I’m consolidating and getting rid of decades worth of photographic gear, partly to simplify, partly to raise some cash to cover the cost of my new system.  (More on that later.) My best option is to sell on eBay but it requires a bit of homework to make it worthwhile.  I have to do the research to find the value of each item and then prepare photos and descriptions of each one for sale.

Preparing the photos for sales is relatively easy and a little care makes the results more appealing than most other eBay posts.  It seems a bit odd when people put fine photographic equipment up for sale with crappy pictures–it affects credibility.

After a little tinkering, I settled on a lighting setup I can use for a variety of product-style shots that look good for the eBay listings.

Lighting setup diagram

Lighting for product photos of items being placed for sale on eBay.

I use two LED light sources.  Key light is through a diffusion panel camera left and a background light below the table is reflected off a white fabric panel behind the table with the subject.  Items are placed on a piece of white tile board allowing for a plain background letting the eye concentrate on the actual items for sale.  An aluminum foil reflector, camera right is used for fill.

The setup is in a corner of our basement and allows for the tedious but efficient processing of the photos required for the listings.

Two lights (LED at left and one below table reflected off white panel behind) is used to light items to be sold online.

Two lights (LED at left and one below table reflected off white panel behind) is used to light items to be sold online.

The results from this particular setup shows how the items for sale are featured without any other distractions and the lighting shows off the items in enough detail to illustrate the condition.

The image shows the effect of the simple 2-light setup to light photography equipment for sale.

The image shows the effect of the simple 2-light setup to light photography equipment for sale.

Here’s a sample of some of the images made with this simple but versatile setup:

In addition to shooting some decent quality images for the sales, I had a few other things going for me:

  • Most of the items are higher quality and performance with well-known specifications and track records.
  • I’ve taken very good care of all of them; they’re in uniformly excellent condition.
  • I’ve researched selling prices for each one and assigned reasonable prices near the upper end of used market selling prices.
  • I include bonus items when it makes sense (e.g. lens plates, memory cards) and I offer free shipping to keep the transactions simple. (I build average shipping cost into the asking price.)
  • I strive for accuracy on the descriptions including being meticulous about any flaws like scuff marks, missing peripheral pieces, etc.

So, how is it going so far?  I posted the first 5 items (4 lenses and a camera body from the sample images above) and sold 4 out of 5 within 24 hours and the fifth in less than a week.  I’m maxed out on my eBay selling limit for a month but have the next batch queued for listing in the next cycle.  I’m divesting my unused equipment and buyers are picking up some excellent quality items at reasonable prices. So far so good.