Formatting and Sizing Images for eBay: a Seller’s Guide

how to guide for eBay sellers

For any e-commerce retailer, the photography associated with your online store is an integral part of marketing your products. Consumers are looking to establish trust with a business, and pictures can be a key part of beginning that relationship. For eBay sellers, a picture literally can be worth a thousand words. Let’s take a look at some sure-fire ways to enhance your pictures and start converting sales today. At the end of the post, we have a downloadable ready-to-use eBay Photo Template you can use with Pixlr Editor, our free layers-based graphic design app to make your product images.

What does eBay have to say

The first place to start is always with the rules, as the last thing you want as a seller is to violate eBay’s terms of service and get your store removed from the site. eBay says listings with high-quality pictures are 5 percent more likely to sell. Here’s a quick summary of their photography rules:

  • Image required: All listings must have at least one picture. The site used to allow image-less listings, but this has since changed.
  • Minimum sizing: All pictures must have a minimum of 500 pixels, but 1600 pixels is recommended for high-quality images.
  • No borders: Borders are not permitted. There are some exceptions if your image has a natural border or your product creates one, but it’s best to stay on the safe side with this one.
  • Watermarks allowed: Watermarks are allowed to brand your business, but not to add additional information, and it must not obscure the picture of the item you’re selling.
  • No text: Text on pictures is no longer allowed.
  • Limited stock photos: Stock photos are no longer allowed as the primary image for your listing.
  • File formats: Upload pictures as a .jpeg file or.png file for best results.

While these requirements are the most up-to-date, eBay is constantly changing their requirements to create the best end result for the buyer, so make sure you stay up to date with any further changes.

Lighting matters

Now that we know the rules, let’s take a look at how you can enhance your photos:

  • The first thing that can make a difference in your pictures is the use of lighting. Typically, natural light is the best way to showcase your product. Finding a place in your home where natural light hits a white wall means you can feature your product in the best lighting and without any distracting backgrounds. It’s also good for smaller items where a flash can distort the image or cause unwanted blurriness.
  • Natural light is typically best in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid shooting around noon as this is when the sun is at its harshest and will cause your products to look unnatural.
  • There are some instances when a flash can be handy, but they also can cause shadows or reflections. Try to avoid using the flash whenever possible.

Focusing (and fixing out of focus images)

Focus is another technique that all sellers should try to master. Smaller items can prove a challenge, but you want to strike a balance between staying in focus and getting as close to the object as possible so you can showcase any details. Most cellphone cameras come with an auto-focus feature, but take a few additional shots so you can pick the best of the bunch. If you can’t get close enough without distorting the image, apps like our own Pixlr Editor can help you crop and edit your image to make sure it’s crystal clear. For example, you can use the Sharpen tool (Filter > Sharpen) to help with images that are slightly out of focus.

Showcasing your product

Think of your online listing like a virtual store. Humans are visual creatures, and when we shop in stores the look and feel of items can make or break the sale. Your pictures should showcase your item and make the buyer feel like they are in the room with it. There are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Color matters: Make sure the coloring in the picture matches the color of your item so there are no surprises when they receive their shipment.
  • Stability matters: Tripods and mannequins can be great investments to still shaky hands and show off items of clothing.
  • More photos are better: Taking multiple pictures of the item can be a great way to showcase it from many angles. Who doesn’t want to look at an item from every angle before spending hard earned money?
  • No patterns, please: Shooting with solid backgrounds can avoid confusion or distractions and highlight the item you want to sell.
  • Contextual clues: If your item is hard to scale, consider using a common object or ruler in the picture so buyers can get an idea of the size.
A good eBay photo example
If it’s really important that you show size in context, you can always just use an actual ruler. No doubts about size with that.

