Selling on eBay

Including Photographs

Not long ago, to include have a photograph of your auction item was a novelty and a luxury. Today a photo is a must if you really want to make a sale. Auction beginners can take a photo with a traditional camera and scan the photo into your computer. However a digital camera is invaluable if you are going to continue to sell items. Do not waste your money on a budget camera either, plan to spend at least $300-$400 for a camera package that includes two sets of NiMH batteries, a charger and a case. If you have a USB port on your computer, consider either a USB compatible camera or a USB memory card reader. Card readers are sold for both SmartMedia and Compact Flash memory types of storage.

Whichever way you decide to get photographs into your computer, you must reduce them to a reasonable file size. This means no matter how many mega-pixels you have available under your shutter finger, you don't ultimately need that resolution unless fine detail is a must. We have all seen huge photos, which run off an 800×600 screen and require several minutes to load with a fast ISP. I use uLead Systems affordable PhotoImpact® for image manipulation and save files using "smartsaver" to compress a reasonable 300K image down to around 30-50K. Naturally Adobe PhotoShop™ is an excellent photo manipulation software package as well, although priced and aimed at the professional user. The smaller the file, the quicker the image will load, and we all want to see that photo now! Also just the basics thank you, not a shot of your for-sale item against the Hong Kong skyline. With some practice and experimenation, you can create a collage for your item instead of asking potential buyers to wait for several photos to load.

When you take your photos, take the task seriously. Don't let the bidder see a lot of clutter in the background… that's like trying to sell your car and leaving fast-food wrappers in the back seat. Buy a tripod for your camera and try to use ambient lighting when possible. It's hard to beat an outdoor shot as the sunlight will force the shutter speed up and lessen the chance of a blurred image. An outdoor shot will also reveal every speck of dust on your item so take the time to clean it up. Dabbing at the dust with a piece of sticky tape wrapped around one finger works wonders.

While on the subject of photographs and images, stealing photos from another auction is considered extremely rude and is actually against eBay rules. Linking your photo to another sellers photo host is grounds for eBay to close your auction down! If you would like to use a photo from another seller, ask first. You might be surprised to find they are more than willing to share provided you insert a disclaimer that the photo is not representative of the item you have listed for bidding. I have seen many near-perfect eBay auction layouts only to find on examination that the entire auction listing HTML has been stolen from and is linked to the manufacturer's web site! Tacky!

SMR Note: Images, text and HTML have also been stolen from the SMR Home Theatre site and we take a very dim view of this practice. We have closed down all auctions found to be using our copyright material.

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Purchasing Items Selling Items
  Timing is Everything   Registering as a Seller
  Proxy Bidding   Payment Options
  Sniping   Auction Assistance
  Seller Feedback & Shipping   Including Photographs
  You've Won! What Now?   Describing an Item
  Sending Payment   Launching an Auction
  Receiving Goods   Packaging
  Received Damaged Goods?   Contacting the Purchaser
  Assistance from eBay   Shipping the Item

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Text © Alan L. Maier, Design & HTML © SMR Group, Images © SMR Group cannot be reproduced without permission. eBay is a registered trademark of SafeHarbor Inc. The images on this page are digitally watermarked and the HTML contains JavaScript to prevent it being opened in a frame on another site.  Last updated 16th December 2000.

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