They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and when selling on eBay, that can certainly be true! We all know that taking great photos is key to getting more buyers interested, and making more sales.
Recently however, when I logged onto eBay to search for a new sweater, I was quite shocked by some of the photos people were using. I have sold women's clothing items before, so I know that it can be difficult to do beautiful dresses and shirts justice, but I also learned the hard way that it is absolutely critical to take the time to get the best photos possible.
Why are photos so vitally important for online retailers?
Ever wondered why it's so important to list only the best photos of your items? The answer is really quite simple: because other than a product description, we have no other way of deciding whether the item we are looking at is right for us.
When we buy at regular stores, we can feel, sniff, listen to taste, and see the items we are considering buying. Online however, we rely 100% on our sight which is precisely why sellers must work extra hard to tempt their buyers with the best photos possible.
10 Top Tips for Taking Fantastic Photos for eBay
So to make sure all my fabulous SaleHoo members out there are taking only the best photos, I've listed my top 10 tips for taking fantastic photos to get your eBay listings noticed.
- Clean your items! This is especially important for those selling collectibles and second hand items, but applies to sellers of all items which can get dusty during shipping and storage.
- Get the lighting right. To really showcase your item, it's crucial to use the best lighting possible. You don't need to go out and buy fancy studio lighting equipment. The sun is an excellent source of lighting for photos, particularly the midday sun (even in winter), so take your items outside and get clicking. If it's impossible for you to take pictures during the day, you can just use a lamp or two and shine them directly onto the item.
- Use a solid background. A picture with colourful carpet or your lounge (and the TV on) as a background is downright distracting for buyers who are trying to check out the features of the item, and worst of all, it looks very unprofessional! Instead, use a white sheet of cardboard, or a photo tent which you can buy from eBay for as little as US $10 (just search for ‘photo tent') or find out how to make your own here.
- Photograph from multiple angles, and include multiple photos on your listing. This gives buyers a thorough look at the item, and therefore increases the likelihood of them bidding.
- Use your best photo as your main photo which will show up in search results. This should be a photo which shows the entire item from a good angle - don't simply use a close up of a label and so on.
- If you have a shaky hand, use a tripod. This is essential if you are photographing smaller items which need very clear and detailed close-up shots. You can pick these up for next to nothing on eBay.
- If you are selling clothing, please, please use a mannequin. Clothing hanging from a coat hanger does not look good, and does nothing to encourage buyers who won't be able to see how it will sit when wearing then item.
- Set your camera's settings to a medium resolution. This provides excellent picture quality, while giving buyers a faster loading time. This is very important as it keeps them interested and prevents them from clicking the ‘back' button and looking at another listing instead.
- Make sure that the color in your photos accurately represents the items you are selling. If it does not, this is probably because of the flash, so have a play around with the settings, or try using no flash at all.
- Learn to edit. You don't need to be a Photoshopping-airbrushing whizz kid, but it does help if you can crop a few bits here, and adjust the exposure there. You can either use Windows Photo Gallery (this is often all you will need for basic editing), the software which comes with your camera, or use a more advanced program like Adobe Photoshop if you really want to make your photos picture perfect.
Use these tips to take the best photos possible, and help you boost your sales potential. If you have another great photo-taking tip, please let us and your fellow members know by leaving a comment below.