel as though I'm helping them. I would much rather pay another teacher. I know that they well deserve more money for their job than they're paid.

    It is absolutely no different than buying from an educational publisher- except that from a teacher, I know it has had success in the classroom. I am no longer interested in helping large corporate profit margins, I want to help my colleagues out.

    When I buy a novel unit at a store, I make a choice to purchase that unit. If I feel "raked over the coals" at the price, I don't buy it. Wouldn't the choice of purchase be the same?

    Is it raking someone over the coals when an artist buys art from another artist on Etsy? What if they only buy raw materials for their art? Same?

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  4. Anonymous - Actually, writing curriculum is NOT part of many teacher's salaries. If our district wants us to write curriculum, they have to pay us extra. I write on my own time, unpaid by my district.

    Why do we think that we--the EXPERTS in our field and subject matter--should be paid less than publisher's materials? Do we really think that low of ourselves? If so, that is very sad.

    Do you have a problem with other professions who do the same? What about a contractor who takes on additional construction side jobs on nights and weekends? Should they charge nothing or next to nothing for those side jobs?

    A doctor who creates a tool for his job has the right to patent and sell it. Should she/he pay to have it produced and give it away for free?

    Should a baseball coach work 20 extra hours a week giving pitching and hitting lessons for free?

    Should columnists NOT get paid for the novel they wrote when they weren't writing for their paper?

    Should authors not get paid for the rights of their book to be made into a movie? Or not get paid to write the movie script?

    Should teachers NOT get paid for tutoring someone nights and weekends? Covering after-school and Saturday detentions?

    By underpricing our lessons, we are telling the world that we aren't VALUABLE or WORTHY. We teachers already are underpaid, as you said yourself. And the reason is because people like you think what we do should be given away for free.

    I think publishers' materials are over-priced.But I think by giving away our lessons for next to nothing, we are telling the world that is exactly what we are worth.

    If we continue to have this mindset, we will NEVER be paid what we deserve. In fact, we'll probably be paid less.

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  5. Interesting discussion here. If you do nothing more than upload exactly what you prepare for your classroom, I can certainly understand why you wouldn't expect a lot of money for your work. On the other hand, and I don't mean to be rude, but I doubt items like that are going to be particularly helpful or useful to anyone else. Sure, others might download them, but if they still have to figure out what to do with them and create their own answer keys, I agree that they wouldn't expect to pay much if anything at all. I have tons of that stuff for free on my website (http://www.lauracandler.com) and I wouldn't dream of charging anyone ANYTHING for something I created for my classroom if all I did is upload it to my site! Teachers are welcome to download it for free, but I know they still have to figure out how to use it. On the other hand, the materials that I create to sell online are carefully crafted to include complete lesson plans, management tips, and answer keys. Those are the extras that people are willing to pay for - the things that save them time that they can spend with their families. I get so many emails from teachers who are grateful for the affordable lessons I offer at TpT and on my site that I can feel good about the service I'm offering and not worry that I'm raking them over the coals.

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  6. Thanks for the pricing charts! They are very helpful. I like your points Tracee. I sometimes hesitate to tell some teachers that I sell my original products online because many of them believe that all teaching products should be free. However, they would not expect publishers materials to be free. Of course I always share all of my materials with the teachers in my district for free. Laura, I agree that it does take more time to make the materials that I sell detailed and user-friendly to teachers. Sometimes I think it will be very quick to post something new, and then the next thing I know I've spent an hour or so perfecting it!

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  7. Rachel -- Thanks for these pricing charts. They're very helpful!

    To participate in the discussion, I agree that if you make something only for your class and upload it as-is to TpT, you really shouldn't charge much (if anything) for it. But things that have been tweaked to make sure that strangers know exactly how to use it? I absolutely will charge for that! As Tracee said, it's actually NOT a teacher's job to create curriculum. But because we care so much and want our students to participate in USEFUL activities and do RELEVANT and CREATIVE homework, a lot of us choose to make our own, rather than just going by the book. For that, I believe we should be compensated.

    Teachers are just like any other human beings -- we have feelings, we have families of our own, and we need to make a living. Why do teachers continually get jipped from what is rightfully theirs (profit), just because of our profession? Everyone thinks we should be so charitable all the time... I'm ALL for giving stuff away. I agree with Liz: if a co-worker wanted one of my TpT lessons, I'd hand it over for free, no questions asked. But there comes a point in time when I also have to look out for myself and my family. Teachers don't get paid tons of money, and a lot of us have to work second jobs to compensate. Why not allow TpT to help us capitalize on something we're already great at?

    I would MUCH rather buy curriculum from a fellow teacher than a large corporation, and I am so thankful for those that feel the same way. TpT has been such a blessing so far, and I am looking forward to using Rachel's tips to make it even more of a blessing. :)

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  8. Thank you so much for all of this great info. I sold my very first item on TpT today. I was so excited. I am your newest follower. :)

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