Understanding customer’s mind is not a difficult issue over Photos.  Just understand yourself.  Do you buy any item without a picture? No, then the customers also do not buy your item if you could not support with a picture.  The more vivid and complete a picture set, it is more persuading.  A picture worth a thousand words.

Both conventional wisdom and experience suggest that it’s important to include a photo of the item up for sale in every eBay listing. All photos, however, are not created equal—especially for a site like eBay. While the range of photo options runs the gamut from no photo at all to slideshows of externally-hosted marketing posters, the basic approach is probably still best.

When I start selling on eBay, only thing I have for photography is a good digital camera and a book on Photoshop picture editing software.  I desperately wanted to have a studio light set.  I went to see at the Photography store.  A cold chill went through my spine, those professional or serious hobby level lighting equipments cost more than 2 to 3 times of my already expensive digital camera.  An entry level light set cost around US$1,000.00.  Feeling desperate, I search over eBay for some secondhand light set.  The sad truth is nobody sell their lighting equipments, there is no ends to the requirements and imagination in Photography. You cannot expect to get a second hand light equipment on eBay.

The basic studio set

The basic studio set

Since the price tags are so high, I decided for starting photography with only the normal lights that I have at home and spend around US$200.00 over a reasonable continuous background table to place the item to take the picture and a good camera stand.  The rest I depend on my persistent try on my digital camera, finding many places with natural light availability and on Photoshop techniques.  Those expensive light equipments could be bought when you are selling well later.

Follow these basic guidelines for eBay photos and you’re well on your way to selling success (at least in your first year). These guidelines depends on your persistence try on picture taking efforts than the expensive lighting equipments that only the professionals have.

Use eBay’s own picture hosting service. It’s quick, easy to use (it’s built into the standard selling form, so you can add pictures directly as you list your item for sale), and it’s very inexpensive—the first photo is free, with each photo thereafter just a few cents, billed at the same time as your listing fee. Read well all the related topics on eBay seller section.

Take your photo in good light when a flash isn’t needed. Far too many photos used on eBay show the item with a strong color cast, or with motion blur (from shaking hands in dim light), to avoid this to happen, you need to find a good light source either natural or fluorescent (cool day-light) and good camera stand to keep your camera stable.

Some eBay pictures show the strong flash that it’s hard to make out. You should not use your camera’s flash at all. Wait until midday and use natural light near a window if possible; certainly don’t shoot in lamplight (the warm colors). Go for good contrast—a light item shout be shot against a dark background and vice-versa.

If your item is used, clean it and polish up a little before shooting. Run a wet wipe over plastic, metal, or wood goods.  Wash the textiles and iron them good before picture taking. Some porcelain and leather products shine up after a little layer of oil over them. Remove any flint or hairs on the items, some distracting threads should be cut off from the garments and textiles.  Certainly don’t show a photo of a dusty or filthy item if you expect to draw top dollar bids when you list it.

Set the item on a nice, clean surface in front of a clean background. Present your item well. Don’t show it in a messy room or surrounded by so much clutter that the buyer can’t really get a good look at it. Don’t show more than one item in the frame unless all of them are for sale in one lot. If cluttering or some destruction is un avoidable, edit your pictures in the Photoshop and crop off the unwanted portions.

Get as close as possible so that the item fills the camera frame. Photos that are mostly empty frame with a tiny item in the corner aren’t very useful most of the time. Your bidders want to get a good look at the item. Give it to them by filling the frame with the item so that it’s as large as possible. You use the macro feature of your digital camera and go as close as possible near to your item to take the picture. If some unwanted objects are appearing at the edges of your photo frame, crop off the edges in the Photoshop program.

Resize your photos in Photoshop. The “standard” size used by eBay picture services, is 400×300 pixels (not inches). So by making your photo the same size you’ll maximize your ability to represent your item well on eBay. In Photoshop you can resize your image using the “Image Size” option of the “Image” menu.

Now as eBay is offering the picture enlargement feature in the gallery listing and offering free pictures for listings in collectable categories, you can go as much as 1000pixels on one of the longest dimension, either height for portrait pictures and width for landscape pictures.

Brighten and Sharpen up your image slightly. In Photoshop this can be done using the “Brighten” and “Sharpen” submenu of the “Image” menu.

Save the image as “Save for web” and .jpg file. Under the file menu, you can save your picture as “Save for web” and choose .jpg as the format of the picture.  It efficiently compresses the file for internet use so that your picture loads up quickly and also keeps the picture quality. You can select when you load up to eBay that you want a watermark or an eBay camera logo on your picture.

Use multiple views if necessary. If your item will be well-served by being shown from several different angles, don’t be afraid to use a second or even third or fourth shot so that your prospective bidders can feel like educated buyers.  Especially if you sells thing in collectable category, eBay offers free picture packs service, so there is no requirement for saving on your pictures for your customers.

Through all of this remember that the idea is to present your item in the best light possible. Use a decent digital camera with macro feature, shoot in nice light, save at nice quality, and take pride in the way that you present your item. The benefits of this approach will show in your sales results.  Of course, you could keep on dreaming of your expensive lighting equipments for your future.