Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: Take a Good Ebay Picture

Hope you had a great 4th of July!

Once you've got something you want to sell (here are some suggestions), you've acquired a scale and your shipping supplies (find out more about that here), you'll need to take a good picture before you list your item.

You don't need a fancy camera or anything, but you do need to have clear, attractive pictures and get your flash right.  You also don't need to set up an ebay photo studio in your home--that would just take too much effort, and as I said before, I am a very lazy ebay mommy, and I only take pictures once a month.  Here are a few tips for taking good ebay pictures:
  • Take your picture against a solid background.  I always use my hardwood floor, which seems to do the trick.  Or, you could use a large solid color table, or something like that.  Of course if you wanted to make an ebay photo studio you could, but that seems like too much work for me.
  • Make sure there's no extra "stuff" in your picture.  Extra stuff distracts from your item and could confuse your buyer.  Also, the more "professional"  or "clean" your pictures look the more confidence your buyer will have in you as a seller and what you are selling.
  • Take several pictures (if applicable).  Sometimes, showing all sides of your item is important and you will want to consider taking multiple pictures.  If you have a big group of things, it is also good to take a big picture of everything and then take pictures of individual pieces, parts, or smaller groupings so that your buyer can see everything up close.  That way, he or she will feel like they know the item well.
  • Consider using a listing service like Auctiva, so that you can get an upgraded picture package with multiple pictures included and extra large supersized pictures for free (this service can be purchased for as little as $2.99 a month.)
  • Get your flash right.  If your flash is too close, it will blow out your image and make it look not very nice.  Here's an example:
This picture was taken with the flash straight on.  Note the big white splotch in the middle.
Same picture, but I tilted the camera to a different angle and was able to avoid showing the flash.
  • Take pictures of the flaws.  You want to be up front with the condition of your item, so I take pictures of any imperfections for my buyer so that there will be no surprises when it is pulled out of the box.
Those are my tips, do you have any for us that I haven't mentioned?  Or, if you are an ebay shopper, what impresses you the most when it comes to pictures of things you are buying?


  1. Awesome information! I love it when I come across photos I can clearly see, and I like to see plenty of photos so I know exactly what I am getting.
    For me when I ebay, I use tinypic.com to upload my other photos and paste them into my ebay description. You might want to resize them though before you upload using tinypic.

    Love always,

  2. I'm not an eBay-er, but I have taken product photos for folks before. A very easy an inexpensive way to get a clean background is to purchase a piece of white foam board from the craft store. You can avoid the flash completely by setting up your board by a bright window - light will reflect nicely off the white board. The foam board won't work for all items, but for items like the family of dolls, it will work quite nicely!

  3. So glad comments are working again. Also love the easy to read font!

    As far as photos I think the only thing I would add is taking the photos against a solid background. White would be my first choice because I think it's the easiest on the eyes.

  4. I also love the easy to read font!

    Great advice! I just took some pictures the other day and laid everything on a patterned blanket-i'll be re-taking them now!

  5. Hi
    I've just started following you. I sell a fair bit on eBay and I also buy (not quite so regularly). I know you're writing about photographing your items for sale....I'm most put off if I see a seller has used a catalogue photograph or one from Google. I would never buy from a seller who does this. I'd rather see a self-taken GENUINE photo of the item, however poor it might be, than a generic one.
    Just my opinion!

    K xx

  6. These are all good suggestions! I can't wait to check into that website, and I think I might buy a white foam board as a backdrop because that would be good for the smaller things.

    Keshling--I completely agree with you. I don't think I would ever consider buying something off of ebay where all I could see is a stock photo.

    Laureney--Sorry to create extra work for you but I think your items will show better that way.

  7. Oh don't be sorry! Girl, you're just helping me make more money :). No complaints here!

  8. I've recently started selling on ebay again & I'm hoping for a little side income with minimal fees. Right now I am listing less than 50 auctions a month so all the insertation fees have been free. Does that still work if I use a service like Auctiva? I used Auctive when it was free but I don't know about paying them and then paying ebay too.

    Love your blog! I've been reading for a couple of months.

  9. I would agree with the white background - I just use a sheet of white posterboard. And I take it out on my deck with natural light so I don't have to worry about flash glare. Just watch for shadow.

  10. You are a super photographer also! I love the pic of this article.

  11. A white sheet on a chair on my screen porch makes awesome photos for ebay....and kids portraits, too!

  12. I like to see bigger pictures in the description area. It helps me to get to know the item better.


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