How to create the right picture to sell your eBay items

It's a truth universally acknowledged that the majority of consumers won't buy an item without seeing it first - either in person or bin the form of a photograph. That's the singularly biggest reason why a good photograph is essential when you sell items on eBay.

A listing with an image will receive 40 per cent more views than one that doesn't, according to eBay; but a fabulous image can take those hits through the roof, so it's worth taking the time to get that great picture. Admittedly, it's not easy but here are a few tips to help you pap away and not make any embarrassing mistakes:

Background and lighting

Ideally, your background should be as plain as possible so as not to detract from the item itself. A clear table top, a clean sheet, or hanging against a door are all easy-to-achieve plain backdrops. If you have something light in colour or reflective, then opt for a darker background, as it will make the item pop.

When it comes to lighting, eBay itself advises against using the flash to prevent shadows. Instead, it recommends creating 'diffused lighting' by placing a white screen, sheet or gauze in front of the light source (though not so close that it burns) and angling the light away from the item. This should produce a more even effect.

 Tri(apod) to keep still

 To be sure that the omission of the flash doesn't cause a blurry      picture, you'll need to place the item on a steady, solid surface and  also hold the camera as still as possible. In which case, it's a good  idea to use a tripod. Even better if you can put the timer on your  camera and let it click automatically for an even smoother result.

 Don't ever hold the item up in your hand, like this seller did. It's not  only out of focus but it looks totally slap dash and unprofessional,  two  things that are unlikely to encourage bids. You can barely even  see the  watch and most viewers will probably be distracted by the  background.  Is that a snowboard?

It's a numbers game

You know how it is; one picture isn't enough, but the eBay default of 12 seems far too many. How many pictures of your image should you post? Unlike in the saying, more is definitely more, so do post several photos but make sure they are all equally useful. Take a mixture of close-ups and full shots, focus on any damage and take one of the brand or label. Don't merely fill up your 12 photo allocation because you can. If you find you need to post more photos - of a car, for example - it's possible to do so by including some basic HTML code. A number of 'experts' have shared how to do this on the web. 

If in doubt... hire a professional.

If photography really isn't your thing - perhaps you simply don't have a good enough camera or the lighting in your office isn't adequate, then ask someone who knows what they are doing to take the pictures for you. Whether a professional or a really talented amateur, it's worth an ask if they can provide you with a far superior image to that which you snapped.

You really cannot afford not to get a good photo for your item - it really could make all the difference to your eventual sales. Invest that time and you may find before long, you're investing some well-earned money in return!

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