How To Take Photos for eBay and Sell At a Higher Price
Photos for eBay – A picture is worth a thousand words. Nowhere else is that more true than on eBay! For example, recently two cuckoo clocks sold on eBay. One had a nice clear picture. The other had a fuzzy picture with a dark contrasting background.
The two clocks sold for vastly different prices. Can you guess which one sold for more money? Of course – the one with the nice picture! It sold for nearly double the price of the other clock.
Which clock was the better clock? I’ll never know. All I know is the owner of the clock fetching the higher price had a much better picture!
Here are five ways you can improve your pictures and sell your goods at a much better price on eBay:
1) Photos for eBay – Use an uncluttered background.
I saw a picture of another cuckoo clock almost lost in its surroundings – with a small tree next to it and a wood grained panel on the other side.
Below it was something that looked like a bat (no kidding!) hanging from the chains to this clock. I couldn’t tell what was on the clock face – since the clock was kind of in the distance.
The seller of this clock could have improved the picture by moving the clock to a plain background! Set it on a white sheet or a white wall and take a picture of the clock – filling the picture frame with the clock.
The seller is not selling the tree – is not selling the wood paneling – is not selling the “bat”-looking thing. So why even include them in the picture? This takes me to way No.2 to improve your pictures.
2) Photos for eBay – Fill the picture frame with the product.
I don’t know why people are afraid to get up close to the product. Why hide it in the distance? People want to see it up close and personal! For example, they want to see the detail of the cuckoo clock.
In a close-up shot of the clock (that filled the frame with the clock), I could see the figures (three men) that come out to dance when the clock “cuckoos”.
I could clearly see the clock face. And I could see the detail of the wood grain. This clock was of superior craftsmanship – I could tell it from the picture! This was the clock that I would have purchased.
And yes, I would have paid more money – because I could see it was a better quality product. Some of the other clock pictures didn’t show me this kind of detail!
Buyers don’t like to gamble with their money. They want to be sure they’re getting something good!
3) Photos for eBay – Avoid a Fuzzy Image.
Some pictures are out of focus. It’s hard to tell from these pictures what the product really looks like. My digital camera was a little more expensive when I bought it, but I wanted to be sure it would take quality close up pictures of my products.
This “close-up” feature in my camera pays for itself over and over again with each product picture I take, avoiding fuzzy, and out-of-focus images.
If you can’t see the detail in the product – again you’re not sure what you’re getting. The buyer doesn’t want to gamble with his or her money! Move in as close as you can – filling the frame with your product as much as possible – with as sharp of focus as possible on the product!
4) Photos for eBay – Avoid dark shadows.
Shoot with even lighting if you can – lighting that projects very few shadows onto your product. On an overcast day (without dark clouds) you can often get this effect.
Indoors, by placing the product near a window where the light is coming through a white curtain liner, you can often obtain this same effect. The curtain liner diffuses the sunlight, producing lighter shadows, or often shadow-less lighting.
A photo light tent made of a white translucent nylon or velvet material can often produce the same effect. Even better is a light tent with two small lights – where you can shine the lights through the fabric and provide the intensity of lighting that you need to produce a clear almost shadow-less picture.
5) Photos for eBay – De-clutter the picture! Pay attention to background details.
Can you imagine the cuckoo clock on a bright red and blue plaid pattern next to a bookshelf loaded with books? The plaid background pattern would contrast with the cuckoo clock!
And the cluttered bookshelf clearly doesn’t belong in the same photo with the cuckoo clock. After all, you’re not selling books in this example; you’re selling a cuckoo clock!
Or how about this? A red table lamp on a red table cloth (about the same shade) and a white wall panel appearing to spring out of the center of the table lamp.
In the background, I could clearly see what looked to be a toaster and a coffee maker on a kitchen counter.
The background in this picture clearly took away from the picture of the product. I suspect the photographer didn’t even notice the background details when taking this photo of her lamp to sell on eBay.
And that’s where you really want the focus to be – on the product! Get rid of any distracting background elements! Move your product somewhere where there’s a plain background (preferably of a neutral color that does not clash with the color of the product).
Also avoid using a background of the same color as the product (the product can easily get lost in the background – if the colours are the same or similar).
Then look at the screen or viewfinder of your camera and pay close attention to what else might be in the picture. In the case of the table lamp – you don’t want the dog in the picture. You don’t want the TV remote. You don’t want a book shelf or a toaster oven!
So watch for these elements in your picture and get rid of them by re-framing your picture to eliminate them! Quality pictures really do bring better prices – and a more satisfied buyer – on eBay! So start today to improve your product photos!
About the Author: Ron Knowlton is a former newspaper reporter/photographer.