How to Take Pictures That Sell Your Items

Last month, we spoke about 5 simple ways to write product description that convinces your customer to buy the product from you. Just as important as it is to have a great product description, it is equally important to have clean and clear pictures.

Even before the buyer gets to the description, he sees the product picture next to the title, which can make or break your sale. Great item with terrible pictures will never sell in comparison to an okay item with great pictures. Here are some tips on how to take pictures that sell your item –

  • Have white poster board backdrop

Have you shopped on amazon? Noticed how their pictures always have a white background? That’s because they want to eliminate any background distractions for the buyer. We want the buyer to focus on the item and not what’s in the background. Therefore, when clicking pictures always have a white background. You can buy a white poster board from dollar store or target.

If you take regular pictures, make sure the poster board is stored neatly without any scuff marks or dirt. That way your sheet will last for a longer time.

Below is the picture from 2 different listings for Pre-Owned Black Wedge Sandals. Which one would you pick? Pic 1 or Pic 2?

  • White Balance for Brighter Pictures

I’m not of a camera techy but I have a photographer friend who advised me to take pictures in natural day light with camera set to “white balance” settings. This helps you to take better pictures, alter the background and make it appear more bright without changing the color of the actual item.

All cameras have different settings, you can refer to the manual to find out more about this particular setting. However if you like me, and like to take pictures from your phone, you can use Picasa or Adobe to customize the pictures.

  • Clean the items

We’ve all heard the popular phase – First Impression is the Last Impression. When you selling items online, make sure you clean them well before taking pictures. Pay attention on small details and think like a buyer not like a seller.

When buying items from thrift store to flip or while cleaning your house off unwanted stuff, the most difficult part is to clean them from all nook and corners.

  • Close and Cropped 

When clicking pictures, it is essential to be as close to the item as possible. Have a close up view to show as much detail as possible by filling up the frame. Once the pictures have been clicked, you can crop them off of extra unwanted backgrounds.

Apart from clicking pictures, the major time goes in cropping and editing the pictures. However, if you careful while clicking pictures, filling the frame and being careful of the light, you can save a lot of time when it comes to editing.


  • Click Pictures From Every Angle

When selling goods online, it is essential to take pictures from every angle possible. The buyers want to see what they are buying, don’t leave anything up to their imagination. eBay allows you to upload 12 pictures for free on each listing. Make the best use of it.

Think like a buyer and highlight what they would want to see in your item. Any special feature or mark? Photograph on the item? Any defect? As mush as it is important to show to glamorous item, it is equally important to show any defects or smudges to avoid getting negative feedback. Don’t forget a picture says a thousand words.


  • Avoid Using Props or Extras In the Picture

When clicking pictures at home, avoid using any props or extras in the frame. This causes confusion and the buyer might or might not buy the product.

E.g. If you selling a table, don’t put any vase or books on the table. It could also make buyers think that there’s something you are trying to hide. Show them how it is exactly.

  • Use Original Pictures

When you selling stuff from home, take original pictures and not pick pictures from the internet (stock photos). This is against eBay policies.
If you are Dropshipping, it is okay to copy pictures from suppliers or online.

The following pic was used for a used HP Pavilion Laptop. It’s a stock photo from internet. According to eBay rules, stock photos are not allowed as primary photos in used item listings.


  • Don’t Edit Too Much

Too much editing is tempting but not a good idea. Most times, it tends to change the color of the actual item and can break the sale more often than you may know. If you don’t know how to edit pictures, stick to just cropping them to get rid of the extra untidy edges. As long as the white back drop is there, there’s natural and good lighting in the room when you taking pictures, you should be good.

  • Adhere to eBay’s Picture Requirements

eBay has come up with easy to understand guidelines and requirements that sellers have to adhere to when clicking and posting pictures in their listing.

According to those guidelines –

  1. You should have at least 1 picture in every listing.
  2. Each picture should be at least 500 x 500 pixels.
  3. You are allowed to have watermarks or company logo in your picture but it’s against
  4. eBay policies to put borders in your picture. eBay will send you a message for violating their policies and your listings can be taken down as a result of that. Also note – Your watermark should be no bigger than 5% of the total image area, have an opacity of no more than 50%, and never obscure the item. Links are not allowed in
  5. No text or artwork of SALE or FREE LISTING should be added to your picture.
  6. You can use Stock Photos only for only new items and not used ones.

You can download their guide for taking great pictures. A picture with so many borders are not allowed on eBay.

no borders allowed.png

  • Opt In For Zoom Features on eBay

Did you know that eBay had a feature where the picture would get enlarged when you place the cursor over the image? It happens when your pictures are between 800 – 1600 pixels. It helps the buyer get a better view of what you are trying to sell.

Also, if you want your pictures to stand out in the list, you can go for the option “Display a large photo in search results with Gallery Plus” when listing pictures. Even though it’s a paid feature, it helps to enhance your items during the search results. A standard picture of 96 pixels can be enlarged up to 400 x 400 pixels when you hover over the item.

zoom feature.png

If you sell items from home, how do you take pictures? Do you like to place your items inside the box and take pictures or do you like to have a white backdrop? Would love to hear more from you in the comments below!

Selling on eBay is not rocket science, anyone can do it. Learn more on how to sell on eBay as a beginner and start selling today!

Don’t put your dreams on hold, put your excuses on hold. – Summer Brackhan


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