How Great eBay Pictures Increase Auction Prices by 10% [Experiment]


Sure, pictures are worth a thousand words. Additionally, great eBay pictures are worth 10% more to your bottom line!

A small research experiment I did today highly suggest that taking great pictures for your eBay listings has a huge impact on the final bidding price for your item.

eBay Home

eBay Picture Experiment Setup

There are so many factors when it comes to final bidding prices so I tried to control as many variables as possible. I used some of the advanced title syntax as well as the search refinements that show up on the left menu navigation on the main search results page.

  • Item: iPhone 4s Cell Phone for AT&T
    • Search Term: ‘iPhone 4s ATT 16GB -5 -4 -unlocked’. This helped get rid of any item variables such as carrier-unlocked phones (which usually go for more money), storage capacity (by inserting 16GB) and listings from sellers spamming the keywords (which was taken care of with the negating keywords). Then I clicked Search.

listings page filter

  • Refinement selections
    • Auction Items Only — Getting a true feeling for the market price this way, where some Buy It Now listings are purchased on impulse or by Best Match algorithm ‘luck’.
    • Location of Item — USA only
    • Feedback of 99% or higher (much of this done manually)
    • NO Top Rated Sellers — Your average Joe selling their item to eliminate listings with top-rated incentives
    • Category — All in the same category (Cell Phone and Smartphones)
    • Item Specifics
      • Model — iPhone 4s
      • GB Storage — 16GB
      • Carrier — AT&T
      • Condition — ‘Used’ category (removed ‘Refurbished’, ‘New’ or ‘For Parts or Non-Working’ manually)
    • Time Period — All listings ended within the past week. Didn’t want to catch any old items where the price might have been higher.
    • Accessories — I removed anything where pictures or the description would gain significant value such as the seller showing or describing an OtterBox, car chargers, bundles of accessories, extended warranties or other add-ons.

Using these filter conditions I was able to get rid of most outsiders with variables that could increase the auction item value. The rest was done by manually reviewing 600 search results that fit all of the above criteria as well as conducting a description check.

By description check I mean I searched for any seller comments in the “Item Condition” field as well as the main description area for any remarks about the functionality or cosmetics of the device. This means eliminating listings where there might have been a crack on the back of the phone, where the phone looked mint condition but the speakerphone wasn’t working, etc.

listings page 2

eBay experiment results

  • Scanned 600 listings to get a total of 250 qualifying listings
  • “Qualifying” picture criteria had the following conditions:
    • Fits the above section criteria
    • Had a user-taken photo (no stock photo)
    • No Descriptive Title Keywords such as ‘PERFECT’, ‘LIKE NEW’, ‘2 WEEKS OLD’, etc.’
  • ‘Good’ eBay Pictures
    • Items averaged $309.56
  •  ‘Great’ eBay Pictures
    • Items averaged $332.51 (9.7% higher than those with a ‘Good’ Photo)

My definition of ‘Good’ and ‘Great’ could vary from user to user, but I didn’t look at price when I decided on the image conditions. The group with ‘Great’ photos earned about $20 more for their efforts.

The difference is clear!

This was a fairly informal experiment, but the results speak for themselves: spend a little more time posting excellent photos for your eBay auction. They’ll be worth your while for the increased prices you’ll command.

The psychological reason behind this is easy to spot — buyers place a premium on products that look great. With superb photos, the value of your item goes up in a buyer’s mind. Take that to the bank the next time you sell on eBay!

This is a guest blog post by Dustin from

Do you want to increase your eBay auction prices 10% with fantastic photos? Pixc can help you get there. See what we can do for you with a free photo edit!

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