Lots of third-party tools to help you

The internet has made editing and showcasing pictures easier than ever, so you don’t have to be a Photoshop whiz to get the best results. Pixlr Editor can help you to edit your photos quickly and create beautiful images for your listings. You can rotate, resize, smooth, focus and apply other filters to your image. Any small blurs or blemishes in your pictures can easily be fixed without having to redo the whole shoot. You may not have considered it, but collages are a great way to showcase a product from different angles without having to upload multiple images. By piecing together multiple images, you can give the user a comprehensive look at your product and encourage them to make a purchase. You can even use our free online Pixlr Express app to make quick collages.

collage eBay photo
You can upload tons of photos or you can make one photo really great by making it a creative collage. It’s a good way to add some curb appeal to a special piece.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to spruce up your eBay listings and create amazing photos that will encourage a seller to buy. Buyers are used to seeing the same boring stock photos in their online shopping, so creating a unique combination of high resolution images will boost your listing and hopefully convert more business.

Download our eBay photo template

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make eBay product photos that look great, download our Pixlr eBay Photo Template. You can open this .pxd file in our online Pixlr Editor app and add your product photos as new layers by simply copying and pasting into this file. We put a watermark logo example in there so you can see how easy it is to keep your watermark available to show/hide whenever you want. (More info about watermarking photos on our blog here.) Never used an app like Pixlr Editor or Photoshop before? Check out our Working with Layers intro video that will get you up and running quick and easy.

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Design Basics Video: Cut It Out

A few weeks back, we let you know about our new Pixlr Editor Design Basics series. It’s a series of videos made just for people who are new to Pixlr Editor. We know that tons of people stumble across our online app looking for a free Photoshop alternative, and we know that not all of them actually have experience using an app like this. If you are a Photoshop expert, try to remember the first time you opened that app with a goal in mind but no way to figure out how to accomplish it.

This week, we’re adding another new video that deals with one of the most important tasks of all: cutting stuff out. Whether you need to cut out a logo and make a transparent PNG or remove a background from a portrait, this video will help you figure it out. We try to keep things basic, lighthearted, and focused on the task at hand so you don’t have to wade through a bunch of 20-minute tutorials. Short and to the point. Check out this video if you’ve always wanted to learn how the magic wand and lasso tool works.

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Mother’s Day Photo Card Ideas: Selfie to Sentimental to Serious

Mother’s Day is this Sunday. You still have time to get her something great or plan something special. You know what mothers really love? Photos — especially when they’re of you. We put together some ideas to help you make your own Mother’s Day card using Autodesk Pixlr.

The Selfie as Mother’s Day Card

Maybe you like to take selfies. If so, you and mom are both going to be very happy with the new Pixlr MOM sticker pack. Take a photo and add a flowery MOM sticker. Maybe include a nice crafty border. You have an instant Mother’s Day card. This is probably one of the easiest ways to surprise your mom. You can take as many selfies as you need until you get one that’s just right. Still don’t like the way you look in your selfie? Ask your mom to take a selfie with you by her side. Add your stickers and effects and surprise her with it. She’ll appreciate that you took the time to make something creative with her that’s also a snapshot of a moment in time — that time you and mom had fun taking selfies.

Selfie as Mother's Day Card

Inspirational Quotes, Sentimental Feelings

The typical printed Hallmark-style greeting card at your local drugstore (how much longer will those be around?) is syrupy sweet. Sometimes sickly sweet. I always ask myself, “Is this really the kind of cheesy sentiment my mom will respond to?” Turns out — yes. I think back to all of the cards my mom gave me on my birthday and other special occasions. When they weren’t designed to be funny their sentiments were all about deep seriousness, sincerity, and emotional well-being. They were flowery and full of cliches — but I recognized that my mom genuinely responded to the sentiment expressed. She might not have been able to say deeply serious things to me face to face, so she did it with sentimental cards. If you’re worried that you’re veering too far into sentimental territory, maybe you are. Then again, maybe you’re hitting the really sweet spot with something like this:

