This is the second post in my series ‘”How to Create the Perfect eBay Listing.”
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the case of eBay listings, it’s definitely true. Your photos (or lack of them) can determine whether your item sells or not. They can make the difference between an item that sells for a high price or a low price. So don’t get lazy and slap any old picture on your eBay listing. Take the time to do it right.
I’ve shopped eBay on and off for several years, and in that time I’ve seen some really bad pictures. Really bad. Since I shop a lot for (and have sold a lot of) children’s clothes, I’m going to use that category as my example.
Take a look at exhibit number one:
There is so much wrong with this picture, I don’t know where to begin.
Another common mistake I see is exhibit number 2:
What’s wrong with this picture?
A few more problems I commonly see are:
It’s really not that difficult to take a great eBay picture. I’m definitely no photographer, but I’ve done pretty well with my pictures. And if I can do it, anyone can. Here are a few examples and pointers.
This picture isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for eBay. Take note of the following:
Sometimes one photo isn’t enough. This is especially true if you are selling a big lot of something. In that case, you might want to take a picture showing all the items for impact, but then add more pictures of smaller groupings, so potential eBay buyers can see the details in what they’re buying.
Speaking of details…
If your item has any details that are interesting to the eye, make sure to take a close-up. It’s often more difficult to use words than pictures to describe details, so if you think a detail will add to the sale price, make sure you snap a photo.
Along the same lines…
Make sure you take a picture of any flaws. The shirt above has a light stain. It’s hard to see, and I want my buyer to know that the shirt has a stain, but it’s hard to see. I don’t want my buyer to complain that I didn’t mention a stain in the listing, but I also don’t want to scare a buyer away by describing a stain without showing the buyer how faded the stain is. Many buyers will see the word “stain” and run far, far away.
By taking a picture of a flaw, you allow the buyer to see how bad it is and make their own decision on whether they’re willing to pay for it.
The first picture in your eBay listing is free, but additional pictures will cost you, if you have eBay host them. If you have an outside hosting option, fell free to add as many pictures to your listing as you like, using HTML.
However, if you use eBay to host your pictures, as most casual sellers do, make sure you weigh the price of the pictures against your expected final selling price. You can use one free picture with each eBay listing. Additional pictures cost 15 cents each, or you can buy 6 pictures for 75 cents or 12 pictures for $1.00.
You’ve already done your research, so you should have a pretty good idea of the low and high end range of the expected sales price for your item. If the range is big, or your item is probably going to fetch a good price, pay for the extra pictures. It will be worth it. However, if your item is not expected to sell for much after eBay fees are taken into account, post one really great picture of the item. Extra pictures aren’t worth it, if they cut out your profit all together.
Taking great pictures is a sure-fire way to help your eBay auctions are successful.
Posts in the How to Create the Perfect eBay Listing series:
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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