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How to take better photographs of used clothing for eBay & Poshmark

People often ask how to take photographs for online marketplaces like eBay & Poshmark. Let’s talk about how to take hundreds of photos quickly!

The quickest way to take photos is to set up a workflow, plan where you will list, & know your camera!

Hi! I’m Sebastian

My wife Shyanne & I sell used clothing from home for a full time living. Our business is simple & easy to replicate, that is why we are trying to teach EVERYONE!

To get our point across, we even created a Free Course! It is intended for anyone to start making money fast!

Sign up for the Free Course here!

Now let us talk about how we actually take our photos, quickly!

Affiliate disclosure...we love to hustle, below you will see links to products.
They are affiliate links and at no extra cost to you, our family makes a small commission on anything you buy through those links.


Exposure

A common issue you see with photos of items on eBay and other online marketplaces is that items are dimly lit.

This is due to either poor planning or just plain laziness, there is no other reason your photos should be dark.

Let’s learn how to get the lighting right every time!

Too dark

This is just plain lazy, but you would be shocked at the number of images that are wayyy too dark on eBay & Poshmark.

Though the photo below is extreme, it shows the point clearly… too dark is the worst option here. Being a bit bright isn’t ideal, but at least then you see flaws that the item may have. This image below would just waste your time & the sellers.

I don’t care if you do not own a single photo light. 

  • Go outside
  • Open your garage door more
  • Shoot next to a window in the AM

 

How to fix dark photographs of clothing

  • Raise your ISO, all cameras have different levels they can go up too safely
  • Buy proper lights
  • Put camera on a tripod and shoot long exposure
  • Go outside

 

Too bright

Light is great, but too much is never good. Something to remember… killing all shadows makes things look fake, flat, and plain ugly.

If you are using a phone for photographs, sometimes you have to resort to pulling the exposure this high, again do whatever you have to with no excuses!

Just make what you have work & upgrade when you have more money.

 

How to fix bright photographs of clothing

  • Pull your lights away from the subject
  • Make sure ISO is not set too high
  • Make sure shutter speed is not set too low

 

Just right

This image had nothing done to it as far as edits, totally boring but that is okay.

All it takes is a few seconds of editing and those shadows are brought up! This photo shows the color and condition of the hat in the most accurate way.

If I saw this image online I would be happy.

  • Can clearly see the color
  • Condition is easy to gauge
  • The photo has some depth and isn’t flat light the bright example
  • Image is sharper even though focus was never adjusted (bright makes things less sharp)

 

Workflow & Setup

How we take photos for our eBay business quickly & easily with DIY items!

Our photo & processing area has gone through at least 10-15 changes in the past few years. Trying new things is awesome so please, do it often!

Currently, this is our setup. Nothing glamorous at all, but it gets the job done. Our goal is to list find and list at-least 100 new items every week, usually more though.

The only way that is possible is with a quick & easy system!

Let’s dive into it…

The main overview of our garage.

Two car space with all of our business junk located in it.

We only take photographs for eBay about 2 times a week now, so usually, it is a bit neater. Everything goes away & the paper gets rolled up to the ceiling!


This tote is where all the money is

The lights & setup is great, but this is where all the new inventory is!

We dump everything (in numerical order based on our spreadsheet) into this tote. It is a laundry basket on wheels that was bought at a thrift store for like $10. Now it helps us wheel stuff around our shop! Great little cart for very little money!

Raise your work surfaces!

I prop my laptop on a presenters stand that I bought from the thrift store for $8. Also using a small plastic tote, I raise the computer even more so my posture is a bit better.

Our process involves our employee Loreto doing listings remotely. Because of that, our intake/photo process includes creating a spreadsheet of information for him to pretty much copy over onto eBay.

Wanna learn about how we hired a $5 an hour employee?
READ THE POST

Inventory as we go

Besides doing listings, Loreto also helps us with shipping items.

He creates labels remotely, all we have to do is weigh the items. Because of this, we inventory our items as we go. This creates fewer death piles, makes things much neater, and makes it easier for us to find things when they sell!

As you can see, everything is close together. When taking lots of photos, or doing anything like this in general, you want everything as close as possible.

Remember, the longer it takes for you to take photos of used items for eBay or Poshmark, the less money you are making!

Hire help ASAP

This is something that may seem odd to most people reading this, but just hear me out.

Hiring help isn’t like it was back in the ’50s. No, you don’t need to be a real business, have any sort of credentials, or anything else that is popping up in your head as an excuse.

I am a guy with a wife, we sell used clothing from thrift stores out of our two-car garage, but we still have an employee… ANYONE can do this!

One hobby of mine is learning how to become rich. I study successful people. Something that EVERYONE says is to hire help. That is one of the biggest steps/pillars in business progression.

Something that I learned about back in my restaurant days (read about those here)

If you see an owner working IN their business, most likely they won’t survive.

