Ever since I sold my first item on ebay I have been addicted to the site and I have steadily developed it as a supplementary source of income over the last two years. As I gained experience from listing items, I rapidly became aware that the inclusion of pictures in the listings was a major selling point as buyers could literally see what they were buying and as such create a greater interest and desire within them which in turn led to greater selling prices.
To sum it up in one sentence:
Pictures attract attention, help explain details and more importantly stimulates desire which leads to Auction Euphoria.
Auction Euphoria is that process whereby the desire to own an item is that great that all logic goes out the window and the buyer rebids to ensure that they win it, thus increasing the selling price.
This simple bit of knowledge has allowed me to push my final selling prices up on average between 10-30% and as such it amazes me that so many listings do not include one picture and just type out the details in one long line of text (usually all in capitals!). I am not complaining however because this fact alone has allowed my auctions to stand out and make the money.
I started off using eBays add additional photo service to include extra images in my listings which people could use as a reference point and I found out the following :
1. Always make sure that the image is clear and of the actual item for sale, otherwise what is the point of including it? You will find that poorly presented pictures suggest that the seller doesn't care and hence will devalue the potential selling price of the item which is of no use to anyone.
2. Never use a stock photograph of the item for sale, with the increase in fraudulant transactions (especially on the higher value items) this will serve to put the buyer off, again serving to devalue your final selling price. Taking a little extra time to get an actual photograpah shows yours buyers that you care and will endear them to you.
3. Where possible use a digital camera, these are very easily accessable nowadays and relatively cheap and they produce excellent images. A webcam can also be used but does give a grainier picture. Remember the cost of the digital camera can be offset by the gain in final selling prices.
4. Have good lighting on your images, a poorly lit image may as well not be there. Where possible I take mine outside into the garden, put it onto a chair with white paper behind it and take advantage of the natural light. Its a few minutes work that pays dividends in the end in cold hard cash!
5. Never just use one image, always use at least two. I tend to use one image for every one of the details (or faults) that I mention in the listing. This illustrates what you are actually trying to describe and helps to prevent the dreaded negative feedback of 'the item wasn't as described'.
Using the above meant my auctions stood out and I was considered to be true to my word by my buyers so much so that I have multiple return buyers and the Auction Euphoria effect is evident on my auctions as there regularly go for higher prices than similar items listed on eBay.
As I developed my auctions I realised that using eBays additional picture service was COSTING ME a large proportion of my profit so I looked into other ways of getting my pictures on my listings. I also realised that the format of the listings was another major factor. I wanted to use the additional pictures to illustrate a detail or fault but it was no use having the picture at the bottom of the listing away from the description as per eBays standard approach.
So I did some research and learned that the answer to my problems was HTML to generate a template for my listings and allow me to pull my images into them without having to use eBays image service, sure it was still gonna cost me to host my own images but no where near what eBay was charging me. Using this has meant that my eBay Listing Fees have dropped by nearly 90%.
My buyers then started to ask me if they could use my templates and how they could include images on thier listings, advice which I always gave to them. I then decided to put this advice together on a few webpages so that they could use it as a reference and to upload some of the templates that I have used in the past so that anyone can use them for FREE.
I hope that these simple bits of advice help you to take advantage of Auction Euphoria, and really develop your profits from the amazing, and addictive, animal that is eBay auctions.
Mike - Webmaster and eBay Power Seller.
Online Auction Trader
FREE eBay Selling Templates, can be used by anyone you dont need to ask my permission to use them anywhere you want.