What does eBay have to sayThe first place to start is always with the rules, as the last thing you want as a seller is to violate eBay’s terms of service and get your store removed from the site. eBay says listings with high-quality pictures are 5 percent more likely to sell. Here’s a quick summary of their photography rules:
- Image required: All listings must have at least one picture. The site used to allow image-less listings, but this has since changed.
- Minimum sizing: All pictures must have a minimum of 500 pixels, but 1600 pixels is recommended for high-quality images.
- No borders: Borders are not permitted. There are some exceptions if your image has a natural border or your product creates one, but it’s best to stay on the safe side with this one.
- Watermarks allowed: Watermarks are allowed to brand your business, but not to add additional information, and it must not obscure the picture of the item you’re selling.
- No text: Text on pictures is no longer allowed.
- Limited stock photos: Stock photos are no longer allowed as the primary image for your listing.
- File formats: Upload pictures as a .jpeg file or.png file for best results.
Lighting mattersNow that we know the rules, let’s take a look at how you can enhance your photos:
- The first thing that can make a difference in your pictures is the use of lighting. Typically, natural light is the best way to showcase your product. Finding a place in your home where natural light hits a white wall means you can feature your product in the best lighting and without any distracting backgrounds. It’s also good for smaller items where a flash can distort the image or cause unwanted blurriness.
- Natural light is typically best in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid shooting around noon as this is when the sun is at its harshest and will cause your products to look unnatural.
- There are some instances when a flash can be handy, but they also can cause shadows or reflections. Try to avoid using the flash whenever possible.
Focusing (and fixing out of focus images)Focus is another technique that all sellers should try to master. Smaller items can prove a challenge, but you want to strike a balance between staying in focus and getting as close to the object as possible so you can showcase any details. Most cellphone cameras come with an auto-focus feature, but take a few additional shots so you can pick the best of the bunch. If you can’t get close enough without distorting the image, apps like our own Pixlr Editor can help you crop and edit your image to make sure it’s crystal clear. For example, you can use the Sharpen tool (Filter > Sharpen) to help with images that are slightly out of focus.
Showcasing your productThink of your online listing like a virtual store. Humans are visual creatures, and when we shop in stores the look and feel of items can make or break the sale. Your pictures should showcase your item and make the buyer feel like they are in the room with it. There are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Color matters: Make sure the coloring in the picture matches the color of your item so there are no surprises when they receive their shipment.
- Stability matters: Tripods and mannequins can be great investments to still shaky hands and show off items of clothing.
- More photos are better: Taking multiple pictures of the item can be a great way to showcase it from many angles. Who doesn’t want to look at an item from every angle before spending hard earned money?
- No patterns, please: Shooting with solid backgrounds can avoid confusion or distractions and highlight the item you want to sell.
- Contextual clues: If your item is hard to scale, consider using a common object or ruler in the picture so buyers can get an idea of the size.