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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.