A lot of people are scared to sell on ebay because taking photos seems so complicated. If you are not a photographer, getting the lighting just right and the background…how do you even do that? What should an ebay photo setup look like?
Photos are a really important part of your listing because they are the only way that your buyer can see what they are buying. Buyers cannot pick up an item or turn it around to look at it. You have to do that for them with your photos.
Don’t worry if you are not a professional photographer. You don’t need a fancy camera. All you need is a cell phone or a point and shoot camera, and you will be set.
Ebay photos need to be bright and clear. They do not need to be taken with a DSLR and edited for hours on end. Time is money.
Your photos can be good without having to be edited for hours on end. That wastes time and cuts into your profit.
You may want to take a little more time with certain items, but for the most part, snapping a few pics will your cell phone will be just fine.
Just be sure to take photos of the item from all angles and show all flaws, stains, etc.
Best Equipment for Ebay Photos:
-Samsung Galaxy S9 cell phone camera in square mode
– White Trifold Science Project Board & 1 Sheet of White Foam Core Board (I get mine from Dollar Tree)
So when I am taking photos, I stand with my back to the [open] windows in my kitchen, and I am facing my trifold board/foam core board setup. I point my umbrella lights toward the background, not toward the item. This way the light is reflected from the background.
I use a white background for darker and colored objects, and black for white objects (otherwise they fade into the background).
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on this. Sometimes natural light is enough. The background literally cost me $2. It was well worth it. I also use the wooden floor in my home or my front porch for flat-lay items like clothing or bags/purses.
In my last post, I showed you how to create a listing for a Nintendo 64 console bundle. I’m going to share my photos now that I used for that listing, and give you a few tips. This first photo shows a little of my photo setup.
How to Quickly Take Ebay Photos:
Now, that looks ok, but not great. There is too much negative (empty) space. It needs to be cropped tighter. Remember, so many buyers are making their purchases on the ebay mobile app now. They need to be able to see a close-up photo of your item or they may just scroll on past it.
See my cropped photo below. You can do that either on ebay website or on the app. You can also adjust the brightness and the contrast. That is how I get the background to be so bright and white.
This was the very first photo of my listing.
For a console bundle, add photos of the fronts and backs of all of the items in the listing.
Add a photo of any cords or cables your item may have.
The label and front of this cartridge have some wear, so it is important to add a photo of that. This same principle applies to any item.
The back of the game had some writing on it. That is a condition issue and does affect the value. Make sure that you get front and back of everything in your photos.
And one final photo. This is an example of what not to do. This photo shows the sides of the display board. It also shows the countertop, and it is not cropped closely enough. All of these extra things are distracting and will make buyers scroll by. It can also give buyers the impression that you don’t care about the details.
Think about workflow. Most people work left to right.
Make a pile of your items on the left of your ebay photo set up. Grab an item, photograph it, and then move it to the right of your setup.
Don’t walk yourself to death. This is going to slow down your process.
How to Quickly Edit Ebay Photos:
A point and shoot camera works great for photos, but ebay’s photos are square. It is easier to use your cell phone to do this. Set the size to a 1:1 ratio for square photos. This way your photos don’t get cropped in a weird way when you upload them.
To get a bright white background, I use an app called PicTapGo. It’s available for both Android and iOS.
Many people also use the ProCam app. It’s a camera app that lets you take photos in manual mode like a DSLR camera. This app is only available on iOS at this point, so that’s why I don’t use it.
You can take photos directly in PicTapGo but the quality is not as good as using your phone camera. The build in filters make it easy to edit them afterwards. Use the lights on filter to make the background bright white. This app is amazing.
UPDATE: I now use the PhotoRoom app and love it!
How to Add Photos to an Ebay Listing:
I have experimented with every combination of ways to do this.
There are basically 2 options: 1) upload directly from your phone to the ebay app or 2) upload the photos to your computer and drag and drop them into the listing.
This is what I have found to be the fastest way to add photos:
- Take a big batch of photos
- Edit them with PicTapGo or PhotoRoom
- Transfer to the computer from my phone
- Quickly research a sold price for the item
- Start a draft and drag the photos in first
- Complete the rest of the draft while I’m waiting on the photos
My eyes were opened to this method by Cyndi Zlotow. She is a great coach and mentor, and encourages efficiency.
For easy to list items, the listing takes me about three minutes. Some items take longer if I need to do more research on pricing.
Let me caution you against taking a lot of time to research something unless you just can’t identify it. In this business, time is money. If you were paying an employee, how fast would you expect them to go? Put this into an employer perspective.
Learn your own habits. For me, I go faster if I am listening to peppy music. If I start listening to a podcast or YouTube video, I go slower because I am paying attention to the message.