Photography Guide for Resellers on eBay

Better pictures = higher prices. Use this lighting setup to up your eBay photography game

Clothing Photography for eBay

We recommend using a flat lay set-up. Like any process for your reselling business, there is trade-off with time it takes and quality. We optimized our set-up to take great photos quickly.

Clothing Photography Flat Lay Set-Up

We use a drafting table to angle our photo table approximately 13 degrees. For us, this is a good balance between items slipping off and back pain. Most fabric will stay in place at this slight angle, you can use blue painter's tape for fabric that does not.

We use photo paper from our local photo store. The brand name is Savage. Given the size of these rolls, buying online can be expensive with shipping fees. For lighting, we have two softboxes for lighting.

To ensure consistent color between images, I use the Lightroom App for iPhone (from Adobe). This app allows me to customize the lighting, shutter, and white balance settings of my camera.

To setup the Lightroom app, go to the camera view. Next to the take photo button, select the dropdown and change it to "Professional". We use the following custom settings.

  • WB (White Balance) set to eye dropper and selecting blank space in photo set-up as instructed.
  • Sec (Shutter Speed) setting around 1/200
  • ISO (Light Sensitivity) setting around 100
  • Use three dots in top right to adjust Aspect Ratio to 1:1 (Square)
  • Also using three dots, we use Grid & Level setting of 3x3 grid to line up our shots

We further stand out in search results by taking an up-close photo hightlighting the pattern. In search results, this can make it more likely a customer clicks on your listing.

Clothing Photography Flat Lay Set-Up
Second Example Image
Third Example Image

Using great photos help your items sell faster, for higher prices, reduce returns, and reduce customer questions.

On eBay, you can use up to 24 photos. We recommend a minimum of 6 for clothing, including:

  • Full Front
  • Tag Photos (Brand, Material, Etc.)
  • Full Back
  • Any defects including stains, holes

White Backgrounds

It is generally better to use a clean, solid color background for your photos. If that is not an option, you can use the PhotoRoom app to remove the background.

General Photography Advice

Are your eBay competitors are getting higher prices than you on the same type of items? Often the difference between getting an OK price and a great one for your items is in how well your items look in the photos.

How to take great eBay photos is a pretty big topic and we can't cover it all here, but the most important aspect to taking great pictures, regardless of what kind of camera you have or almost anything else, is good lighting. What is good lighting? Well, the simplest answer is bright yet soft/diffuse. And, the key is soft because just using bright lights will cast harsh shadows and make your photos look terrible.

To get soft lighting you need a way to diffuse it. There are two methods we'll talk about here: light boxes and umbrellas.

Light boxes surround your item with light-diffusing fabric. They also provide a built-in backdrop and all together form a rather easy way to get evenly, nicely lit photos with a blank background.

This light box is one I use. It's 24x24, so the right size for small to medium sized items.

While light boxes seem like an ideal solution, and I own three different sized ones, I find them a bit limiting and not always easy to work with. The main problem with them, and the reason I have three, is it's hard to get small items lit correctly if the box is too big, and larger items won't fit in smaller boxes.

So, when asked what kind of lighting do I recommend for taking eBay photos, I typically will suggest shoot-through lighting umbrellas. They provide nice even light and you can move them around, closer or farther away depending on the size of the item you're shooting at the moment.

I have this umbrella lighting kit and find that it works very well. It certainly isn't pro photographer quality, but the price is right and it does the job for taking eBay photos. I took the "after" photo of the video game shown at the top of the page with this kit.

For a backdrop, I use a white tri-fold foam board backer with another piece of foam board for the floor. Foam board seems to work a lot nicer than the cheap cloth backdrops that come with most entry-level light boxes that tend to wrinkle easily and the wrinkles end up showing in the photos. You can get foam board at any store like Walmart or Target for $5-15 depending on the size and your local prices.