Selling Tips – Step 2: Photographing

Photographs are key to selling an item; items with tiny, blurry photos invariable sell for less and take longer to sell. These days digital camera’s are cheap and many phones have very good cameras built in, so there is simply no excuse. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on producing some good looking photos.

  1. Clear away any clutter and junk from the photo background, which will detract from the item you’re trying to sell.
  2. Try to light the item with daylight and use no flash. Naturally lit items always look better. Flash photography tends to cause horrible stark glare and highlights every speck of dust. Energy saving light bulbs often give pictures a yucky yellow tint.
  3. When not using a flash, you may need to rest the camera on something or ideally use a tripod, to ensure you don’t get a blurry shot. Use the timer function, to prevent yourself causing camera wobble as you press the button, and thus producing blurry pictures.
  4. If the item is very shiny, pair attention to what’s visible in the reflection. Buyers don’t want to see an amateur photographer in his boxer shorts!
  5. What to take photos of:
    • Take photo of the front, back and of any key features (tonearm, buttons, tweeters/drivers etc).
    • If there’s any damage, take close-ups of these, with a coin held up against them, to let buyers gauge size and scale.
    • Take a photo of the item turned on and all lit up; both to show its working, and how funky it looks lit up and glowing (valves especially)!
    • Take a photo of items with all accessories, boxes and manuals it’ll come with, just to re-enforce the point.
  6. Take lots of photos, so you have a few to choose from once you see them all on a computer screen.
  7. After importing the photos to your Mac/PC, crop them to chop out any irrelevant background rubbish. Tinker with the ‘levels’; bring the two end point in, to cut out any flat parts of the graph, thus enhancing the photo. Resize the photo, so largest side is around 1000 pixels. Mac iPhoto or Windows Paint should let you do most of this, otherwise The Gimp (Win or Mac) is a free download with more features.
  8. If you want to use the photos on a forums, you’ll probably need to host the image yourself. If you don’t have a website already, then just get a Flickr or Photobucket account and upload the finished photos there.

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