Pictures are worth a 1000 Words, and More Money

16 September 2012

When selling an item, whether it is on Kijiji, eBay, Craigslist or whatever medium you find: pictures tell a story. The better the pictures, the better your story and the more money you might get for your item.

Here are some basic guidelines for photographing your pictures:

1. Quality:

  • Make sure there is ample lighting in the room
  • Get clear pictures, eliminate all fuzzy pictures
  • Get close enough to the object that it fills your entire picture with a bit of room around the sides
  • If the object is large, take a farther off shot, and then close ups
  • It is a good idea to include an object of standard size to assist in size perception (like a coin with small objects)
  • Put light objects on dark backgrounds, dark objects on light backgrounds. Contrast = good

2. Quantity:

  • You should include one picture that shows all relevant angles of your object. (For example a pair of shoes: you want both sides, front, back, top and bottom)
  • If an object moves (like a desk drawer) give a picture of both the object open and closed

3. What to include:

  • Pictures of all defects (whether minor or not)
  • Pictures of all components you are selling: if included in the listing, there should be a picture of it
  • Pictures of boxes or dust bags if included with the item
  • Pictures of any stamps or labels (for example: makers stamp on wooden furniture, label on clothing)
  • If selling a brand name object, include pictures of all labels which show the name, and any certificates of authenticity

4. What to exclude:

  • Duplicates. You do not need the same picture from the same angle. If you have two pictures of the same angle, take the better picture and eliminate the other.

- - -

From a buyer and a seller point of view, pictures are a deal breaker. As a buyer I have tried assessing the quality and colour of an item from poor lit, fuzzy pictures and sellers have lost sales because of that. From a seller's perspective, I have been asked for more photos of an object because I had not provided all relevant photos.

When selling an item, take the time to photograph it properly. Do not use stock photos you find online as they might ghastly misrepresent the condition of your item (unless it is brand new with tags in mint condition). If you do use stock images, be sure to mention that in your post so the buyer knows.

Though not specifically to do with pictures, it is a good idea to include the hight and dimensions (bust, waist, hips) of your model if the item is being modelled in your picture.

As a last note, when you present something aesthetically pleasing in a photo: you can often ask a higher price and people will pay it because it looks good. Keep that in mind!

I think the picture up above is an awesome example of representing your item well. You can see the full size pictures (as these are slightly cropped) on recycledstylez's Etsy listing here.


  • Anna Waters EDITOR
    Nice one, lots of good points to think about there Avigayil. I agree, the image is incredibly important and really can attract buyers.
  • Vic
    Just hope that's NOT a real fur?!

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