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eBay Photos That Sell: Taking Great Product Shots for eBay and Beyond Paperback – December 29, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0782143812 ISBN-10: 0782143814 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"I've been an admirer of Dan Gookin since he wrote DOS For Dummiesand spawned the For Dummies phenomenon. He takes things to a new levelwith this amazing and much needed book on practical product photography. Use hisadvice and you'll simply make more money. Highlyrecommended."
—John C. Dvorak, columnist, PCMagazine

Anyone can sell their stuff online. The challenge is to doit better than the competition and get the best possible results, every time. Ifyou're attempting to sell your guitar on eBay, a photo of Aunt Pearl Junestrumming it in the backyard isn't likely to cut it. Does that mean you need tohire a professional photographer or invest in expensive equipment? Not if youfollow the ingenious advice in this book!

eBay Photos That Sellteaches home-spun entrepreneurs how to create professional-quality product photosusing a standard digital camera and a few handy tricks and inexpensivetechniques. With page after page of inspiring examples and expert insights,you'll figure out how to capture everything from hats to wineglasses to MP3players. You'll understand what makes one photo better than another and discoverhow to create images that viewers connect with—ones that evoke the "Imust have this" feeling. Ultimately, it will help you attract customers andmake sales, without investing a lot of time or money.

Inside, you'lllearn how to:
  • Follow the basic rules for taking crisp,well-lit shots that outshine the competition
  • Set up shots quickly in yourhome or office
  • Create props and accessories from inexpensive items found athome or the local hardware store
  • Know how and when to use your camera'sfeatures, bells, and whistles to your advantage
  • Take the time to set up yourphotograph properly so you don't have to fix things later
  • Use photo-editingsoftware to make final adjustments
  • Learn to size and format your photoseffectively for the Web
  • Know when a simple black background is the best wayto make your image pop
  • Build a safe and organized place to store your pictures so you can easily find them

About the Author

Dan Gookin is the author of numerous consumer technology titles, including DOS for Dummies, PCs for Dummies, and Digital Scanning and Photography. Robert Birnbach is a professional product photographer whose clients include Pottery Barn, Target, Apple, and Williams Sonoma.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (December 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0782143814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0782143812
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.6 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Gookin has been writing about technology for over 20 years. He combines his love of writing with his gizmo fascination to create books that are informative, entertaining, and not boring. Having written more over 120 titles with 12 million copies in print translated into over 30 languages, Dan can attest that his method of crafting computer tomes seems to work.

Perhaps his most famous title is the original DOS For Dummies, published in 1991. It became the world's fastest-selling computer book, at one time moving more copies per week than the New York Times #1 bestseller (though as a reference, it could not be listed on the NYT Bestseller list). From that book spawned the entire line of For Dummies books, which remains a publishing phenomena to this day.

Dan's most popular titles include PCs For Dummies Word For Dummies, Laptops For Dummies, and Droid X For Dummies. He also maintains the vast and helpful Web site, www.wambooli.com.

Dan holds a degree in Communications/Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Presently, he lives in the Pacific Northwest, where he enjoys spending time with his sons playing video games inside while they watch the gentle woods of Idaho.

Customer Reviews

I stumbled across this book by chance when I was looking for books on photography and what a gem it is!
Karla Alatorre
Some of them are stock photos from the manufacturer's website, but the great majority of them are amateur photos taken with a digital camera.
Michael Huang
The techniques outlined are easy to follow and you don't have to be a professional photographer to understand what is involved.
Patricia A. Leonard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Huang on December 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
If one takes a look at the items up for sale on eBay, many of the items have pictures. Some of them are stock photos from the manufacturer's website, but the great majority of them are amateur photos taken with a digital camera. The photographic quality of eBay is usually on the lower end of the amateur scale, filled with distracting elements, flash reflections and a host of other problems. The goal of this book is to teach the reader how to take product photos that sell.

The authors of the book do an excellent job of guiding the reader through the process, from the initial setup to taking the photos, to editing them in software. This is a rather non-technical book, and the focus is definitely on the photography and not the image manipulation aspect of product photography. It is written to be understood by the beginner, but has useful tips for advanced photographers as well.

