Just as if it was headed to the sales floor, make sure the vehicle looks its best before photographing it. Wash it. Wax it. Vacuum it. Polish the chrome. Wipe down the dash, seats and other surfaces. Grit and grime can be mistaken on the Web for scratches and dents, so be sure the vehicle is spotless.
Once the vehicle is prepped, photos should be taken from several vantage points:
- Every angle of the exterior
- Shots of the interior, highlighting the seats and dash
- Odometer and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Engine, and any customizations
- Trunk, including extra space from folding seats or pass-throughs
- Any add-ons, accessories, customizations or features denoting trim level
- Close-ups of any dings, dents, stains or other damage
- Wheels and tires
Step-up your snapshots
While simply photographing every surface is the first step in providing great images, how those pictures are taken plays an equally important role. Composition, lighting and scale will each impact how buyers see the vehicle, and should be accounted for when the camera is on.
When staging your photographs, select a site with a neutral background. Be sure that the location is free from visual distractions as well (a solid-color wall or an open area in a parking lot are excellent choices). When taking the pictures, focus the shot so the vehicle fills the frame. Try to leave as little extra space around the vehicle as possible without cutting off any parts.
The most important element of any photo is proper lighting. Shadows from trees and buildings can obscure a clear view and make a vehicle less attractive. Pay attention to the weather – photos taken on sunny days are clearer than those taken under a dull, grey sky. You should schedule time to take pictures either early in the morning or late in the afternoon to take advantage of the naturally softer light – most suitable for the best photos. Use a flash for interior and engine shots.
The key to creating a consistent-looking listing is to get every shot at relatively the same time. In fact, it's wise to shoot more than needed and simply edit the shots down before they are posted. Don’t hesitate to take multiple shots from every angle – doing so will help ensure at least one turns out well.
Take time to edit
Editing each photo before building a listing is also recommended. Any standard photo editing software can help crop out excess background space, reduce glare and help focus the picture – just be sure not to edit out any important details. The editing process will help select the clearest shots to create the type of detailed, accurate view of the vehicle that customers expect.
Many eBay Motors Top Sellers prefer to use listing software like CARad to help manage their photos. Listings created with eBay Motors preferred solution providers (PSPs) often allow for more photos than a standard listing, offer online editing features and include eye-catching templates and tools like image zoom and 360 degree photography.
While making sure to take photos of the entire vehicle is important to the success of any listing, paying attention to details and taking time to make each picture as clear and compelling as possible will help potential buyers feel comfortable making their purchase online. When taking a photo, the difference between good and great might be just a little extra attention to detail – an extra step that usually means the difference between a good sale and a great one.
Vol 4, Issue 6