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Should I use eBay Free Picture Service?



Terry,

Starting July 2nd, 2012 eBay allows free photos for all sellers. I’ve been following the advice in The Auction Revolution for years and hosting my own pictures. Should I continue to do this, or start using eBay’s service since it’s now free?

Thanks,
Bernie

* * * * *
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My answer is no with a single exception. You should continue to insert one picture URL in eBay’s photo hosting option because it’s used as the gallery image and shown in search and category displays, but host your own pictures as you have been doing. (EBay now requires all listings to have at least one picture for the gallery anyway.)

Two quick reasons for this:

  1. It’s faster to host your own images. This is especially true if you’re following the system laid out in The Auction Revolution.

  2. Hosting your own images gives you more control. When you insert images into your description, you can put descriptive text around them, and order them in a manner that increases bids.

Here’s an example of ordering pictures in a way that will increase bids. Say you have an item with a small defect. With eBay’s system, you have little control over when the viewer see the photo with the defect.

When you host your own images, you can put the picture showing the defect lower down the description below photos showing the good aspects of the item.

Also, right now, the way eBay shows more than 4 images seems confusing. The viewer has to scroll down or enlarge an image to see all the pictures. I bet some buyers are missing these images.

Another point. . . eBay says you can get enlarge and zoom on images they host. Really what they’re doing is making the picture you send them SMALLER, then forcing buyers to click on buttons to see details.

This might not seem like much, but it adds work for the buyer.

Putting your photos in your description creates a linear buying experience. Publisher’s Clearinghouse can force someone to dig around for stickers to paste onto the order form because they Are preying on people’s greed by offering them a chance to win millions of dollars when they buy a magazine subscription.

You, on the other hand, aren’t offering people a chance at millions of dollars. You are selling an item based only on the quality and appearance of the item.

Deviating from the linear sales path only makes it harder for your buyer to give you his money.

Terry

PS I said with one exception you should not be using eBay’s photo hosting even though it’s now free. The exception is when you only have one photo. The only time you’d use just one picture is when you’re selling a brand new item and competing with other sellers based on price alone.


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