The only real successful restaurant owners are the ones that took a step back as soon as they could. This gives them time to worry about growth & not just day to day bullshit.

That is what Loreto is for us. I HATE spreadsheets. I HATE doing listings. I HATE creating shipping labels… Loreto doesn’t mind getting paid $5 an hour, cause in his country that is decent money. You see, both of us are winning here…

He gets to provide for his family in the Philippines while working from home. He is a HUSTLER. He is now my friend & a true asset in my life. I love how much freedom he has purchased me for a measly $600 a month.

The platforms we use to hire freelance help are Fiverr & Upwork

We pay Loreto $5 an hour, 30 hours a week, and he does the following tasks for us.

  1. Edit eBay photos & create listings
  2. Mange our sales spreadsheet
  3. Create shipping labels
  4. Random research tasks

I cannot stress to you how important it is that you get away from these tasks ASAP!

There is no need that YOU need to do them. There are people all around the world that will work for very little money, with a high level of skill and care.

Hiring Americans sucks because every idiot that went to college thinks that they are worth $100 an hour. They aren’t. 

Finding great help overseas is incredibly easy now, for literally anything you can think of!

Besides hiring Loreto, these are the tasks and jobs I have hired freelancers for over the past three years…

  • Graphic work – both business and personal drawings of funny/stupid memories
  • Consultation – business high-level stuff
  • Writing tasks 
  • Web development help
  • Research work
  • Bulk photo editing
  • Product rendering & design
  • App development

Again, I’m a weird guy that does weird stuff, your experience may be really low key on Fiverr

Start with something simple like hiring someone to draw a funny picture for your spouse, I did some of those for Shyanne over the years. It is a super cheap gift (under $30) that you can get someone you love!

Now there are a lot of crappy people on these platforms, I have had tons of bad results. Typically, this stems from a lack of communication or just artistic differences.

Our biggest purchase of $1900 went horribly wrong on Upwork.com, but that is a story for a later time.

I typically use Fiverr for most tasks, to me it just is a bit more vibrant and fun for whatever reason.

Upwork is kinda like that corporate guy that is a bit too stuffy for me.

Don’t even use these platforms for business reasons, just have some fun!


Our camera and tools we use

I like to make it VERY clear on this site that my wife and I by no means are rich. We want to be, but for now, we make a very normal income and do not have nice gear.

Our camera is nice, but besides that everything else is pretty cheap or DIY

The camera we shoot with is a Fuji XH-1 with the Fuji XF 35mm F/2. If you watch our videos, most likely they were shot with that setup or the Go Pro 8 (which is amazing as-well)

The lights and items shown in the video above are all listed below! Click the link the take you directly to the Amazon page!

Neewer 660 dimmable light panels

Neewer 12″ Ring light

Savage seamless 53″ wide white photo paper

Neewer photo paper roll holder

Want to see how we turned our boring white wall into a cool black brick one? FOR CHEAP!

 

Phone to replace camera

Our eBay business was run all through a phone when we first started. We listed printed labels, & took all photos with just our iPhones, so I know it can be done.

The following images were taken with a iPhone X under low light situations. 

The lighting setup for those shots was just the backlight from the pink lip light & the Lifx Light Strip as a filler light.

I love photography and have been passionate about it now for over 15 years, to me, those photos look pretty damn good considering the size of the optics on the iPhone.

Now, we use our Fuji XH-1 to take photos, but does it make a difference?

Yes using a mirrorless or DSLR camera, even a point and shoot will usually be better than a phone.

Unless your phone is primarily a camera like some of these crazy fancy ones that are coming out, the sensor and lense will be pretty mediocre.

By the way, this next photo I shot using a really cheap set of macro extension tubes on my camera. This photo consists of 40 photos that were “focus stacked” on top of each other to produce a sharper macro image.

That is how traditional cameras beat phones every single time, the lense & sensor. You know how your phone has portrait mode?

It is trying to fake a natural look you would get from using a lense with a low aperture.

This photo was taken with the Fuji XH-1 & the Fuji XF 35mm F/2.

See how sharp the card and my hand are but everything else blurs out? That is called Bokeh and people pay a-lot of money for it! There is no tech out there yet that makes this look remotely close to a really lense distortion.

Use square mode to save time when cross-listing

Poshmark uses square photos and eBay is cool with normal portrait crops.  So what do you do when you want to list on both? Do you spend precious time cropping everything?

Just shoot in square mode! 

This is one of the best ways to save time when cross-listing onto other platforms.

A lot of people may know about this already from things like Instagram, but as mobile shopping becomes more and more popular, square photos will be the standard eventually.


Conclusion

There are so many things that go into improving your product or clothing photography for eBay, Poshmark, Mercari & other market places. I hope this guide was able to help you in any way. If you enjoyed it, PLEASE share it!

Also, wanna start your side hustle today? Take our free course here!


 

Sebastian

Sebastian

FULL TIME HUSTLER

I love teaching people how to make money online!
Read my story here!

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