Inspirational Quote for Mother's Day

Straightforward and Simple

If you want to go the sincere and traditional route, dig into Pixlr and uncover all the other stickers and overlays that will complement these MOM stickers. Grab a word art quotation from the Inspiration stickers or maybe something lovable from the Amore sticker pack. (There’s even one about moms in the Amore pack.) If you really want to make your card have an interesting sheen, use the Stylize options to turn your photo into watercolor,  silk, or pencil art. You can control the amount of stylize effect you add, so even just softening up your photo with these effects can make your photo look more like traditional art. That kind of painting effect is something you see a lot of on traditional greeting cards. You can do it more strikingly like we did in the photo above, or just do it in a subtle way like we did here with pencil effect just on the bottom half of the photo:

make a mother's day card

The opposite side of the sentimental spectrum is outsized creativity. If your mom has her own tattoos or sneers at anything unoriginal or loves modern art then by all means get as creative as you can. Again, you can use the Stylize effects, but use some of the more radical ones like Halftone or Litho. If you need to add texture or interestingness to your photo, there are literally hundreds of overlays that will add strong or subtle effects to your photos.

Make Hilarity Ensue

Or, just make something fun or even silly. I would wager that most moms do not want a silly or comedic card with dumb puns on it. But some moms do. If your mom is one of those — congratulations! Super silly moms are the most fun kind of moms. So don’t hesitate to create your own message using the text options in Pixlr. You’ve got a ton of crazy fonts to use if you need them to make something like this:

Fun mother's day cards

Those are just a few ideas to get you started, but we always like seeing what Pixlr users make. If you make something you’re proud of and want to share, tag it #pixlrmom. We’ll feature a few of our favorites all week on the Pixlr Instagram account.

 

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The Best Cosplay at ECCC Seattle: 10 Outstanding Looks

What a wonderful fan convention that was ECCC. We attended Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle last year, but this year the cosplay was even more outstanding. The Western Championships of Cosplay was full of amazing looks, of course, but the quality of cosplay out in the hallways sometimes rivaled the contestants. We were fortunate to be able to pick out some of our favorite characters, but we also had tons of amazing cosplayers just show up wanting to get their photo taken. If we could’t fit you in (it was a busy four days), we hope you’ll find us again next year. If we did have you sit for a photo shoot, make sure to download a high-res copy. It’s just dying to become your Facebook profile photo for the next three months.

Here are some of our favorite looks from Saturday and Sunday at ECCC….

People who came back again and again

We had a number of people who dress differently each day come back. This fellow sat for us no less than three times at ECCC. As you can quickly see, he some talent with fabrication. He’s especially experienced at creating items out of fiberglass, which of course looks about as professional as can be. The two swordsmen were some of the most polished cosplayers we saw at ECCC. And one of them is his wife! Kudos to her for her sewing prowess (and patience with his labor of love). Thanks to everyone who came back for more!

cosplay amazing

Cardboard Knight

This fellow made this entire suit of armor out of cardboard. He really maximized what you can do with cardboard and rivets (very smart use of corrugated cardboard in spots). The details are very impressive. If you zoom in you can see the finger greaves. You can even see his eyes peeking through, which is a testament to our photographer Michael’s attention to detail.

cardboard knight cosplay

Mad Max Family Time

This family sat for us last year for a few different cosplay looks, and they came back this year with a stunner. The entire family joined in to create a Mad Max group that was easily the most impressive of any Mad Max themed cosplay we saw this year. All of them are amazing, especially the “Immortan Joan” look. Thank you @coregeek, @emmy__jonesy, and the rest!

mad max immortan joe cosplay

The Vikings

This couple is driven by this guy’s obsession with vikings. Not just the TV show The Vikings. He’s into all things viking, and boy does he know his stuff. We spotted his shield from far away and knew we had to have them pose for us. Turns out he built this shield the way the original Vikings used to. It’s covered in canvas, which helps keep the wood from splitting when hit by swords and spears, and the entire outside is made out of rawhide that is super hard and reinforces the entire shield. He told us all about it, including how he couldn’t find the right materials he wanted so he went and bought tons of dog chew toy rawhide, soaked it to make it a little more malleable, and then formed it and set it on the shield. Resourceful — just like a viking.

