Hosting Your Own Photos on eBay
A photo is really worth a thousand words. And good photos in your auction listings is essential when listing on eBay or any other auction venue.
Some items only require one photo such as DVDs, CDs, games or new books. Cover shots are all that are needed. But if you sell antiques, clothing, custom craft work or other items you may need several photos to show the details. A potential buyer is not going to be able to pick up the item and look it over, they are going to rely on the photos that you provide. This is what is going to help sell your item.
We strongly advise our clients to use their own hosting services. Most listing services give you one photo for free, and then can charge up to .25 per photo after that. If you have more than 3 photos, you may want to include a thumbnail photo gallery to optimize loading time or you may want your photos to be larger than the standard sizes offered. Again, most times you pay for these services. There is no need to pay for something you can do for free! And finally, most listing services put a pretty hefty compression on your photos when you upload the photos to their server and the quality of your photos can be greatly compromised.
Taking Your Photos
General advice we can give you on taking your photos includes: Use proper lighting. Many people find natural, outdoor lighting best. Indoors or out, light your item thoroughly. Consider a backdrop if appropriate. Using a plain, colored fabric backdrop can make your item stand out. Don’t use pure white, as it tends to create too much contrast in your photo. Get close up! Buyers want to see detail, so really make your item take up the whole frame. Do not forget to get photos of the details or imperfections.
Getting Photos to Your Computer
First, you will need to save your photos as digital pictures. You will want to choose the type of equipment or service that best for you.
Digital Camera: A digital camera is the easiest and best way to get sharp Web photos. This type of camera is just like a regular camera, except pictures are stored in the camera’s memory instead of on film. Your digital camera will come with instructions on how to transfer your photo to your computer.
Regular Camera: Most photo developing services can provide your photos to you on a CD so you can copy the photos from the CD to your computer. Otherwise, you will need to have your photos developed then use a scanner to convert your photos into an electronic image. If you do not have a scanner, copy centers such as Kinkos or Mail Boxes Etc. can do the scanning for you.
Scanner: If your items are small and lie flat, like stamps, books, postcards and even some jewelry; scanners do a great job and directly transfer pictures to your computer. Again,if you do not have a scanner, copy centers such as Kinkos or Mail Boxes Etc. can do the scanning for you.
Editing Your Photos
Once your photo is on your computer, you can often improve it with photo editing software, which may have come with your digital camera or scanner. If you are having problems with the software that came with your camera or scanner, or it does not allow you to adjust the quality of your photos, you may want to try Irfanview.
When editing your photos you will want to remove unnecessary background and you may need to balance the contrast and brightness. Finished photo should not be larger than 500 pixels wide and file size should be around 40k for quick page downloads. Remember to always do a “SAVE AS” when saving your photos (you do not want to overwrite the original) and save the photo as JPEG
Uploading Your Photos
For everyone to be able to view your photos, you will need to upload them to the Web. If you have your own Website, you can upload your photos to your server.
File transfer software such as FileZilla (freeware) for PCs or Fetch (shareware) for Macs will assist you in uploading your photos to your ISP.
For Internet Explorer users, the built in FTP client also works great. Firefox users can install FireFTP which is an Add-on Extension that allows you to upload your photos easily.
If you do not have a Website, you can use a image hosting company. We recommend Photobucket. They have free and paid accounts, allow you to crop and resize your photos, and are very easy to use.
The “direct” Link is the absolute URL for your photo. If you copy and paste this into your browsers address bar you should be able to view your photo. The HTML Tag is the actual HTML tag and the URL for use when writing your own HTML. When listing on eBay, click on the HTML tab when inserting your item description and copy/paste this code. The IMG Code is used when posting images on a PHP forum or board. You will need to make sure you check “Easy Linking Mode” under your “Account Settings” > “Albums”.
You will also need an image hosting service for any graphics you are using in your HTML. Again, Photobucket is highly recommended.