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Chapter 7. Adding Pictures to Your Auction Templates

Chapter 7. Adding Pictures to Your Auction Templates

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UsingPicturesinYourAuctionListings

Thisisn'ttheplacetogointothedetailsonhowtotakegreat

productphotos;therearewholebooksdevotedtothatsubject.

InsteadI'mgoingtofocusonthemechanicsofplacingyour

photoswithinyouritemlistings,andthenpresent20templates

thatincorporatevarioustypesofphotodisplays.



EditingYourPhotos

I'mgoingtoassumethatyou'vetakenatleastonereallygood

photooftheitemyou'reselling.Thephotoshouldbeproperly

focused,composedsothattheitemisupfrontandcenter,big

enoughsoyoucanseethenecessarydetails,andproperlylitso

thatit'sneithertoobrightortoodark.



Note

TolearnmoreabouttakinggreateBayproduct

photos,checkoutShootingforDollars:SimplePhoto

TechniquesforGreatereBayProfitsbySallyWiener

GrottaandDanielGrotta(PeachpitPress,2005).



Ifyourphotoisn'tquiteperfect,youneedtouseaphotoeditingprogramtodosometouch-upwork.Therearelotsof

goodphotoeditorsoutthere,themostpopularofwhich

include:

AdobePhotoshop(www.adobe.com)



AdobePhotoshopElements(www.adobe.com)

IrfanView(www.irfanview.com)

PaintShopPro(www.corel.com)

MicrosoftDigitalImage

(www.microsoft.com/products/imaging/)

RoxioPhotoSuite(www.roxio.com)



Tomakeyourlifealittleeasier,we'veincludedafreecopyof

IrfanViewontheCDthataccompaniesthisbook.Thisisagreat

program,veryversatile,andverypopularamongexperienced

eBaysellers.Youcanusethisprogramtodoallmannerofbasic

editing,includingcropping,adjustingbrightnessandcontrast,

sharpeningfuzzyedges,andsoon.Useittodobothmajorand

minortouchupsbeforeyouinsertyourphotosintoyourauction

listings.



SizingYourPhotos

YoucanalsouseIrfanViewtoresizeyourphotosforuseinyour

auctionlistings.It'simportantthatyourphotosaren'ttoosmall

ortoobigtheyneedtobejustrighttodisplayefficientlyinyour

listings.Mostpicturesyoutakeinadigitalcamerawillcomeout

toobigtodisplayinawebbrowserwithoutscrolling,whichis

whyyoutypicallyhavetoresizethephototofitwithinthe

confinesofanormalwebpage.



eBayrecommendsthatyousizeyourimagetonomorethan

400pixelswideby300pixelshigh.Ithinkthat'sunnecessarily

small,especiallyifyouneedtoshowfinedetail,butyoustill

needtokeepinmindtheresolutionofatypicalcomputer

display.



Caution

Resizingyourphotosisparticularlyimportantifyou

useeBayPictureServices,whichwillcompressany

largerpicturestofitwithinthe300x400restriction.

Theresultsofthiscompressioncanberatheryuckylooking,whichisonemorereasonnottouseeBay

PictureServices.



AgoodnumberofeBayusershavetheirmonitorssetfor800x

600resolution,whichmeansyouneedyourphotostofitwithin

thesedimensionsnomorethan800pixelswideby600pixels

high.Andthat'sthemax;youshouldprobablytrynottoexceed

600x400,ifyoucan.

Youalsoneedtooptimizethefilesizeofyourimagessothat

theydon'ttakeforeverforpeopletodownload.Thisis

especiallyimportantforyourpotentialbuyerswhoareusing

oldercomputers,orareonaslowerdial-upInternetconnection.

Myrecommendationistokeepyourfilesizebelow50KB,which

resultsinreasonabledownloadsformostusers.Toreducethe

filesize,youcaneitherresizethewidthandheightorreduce

theresolution(inpixelsperinch).Mostimageeditingsoftware

letsyouperformeitheroftheseoperations.



EmbeddingImagesvs.StandardeBayImages



Nowwecometothechallengeofhowtoincludeyourphotosin

youreBayitemlistings.Imentionedearlierthatyoucoulduse

eBayPictureServices,althoughthisislessthananideal

solution.Forone,eBaywillchargeyou15centsforeachpicture

youuse,afterthefirst.Second,whenyouuseeBayPicture

Serviceswithyourowncustomizedauctiontemplate,the

photosgetinsertedafteryourfancyitemlisting.

