eBay clarification on image standards

Graffiti on eBay Laptop ImageFollowing our recent post about eBay images on how sellers are bending the rules around the new graffiti ban, eBay have given us some feedback.

What I find interesting here is that sellers are obviously already starting to try and game the system. Quite frankly I don’t blame them and as a buyer seeing a page of laptops that all look identical isn’t particularly helpful. I like seeing the brand prominently displayed and if it’s got a 500gb hard drive and 4gb of RAM that’s useful information.

The dichotomy here is that eBay are aiming for retail standards and great clean images are de rigueur. Sellers want to sell and they’re tied to eBay’s display options which are in truth limited.

In the past Subtitles were a useful way to display additional information but they’re no longer shown in the increasingly default gallery style search results. Longer titles with 80 characters are a help, but again only the original 55 characters are displayed most of the time. Sellers, unlike on their own websites, don’t have the ability to add additional useful information anywhere other than the image and that’s where they’re no longer allowed to display it.

I’m not in favour of fluorescent borders or backgrounds, flags, or extraneous text regarding service in images. But I do think there’s a place for certain useful information like the brand if that’s not immediately obvious from the image. Buyers buy from images much more than they buy from titles or descriptions and I like a bit of instant confirmation that this is a product I should be interested in.

However we are grateful to eBay for supplying some further clarification on what is permissible and what’s banned. Here’s the official line from eBay on what you’re allowed (or mainly not allowed) to do:

Images on laptop/TV screens

Images and text can be displayed on the screen where it is part of the product, i.e. the operating system, Start Menus, Icons etc. Text that is not part of the product, that is added by the seller, for example product specification, or details on the offer, are not allowed. eBay are going to clarify this on the help page.

Adding text such as manufacturer logos

It’s definitely against the rules to add a manufacturer logo or other text to the image. The image should be of the product and the product alone.


eBay are in the early stages of introducing the detection, so not all sellers will see enforcement initially. However you should expect to see eBay continue to ramp up enforcement over the coming months.

eBay are also working with the daily deal sellers to ensure that they meet the image standards as a priority.