viking cosplayers

Barbarian

This imposing fellow sounds as loud as he looks. Actually, much louder. He turned heads everywhere at ECCC with this barbaric cosplay. His spittle-flying lunges at our camera were frankly awesome. It was a real pleasure to have him pose. He’s a real expert. Does it for a living, in fact. Nice bear head, bro!

barbarian cosplay eccc

Hell Messiah of the Cenobites

Hellraiser is horror canon, so you always expect to see at least a few people doing one of the iconic looks from the movies. But we don’t think anyone has done it quite this well. This fellow also sat for us more than once. In fact, he showed up for photos four (five?) times during the four days. Sometimes he would wear two looks per day. That’s commitment! We’re a fan of all of his looks (which you can find in the Cosplay Gallery), but this Cenobite interpretation is probably our favorite of his many cosplays.

cosplay hellraiser

Steven Universe

One thing I find interesting about the rising popularity of cosplay — and of fan conventions themselves — is that it’s occurring during the rise of both superhero movies and this new Golden Age of Television. You’ll see all kinds of cosplay inspired by both animated and live action TV, and this Steven Universe character was well done — and she really went for the poses we asked her to take.

cosplayer steven universe

The Flash

We like how some cosplayers go for alternate looks of characters. Sometimes those are alternate comic book story lines and sometimes they are conceptual interpretations. This alternate Flash was interesting and different, but what really blew us away was his enthusiasm for Pixlr. He’s a long-time user and we loved hearing about his experiences with our apps. Front of the line, @titancosplay. Your flattery is welcome here.

cosplay eccc flash

Princess Mononoke

Some of the cosplay we see is through the roof with details and looks like it took weeks or even months to make. But we’re also really impressed by people who do simple things really well. It only takes three or four of just the right pieces using the right colors and details to make stand-out cosplay — especially when the person who embodies the character really believes in it. This Princess Mononoke was understated but also outstanding.

princess mononoke

Pixlr Staff of Power Photo

We definitely have a favorite of all the photos we took at ECCC. To us, our favorite photo is the last one we take — our staff photo. This time around, we had a smaller staff than we did at C2E2, but the photo turned out just as epic as that last one in Chicagoe. We admit it, we’re biased to choose this one as our favorite. Even though we try, it’s impossible to be completely objective when judging cosplay. And it’s completely impossible to not pick this photo as our favorite because we felt the same rush that all the other cosplayers who had their photo taken at our booth this week felt. When our expert photographer Michael poses you and makes you reach for that last 5% of emotion when you think you’ve already given 100% percent, and you step down from your pose and see how epic you look on a big 55-inch screen that’s broadcasting your photo to the entire convention — well then it’s going to be your favorite photo no matter what. Thank you, Michael, for your amazing work, and thank you to everyone who sat for a photo shoot!

 

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C2E2: The Best Cosplay via Beat Down Boogie

We’re big fans of Beat Down Boogie on YouTube. If you’ve never checked out their YouTube channel and you like seeing amazing cosplay, you should probably visit and subscribe. The Beat Down Boogie team goes from event to event around the country capturing the best cosplay looks at each fan event. It’s a labor of love for them, and they have a lot of fans around the world. In fact, we wanted to congratulate them for passing 600,000 followers this past week. That’s huge!

Of course, going from event to event and paying for hotels and food and everything else that’s involved in capturing it all isn’t free. Labors of love sometimes require benefactors, and we’re proud to sponsor Beat Down Boogie and help them keep their video fun train rolling. Check out their most recent video from the Chicago event a few weeks back, which was just released in the past few days:

Thanks for the shout-out at the end of the video, Micah! We hope you had as much fun as we did at C2E2. We can’t wait to see your Emerald City Seattle video when it’s done.

