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Use eBay picture service or host your own photos?
If you use the eBay picture service, your first photo is free. But each additional picture will cost you $0.15 and the supersize picture will be another $0.75.
This can cut into your auction profits if you need, let's say, 3 or 4 pictures showing different angles, and one supersize picture for the "WOW" effect!
So I found a way to have as many pictures I want in my listings without having to pay all these fees to eBay: I do my own image hosting!
They are a lot of image hosting services to choose from online. Some are free, and others charge a small monthly or yearly fee.
Currently I use Photobucket image hosting. They have a free starter package (which gives you 25 MB of disc space) or a premium package (unlimited disc space) to store your pictures. You can subscribe to the premium package for 3 months ($9.00) or one year ($25.00).
Now, how to load your pictures on your photo-hosting service?
First, you have to resize your images. One reason for resizing your photos is that Photobucket limits the size of the pictures you can load - 250 KB for the free package and 1 MB for the premium package.
The second reason is that you don't want to slow down your eBay listings with huge images! Big pictures take forever to load, and potential customers will hit the back button instead of waiting.
So I recommend limiting each picture to a size of 500 pixels maximum. I use the free Irfanview image optimizer to resize my pictures.
Once your photos are resized, you can upload them to your image hosting service, which is very simple.
For Photobucket, you have to log in into your account. Once you are in, there is a white window on top of the page marked "picture", with a "browse" button on the right. Click on "browse", and a new "choose file" window will appear. That window shows the files in your computer. From that window, select the file containing the picture you want to upload to the Internet.
Once you have found the right picture, highlight it with your mouse and then in the "choose file window", click the "open" button. The name and location of your picture will then appear on the Photobucket screen.
Now click the "submit" button, and voila! Your selected picture is on Photobucket. You can even load several pictures at the same time by using the "submit multiple pictures" feature.
All right, your picture is now on Photobucket. But how do you insert that picture in your eBay listing?
Once your image is hosted on Photobucket, you will have to copy the URL of that photo (which is directly under it) and paste it into your eBay listing. Use the following html code to display the picture correctly in your listing (don't forget to inverse the quotation marks at the beginning and at the end of this code!); paste your Photobucket image URL where it says "the URL of your picture":
>img src="the URL of your picture"img src="the URL of your picture" border=8
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