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Getting your eBay images right in 2021

Can you imagine pitching your product to over 100 million people?
It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? 

Yet, if you’re selling on eBay, this is what you’re doing! eBay ended 2020 with 185 million active buyers which was 11 million more than the year before. The pandemic has attracted a lot of new online customers and now that they’ve discovered the advantages of internet buying, they are bound to stick around in 2021. 

In this post we will discuss how your images can help your eBay profile grow.

What are the eBay image requirements?

eBay is quite strict when it comes to their images requirements. They have every right to be, because quality matters. Here are five important things to know.

1. Images must be yours to share

All of the images you use on your listing must belong to you. This means that it can’t be downloaded from another website. In order for eBay to publish your image, you must be able to give full permission for it to be used.

2. One photo is the bare minimum

A listing will not be able to be published unless it has at least one image added to it. It is in your best interest to make full use of the 12 picture limit so that you can give your customers a complete view of your product.

3. There are image size limits

All your images must fit within the eBay size guidelines. The minimum size of an image is 500 x 500 pixels and the maximum size is 9000 x 9000 pixels. Also bear in mind that the size of any single image cannot be larger than 12MB.

4. Get the formatting right

eBay supports the following image formats: JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, and GIF, so make sure your image is in one of these formats before uploading.

5. Follow the image quality guidelines

When it comes to uploading quality images, eBay has some guidelines to ensure that users avoid using poor quality images. Follow them to ensure your images are top-notch:

  • They must be realistic – the images you upload must be a realistic representation of the product you are selling. This means that your photos must show the size, colour, function and quality for what they are. The number of items is also important. Don’t depict a set of three cards, when you are only selling one, because this can be misleading.
  • Keep the background white to light grey – eBay stipulates that pictures should be taken against a solid background with no border and that the background should ideally be white. Light grey is also acceptable. A simple background allows your product to take center stage.
  • Ensure your images are sharp – eBay will not accept a blurry image and neither should you. Perhaps your loving and supportive sister doesn’t mind an unsharp photo, but low quality images won’t attract new customers.  It’s 2021, any half-decent mobile phone can take a sharp picture nowadays. If you can’t get your images to look sharp, you should seek professional help. Your product deserves to be portrayed brightly and sharply and customers deserve to get a clear image of what they are buying.
  • Take care with primary and secondary images – the first image on your listing is known as the primary image. This must be a front or slight-angled view of your product and is ideally a close-up. This is the best kind of image to draw attention. Other rules relating to the primary image are that the image should cover 80-90% of the image frame and show only the product for sale. The secondary images can show the product from different angles and include the product packaging if it is relevant.
  • Avoid boxes and packaging in the primary image – unless the packaging displays more information than the product itself (i.e. computer software) do not use the packaging in the primary image. However, eBay permits the use of packaging in the primary image for perfumes and cosmetics.
  • Don’t have multiple objects in one image – for reasons of clarity, eBay stipulates that there should not be multiple objects in the image. This shouldn’t be a problem as you can only sell one product per listing. However, if the item you’re selling comes with multiple items as part of the package, i.e. a television and remote control, then it is okay to show those items.
  • Don’t show watermarks, copyright marks or other digital signatures – your image will not be accepted if it contains any of these.
  • Showing body parts is only acceptable for items that can be worn – this includes the following categories: clothes, jewelry, and watches.

How to create optimum images for eBay

Once you’ve got the hang of the eBay image guidelines they will become second nature. However, to make your images really stand out there are some tricks of the trade that we want to share with you. Read on to find out more.

1. Take care of the product first

It might seem obvious but ensuring your product looks as good as possible before taking your photo will help to attract custom. We have seen countless examples of dirty shoes or creased dresses on an eBay listing that just don’t look appealing. If you’re selling something that is second hand it certainly pays to clean or iron it first.

2. Take your time to photograph

It can be tempting to rush your photographs in order to get your listings up as fast as possible. However, the image is what ultimately sells your products so taking time over them is well worth it. Set up a proper photoshoot for your products and get all your photos taken at once. Ensure you’re using a solid background and set up the lighting so that your products are brightly and evenly lit (avoid using the flash or any filters on your images to ensure accuracy). Set your camera to a high resolution and get snapping. Remember simplicity is key, so show the product in its purest form without any bells and whistles.

3. Optimize your image size

Discover the hidden secret behind the optimum image size for your listings. The best size for your images is 1600 x 800 pixels.

4. Use image hosting for your images

Using an image hosting site to host your images for your eBay listing can both save you time and optimize your images. does just that and helps you to ensure your images are compliant with eBay guidelines, bulk edit your images, and create a photo gallery that is supported by eBay. Using for your eBay listings also means you can go beyond the 12 image restriction to really be able to show off your products. For more info see here.

Common mistakes to avoid in your eBay listing

Despite the eBay guidelines, images of poor quality seep through into eBay listings. Don’t let this happen to you. Here are three of the most common mistakes.

1. Failing to maximize on the photo allowance

eBay allows you to add 12 photos to your listing. If you are not uploading 12 pictures, you are making a mistake. Showing just one or two photos is not going to give a potential customer enough confidence to buy your product. When you are in a shop, you also throw more than one glance at the thing you are buying. Online shopping is not different. Go for 12 images or more using

2. Uploading bad photos

There are many examples of bad product photos on eBay. They could have low-resolution, bad lighting, or a cluttered background which fails to show off the product in their best light. Don’t let your time be wasted by creating eBay listings with bad photos.

3. Overcomplicating images

Images with any text on generally do not do well on eBay and they actively discourage users from doing this. This includes using watermarks and logos and any promotional text on an image. Avoid using borders on your images and try not to use filters as natural light is the most honest filter to use for your customers.

Examples of eBay images in action: the good and the bad

It can be helpful to see for yourself what constitutes a good image on eBay and what doesn’t, so check out some examples below.

The Bad

Example of a bad product photo on eBay

Why is it bad?

  • Lots of text on the image
  • Logo present on the image
Another example of a bad product photo on eBay

Why is it bad?

  • Not on a white or light grey background
  • Includes packaging in the image
  • Unclear picture of the product

The Good

Good example of an eBay product photo

Why is it good?

  • Plain white background
  • Side-angled photo of the primary product
  • Uses the full-frame
  • Clearly shows the product for sale
Another example of a good eBay product photo

Why is it good?

  • Clear white background
  • Shows the product without any packaging
  • Clear image of the product that fills the image

Final word

If you are selling on eBay, your photos will inevitably be part of your selling strategy. Make use of its fullest potential by respecting the eBay guidelines and putting sufficient care and thought into your pictures. Don’t forget that when it comes to (good) product photography, more is more. Always give your customers the information they want and need, so that they feel informed and comfortable buying products. Don’t forget to check out for all your eBay image-hosting needs. 

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