The downsides of no borders or text on Gallery Photos
There are a number of reasons behind eBay’s new photo policy on eBay.com which states “Borders around pictures, and text added to pictures, will no longer be allowed. Watermarks for attribution purposes only will continue to be allowed”. eBay’s new pictures guidelines clearly prohibit any branding such as the borders or text which sellers have routinely used to enhance their images. Many UK sellers include a flag to show their goods are shipped from the UK
Today Tamebay reader David explains what it means to him. Whilst we don’t necessarily agree with all his points, but he makes a very good case for being allowed to enhance images with additional information.
The Gallery Photo – The all important “Money Shot”
eBay’s decision to eliminate explanatory text and graphics in the gallery photo is a devastating blow to all experienced and professional eBay sellers who have been using these powerful communication tools to differentiate ourselves with a unique brand and a highly effective aid to all eBay searchers in quickly finding the goods and services that they are looking for.
After 40 years (13 years on eBay) as an inventor, manufacturer and marketer of professional technical products with sales in the multi-millions of dollars, I have a very deep understanding of human perception as it applies to marketing and conversion – the process of finding potential customers and converting them into paying customers.
My time (and 50,000+ sales) on eBay has taught me and every other eBay seller that the majority of eBay lookers and buyers prefer not to read anything! How many emails have you received from eBay buyers with questions regarding your listings that are already and clearly answered in the photos, title or long description?
A few months into my eBay adventure, I realized that if I wanted to communicate to potential customers salient or important information about the product or terms of the sale, I needed to spell it out in the gallery photo because that’s the only thing these buyers were looking at.
In my case, the gallery photos for all of my listings include the words: “GUARANTEED PRODUCTS” and “CALL OUR FREE 800# LIVE HELP LINE”, both statements clearly communicate that I’m a seller that stands behind my products and is customer service friendly. These eight words immediately improved the number of hits to my pages and continue to allow me to sell my top quality technical products at prices far higher than other sellers.
Think about how most of us search on eBay: we select key search words, hit enter and quickly scan the returned gallery images looking for what we want–and just maybe we glanced over at the price. After clicking on a selected thumbnail and opening the listing, the larger image has to tell the rest of the story in less than a half a second. This is where the term money shot comes from – a clearly defined and comprehensible image with words and graphics that instantly communicates to the potential buyer: THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR!
Did we read the title? Did we read the long-desciption? Very unlikely until we have actually decided to purchase the item. Now we need to find and carefully R-E-A-D all the additional terms and conditions of the sale seemingly placed every-which-way in eBay’s confusing and poorly designed listing page format that utilizes various fonts, graphic styles and colors that we can’t change!
This is another example (in a never-ending stream) of eBay management’s lack of understanding of how the site functions at the buyer/seller transaction level, because the folks who run eBay are not engaged at any significant level in the labor intensive and restrictive process of selling on the site.
Apparently this new restriction is being implemented because eBay’s “bots” that are programmed to look for various taboo words on the site were not able to effectively find these dangerous hidden messages in the photos so now all of the honest and hard-working sellers and buyers have to suffer.
Editors note: More likely eBay’s reason are to have clear photos which they can use for catalogue images and to ensure that terms and conditions are in the correct places on the eBay View Item page, but the loss of the ability to add information to images will certainly take away the advantages many sellers have enjoyed from enhancing their images with text, graphics, logos and borders.