How to Make Your eBay Images Web-Friendly

Because digital images are made up of pixels — and every pixel has a set of instructions that has to be stored someplace — you have two difficulties facing you right after you take the picture:

  • Digital images contain computer instructions, so bigger pictures take up more memory.

  • Very large digital images take longer to build (appear) on the buyer's screen, and time can be precious on a web page.

Keep in mind that when you upload an image to eBay for your Gallery pictures (the ones that appears at the top of your listing and next to your item's title in search results), you really don't need to worry about size. eBay will standardize their size after you upload them, but they must be a minimum of 500 pixels on the longest side. That said, images shouldn't be larger than 7MB.

To get around both these problems when you add additional photos to your description, think small. Here's a checklist of tried-and-true techniques for preparing your elegantly slender, fast-loading images to display on eBay:

  • Set your scanner image resolution at 72 pixels per inch. You can do this with the settings for your scanner. Although 72 ppi may seem like a low resolution, it only nibbles computer memory (instead of chomping), shows up fast on a buyer's screen, and looks great on eBay.

  • When using a digital camera, set the camera to no higher than the 1024x768 format. That's custom made for a monitor. You can always crop the picture if it's too large.

  • Make sure description images are no larger than 480 pixels wide. When you size your picture in your image software, it's best to keep it no larger than 300x300 pixels or 4 inches square, even if it's a snapshot of a classic 4x4 monster truck. These dimensions are big enough for people to see without squinting, and the details of your item show up nicely.

  • Crop any unnecessary areas of the photo. You need to show your item only; everything else is a waste.

  • Use your software to darken or change the photo's contrast. When the image looks good on your computer screen, the image looks good on your eBay item page.

  • Save your image as a .JPG file. When you finish editing your picture, save it as a .JPG. (To do this, follow the instructions that come with your software.) .JPG is the best format for eBay; it compresses information into a small file that builds fast and reproduces nicely on the Internet.

  • Reduce the size of an image used in your description if it's larger than 50K. Small is fast, efficient, and beautiful. Big is slow, sluggish, and dangerous: Impatient eBay users will move on to the next listing if they have to wait to see your image. Software like Pixby can reduce images easily.

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