The book is filled with pictures to provide examples of how to transform an everyday object into a visually appealing photograph. The advice and tips given in the book helps beginners solve the common problems of home photography. It is an excellent introduction to product photography and a valuable reference book that no photographer (or eBay seller) should be without.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Karla Alatorre on February 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I stumbled across this book by chance when I was looking for books on photography and what a gem it is! I love the layout and the photographs that are

used as examples. The text is not only easy to read and understand, but it's funny as well. I found myself laughing while reading it and I'm now eager to put my new knowledge to work!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By RR on September 5, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Using simple, lo-tech language and a wealth of color photos, this excellent book can teach anyone to arrange, light, photograph and even edit macro (closeup) pictures. I bought it sight unseen on a friend's recommendation, and it's even better than I thought it would be.

The instructions are always clear and simple, and every instruction is illustrated with full-color, detailed examples. The results make you look like a professional photographer (or could even make you become one!).

I've bought tons of books on Amazon; but this is the first one I've felt compelled to review, because it's so darn good.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Not being a true photographer(strictly for business) I looked through many books hoping I could find one that would help me take better photos for eBay. That's when I stumbled on this little gem. I'm sure this stuff is old hat to photo pros and hobbyists, but to those of us who don't know our f-stops from our brackets, this is a God send. My photos look so much better, that I've gotten compliments from friends and buyers (who'd a thought that!) People ask me what kind of camera I use, settings, etc. and my answer is read "eBay Photos That Sell". If nothing else the chapters of Objective and Subjective photos will help most folks (and don't forget the shower curtain). Simple stuff I know, but it makes all the difference in the world. BUY this book! You won't be disappointed.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
An interesting aspect of this book is how it often advises you to improve your photos of items you're selling on eBay. Not by image enhancement via Photoshop, as so many other books do. Instead, it recommends trying simple steps in the real world, that might actually be faster than several hours in front of your computer. For example, if you have a black, shiny item, then polish it so that smudges and fingerprints are not visible in the photo. And take that photo against a white background, for high contrast.

This is the general tenor of the book. Practical, non-high tech steps. A good counterpoint to other eBay books.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patricia A. Leonard on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book and definitely a rare find as few books focus on product photography. The steps given for shooting great photos of items you want to sell on eBay are simple and easy to understand. The techniques outlined are easy to follow and you don't have to be a professional photographer to understand what is involved. It has been proven that ads with great photos on eBay are more likely to be successful auctions and attract more bidders. If you're serious about selling on eBay, this book is a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Manning on February 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been selling on eBay for over 11 years, am a Top Rated Seller, Powerseller and a Certified eBay Education Specialist. What I am NOT is a photographer. What I found in this book was easy to follow tips and suggestions and wonderful pictures (of course).

There is a maze of photography books that you can purchase but none really hone in on creating simple clear and effetive pictures for the eBay business. I highly recommend this book to you as I do to my students. A gem!
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First off, I did NOT get this book to teach me to sell things on eBay. I got this book to take product photos of things I build, and hope to sell some day, to post on my website. I suppose that is not too far from the original purpose of the book...in the end, I am trying to sell things--just not on eBay.

The author of this book is has a great deal of experience photographing items for sale for large companies, many of whom you know. If you've ever seen a catalog which made you want to buy something, you've seen this guy's work.

The neat thing about this book is that he knows you are not a professional photographer and that you cannot spend thousands of dollars buying a all the tools a professional photographer uses. So, he shows you how to build similar tools for pennies on the dollar of what they cost to buy commercially. You probably already have some of the stuff you need around the house. He does, however, recommend you do NOT skimp in a couple of areas...such as a nice SLR camera and lens. [I have found, though, that if you are willing to buy an older model, you can get a VERY reasonable price on a used camera. The lenses still tend to be pretty steep in price, but a fixed lens for this purpose can be had for reasonable money. You really don't need the uber-megapixel cameras anyway...the picture you are going to upload to eBay, or any web page, is pretty small and a megapixel or two will do just fine]

He goes through several techniques, step-by-step. He shows you what a makes a good product photo and how to fix common issues with product photos. He teaches you to present your item in the best possible light [pun not intended].

This is a DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED book for me, if you need to learn to make pretty pictures for the web.
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