The digital camera just may be an eBay seller’s best friend. Because of the “virtual” nature of eBay shopping, potential buyers don’t have the opportunity to look over your merchandise in person, and photos are the next best thing. Of course you can sell without photos, but your sales figures won’t be anything near where they could be if you had included pictures.
Your photos should be close-up shots of the item in front of a plain background. Use proper lighting and take pictures from several angles so buyers get a good idea of what the item looks like and what condition it’s in.
Here are some tips for taking good photos of your items.
- Use a neutral backdrop in your photos. You want potential buyers to focus on your item, not on the background. If the background is busy or crowded, it may be difficult for bidders to see the item clearly.
- Keep item in center of camera’s viewfinder so it frames item with just a little border all the way around.
- Don’t get arty; you are selling the item, not the photograph. Bidders want to see a clear shot of the item for sale.
- Don’t alter or “doctor” your photos. Buyers may detect this and assume you are trying to misrepresent the item.
- Light the set brightly with lots of diffused lighting. Sometimes lighting can make an item look different than it does in real life. Do your best to capture the real color, texture, and condition of the item for sale.
- Don’t use a flash, unless you are a pro. Flashes can wash out an item. Use natural light or room light whenever possible.
- Set your camera’s resolution at or near its highest setting (largest file size). The last thing you want is a grainy photo.
- Use a tripod if necessary. Handheld closeups are often blurry or overexposed. A tripod is essential for taking good close-up shots, especially smaller items.
- Use as many photos as you need to capture the appearance of your item. You can use up to 12 photos in a standard eBay listing, and you can pay a little extra to include even more pictures.
- Show closeups of brand-name labels or stamps, as well as certificates of authenticity.
- Show closeups of damage, if any, so customers will not be surprised when they receive the item.
Initially it will cost some money to equip a mini photo studio with a good camera, tripod, lights, and backdrops, but think of it as an investment in your eBay business. Over the course of your selling career, these expenditures will pay for themselves many times over in increased sales.