Anyone selling their used machinery on the Internet knows that great photos catch a buyer’s attention. However, if you’re selling used industrial equipment online, you might think it’s impossible to make industrial photos look good. While you don’t need Pinterest-worthy pictures of your generators or gas regulators, great photos can help sell your item faster and help you get a higher price for your equipment.

You don’t have to hire a professional to take photos. Almost everyone these days has a digital camera, and you can take your own photos. Before you whip out your camera, consider these 8 tips for taking great photos to sell used equipment online.  

1. Use Natural Light

Bright, natural light makes your photos look sharper. If possible, take the item outside or near a window and use natural light. Of course, with larger equipment, this isn’t always possible. In such a case, use your camera’s white balance setting or use photo imaging software (like Photoshop or freeware like Gimp) to adjust the light settings on your photo.

2. Find a Simple Background

It’s tempting to just take pictures of your items wherever they’re located. However, if you can take the time to place them in a better background, your photos will look cleaner. Find a plain, white wall and place your item or equipment in front of it. Alternatively, hang a white sheet behind the equipment. For smaller products, make your own lightbox with cardboard or white paper. For larger industrial equipment, cleaning up any mess around the item will prevent potential buyers from being distracted by an untidy background.

3. Use a Tripod or a Steady Surface

Camera shake is the enemy of every photographer, making photos blurry and out of focus. It’s difficult to prevent this because even breathing can make your hands move slightly. That’s why professional photographers use tripods. A tripod will help you take clear and crisp photos, not to mention quite useful if you don’t have someone helping you while you’re shooting your items. 

4. Always Photograph Specification Tags

Most industrial equipment carries an engraved or printed tag that identifies the technical specification of that piece of machinery. It’s vital that a clear and legible picture of this tag is included in your listing. Make sure you use the macro setting on your camera to capture the sometimes hard-to-read details. Photographing a spec tag is also easier than writing all the technical information in the description, so you can save a lot of time.

5. Shoot From Every Angle

Use different angles when taking pictures of your items so you have more options. Try photographing things you think a buyer may be interested in, like control panels, engines, tires, or other important parts of the equipment. Later on, when you download the photos to your computer, you’ll have lots of pictures to choose from. In addition, some buyers may ask you about the condition of certain parts or what the item looks like from certain angles. It’s good to have these ready just in case.

Improper lighting, low-resolution setting, unedited

Same area in high resolution, better use of lighting and editing

6. Use High-Resolution Photos

Many people set their camera to capture small photos to save space on memory cards, but when taking photos of products, you want the opposite. Try the medium setting on your camera (large photos are simply too large and may take too much time to download). This will allow you and your buyers to zoom into the photo without losing a lot of information.

7. Photograph Defects and Blemishes

As a seller, it is your responsibility to be honest in your listing. That means you’ll have to disclose any defects and flaws in your item, so the buyer knows exactly what he or she is getting. If your equipment has an obvious blemish or flaw, take a photo of this as well so that your buyer is aware. This can also serve as your protection, in case an unscrupulous buyer tries to claim you didn’t disclose a defect and demand a refund.

8. Learn a Few Image Editing Tricks

Photoshop and other image editing software can help make good photos look even better. There are a few things that can help you improve any picture, like adjusting the white balance and contrast or even cropping out things in the background that distract the viewer. However, only use software to enhance the quality of the photo and not the product itself. You still want your item to look like it does in real life.

These are just a few tips for taking great photos to sell used equipment online.  Aside from taking great photos, where you list your item also matters. There are many online marketplaces and brokers today, but not all offer what you need. Some may charge large fees and others only accept large sellers, leaving smaller businesses out in the cold. Aucto enables all types of sellers to liquidate surplus equipment. If you’re looking to sell used equipment online without incurring large fees, register with Aucto, the industrial liquidation marketplace.

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Written By: Jamil Rahman

About the Author

Clayton Arnold

Clayton Arnold is the Marketing Manager at Aucto. Clayton has 10 years of experience working in traditional and digital marketing campaigns. A Mohawk College graduate, Clayton believes in leveraging the latest technology & analytics to foster long-term relationships with clients.