Take Better Pictures for successful eBay Auctions
The best eBay auctions - the items that close with high winning bids and attract
the most attention - are often those that include good photos. There's no
argument that you shouldn't include photos. Many eBay bidders, when browsing
search results or categories, will skip items that don't include pictures. But
in a way, including bad photos is even worse than not uploading any at all. If
your potential bidders don't know what to make of your bad pictures, they'll
look for a different listing - and your item won't sell for as much as it could.
Here's how to take a good photo. You'll only spend a few extra minutes at most
setting up these shots: a very small time investment considering the payoff.
Don't backlight your merchandise. This will create shadows and "black out" what
you're trying to show users. Light should come from behind you or from above the
item if possible - not the windowsill in which you've propped up the book you're
trying to sell.
You shouldn't rely on your camera's flash to do all the work. In addition to the
flash, you should also place the item strategically to capture available light from
overhead fixtures, lamps and even spotlights if you're very pressed to find good lighting.
Fill as much of the frame as possible with the actual merchandise. People don't
care where you've parked the car that you're trying to sell. They don't want to
see the bushes lining your driveway, the neighbor's kid grabbing their mail or
the sun setting in the background. They want to see the car, period, so give
them as much of that as you can.
If possible, take shots of the items being used, worn or otherwise displayed in
a "real" manner. Laying out your old prom dress on the kitchen floor will
inevitably result in a flat, uninspired photo. Get someone to take a picture of
you wearing the clothing - from the neck down is fine if you don't want people
to see your face. Potential bidders will get a better, more realistic idea of
how the item looks when it's being used. That makes them more willing to bid on
your listing instead of someone else's.
Don't be cheap: pay the few extra cents to upload additional photos of the
product. Currently, eBay lets you list the first photo at no charge: additional
pictures are 15 cents each. These are the most important shots:
A close-up of the entire product, preferably from a top or head-on view. There's
not much point in taking a snapshot of a video game system's bottom side, after all.
A good picture of any damage or imperfection. Most would-be bidders are actually
reassured when they can see that the "minor scratches" you describe are really
quite small. Otherwise, many people will exaggerate your description in their
minds and not even bother bidding.
Finally, get a shot of anything that makes your item unique. Example: if you
have an autographed baseball, book or picture, get a close-up of the signature.
Should you also have a certificate of authenticity, include a shot of that as well.