1. Damage mentioned in the description, but no photo(s) shown of same:
Your idea of the type of damage that can adequately be described by the phrase 'flea bite' and a buyer's idea of what that phrase means may not be the same. No one likes disappointing surprises. Accurately describing an item has having sustained slight damage is good, but offering a photo or two to illustrate any areas of damage you mention in your text is even better. This sends out a clear message to potential buyers that you mean to be trading with them in good faith.
2. A makers mark is mentioned, but not shown:
Maker's marks are required to be shown if listing items within the Antiques Lane, in the Antique category of another Lane, or when listing jewelry pieces that have manufacturer's markings. But even when showing marks is not required because of site requirements for the area of the site in which you are listing it, doing so anyway is always a good idea because those types of images can help to sell your item. We understand that it can sometimes be difficult to obtain clear up-close photos of marks, particularly if they are small or incised, but remember when they are shopping on-line buyers cannot examine an item in person. And many, many buyers prefer personally viewing a mark on an item if one is present.
Sometimes shops write several lines of text in a valiant attempt to completely describe a busy, complicated mark. But making the effort to add a photo of it, instead, would be of much more use to the buyer.
An experienced collector can often discern a fake by visually judging the body of the ware, the way a mark looks or by a combination of factors - each of which may be assisted by actually looking at a feature present on the item. Visual information, then, can sometimes be crucial in gaining buyer confidence about the authenticity of some items.
For items that have been widely reproduced, if only a single frontal photo of an item is given along with a text description of the mark you see on the bottom - no matter how good your skills as a writer expect that many shoppers will decide to pass your item by, rather than take a chance that yours is really an authentic piece. Roseville would be a good example of this issue. Because of reproductions, many collectors simply will not buy a piece of this pottery unless they can first visually examine the base and mark.
3. Fuzzy photos:
These kinds of photos tend to make one wonder if a trip to the optometrist is over-due. When trying to show up close shots of things like the previously mentioned marks or damage, showing a blurred photo of a mark that is just a blue blob on a white field is on par with showing no photo at all. Neither approach is of any help to the buyer.
4. Teeny, tiny photos:
These are images that stay thumbnails or are only slightly larger than thumbnail-sized photos on the click through 'Larger Views' enlargement page. They don't enlarge. This happens most often when images have been copied and pasted from another Web page rather than uploading them from a camera or your computer, but it can also be the result of other issues such as the type of imaging software you might be using for cropping and framing. Very small images are next to useless for properly displaying an item and thus encouraging buyer interest.
Occasionally the photo(s) you see on the main item page seem to be just fine, but if you click through to view 'Larger Views', a display issue will suddenly become apparent.
5. Cluttered Photos:
These may show the feet of a nearby observer, household furniture, paper strewn desktops, pets in the background in odd poses or cars on the street. Cluttered item photos may include various parts of the picture taker's anatomy, like their arms (holding something at arms length to take the picture) or detailed, up close images of hands and fingers - fingernails and cuticles.
The 'cluttered' display can be extremely distracting. Odd items in the frame are most likely to draw the eye, and buyer interest, away from the item being sold.
We especially recommend that you try to avoid the temptation to hold small items up to the camera lens with your hand, which seems to be a popular method for photographing rings or other small items. This can provide shoppers with hugely exaggerated views of fingernails and skin, wrinkles and all.
Keep in mind that your images may display very differently, and possibly in a manner less than complimentary, when depicted as a magnified image on a shoppers computer screen. There will always be screen sizes, display capabilities, computer models and personal settings that differ from your own. So do try to be careful of what you include in the frame. Otherwise, a listing may just give someone somewhere in the world quite a start.
Try to view the photograph enlargements of each of your individual items with these concerns in mind and consider utilizing images that display only the item which is for sale. Bright, clear photos which offer only the item that is being sold distinctly, in good light, and easily viewable against a complimentary color, will generally be more appealing to a wider audience and encourage quicker sales.
6. 'Borrowed' Photos:
If you originally purchased an item in your shop from another online dealer having done so does not automatically grant you ownership, too, of the photos they placed online in order to sell the item to you. Basically, the item and their original photos of that item are two completely different and separate things. Before you 'borrow' another online dealers photos for use in the listing of an item in your Ruby Lane shop you must obtain that person's written permission to use those images. Because they still own them. Keep in mind that you must have ownership of the content used in your listings.