3 Photo Tricks to use Selling Online

Selling online is all about getting noticed. Are you using these photo tricks to get more sales? Keywords, correct identification of objects, and catchy titles are great but what is going to get buyers to notice your listing is the photographs that accompany all that text. If your photos aren’t crisp, clear, clean, and I’ll say it, sexy, then your piece is going nowhere. You won’t sell that piece of pottery, framed chromolithograph print, vintage board game, or piece of carnival glass without good photographs and good photography marketing. Photography marketing, you ask? Your photographs have to help  you do the marketing for the object that you are selling. Here are some tips to let your photos speak a thousand words.

Connect with Buyers Using Color

ceramic coaster

When potential buyers are looking through long lists of photos on selling websites like etsy, ebay, rubylane, 1stdibs, amazon, facebook marketplace, chairish, craigslist and others, the only photos that are going to get noticed are those photos that stimulate the optic nerve. That’s right, this is one of the photo tricks you need to use. Your photo has to be so engaging that it stimulates the eyes of potential buyers. How do you get a buyer who has been scrolling through hundreds and hundreds of photos of beanie babies or pokemon cards, Murano glass or costume jewelry to stop and look at YOUR listing? Color, that’s how. Use the tried and true as well as scientific theory that the master artists like the French Impressionists used to get people to look at their paintings. Use color theory. The theory you want to employ when you are listing your items for sale online is the law of complementary colors.

The law of complementary colors informs us of the color pairs that, when placed next to each other, will stimulate the optic nerve and get people to look at your item over someone else’s item when searching online. For instance, if you have a piece of orange carnival glass that you want to sell, place that piece of Northwood carnival glass with the marigold, for example, on a blue background and then take the photograph that you are going to post online with the listing info on ebay or etsy. Why? Orange and blue are complementary colors and when someone is searching for marigold carnival glass, that blue background will compliment that orange antique piece of glass and potential buyers will be scientifically forced to take a look. It will stop them from mindless scrolling and get your listing noticed enough that they will click on your listing.

These photo tricks are also true for that Royal Doulton hand painted and glazed ceramic figurine that you want to sell featuring a lovely lady dressed in a red dress. But don’t put a blue background on this piece when you take a photo of it for online sale because red/blue are not complementary colors. If you have a red item that you want to sell online, the photograph of your red item—redware pottery, red Humpty Dumpty cookie jar, vintage Tickle me Elmo doll or that red Royal Doulton figurine—needs to be placed on a background that is green since green is red’s complementary color. And there is one more, if you have a yellow antique or vintage piece, you need to put that piece on a purple background to get the most bang for your visual buck. The potential buyers will see your piece and their eyes will connect with the colors on your listing.

Of course, this works in reverse too. What do I mean? If you have a blue object, place it on an orange background before you take that photo and if you have a green object, place it on a red background. It follows that if you have a purple work of art or antique/vintage object, put it on a yellow background before you snap that photograph for your online listing. I know, I know you are wondering about black and white… well, if you have objects that are neutral in color, you should place them on a red background before you click the camera’s shutter. Use colors to your advantage and get more sales online.

Get Clutter out of Photo

table of items

How do you make your photos stand out when you are listing them for online sale? More great photo tricks to make your art or antique objects stand out in your photos when selling online is to avoid clutter. Don’t have other things in your photographs when you are listing an item for online sale. And for goodness’ sake, keep your hands out of the shots. When there is a lot of clutter in photographs, buyers start to think that the origin of these objects is not upscale. No seller wants buyers to think that about their items.

Make sure things like measuring tapes, rulers, and desk supplies are not in the photographs. I know some of you put a ruler in your photo to show scale or size but it is best not to clutter up a photo with other objects. The online resellers and auctioneers who put a soda can next to an object to show scale are just lazy, in my opinion. I’ve seen this for years in online auctions. Please, just get out the measuring tape and measure the item and then type that information into the area of the sales listing where people expect to read (yes, with numbers) about the size of an object. Leave the ruler in the desk drawer and put the soda can in the recycling bin, not in the photographs. Photographs of vintage items for sale should have one thing in them and one thing only… the item that is for sale. That’s it, nothing else.

Establish a dedicated place where you take the photos for your online store and be consistent that you always take photos in that space. This familiar look will make potential buyers feel comfortable with your online store. This familiarity will be achieved if your photos of any object—even very old items–look neat, clean, and as I explained in tip 1 above, colorful. This work you will be doing in terms of your online selling photography will help attract buyers, both new and old, to your online listings. It has been proven to help get your pieces sold. Consistency in your photographs is as important as having good products for sale in your online store. This makes buyers comfy with you and your store and it raises your game in the online marketplace. Watch the merchandise fly off the shelf.

It goes without saying that the objects that you are reselling should be in good condition. They should also be as clean as possible when they are the star of a photograph that will be used for online selling on ebay, etsy, rubylane, poshmark, and other sales outlets. The extra time you take to make these items and your photos look good will mean a lot when it comes to attracting buyers.

Cropping for Cash

Cropping your photographs is also important to your online store’s bottom line. How does cropping a photograph make an impact? Just like the way you got clutter out of the shot before you took it by moving pens and other junk away from the photo area, it is also true that by cropping each photo as tightly as possible, you are highlighting the item for sale. Now, with a tightly cropped photo as main visual attraction of your photograph, potential buyers will be looking at the item in all its glory rather than concentrating on other insignificant and distracting things in your photo.

Yes, tight cropping of every image of every piece you list will take more work and more time using your photo editing program or PhotoShop, but it will be worth it. Employ these confirmed photo tricks methods and see how your online sales got through the roof.

Use your photographs edges to get you noticed too. That’s what many media conglomerates do to keep you watching their content. If you have that marigold orange piece of carnival glass photographed on a blue background and listed for sale online, add a frame of orange around the edge of the photo to make that photograph pop. When potential buyers who are shopping late at night online and fighting the blue light from their monitors or devices, that frame will jump out at them and make them want more info from your listing. The click is the first way to get them to start shopping at your store.

All of the colors used on your items and the neat and clean presentation of all of the visual information—that’s photography—on your online store will keep them in your store and help you to make sales like never before. Use these photos tricks to get your online sales listings noticed by connecting visually with your buyers eyes and optic nerves. Knowing how to connect visually with potential buyers online using good photography methods will have you cashing in online.

I can also help you with identifying and valuing your items to include with your online listings. You can show items during a video call or you can send me photos using the new photo tricks that you learned to get more sales. Check out the options and get started. Watch videos on my YouTube channel as I show you how to identify and sell your thrifting finds.

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