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Western Championships of Cosplay Winner: @allierosemarie

eccc cosplay champion

We’re proud sponsors of Cosplay Championships around the country, including this week’s Emerald City Comic Con Western Championships of Cosplay. These cosplayers are engaged in a race of one-up-manship that just keeps getting better every year. We’re fortunate to get access to the contestants right before they walk into the judging room, which gives us some time to ask them about how they made or conceived of their costume. We have a gallery of photos of all of the contestants at events.pixlr.com, but we wanted to congratulate the Best in Show, 1st place Western Champion.

Congratulations to Allie Rose-Marie Leost (@allierosemarie on Instagram) with her amazing portrayal of Warcaster Allison Jakes. The armor and construction was impeccable. Super colorful, totally bad-ass weaponry, and overall a very complex look. What really stood out was the “smoke” exhaust that emitted from her back. That kind of detail is always impressive. We salute you, Alley Cat Cosplay!

eccc cosplay champion

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10 Best Cosplay at ECCC Seattle: Our Favorites from Thursday and Friday

We’re fortunate to be capturing some the best cosplayers at Seattle Comic Con this week. If you’ve followed Pixlr long enough you know we started taking photos of cosplayers at fan conventions a few years back. Just a simple photo booth and a camera and some enthusiasm for learning more about cosplay construction. Since then, as our enthusiasm has grown our setup at fan conventions has evolved and gotten better each time. And so have the photos. We have a whole big bunch of them on our Cosplay Gallery, and here are some of our favorite looks from Thursday and Friday at ECCC:

Skyrim Family

This Skyrim family was at #ECCC for their very first cosplay. Holy cow! Pretty amazing for a first time. It’s hard enough to create one amazing look, but they did three — one for dad, one for daughter, and one for son. Best first timers we ever met. Well met, indeed. Thanks for posing for us!

The Dark Crystal

Remember The Dark Crystal? You don’t always see deep Jim Henson cosplay, but we actually saw a few Henson-focused cosplay looks at ECCC that were pretty darn great. People who do Henson cosplay care about the details and they have a real artistic bent. This one was definitely a winner. This kind of voluminous costume can be hard to capture, but our photographer Michael has a way with posing people. Epic.

Princess Mononoke

These two creative souls took the idea of forest spirits from Princess Mononoke and went deep. And then went deeper. Still deeper. We love this kind of conceptual cosplay that takes an idea of a character and interprets it in a wholly unique way. We worship you, spirits.

mononoke

Edward Scissorhands + Topiary Guy

Everyone loves Edward Scissorhands. He’s one of the most unique fictional characters ever created and he’s completely, wholly original.  Our photographer found just the right pose to make this one stand out. The topiary he’s trimming is actually a fellow in a full bush costume who worked in tandem while they walked the floor at ECCC. Talk about original. One of the best cosplay teams we’ve ever seen.

Marceline the Vampire Queen

We see a few Marcelines from Adventure Time at cosplay events. It’s a popular costume, but this one really stepped up and posed wonderfully for us.  She nailed the spirit of the character and gave it a nice edge.

Snake Eyes from GI Joe

This man in black really was enigmatic. We have no idea what he really looks like underneath here, but what we saw in this Snake Eyes was pure bad-ass. Capturing all-black costumes can be tough, but this one uses a lot of light to make all the surfaces shiny and the creases and folds stand out. Great pose and some great editing to bring out the mystery of this always mysterious character.

He-Man

We saw this He-Man last year at ECCC and caught a quick photo, but this year he really stood out. Thanks to him for sitting for a longer photo shoot to capture this classic “I have the power” pose. Replicating the look of a movie poster or in this case the intro to the cartoon is always a good idea.

Thor and Captain America

Two great tastes that taste great when they clash. We love this classic versus pairing, and they both completely went for it with their poses.

ECCC2016_DAY_2-084

Journey

Have you ever played Journey? It’s one of the most artistic video games we’ve ever seen. We won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a simple but subtly profound game that’s sure to surprise you. This cosplayer surprised us with a simple but elegant costume that we’ve never seen anyone cosplay before. Beautiful.

ECCC2016_DAY_2-075

Captain Phasma

We loved this first-rate First Order commander, Captain Phasma. The way the light reflects off of this costume is remarkable. The gun, the gloves, the helmet — everything is spot on in this one.

