The do’s and don’ts when taking photos of items you wish to sell
One of the best selling practices that we have shared with you in previous articles was how to take good pictures of the items you are listing. Today we would like to take a quick dive back into this topic and help you understand exactly what constitutes a good photo when it comes to selling your items on eBay. For this reason we asked Mark Watkins of Designer Skins Ltd – an experienced eBay seller who sells his inventory overseas with the help of Webinterpret – to share some of his insights into creating perfect pictures that help customers fall in love with the product.
The photos you take in order to sell your products, especially the gallery photo which appears in the search results, have to grab your customers attention right from the off. You have to give your potential customers a reason to open your listings as opposed to the the hundred’s and sometimes thousands of alternative options. For this reason, it is important that you keep the background in your photos as plain as possible to ensure that your product remains the star of the show. Items lying on a patterned sofa or a garden lawnmower distract from the quality of the product and look very unprofessional. On top of this, some of your customers may even end up more interested in buying the couch from the background than the t-shirt which is lying on it which you are trying to sell.
Keep the flash for paparazzi
Light is fundamental to good photography and without it photos lack vibrance and detail. However, a common mistake is to use harsh flash lighting to take your product photos. This is a major no no as it makes items look unprofessional by affecting colour integrity and producing unwanted reflections, and hotspots. All of which reduce the appeal of your products and the likelihood of making a sale. So what is the best source of lighting? For this answer we simply look to the skies. Indirect sunlight through a window or door gives as a perfect lighting source which will give your photos both bright colours and clear details. A quick tip here, whatever light source you use whether it is a standard indoor bulb, sunlight or fluorescent tubes, make sure that your camera has the correct white balance setting to give the most accurate colours.
Never ready if you’re not steady
Another common mistake is the dreaded blurry photos cause by shaky hands. Where possible avoid holding your camera in your hands, especially when taking photos in low light, i.e. indoors. Even the steadiest hands shake and cause blurry, fuzzy images which lack detail and put off potential buyers.. Instead, try using a tripod to give a solid base or alternatively, place your camera on a tabletop or book shelf. In fact any flat surface will do as long as you are able to frame your product well and press the button without moving the camera.
High resolution means high sales
Remember, from the customers point of view the quality of the photo reflects the quality of the item itself. A lower quality item presented using high quality photos is sometimes more likely to sell than a higher quality item listed with poor quality photos. So take the time to get the photos right to maximise the potential of your stock. Poor photos lead to poor sales! With that in mind get the resolution right. If you set it too low the seller will not be able to enlarge the photos in eBay and, worse still, eBay may not even allow you to use a photo that does not have a sufficient number of pixels. However, set the resolution to high and may also cause you problems as eBay have a maximum image size of 7MB and you may also find that if you take a large number of photos storage and upload time become an issue. I recommend using a photo size of around 1024 x 768 pixels. This gives you the required detail and size whilst remaining safely within eBay limits.
Don’t play the guessing game
Many sellers try to overcomplicate their photos by giving ideas on how to use a product or what to combine it with. Even if you believe the dress you are selling matches perfectly with a certain jacket don’t be tempted to feature the jacket in the photo. Everyones taste is different and what may seem stylish to you could potentially lose you a sale if your customers taste differs from yours. Moreover, the jacket may hide certain details of the dress that are very important for the buyer. So keep it simply. Keep the spotlight single and firmly focused in on the product you wish to sell.
Other important tips
When taking the picture of the item you want to list remember to:
- fill the frame with the item,
- take a lot of pictures of the item from different angles showing any details that may be considered important by the online buyer,
- show the scale, especially when you are selling small items such as jewelry or cosmetics.
No matter how great your products may be, if your photos are poor, your sales are going to be poor. Good selling practices recommended by eBay highlight the importance of good quality pictures in the listings and even give you tips on how to produce these high quality photos. And eBay sellers such as Mark Watkins demonstrate daily that indeed these tips work.