How to Optimize Photos for eBay Listings & Templates

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Everyone has different programs available on their computers for their photo editing software; therefore it is impossible for me to give step by step instructions based on one particular program because I don’t know what program you are using!  I CAN, however, provide you with certain STEPS and guidelines you should consider before hosting your photos on the internet and inserting them into your auction templates!  I have learned these techniques through trial and error on my own and hope to help out other sellers with my tips.

It is not necessary to purchase super expensive software for the instructions that follow and if you do not have photo editing software, there are a few free programs on the internet.  I have not used these programs because I have my own favorite programs on my PC that I use.  And I don’t get into a lot of complicated procedures for altering my images for my listings, either.  I only use a few basic functions of my software and they’re pretty simple and uncomplicated to do!!

Please keep in mind that a large percentage of Internet users are still using slower dialup connections.  Because of this fact it is a good idea to limit the size and number of pictures in your auction listing.  I only recently upgraded to DSL myself, but I still do use dialup to test my templates. As a general rule of thumb you’ll want to use between one to five photos for your listing.

One more thing before we start editing, if you repeatedly end up with blurry photos there is a possibility that no amount of editing will help get rid of that defect.  It might be a good idea for you to invest in a tripod for your camera in order to alleviate these types of poor photos.  I bought mine at a local store for less than $30 and it was well worth the investment!

The following is a quick list of what I’m going to explain below.

The photo editing steps:

  1. Crop your photo to remove the unwanted background to keep your viewers interested in the item you’re selling.
  2. Adjust the brightness and colors, if necessary.
  3. Focus, if needed.
  4. Resize or resample the image.
  5. And the last step is to save your image!

Now, go ahead and select a photo for one of your auctions or with which to practice your editing skills.

Open up your photo in your photo editing software.  The first thing you’ll want to do is use your software’s cropping tool to crop out any unnecessary background around the item you are trying to list.  This makes your item more noticeable and your viewer’s eyes won’t be straying around looking at everything else in the photo.  If you make a mistake, don’t worry!  Most programs have an “Undo” feature located in the Edit menu on the Toolbar.  Just click on Undo and start over!  As long as you haven’t saved your picture there is no harm done.

Next, you might want to adjust the brightness and/or colors of your picture.  This feature works differently in many programs but its results can be OUTSTANDING on your auction photos!  Don’t be afraid to experiment!  Remember, as long as you haven’t saved your results you can always UNDO or start over with the original picture!

If your image is a little bit out of focus you can use the focus (or sharpen) tool of your photo editing software to focus the photo a wee bit.  Be careful not to “over-focus” and make your photo too sharp and unpleasant to the eye!

Next, you need to resize or resample the image so that it will fit in your listing without the viewer having to scroll left and right to see the entire picture. Most images should be no wider than 500 pixels.  It is recommended that when resizing your photos you only resize the width of the photo in PIXELS (not in percentage).  Also, if there is an option box to “maintain the scale” of the photo you should place a check mark in that box otherwise distortion of your photo will occur!

Now, saving your photo can be intimidating but I use the following steps so that I will still have my original photo to fall back on if I made any errors.

  1. In the toolbar, click on File.
  2. From the menu, choose Save As.
  3. Decide where you are going to save it on your computer and go to that directory.
  4. Choose a name for your photo and type it into the file name: line. DO NOT PRESS ENTER OR CLICK ON SAVE YET!
  5. From the drop-down list of file types (Save as type:) below the file name line, choose *.jpg.  JPEG graphic files generally save in a smaller file size than .gif or .bmp images allowing for fasting loading in your auctions.  This doesn't mean that the pictures are smaller, just the size of the file!
  6. Click on the Save button and you’re done!!

Now you can go ahead and upload your optimized photo to your photo hosting site!!

Finally, don't be afraid to play around with all of the features of your photo editing software with sample photos.  The more you play, the more you'll learn and the better your photos will be!

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