Summer sales are dreadful on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Let me just get that out of the way right now. If you look at any sellers graph that has been on TPT for more than two summers you will start to see a trend. It’s a big ol’ dip in sales.
I think we can all figure out why that is. But sometimes it’s hard to accept.
Summer sales go down because teachers are on break. We are all taking a brain break and have wiped anything school related off of our agendas.
Do You Lesson Plan in the Summer?
There are exceptions to this of course. New teachers are going to be so excited for the next school year that they will most likely be picking out ideas on TPT. Teachers that are switching grades might be doing a little pre-planning.
However, almost all teachers are going to take a 3 to 4-week break from thinking about school at all. This usually happens around the 4th of July.
Picnics and BBQ’s are abundant. Teachers are refueling and getting ready for the next year’s grind. Could you imagine your life as a teacher if you didn’t have the summers (or a summer break) to recuperate? Teachers are already leaving the profession in droves. It would be a mass exodus.
When Do You Start Selling on TPT?
Most Teachers Pay Teachers start in the summer. It’s easy to see why. You finally have a little free time and you can focus on something besides lesson planning, getting your own kids on a schedule, and working all day long.
Teacher tired is a real thing. Summer is when you start “come back to life”. This is a great time to start a new endeavor.
It’s a great time to start selling on Teachers Pay Teachers too. If you keep a few things in mind.
- You will not make instant sales.
- Cricuts will be chirping in your store until at least August.
- Product creation is the key to success on TPT
You will list your first free product and see a few downloads. Then you will list your paid resource and wonder why no one likes it. What did you do wrong? Why aren’t they buying?
They aren’t buying because “they” really aren’t on TPT during the summer. Other sellers are on there, listing their own products and looking around. They might buy an item or two here and there.
But really…the sales don’t pick up again until August.
After selling for at least two years, you will start to see the trends in your own sales. There are also sitewide trends that happen on TPT.
June and July are dead. No hope of resurrection. And it should be this way. Teachers need a break.
August is when the charts start to swing back up.
Teachers are getting excited about new crayons, fresh dry erase markers and Flair Pens.
New student lists.
Clear, clean lesson plans.
That’s when the traffic starts to pick back up and you might see a few sales. A back-to-school site-wide sale usually marks the end of the summer slump.
Even the Big Sellers See a Slump
The level of low sales varies based on how many followers you have, what you sell, and your time selling on Teachers Pay Teachers.
My first summer on TPT I started in June. That’s when I had time to sit down and focus. Work on bigger lessons and my covers and get things started in my shop.
That first month, I made $16. I was working for less than 25 cents an hour I am sure. The compensation for the time I spent working on products didn’t even come close to covering my time.
Teachers Pay Teachers is a long game. It’s a marathon, not a race. If I had been worried about my time and earning a set amount per hour in the beginning, I never would have kept selling.
The next summer was better. I made it into the low hundreds.
Here’s the thing though. In May, I had made it into the low thousands.
Yup. And then my sales jumped off a cliff.
You shouldn’t panic when this happens in your shop. The more you learn about TPT the more you will realize that this is just part of the ebb and flow.
Supply and demand.
You might still be supplying the lessons. They just aren’t in high demand (at the moment).
How do You Not Get Discouraged with Summer Sales?
There are a few ways to work through the summer and not let the lack of sales bring you down.
- Take the time to improve your shop. You are taking a break from school and lesson planning just like all the other teachers. Use this time to make improvements that you won’t have time for during the school year.
- Work on the big products. Now is the time to use your brain power for products that you won’t have the energy for during the school year. Think about what you want to use in your classroom next fall that is “big” and get that made.
- Start learning about marketing. Once you have at least 50 products in your shop you are going to want to start finding ways to generate traffic to those listings. Pick a platform and learn how to use it. Pinterest, Instagram, email marketing, SEO. Whatever it is you need to learn, now is the time to focus on that.
- Stay off your dashboard. Don’t go in and check your traffic, your listing stats, or anything else. List your product and get out! There is no point in dwelling on the deathly silence you will find there.
- Go play and relax. If you are staring at your computer and you can’t think of anything to work on, you need to get up and change your routine. Teaching all year is mentally draining. Continuing to focus on things that take mental focus is not doing you any good at all. Walk away. Maybe for an hour. Maybe for a week. You will come back refreshed and ready to crank some things out!
Now You Know What to Expect for Summer Sales
Don’t expect much of anything from your summer sales.
Be grateful for that random “cha-ching” or email announcement about a sale. Don’t dwell on the fact that they may be few and far between.
Spend your energy doing things that you know will “move the needle” when school schedules pick up again. Summer is a great time to be productive and make improvements to your store that will reap huge benefits later. Focus on the things you can control, not the things you can’t.
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