We take the time to list our items online because, well, we want them to sell! So if you’re tired of staring at that $200 juicer you never once used, make sure your listing packs a punch. Keep in mind that the photo you use is a potential buyer’s first impression, so it’s important to avoid these five common mistakes when snapping a shot.
1. Blurry images
If your item’s image is blurry, most people won’t bother contacting you to learn more. Make sure your photo is clear by holding your camera steady and taking a few different shots (so you can choose the best one later). If you don’t have a good camera on your phone, either borrow one from a friend or use a standard camera.
Don’t be tempted to lift an image of the item of off the Internet unless your item matches the condition perfectly. If you’re selling a used baby carrier and have a photo of a brand new one, you’re misleading your potential buyer.
2. Clutter in the background
People want to know that the item is coming from a clean environment. Before taking a photo, move any newspapers, coffee mugs, or other clutter away so that the background looks nice and tidy. You wouldn’t want to enter a store with debris piled all over the shelves. The importance of good presentation is no different when it comes to used goods.
And while you may be very proud of your beautiful pets and children, it’s always better to leave them out of the photo. Generally, buyers don’t want to visualize your sweet pea’s spit up on the blanket you’re selling or worry about white cat hairs on that black coat they can’t wait to buy.
Bonus! Do a good sweep of the area to ensure that you don’t have anything that could compromise your security (or privacy) in the pic. This includes checks, social insurance cards, and credit cards.
3. A dishonest description
People don’t expect items to be as good as new—they’re used after all! Still, be upfront about just how used, old, or faded an item happens to be so buyers don’t waste their time driving over to check out an item that they would otherwise have no interest in. If your item is, in fact, NWT (New With Tags), include the tags in the photo to pique more interest.
If your item needs repair, it can be helpful to include a close-up of the damaged section. The truth will come out during the initial inspection anyway. Some people enjoy a little fixer upper.
4. Mirror madness
A few years ago, a seller on a popular website snapped a photo of an item she was selling without realizing there was a mirror in the foreground. Unfortunately, she was *ahem* nude during the photo session and unknowingly gave the entire world a peek at her birthday suit.
It’s your right to walk around your home in the buff, but you’ll want to make sure the only goods on display in your photo are the ones that you’re selling. 😉
5. Treating your item like trash
Remember the old adage “one person’s trash is someone else’s treasure”? That just might be the case when it comes to your items—as long as they don’t look like they’re ready for the bin. Photos of dingy, dirty items will be passed over more often than not, so pretty them up before taking a picture. And put some elbow grease into it if need be!
Selling a DVD player? Wipe off any dust. Listing a pair of tennis shoes? Give them a small rub down with a Magic Eraser. Posting baby clothes that have been packed away for years? Iron them to get the creases out. Just five minutes of TLC will help your items sell faster… and isn’t that the goal?
Good luck and happy selling!