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eBay Hacks, 2nd Edition by David A. Karp

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Hack #70. Keep Your Item from Looking Pathetic

Use this simple approach to take great photos of your items.

Simply put, good photos will get you more bids and more money. An attractive, clear, well-composed photo will excite customers and inspire trust in your bidders that you're selling what you say you're selling.

On the other hand, if your photos are blurry, poorly lit, too small, or too cluttered with junk, your bidders will not be nearly as impressed. Not surprisingly, bad photos will make your item look pathetic, and as a result your item will get fewer bids and less money, if it sells at all.

Background

Start with a neutral background, like an empty table or section of the floor. A little texture (like wood or fabric) can be nice, but don't overdo it. A single piece of printer paper is a good backdrop for small items; use a solid-color bedsheet, placed on a hard surface, for larger items.

Avoid carpet, which can make your item look dirty and shabby. And nobody is going to want something that is shown literally sitting in the dirt, so avoid taking photos in the back yard whenever possible. If you're photographing a bicycle, car, or other outdoor object, use pavement as a backdrop by standing on top of a chair or ladder and shooting down at your object.

Your item will be lost in the photo if it's in front of a busy pattern or other high-contrast background. Instead, make sure most of the contrast in your photo comes from the boundary between your object and the background, as shown ...

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