5 Rules to Abide By with Your eBay Images

Listing products on eBay is an important sales strategy for many online retailers. After all, eBay is the 38th most popular website in the world. It is the sixth most popular in both the UK and Germany.


Here are some more stats that show the importance of eBay:

  • People in 190 countries around the world bought something on eBay in 2017
  • 7 million businesses and individuals sold something through the platform in 2017
  • 168 million active buyers currently use eBay


The question, therefore, is not whether you should use eBay, but how you should use it properly. That all comes down to the quality of your data feed and how well you optimise it. One of the most important parts of your data feed to get right are the product images.





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eBay Image Requirements - The things you must do: 

1. General requirements

2. Technical requirements

3. What eBay images should not include

4. The quality requirements

5. Going beyond eBay image requirements - Best practice recommendations

Tips to optimize your eBay images

Tips for an eBay Product photo shooting

4 Common eBay mistakes to avoid

eBay product images in Practice: Good and Bad examples

eBay’s Image Requirements – The Things You Must Do

So, how do you optimise images in your product feed to maximise sales on eBay? The first thing you need to ensure is that your images meet eBay’s requirements.


The general requirements include:

  • You must have rights to use the image and the image cannot infringe on the intellectual property rights of any third-party.
  • You must include a minimum of one image per product. The maximum number of free images you can have is 12. The only exception to this is automotive listings where you are allowed 24.
  • The images must be of the product and they must show a real representation of that product.
  • The images should not show anything other than the product that is in the listing.


The technical requirements for eBay product images include:

  • The minimum size for images on eBay is 500x500 pixels;
  • The maximum image size is 9,000 x 9,000 pixels;
  • The maximum file size is 12MB;
  • Don't scale up thumbnail images to the required size as they will look pixelated and distorted;
  • Images must be in one of the following formats: PNG, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, or GIF;
  • If the photo is a JPEG, it should be 90 or higher on the JPEG quality scale.


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What eBay images should not include:



Borders      Props

Promotional text or any other sort of text

Copyright Marks Offers
Logos Delivery information
Text that is not on the product or the original packaging Warranty information

Hot spots Item condition
Reflections Your brand name
Barcodes  Nudity



For multipacks secondary images can be of individual items in the multipack and in a bundle created by a manufacturer, images should show all the products in the bundle.


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The quality requirements for images on your eBay product feed include:


  • You cannot use placeholder images.
  • Images should have a white or light grey background. This means you should not include images that have black backgrounds or backgrounds of any other colour.
  • One of the images should be a primary image – this is the first image on your listing. This should be a front view of the product, either straight on or at a slight angle. It should also be an image that is as close-up to the product as possible. This ensures maximum visibility of the product's details. On listings for multipacks, the primary image must clearly show the main product.
  • In most cases, the primary image should not be of the box the product comes in. The exception to this is products where the box is the only real way of showing the product. A good example is computer software.
  • While primary images must be of the front of the product, secondary images can show the product from different angles.
  • You can use images that include two representations of the product. When do so, it must be clear that both representations are of the same product with each representation being different. For example, showing the product from the front and the back in the same image is okay, but simply having two mirrored representations of the product on the one image is not.
  • You can crop images, so long as the cropping does not remove important product details.
  • You can only include people or body parts, such as arms or hands, for products in certain categories. These are jewellery, watches, clothing, wearable tech, and similar products.



 Return to top of page or Get your simplified eBay images checklist here.


Going Beyond eBay Image Requirements – Best Practice Recommendations


Tips to optimize your eBay images


To fully optimise the images on your eBay listings, use the following tips:


  • Include a variety of images in each product listing, including close-ups;
  • Consider using all 12 of your free image allocation for each product. The best advice to find the right number of images to use is to look at the listings of your main competitors. You should use the same number of images on your listings as they do on theirs;
  • Stock photos (photos taken by the manufacturer) are okay providing you sell new products;
  • Show the product being used;
  • The ideal size for your images is 1,600 x 800 pixels;


Tips for an eBay product photo shooting


In addition to the above, use the following tips when you are the photographer, taking images of the products you sell.


  • Make sure you clean the product before you take a photo;
  • Use a solid background with a neutral backdrop;
  • Make sure images are bright and evenly lit;
  • Don't use the flash on your camera. Instead use natural, soft lighting;
  • Make sure you set the camera to the highest resolution possible;
  • Make sure the product fills the frame of the image as much as possible;
  • Take photos from multiple angles;
  • If suitable, include a common secondary item in the image to demonstrate scale;
  • Don't use filters as natural colours are better at showing the buyer what they can expect.


 Return to top of page or Get your simplified eBay images checklist here.

One other important thing to remember when optimising images in your eBay data feed relates to when you change or update images.


To add product images to your eBay data feed, you will need to upload them to a location on the internet. Often, this is the location of the image on your own website. When you want to update an image, however, you will need to upload the updated image to a new URL.



ebay_images_reminder (1) 


 Return to top of page or Get your simplified eBay images checklist here.


4 Common eBay Image Mistakes to Avoid

Mistakes in your listings slow down your sales efforts and creates problems with your workflow. How can you prevent this from happening? 

  1. Only uploading one or two images per listing;
  2. Uploading low-resolution images;
  3. Using images that are poor quality. Examples include images with cluttered backgrounds or poor lighting;
  4. Adding additional elements to the image such as borders, copyright watermarks, logos or promotional text.


Return to top of page or Get your simplified eBay images checklist here.


eBay Product Images in Practice – Good and Bad Examples


Let's take a quick look below at some listing examples for the same product.


Samsung Galaxy S8 Listing - the bad






What’s wrong with it:


  • Text on the image
  • Warranty logo on the image
  • Multiple representations of the same product


Samsung Galaxy S8 Listing – the good:



What’s right with it:


  • Nothing added to the image, including text or logos
  • Fills the frame
  • Clear representation of the product


Casio Men Watch – the bad: 



What’s wrong with it:


  • Includes packaging
  • Cluttered background
  • Hard to properly see the product 


Casio Men Watch – the good:



What’s right with it:


  • No packaging or other unnecessary items
  • White, clear background
  • Product fills the image and is easy to see properly


Nike Air Sneakers – the bad:



What’s wrong with it:


  • Not well lit
  • Background is poor
  • Includes packaging
  • Only four images uploaded


Nike Air Sneakers – the good:



What’s right with it:


  • Shows the product in use
  • Maximum number of images uploaded
  • Well-lit images with white backgrounds on product-only images
  • No packaging


Kettle – the bad:



What’s wrong with it:


  • Includes a watermark
  • Only two images uploaded
  • Doesn’t show the product in use


Kettle – the good:



What’s right with it:


  • Nothing added to the image – it is only the product
  • Shows the product being used
  • Maximum number of images used


Return to top of page or Get your simplified eBay images checklist here.



You only have to look at its image requirements to understand the importance that eBay places on images. Those requirements are both comprehensive and strict. eBay has these requirements in place because it benefits from good quality images on listings as much as you do as the seller.


Checking and updating the images in your eBay data feed is an administrative exercise, but it will help increase your sales on the platform. That makes it a task worth doing.


Get inspirated to sell better on eBay from previous posts: 



Download our Guide to Data Feed Optimization eBook to learn more about:


  • How to improve the quality of your product feed?
  • Different shopping channel business models and which one works best for you?
  • What tactics to use to improve the shopping campaign ROI.







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