Welcome back to LilacsNDreams, and so good to see you again! Ok, so far we have covered, or skimmed over topics in regards to selling online. Are you a Full Time, or Part Time Seller, or considering selling. Planning, deciding on products you will sell, determining if you want to sell with auctions, market places, or maybe both, and your listing formats. Along with your listings will come pictures. Don't be afraid, and don't get nervous. We all learn from what we do, learn from others, and researching some techniques online can also help.
When a customer comes to your store they were drawn not only by the product they are looking for, but by your titles, and keywords you used. Once they enter the store they generally will look at pictures right away. The old saying "Pictures are worth a 1000 words" really does help with selling online. Having pictures does help things sell better if the the customer can get a clearer image of what they are buying. Yes, detailed descriptions are very helpful, but remember the customer is not there to feel the item, touch it, smell it, and so on. We have to do this for them with the ways we use to present to them.
You don't need high dollar cameras to take pictures for your listings, and you don't have to be a photographer to do so either. Just some simple little things to consider, and help you with "showing" your products.
When you are setting up your area to use for picture taking make sure that you have enough contrast between the setting, and the product so that you can distinguish between them. It is recommended by many to use a black, or a white backdrop. Also, to use shadow boxes. Use what works for you. Don't make it loud, and keep it simple. It can be something with character, a vintage table top, maybe an old lover letter, slabs of stone or maybe some wood. Make sure the focus is kept with your product, and that your backdrops used are not too distracting, but yet appealing with the product to make it show more.
Using natural lighting is generally the best to use. The best lighting can be outside on a cloudy day, or by the window too. If you use some sort of white transparent film on the window it can help filter strong light. You can use a Halogen light, or some kind of lighting determined by you if using your shadow boxes too.
Most sites display a square format for the picture. So, after taking your pictures you generally have some minor adjustments to be made with them. Resizing them to work with the formatting of the site you choose, crop them, rotate them, changing the contrast, maybe sharpening the picture a bit, and so on. Many many free programs out there to do this with. You will see many suggest using picasa, gimp, photoshop, the program that came with your computer, and there is also picnik.
Take many pictures, and use as many as permitted by the site of choice you are using. Show a full size picture of item, zoom in for characteristics you want to emphasize with, if there are any flaws make sure to picture that, if you have a makers mark with the item also picture that for the customer to see. Remember, the customer cannot feel the product so they are relying on your detailed description, and your pictures to better help them.
Once you take the pictures you will want to download them to your computer, or some places require that you use a place for hosting your images. Good way to store the pictures you use for your listings so that it keeps the space on your computer free too. There is photobucket to host with, or you can also use flickr too.
You will see some mention that you should consider water marking your pictures. This process is done because there are people out there who like to go through, and use pictures of others without doing their own work. Yes, it has been known to happen. A watermark is just a light marking done to the picture that you can show it belongs to you. You put it in a place on the picture that it does not distract from the picture, you can make it very light, but yet slightly visible so it can be seen it is marked. For instance, with some pictures I have watermarked I would use LilacsNDreams, and it is generally done in a light shade of white too. Close to the product, but yet not distracting from it.
You seen the term "light box" used by me. This generally is used for smaller items. A good example would be for those who deal with jewelry. Also, to get more of an understanding of picture taking you can research it with the internet for the products of your choice that you will be selling too.
I hope that this version of photo tips for your listings has helped you in some ways. Remember, anything that I suggest, or have been telling you is not the rules, the law, or anything like that. Just some simple techniques to better assist you with your online selling. Always welcome to comments from others, and having others share some thing with us here too. Thanks for visiting with LilacsNDreams, and I wish you all well.