February 13, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Product Photography Services Part 2 – GQ Studios Put to the TEST!

It’s no secret how much importance I place on product photography – in fact anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while knows that in my opinion it’s one of the most important factors when selling online, be that on eBay, Amazon or your own eCommerce store.

Professional, high quality product pictures, combined with high end and creative branding allow you to charge higher prices to your customers and therefore make more profit!

I can’t stress this point enough, and I don’t care if I’ve said it a thousand times, I’m going to keep repeating myself.

But the problem is that most people find product photography very difficult – they simply don’t know how to take good pictures, never mind have the equipment or expertise required (a quick search on eBay will show just how true this is!).

So what’s the solution?

Well one option is to simply learn how! I’ve created an extensive 5 part guide to product photography on this very blog which explains everything you need to know, in simple terms.

But of course this option doesn’t work for everyone as it does require an investment, both in terms of time and money. To do things properly, you need:

  • At least an entry level DSLR camera

  • A good lighting kit
  • A suitable backdrop

And this is going to set you back £400-£500+ so it’s not a miniscule amount and is simply out of reach for some eBay and Amazon sellers. (more…)

November 8, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 8 Comments

Product Photography Services Compared – YOUR Chance to VOTE!

product-photography-services

To me product photography is an integral part of your branding and that all-important perceived value of your product – which is the difference between a small online seller making a little monthly profit and a REAL business.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and on eBay/Amazon that couldn’t be more true… you can hire a professional copywriter to create a perfect product description but at the end of the day most buyers use the product pictures to help them decide whether to purchase or not.

So I’m sure you’re now thinking something along the lines of “well that’s all well and good Andrew, but what point are you trying to make today?”

And that’s a fair question, as most of you already know this and I’ve already got extensive guides on product photography on this very blog, including guides on your camera set up, lighting and background, actually taking pictures and finally editing your pictures to make them web ready!

But what if you don’t want to invest time and money in creating your own product photography set up – after all to get good results you really need a lighting kit, a decent DSLR camera, a backdrop, somewhere to actually take your photos and the expertise and knowledge to do a good job, etc. etc.!

Well there is another option, which I’ve spoken briefly about before – product photography services! Yep, that’s right – you can always outsource your pictures to a specialist company.

What are product photography services?

Basically they are companies who take high quality product pictures FOR YOU that you then use to sell your product on eBay, Amazon or your own online store.

How do they work?

The process is incredibly simple – you send them the product(s) that you need pictured, they get to work doing what they do best and then deliver the final edited images to you, and return your product. Nothing more to it!

How much do they cost?

Aha, now that’s a very important question and one to which the answer obviously varies.

To put it blankly, the majority of product photography companies that you find online are not geared towards eBay sellers. They’re for big companies who need a whole professional team and studio and the pricing for this will of course be way over what the majority of eBay sellers are able or willing to pay. (more…)

May 21, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 19 Comments

How to Watermark eBay Product Pictures?

watermark-ebay-imagesIs there anything worse than seeing an eBay competitor take and use your product images in their listings? You have put so much time and energy into creating those pictures and then suddenly someone else just STEALS them for use in their own business!

In cases like these, you should immediately inform eBay about the photo infringement and in most cases eBay will pull those listings down.

Sometimes though you may be asked for proof that you’re the actual image owner and if your images are not watermarked, it may be hard for you to show eBay that these are actually your photos.

For this reason alone, I highly recommend you watermark ALL your eBay product pictures!

But what’s the best way to do it? How can you watermark your eBay product images so that they actually protect your intellectual property?

The easiest way would be to use eBay’s built in watermarking service, which is free to use.

However, in my opinion, it’s not the best way to do this because:

  • You can only use your seller ID OR a camera icon in watermarks created by eBay.
  • eBay watermarks are very small and placed near the edge of images which means that anyone can still easily take your image and use it, simply by cropping out the watermarked part.
  • Yes, according to eBay’s rules, watermarks CAN’T obscure the product BUT this is one of those rules that eBay doesn’t really stick to as everyone does this, including some of the biggest powersellers. So I don’t think this is an issue, especially if you follow my approach of placing the watermark so that it only covers a small part of the product.

Speaking of watermark rules on eBay – there are a few other things you have to keep in mind: (more…)