How to Take Better Photos for eBay

You’ve probably heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, that's especially true when you're selling items on eBay. A listing that includes photos is much more likely to sell than a listing that lacks them. So, what do you need to know before you take those all-important snapshots? Consider the following tips.

eBay rewards those sellers who take great photos. This is not a great photo.
eBay rewards those sellers who take great photos. This is not a great photo.
Use good light: Soft, even lighting leaves no shadows on the item you are selling. Sufficient light will ensure that more detail is visible, and it will accentuate the condition of your item. Always avoid direct flash when possible. If you sell a lot of things on eBay, consider investing in a light tent.

Pick plain backgrounds: Try to avoid kitchen floors, beds, or sofas as backgrounds. Their patterns are often busy and distract the viewer from the item you are selling. Instead, use a simple sheet or a plain-colored wall that provides a good contrast to the item you are listing. The result looks a lot more professional.

Use a tripod: If you are shooting indoors, a tripod is a great tool for capturing the sharpest, most detailed photos you can. It allows you to use slower shutter speeds, and it should help eliminate blurry images.

Get in close: Zoom in to your item so that it fills the frame. A closer look will give bidders the best possible view of what you are selling, and will eliminate any doubt over its condition. It also gives you the opportunity to pick out small details on a larger object, such as labels, switches, or accessories.

Vary the angles: Try to take pictures that cover all sides and angles of the object you are selling. The more information that a viewer has about your product, the more likely they are to bid on it.

Focus carefully: Confirm that all parts of the image are in focus. The autofocus capabilities of modern digital cameras are great, but they are not foolproof. If light allows, try an aperture of F8 to ensure that you have sufficient depth of field to achieve sharp focus throughout.

Show the flaws: You might think that admitting flaws will hurt your chances of making a sale, but being up-front about the condition of your product will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. Besides, it is your responsibility as a seller to accurately represent the item you are selling. If your item has scratches, marks, or tears, make sure to document that with a photo so that bidders are aware of what they are buying.

This story, "How to Take Better Photos for eBay" was originally published by PCWorld.

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