ebay tips and tricks

Yup... title says it all.

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005
This is being posted on someone's personal site regarding ebay photo equipment and techniques - thought I'd share here:

I’m a part-time photographer so my equipment tends to be a bit more expensive. This is my ebay setup: I generally use a Canon 1D Mk2, Canon 10D or Olympus E1, Photoflex lighting kit with 1-3 hot lights using large soft boxes setup just for plain basic white background soft lighting. Sometimes I use a Redwing, but I haven’t touched that in a while. Lighting is pretty consistent so I just use the same or similar Manual exposure settings on the camera. I use the Sigma 50mm macro on my Canon 90% of the time, while with my E1 I use a 50mm macro (100mm equivalent) and the Olympus 14-54mm kit lens that came with the camera. (You can see pictures of this stuff at www.lookuppictures.com under photo equipment.) One nice benefit of using a more professional camera is the larger sensor size affords you the ability to shoot in higher ISOs while retaining very high image quality – as such I rarely use a tripod and my shoots rarely last more than a few minutes. When I do need a tripod, I use a bogen 3051 or my Gitzo carbon fiber – this is generally when I’m shooting without the advantage of my other studio equipment. After the shoot, I use Breezesys Downloader Pro to download and sort the images, then Breezesys Breezebrowser and/or ACDSee serve as viewers to pick the best from the shoot. Nothing beats Photoshop for image manipulation if necessary. Since I crop in camera, lighting and camera settings are preset, I don’t do a lot of manual post-processing. Most of my photos are just watermarked with my magnus-mu auction imprint, resized (batch process) and uploaded to my smugmug site where I’m hosting most of my ebay pictures right now. Quick and efficient up until I need to link the photos to an ebay listing, which takes about 10-15 minutes to create using some visual elements borrowed from my previous auctions. Special photo presentations such as for zoomable, 360VR, flash multimedia pictures I host off my own server from my office.

Monday, June 02, 2003
Something interesting to note. Sometimes potential buyers ask me whether I'm just selling a 'picture' of the product rather than the product itself when my listing heading has the words PICS in the end. Well, after seeing this listing - I can understand the confusion. Now if only I could get some high priced cardboard for sale...

Friday, May 30, 2003
Simple how to take good macro (close-up) photos for ebay; good links:

First, you should get a digital camera now that they are so cheap now compared to what they used to be. My first megapixel digital camera cost me $800.00 a few years ago... Features you should look for are:
1. white balance adjustable. This isn't critical, as you can substitute a photo editing program just as easily to fix the color.
2. onboard flash or even better get one that allows you to easily attach an external flash through a hot-shoe or PC sync cord.
3. macro mode allows the lens to focus really closeup - check your camera manual for more details.

Next you'll want a good way to light up your products. In photography, lighting is everything!
Here is a build it yourself lightbox from megapixel.net

Use a food container and translucent paper.

Macro flash lighting with an Olympus FL-40 system.

I use a variety of different techniques. But for really quick simple white background, I have some white foam core panels set up as box. I use approximately (6) 60"x40" set up as a box, and use my Olympus FL-40 flash to light the whole thing. This works great because its very quick and very easy, while allowing me to take photos of larger items. (see a sample here). Lighting is very consistent throughout (as one would expect from a $300 flash unit).

Thursday, May 29, 2003
I've found that a lot of the same questions buyers ask seem to be the same: is the item new? If not, what condition is it in? How much for shipping?

The solution? highlight the pertinent sections with an HTML highlighter! This used to be an unsupported function until IE 5/6 dominated the browser scene. I only hope that other people don't overuse it.

Here's an example of how I've implemented it in an auction.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Tuesday, May 06, 2003
When coming up with text and descriptions for your ebay auction - don't steal from a fellow ebay members'. Be original and unique -- if you can't be either, you should ask before you take for your own commercial purposes. Recently I had my ebay auction listing of my xootr ex3 stolen by 2 ebay members: harriesgoodies (354), and juny3000 (0). It was argueably one of the most comprehensive that most ebay members have ever seen - and I've gotten a lot of compliments and comments on it. Also, it was the most time I've ever spent on a listing and it most certainly is my copyrighted work. Needless to say, I had to take the appropriate action. I gave a warning to juny3000 because she was new, and will have to contact ebay to have harriesgoodies auction changed or cancelled.

Thursday, April 24, 2003
Is my item sellable on ebay? The easiest way to tell is to see if other people are selling similar items, and how much they ended up selling for. You can easily tell when an item you're selling bears any interest to people who are looking to buy on ebay by the number of hits your page encounters, and of course how many bids were made over the course of 10 days or less. When you sell on ebay you have the option to add one of a few basic counters that gauges how often your auctions are viewed. Sometimes I'll post an auction with a super high reserve price which I know most likely won't sell, just to see how many people bid, ask questions, and view the pages. If interest is high, I then quickly post a true auction starting at $1.00 with no reserve and let it rip. This can save you from some costly mistakes and help cut down on auctions that don't sell well.