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eBay and the Free Photographic Studio You Already Own!

If you are serious about making extra money from home by working online and using internet auctions such as eBay then there are a number of tips and techniques that will greatly improve your 'strike rate'.

Remember – more than 50% of items listed on eBay do not sell! Do not let your be one of them. A vital aspect of preparing your listing is the photograph of your item.

The following advice is based on my own experiences in selling successfully on online auctions.

You need a digital camera for use on eBay – or any other online auction.

If you do not already own one then the minimum requirements are:

5 mega pixels

A zoom facility

A flash that has the facility to be turned on even when the 'automatic' function feels it is not necessary.

These are pretty standard features and you should have no problem in picking one up for a modest outlay.

A WORD OF WARNING: you could buy one from eBay but buy from a well established dealer with a large number of sales and a high 'feedback' – at least 98%. Watch out for low prices but very high fare charges and buy only NEW – with electronic goods.

I would recommend shopping around for the best deal on a well known brand.


The human eye is drawn to illustrations and photographs – you MUST have one next to your descriptive title – the first one is free.


The sheets on my bed are white, the wall behind the bed is plain off-white. I only take my photographs during daytime with the curtains open and (no matter how bright it is) with the flash turned on. The item you are going to sell is placed on the bed and I kneel to take the shots so that the camera is the same height as the subject.

Even if a 'bedroom studio' is not practical for you I'm sure you get the idea – plenty of light and a plain background. If the background is still a problem how about drying a white sheet or using a roll of white lining paper.


Do not place the item on the ground then, standing up, take a 'helicopter' shot – it usually looks awful.

Do not have a 'fussy', complicated background – no one is interested in the pattern on your carpet or the plants on the shelf behind – they can make your item difficult to see clearly. Just occasional the background might be relevant – a model boat on water, a watch on a wrist, a skirt on a girl but be careful. Remember this is a very small photograph – plain backgrounds are best almost always.


Take lots of shots from every angle – this is the great advantage of the digital age.

Fill your image with your subject – it may be easier to use the zoom for this.

If you are selling something that you can find a suitable illustration of, for example, elsewhere on another website, you may be able to use it using the copy & paste trick. Highlight, right click, left click paste, right click copy. A WARNING: you must be certain that you are not breaching any copyright laws, if in doubt check with the website owners. Perhaps the manufacturers have a website and would be facilitated to help you promote their product.

Photographs – except for the first one – are charged for by eBay and otherwise you are selling something that really needs additional shots or is an expensive item that would benefit from more pics I would recommend that you forget it, if you are a 'newbie' , for now.

I use Picasa 2 to store my photographs – this is because it is free (owned by Google) and I also have my family stuff on there. Whatever service you use play around with the 'brightness' and 'contrast' tool, you want your shot to be light, bright and clear.

If, even after you have completed your listing, you are not happy with your photograph then start again. Your photograph and title are the only things you have to get the eBay browser to click through to your listing – you must get them right – it is not difficult, just follow the advice here and take your time.

Source by Lawrence Stainbank

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