written by: Mayflor Markusic•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 1/8/2009
If you’re a beginner photographer and would like to earn a few dollars from the photos you take, consider selling them on eBay. Your photos need not meet the strict standards of some stock photography agencies; the digital photos only need to attract ordinary eBay buyers.
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Competition is Tough
Oftentimes, beginner photographers usually do not have or cannot yet afford their own studio or an arsenal of camera accessories. There is, however, the overwhelming urge to take great pictures and the “secret" aspiration to earn thousands of dollars from photography. Competition in the world of photography is tough. This is why many people view photography as a hobby. There is a way to earn a few dollars from the pictures that beginner photographers capture; through eBay.
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What Pictures Should You Sell?
So, which of your photos should you sell on eBay? Though the digital photos need not win any previous photography contests, they should at least meet minimum requirements of a “good picture" – sharp and clear. The subject of the photo can be virtually anything, from landscapes to pictures of paperweights. It is best to keep the interest of the audience in mind though, and try to sell photos that are interesting and unique. Even though you think your sunset photos are breathtaking and beautifully composed (which I'm sure they are), there are probably hundreds of other people who have near identical photos in their portfolio. Try to think outside the box.
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What do You Need to Sell Photos on eBay?
To sell or auction off pictures in eBay, there are a few things you need. First of all, you will need an account on eBay. Making an account is free but when you auction off a picture, you will need to pay eBay a small fee (usually around 15 cents). Second, you will also need a PayPal account. Most buyers on eBay will pay through PayPal. And third, you will need to explore the auction site to check out how others are selling their digital photos.
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Tips on Selling Your Digital Photos on eBay
When selling or auctioning off digital photos, the first thing you should do is decide on the best category to place your pictures into. For unedited digital photos, the category is Art → Direct from the Artist → Photographs. If the digital picture has undergone extensive digital changes, the last sub-category can be changed into Digital Art.
eBay will ask the seller (that’s you!) to describe the picture. Try to be as creative and descriptive as you can to attract more buyers. Where was the photo taken? When? Include important facts about the photo, such as file size, image dimensions, image format, etc. It’s vital that you’re honest and accurate with your description and make sure you let potential buyers know that the digital photo will be sent to them through email, which is why shipping will be free. Of course, if you’d like to sell actual prints of your photos, you’ll have to adjust the cost and shipping charges accordingly. You should also include a section in your description that describes the rights the buyer has over the sold image. Also, you may like to consider creating a watermark for the digital photos you intend to sell.
I recommend 99 cents when choosing the starting bid amount for your digital photos. If the amount is higher, eBay will charge more than 15 cents. If the amount is too low, such as 30 cents, you’ll receive no profit from your digital photos because PayPal will charge 30 cents plus 30% of any amount paid to the account. Don’t expect to get rich by selling pictures on eBay. A picture that sells for 99 cents will actually provide you with a profit of about 38 cents, however, there is a good chance that the bid will go higher. And if you can sell 10 pictures, the few dollars earned can give a serious jolt of inspiration.