Pictures are a necessity at auctions if you are serious about getting top dollar for your items. Lets face it,would you buy something you cannot see?
I suggest you setup a small area near your computer,perhaps a card table,invest in picture enhancement gear like free-standing or clip on adjustable lights, and a variety of background materials,I use various colors of poster board,18"X30". Two pieces in a "V" shape against the back wall make a nice matt finish,colored backdrop.
Create a Picture
Digital Cameras and Scanners are commonly used by Online Sellers for creating item pictures. Both devices come with instructions and software as supplied by the various makers. Camera and scanner software is installed on your computer prior to use. (You can do it yourself.) Read and follow instructions carefully. Most digital cameras may take and store pictures directly onto a floppy disk or memory card, then connected to your computer so that images can be downloaded. Scanners can create digital images from photographs or even actual items themselves, if thin enough to be placed flat under the scanner lid. (Scanner Tips)
For reviews and comparisons of Digital Cameras, be sure and checkout Imaging Resources
For great on-line tutorials,FREE,stop by Short Cources.com
Storing Your Item Pictures
Digital cameras and scanners come with instructions and software for creating and transferring pictures. After you've shot or scanned your pictures, they need to be transferred to your computer. Most cameras connect to your PC for picture transfer. Some cameras also store pictures on standard floppy discs, which are transferred using your computers A: Drive, I suggest dedicating a folder for storing images on your computers C: drive, I called mine "auction pics". This makes it easy for keeping track of your item pictures.
Edit and Size Your Pictures
Always pay strict attention to the focus and detail of your item pictures.
After transferring your pictures to the designated folder on your C: drive, batch edit by deleting the unwanted, then size and save the keepers. I suggest sizing them to 330 x 330 pixels (about 20,000 or 30,000 bytes), a good size for quick page viewing at the auction. Images are saved in the JPG or GIF formats. JPG is currently the smallest file size most widely used, and very compatible with the web.
Most camera or scanner packages include software adequate to size and edit photos,sharpen,add text etc. If not here is a terrific Freeware program that will allow you to Cut/Crop,Sharpen and much more Irfan View A very helpful tutorial for editing your photos using IrfanView Here
Its a good idea to reduce the pictures size to allow for faster viewing by auction buyers by using our on-line Picture Cruncher ,the size can be reduced by as much as 90%.
I am sure you have seen some listings where the photo took so long to download you lost interest. Buyers are impatient,make sure your ad loads quickly. I advise against adding too many animated gifs,midi music and other non essential additions to your ads,just slows them down.
Organize and Inventory Your Item Pictures
When the editing and sizing is complete, name your photo with something short and easy to remember,perhaps use an inventory number and be sure to include the type of pic such as JPG or GIF. Example= toytruck.JPG = You can then save your edited picture to your designated folder. Remember case is important, .JPG is not the same as .jpg. If you start with caps,stay with caps.
Transfering Your Pictures:
At this point the picture is on your computer,now you have to make it available to the world by uploading to your picture storage area or "host". There are a lot of free picture hosting services available,your ISP perhaps allows you space for your own webpage and photo storage and most of the auction management services have free hosting also. You can find links to all these on our Auction Tools pages.
For most servers you need an FTP program to upload your pictures, -- two good ones are WS_FTP and CuteFTP
Once uploaded to your "host" be sure and record the path to the picture by recording the "URL"
The "URL" is a web address, it tells everyone how to find your image on the net. Urls always begin with http:// and it should look something like this!
=> http://alsnetbiz.com/acc/accanimated_3.gif <==
where alsnetbiz.com is where the picture is hosted,and accanimated_3.gif. is the name of the picture.
Be sure and check out the auction management services as they provide easy, fill in the blanks listing templates, picture hosting,tracking of your sales and purchases and much more. Most all are free or charge a very small service fee. I suggest you sign up with at least two of them as they do experience some down time occasionally as is the way of the internet.
If you need more help,go to ,Pongo's Tutorials
she has been helping auction users for years and has a terrific website with detailed instructions for AOL,a test area and much more.
This HTML tutor, is a good place to practice and learn how to add little things to your listings. Things like adding additional images,putting them side by side,changing the color of the text etc. Very simple and well written. Bookmark it as when you are ready for your own web site,it will be a handy reference.