Those are our favorite ten of the bunch, but favoritism is always subjective. Exercise your subjective muscles and take a look at the rest of the batch in our Cosplay Gallery.

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Write for the Pixlr Blog

get paid to blog about photography

Are you an expert at one of our apps? Do you have a point of view about mobile photography or graphic design that you’d like to express to our users? We believe artists and writers deserve to be paid for their time. We pay $200 per post on our blog and will pay more for longer, in-depth, tutorial-style content. You won’t get rich writing for us, but you’ll be treated fairly and with a lot of gratitude. We’re looking for writers who can teach our users, but we’re also looking for people who have a passion for writing about art and design that goes beyond our apps.

Interested? Send your pitch directly to our blog editor.

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Join Pixlr at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle

eccc

We’re proud to be a sponsor of events like Toronto’s Fan Expo, New York Comic Con, and in just a few days Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. If you happen to be heading to ECCC this week (April 7 – 10), look for us!

Free photo shoots for cosplayers

As always at these fan conventions, we’ll be offering free photo shoots for cosplayers. We’ll have a photo wall set up near the Atrium Lobby (next to the Peace Bonding station), and we’ll be grabbing some of the most creative cosplay we see. If you want our professional photographer Michael to capture your hard work and creativity, please stop by and tell us you heard about it on the Pixlr blog. We’ll no doubt be very busy, but if you’re a blog reader we’ll do our best to get you on our list.

Building up the Cosplay Gallery

Each day of ECCC, we’ll take the best photos of each shoot and upload them to our Cosplay Gallery at events.pixlr.com. These are high-quality, fully downloadable images that anyone can flip through and enjoy (and download). We’re almost certain you’ll find something amusing and fun in this gallery, so go check it out!

Championships of Cosplay

We’re proud sponsors of the ECCC Western Championships of Cosplay, which means we get first crack at photographing all of the entrants. It’s one of our favorite parts of these fan conventions, and we hate to break it to anyone who lives in Toronto, New York, or Chicago, but Seattle may be our favorite fan con for cosplay creativity. There’s just something about the creativity of people in the Great Northwest that seems to result in stellar cosplay. And last year someone proposed marriage during a photo shoot. We’re hoping they’ll be celebrating their first anniversary this year. Heck, why don’t you two come on by for another photo.

Can’t make it to Seattle? You can follow us on Instagram for a few choice shots. It’s the fan con lite lite lite version of attending.

 

Instagram Artist Spotlight: Priska Wettstein

aurora

We’ve been profiling some interesting Instagram artists lately, and this time around we want to introduce you to Priska Wettstein. “Hotel owner and part time picture taker” as she describes herself, she is a social media artist from frosty Dawson City in Yukon, Canada. Coveting ravens, arctic scenes, and wild nature held within a painted, dreamlike atmosphere, Priska’s work will not disappoint. In addition to her intriguing composition and artistically edited works, she sometimes includes thought provoking quotes, phrases, and poems as part of her work. Priska’s stunning use of color and texture will pique your imagination. It’s a feed full of considerable inspiration.

Priska is the owner of the Aurora Hotel (think Northern Lights). Referred to by Priska as the Land of the Midnight Sun & Aurora Borealis, Dawson City and its surrounding area have been featured in well known literary works by such writers as Jack London (some of his most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang), Robert W. Service (known for poems from his book, Songs of a Sourdough) and Pierre Berton (writer of Canadian History). Pierre Berton’s childhood home in Dawson City is also a well-known writer’s retreat. Judging from her work, it seems fitting that Priska Wettstein, hotel owner, artist and writer, is part of this frostbitten landscape. She pulls unusual beauty from it regularly and shares it with the world.

You can follow Priska Wettstein on Instagram, check out her website, PriskaWettstein.com, and find her works available for purchase (mainly for fiction book covers) at Red Edge Images.

 

pixlr-IG-Artist_PriskaWettstein_IG