Tips from eBay Experts

eBay.com is the number one auction Web site. If you are planning to sell on the Internet, it's likely you'll use eBay at one time or another. But even if you don't, what applies to photos for eBay can also work for other online product shots.

Jim Griffith, Dean of the traveling eBay University and author of The Official eBay Bible (Gotham Books 2003), suggests that when you are editing your photo, "you don't want make the item look better than it really is (such as brightening an old carpet's washed out colors), because it can get you in trouble with the buyer. However, do use a critical eye to look at your pictures before uploading. If you're not happy with them, your customers won't be happy with them."

Adam Hersh, an eBay Trading Assistant (whose business involves selling for others on eBay, www.adamhersh.com) said, "eBay is 98 million users who are strangers to each other. You have to prove yourself and that your item is what it is. So, it's imperative that if there is any damage, you show it in a picture. Don't worry; it will still sell. Conversely, if it is a new item, take a picture of the tags or packaging."

Shoot a number of photos of your item for sale from different angles, including close-ups of hallmarks, important features, and, yes, of damage, too. But don't use more photos than is necessary to give your potential customers a clear idea of what it is they are buying.

Putting your pictures up onto eBay is easier than ever these days, especially if you use eBay's picture services, which at its most basic is free. It will automatically make sure your pictures are the right size and file format and are posted correctly. Plus, there's a slew of resources to help you, including classes (such as eBay University), books, online chat rooms, and eBay-registered Trading Assistants like Adam Hersh who can take care of it the whole process with you.

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