The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” has never been truer than with online auctions. If you ever wondered why one item has a lot of bids while another identical item up for auction has far fewer, one of the main contributing factors is probably the photo. Photos of the items you’re selling will greatly affect the number of bids you receive and the price people are willing to pay. Although your description will be important, it will only be a compliment to the photo. If your photos are poor, very few potential buyers will ever get far enough to read your description.
Your first step is to get a camera that takes quality photos. You don’t need a top of the line model with matching price tag, but you do need one that will take clear, bright, detailed photos of the items you are selling. If you have friends or acquaintances that are already listing auctions, inquire about the camera they use. Take an afternoon to visit the local library and check out what Consumer Reports has to say on digital cameras. If your local camera store allows it, take a few days to test several different cameras to get the best one for you and the products you’re selling.
You will also want to take some time to view the photos that other sellers are using. Note if the item in the photo being sold is too close, too far, the way it’s displayed and any other points that strike you about the photo (both good and bad) Taking an afternoon to study what things you like and don’t like about photos will pay off richly down the road as you incorporate the good points and avoid the bad ones in your own photo taking.
When taking your photos, you should find a good place that has a lot of light. Make sure that you have an open area not cluttered with other stuff and a background color that doesn’t take away from the item itself. You may even want to fashion a few desk lights to flood the area making it as bright as possible when taking your photos. Remember that your photo is going to be the first impression for most people looking at your auctions, so you want to make it count.
While auctions site usually let you list the first photo for free, there are times when you will need to place additional photos in your auction to fully show off the item you are selling. There is, however, no need to pay the extra photo fees. There are a number of sites that will give you a limited amount of space to host your photos for free, although they are getting harder and harder to find. If you are adding additional photos from time to time to particular auctions, this will be more than enough space for you. If the items you are selling consistently require numerous photos, it would be worthwhile to sign up with one of the many services that give you much more space for a small monthly fee.
Another question that needs to be addressed is whether or not it is worthwhile to pay an extra fee to have your photo placed in the gallery. This is an area where people can browse items listed by photo rather than by title. The photo also appears next to the title in title searches. You need to determine how they work best for you, but a basic guideline to go by is that it is usually worthwhile to place your photo in the gallery if the item’s starting price is over $10. For items under $10, you need to determine whether it is worthwhile or not on a case by case basis.
This brings us to yet another point. If you are planning to list your photo in the gallery, you need to make sure that it not only looks good as a large photo but also when it is reduced to thumbnail size. Often photos that look fine as a full-size photo are difficult to comprehend as a thumbnail. This is often a challenge, but again, essential to get the most visitors to take a look at your auctions.
Taking the time to incorporate these points into your auctions photos will go a long way in increasing the number of sales and the prices received for auctions you list.