Images are more important today than ever before on eBay. Not only are gallery pictures in search results bigger, but the images can also be zoomed in and enlarged right from the top of the view item page. There are no real secrets to taking great photos, but there are some tips for optimizing your eBay pictures.
Almost any modern camera will suffice for taking eBay product shots, but try to choose one with a macro setting. The macro will allow you to take close up shots ideal for small objects such as jewelry and for displaying features such as the yarn on a knitted garment. Even modern mobile phones have high resolution cameras built in and if you have an iPhone you can not only take product shots although professional sellers will find it easier to use a camera.
“Remember your product photos are what sells your item. Great gallery pictures will make your listings stand out in search, detailed pictures in the listing will enable them to see all features of the product”
Make sure when you take your images that the product fills the frame. Move closer to the item rather than using the zoom feature on your camera if possible, and for smaller items don’t forget to enable the macro feature to avoid blurring. In order to eliminate shake the use of a tripod makes sense, but these are very inexpensive and often a mini-desktop tripod can be used. Even if you photograph larger products without a tripod you will definitely need one for macro shots.
When you take your product shots you need to ensure they’re at high resolution. eBay require a minimum of 1000 pixels length to offer the enlarge and zoom features to buyers. If you’re photos are cropped or reduced to smaller than this then buyers won’t be able to get a full screen image of your product.
Most cameras will take rectangular photos, but the images on eBay are best displayed as square pictures. If you use a rectangular shot then when your image is displayed in eBay search results it won’t take up the full 140×140 pixel area available. Cropping your photos to squares with a minimum 1000 pixel width is the ideal size and shape for eBay.
Lighting is all important, if you don’t have studio lighting which uses light bulbs emitting white light (normal lights and fluorescent tube lighting aren’t ideal for product images) then take photos outside. If you are taking photos outside a shaded area or a cloudy day produce better shots than full sunlight as the light is diffused avoiding strong shadows.
For larger items use back lighting as well as lights directed at the product, but never use your camera flash as this tends to create sharp shadows. Diffuse natural or artificial lighting is best and back lighting illuminates the back drop and avoids a white background appearing grey. Always use a backdrop where feasible or consider a photographic tent for smaller items.
Traditionally the kitchen table or kitchen floor has been the backdrop of choice for amateur eBay sellers, but apart from professional photos being more likely to achieve higher sales prices eBay are now using technology which mandates the use of a plain white background. In some categories such as handbags eBay offer to show the buyer “More like this”. In order to select similar shapes or colours eBay need the product to stand out clearly from the background so quality product shots can result in your item being promoted to more potential customers.
If you sell smaller items consider using your scanner instead of a camera. Scanners are an obvious choice for flat objects such as stamps, photographs and postcards. However they produce equally good results for coins, medals, some jewelry, beads, gemstones and other small items. Experiment with your scanner for best results.
Take multiple shots of your item from varying angles so that buyers can see as much detail as possible. Take pictures of labels, accessories and the original packaging if available. In some eBay categories such as clothing you can have up to 12 gallery pictures for free, but don’t forget even if there is only a single free gallery picture by using your FrooitionPro listing template you can display many more images within your item description for free.
If there is any damage or defects on your product make sure you not only describe them but take photos specifically of the damage. Whilst some buyers will want a perfect product many will be more than happy to accept seconds, and whilst a flaw to some may be unacceptable to others if they can see the damage they may be willing to accept it or even have the skills to repair the item. A picture is much more effective than words to enable buyers to assess the extent of any imperfections.
Finally consider using software to finish your photos. Software such as Photoshop (or the inexpensive Photoshop Elements) will enable you to process multiple photos in one operation. For instance you can resize all of your pictures at the click of a button. You can also correct any imperfections with software such as removing backgrounds to change average product pictures into great product shots. Software such as Bling! It is ideal for this task and unlike Photoshop is simple to use even for the inexperienced.
Remember your product photos are what sells your item. Great gallery pictures will make your listings stand out in search, detailed pictures in the listing will enable them to see all features of the product and the more buyers bidding for your items the higher your auction prices will be and the greater your fixed price items will be promoted in Best Match.