eBay Selling Tip: How to watermark your product photos

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We all know the importance of taking good photos for our eBay listings. It's true what they say, a picture paints a thousand words! Wouldn't it be nice if a picture made you a thousand dollars? 

Well, I can't make any promises, but here is a quick eBay selling tip that will make your product photos look ultra professional: Watermarking them! 

Watermarking your product photos adds your business name or eBay username to images. Here's an example:

As you can see, the seller has added their logo to the bottom-right of the photo. In doing so, the seller makes full use of the two main benefits of watermarking your product photos:

The Benefits of Watermarking

1. It prevents other sellers from taking your photos and using them as their own.

2. It strengthens your brand and shows that you are an established, trustworthy business. 

eBay's Watermarking Policies 

Surprise, surprise, eBay has some tight rules around watermarking product photos!

Here's eBay's quick do's and dont's guide:

How to Watermark Your Product Photos 

Watermarking is made easy with some of the free and simple-to-use tools available. I often use Watermark.ws. It's free, fast and you don't have to download or install any software or even create an account.  Here's what their website looks like: (You might remember my cute little banana baby suit from my recent blog post). 

Other options (that look good, but I haven't personally used) are TSR Watermark and PicMarkr.com. You can also watermark your images automatically when you upload images to eBay. You'll find it in the "Bring your item to life with pictures" section of the listing form. Click on the "Add or remove options" link. While this is a fast option, just keep in mind that the eBay tool is a little less flexible than other options. 

All these tools are easy to use so I'll spare you the boring step-by-step tutorial. You just upload your photo you want to watermark, enter the name of your business, store or eBay user name, drag it to where you want it to go and save it out. If you get stuck, watch the tutorial here.

If you sell high end products or you take your branding and graphic design very seriously, you can get a professional graphic designer to create a custom watermark for you and place it on each of your product photos. Otherwise, I think the free options are just fine. 

Optimal Watermark Placement

There's a bit of a catch 22 in watermarking product photos: If you watermark it enough to prevent other sellers from stealing it, you can prevent your buyers from being able to view the product properly. But, if you don't watermark thoroughly enough, you can leave your product photo open to getting used by other sellers. 

Here's an example: 

If I wanted to, I could easily take this photo and use it as my own, even though it's watermarked. 

I'd just cut the watermark off... Simple! 

How do you prevent this from happening to you? Place your watermark where it counts! Place part of the watermark over your product, but only just. The selller of the dress in my example I showed you earlier does this well: See how the watermark is overlaid onto the dress, so no one can steal the photo, but the watermark doesn't obstruct from important parts of the dress? 

If the watermark was on the neckline, it would obstruct details that are important to the buyer, but in this case, it doesn't.  So make sure you place your watermarks in an optimal place. 

I hope you find this quick eBay selling tip useful. If you need help with this or any other part of your business, leave me a comment below. 


About the author
Simon Slade
CEO of SaleHoo Group Limited

Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, a platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs that offers 8,000+ dropship and wholesale suppliers, 1.6 million high-quality, branded products at low prices, an industry-leading market research tool and 24-hour support.

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  • Thelma Harcum 26th of April
    This is a wonderful tip! It is a wonderful tool for branding recognition.
  • Na'ven Goodkarma 26th of April
    This works best on parts of the photo that have the most detail and the detail doesn't repeat. If you put it on a surface as shown in the dress picture, you can easily use Photoshop or Gimp's clone tool and paint over the watermark area by using a similar section of the dress. That tool is meant as an effective way to remove unwanted details in a picture. If the section doesn't look like another part of the picture, you don't have anything to clone.
  • Louisa 26th of April
    As alway Alice you give great info.. Many thanks
  • Janny 27th of April
    Thanks for this tip. I will apply to various situations.
  • karna hang limbu 28th of April
    its really working and good business to do.thank you
  • Alice Delore 28th of April
    Thanks for your comments everyone! I'm so glad you found this tip useful :)
  • Simteau 29th of April
    Great tip Alice :) I'll see if I can do this in photoshop on my phone too. Cheers.
  • Kai 6th of May
    Thanks for this Alice. Do you know if I can watermark my www.all4hair.com.au shop address on the ebay pictures without getting trouble with ebay?
  • Irene Vallejo 7th of May
    Hi Kai, Sorry but you can't specify a website in your watermark [quote]Watermark policy. Watermarks are allowed for ownership and attribution, but not for marketing information such as specific details about your item or customer service. [/quote] http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/sellingresources/picturestandards.html
  • peter 29th of May
    After facing lots of image thefts i started using a tool called Mass Watermark http://www.masswatermark.com it allows me to watermark all of my images in one stretch with little effort,not free though costs $30
  • Phillip Miller 4th of December
    This has happened to me, my pictures have ended up on like blogs ripped from eBay. I use a photo editing software but am careful not to obstruct the value of the image. Lazy people will steal any picture or description you have, even if its encoded in HTML. eBay won't do anything about it even if the person admits they don't know how to use code.
  • chinga 12th of June
    I can understand marketing and building your brand but putting any extra work upon yourself just to keep somebody from using a picture of a teddy bear(example, but could be any unimportant item) seems petty. I take my own pictures and would never spend a moment worrying about lazy people reusing it for there own purposes. There are bigger issues to focus on in this life and worrying what others are doing just seems silly to me.
  • Cory Mischker 30th of November
    Thank you for sharing this. We have a quick question, we are looking at drop shipping some products from specific suppliers and was wondering if we were able to reuse their photos and add our name as a watermark in the corner of photos. We have contacted some suppliers and no word from them yet, however because these are not our products and we are simply using someone else, would this be considered a volition of ebay requirements?
    any advise would be appreciated.

    on he ebay website it is a little unclear.
    • Melissa Johnson SaleHoo Admin 5th of December
      I definitely wouldn't use the supplier photos without their permission! If they haven't responded yet, you might try calling them up instead of just emailing them. There might also be information on the supplier sites about specific use of their photos for Amazon and eBay (look in the FAQ).

  • Ron Bates 3rd of March
    Very nice tips. Thanks a lot! I learned from this: http://www.paintshoppro.com/en/pages/watermark-photos/ how to watermark photos, but I wasn't sure was it really necessary, and you are right, I am going to do that from now on :)
  • Gretchen Synclaire 2nd of December
    Thank you for sharing your info. I use https://www.visualwatermark.com/ for all my watermarking and am super happy with the results. Your tips on Ebay are great.
  • william j downes 19th of May
    I primarily sell paper streetcar transfers and tickets from the 30's on ebay. It distracts me sometimes when I feel there are lookers that don't really want the collectable itself, but a reasonable facsimile will serve.
    Perhaps an ultra closeup to pick up the pattern of the typically low grade pulp they printed on back then will be my best solution?