Soifyouwanttouseauctiontemplatesthatincorporatephotos

withinthedescriptionitself,youneedtoembedthoseimagesin

theHTMLcodeforthedescription.Thisrequiresyoutohost

yourphotosonaseparatewebsite,andthenpointtotheURLs

ofthosephotoswithintheHTMLcode.

Inotherwords,youcan'tusethetemplatesofferedinthis

chapterifyouuseeBay'sstandardPictureServiceshosting.You

havetofindanotherwebsitetohostyourphotos.



FindingaPictureHost

Whenitcomestopicturehosting,youhavealotofoptions.

First,ifyouhaveyourownpersonalpageontheweb,youcan

probablyuploadyourpicturestothatwebserver.Forexample,

ifyouhaveapersonalpageonYahoo!GeoCitiesorTripod,you

shouldbeabletouploadyourimagestothatsite.

Ifyoudon'thaveapersonalpagebutcouldhaveapersonal

page(viaAmericaOnlineoryourInternetserviceprovider),

that'sanotherpotentialplaceforyoutouploadpicturefiles.If

thecompanyyouworkforhasawebserver,there'sachanceit

willletyouusealittlespacethere.



Tip

eBayalsooffersasubscription-basedpicturehosting

service,dubbedeBayPictureManager.Picture



Managerworksalotlikeathird-partypicturehost;

youcanstoreupto50MBofimagefilesfor$9.99

permonth,125MBfor$19.99permonth,or300MB

for$39.99permonth.(Pricesareslightlylessifyou

haveaneBayStore.)



Thentherearethededicatedpicturehostingwebsitesthatoffer

avarietyofpicturehostingservices,typicallyforasmall

feealongthelinesof$5orsopermonthfor10MBormoreof

storage.Thiswouldletyoustore200imagesatatime,forless

thanhalfofwhateBaywouldcharge.Herearesomeofthe

mostpopularofthesesites:

ÁndaleImages(www.andale.com)

AuctionPixImageHosting(www.auctionpix.com)

Photobucket(www.photobucket.com)

PictureTrail(www.picturetrail.com)

VendioImageHosting(www.vendio.com)

Whenyouuseapicturehostingservice,youneedtoupload

yourpicturefilestotheservicebeforeyoucreateyoureBay

auctionlistings.ThepicturehostwillprovideaURLforeach

photoyouupload;youusethatURLwithintheHTMLcodefor

yourauctiontemplate,topointtothephotosyouwanttouse.



AddingImagesWithinYourItemDescription

Nowlet'sgetdowntobusiness.We'llstartwithfivebasiceBay

templatesthatincludeoneormorephotosinvariousplaces

withinyourlisting.AllofthesetemplatesincorporatetheHTML

tag,whichisusedtoreferencethelocationofapicturefile

storedelsewhereontheweb.



Note

Inmostofthesetemplates,youcanincludemoreor

fewerphotossimplybyeditingtheHTMLcodetoadd

ordeletetags.



Template7.1.PicturesonTop



Ourfirsttemplateplacesoneormorephotoscenteredatthe

topofyourauctionlisting,belowthetitlebutabovethefirst

paragraph,asshowninFigure7.1.Naturally,youcaneditthis

codetoincorporatedifferentfontstylesandalignment,as

discussedinChapter6,"CreatingText-BasedHTMLAuction

Templates."



Figure7.1.Oneormorephotosdisplayed



betweenthetitleandthefirstparagraphofthe

description.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Forourexamplecode,we'llincludetagsfortwoside-by-side

photos.Tousejustasinglephoto,deleteoneofthetags;

tousemorephotos,insertoneormoreadditionaltags.

Here'sthecode:

Thisisthetitle











Thisisthefirstparagraphofthedescription







Thisisthesecondparagraphofthedescription





Obviously,youshouldreplaceURL1andURL2withthefullURL

andfilenameofeachphotofile.Also,knowthatifyourphotos

aretoolarge,thecenteredphotoswillwrapovertoasecond

line.Usingthisbasiccode,it'syourresponsibilitytosizeyour

photosappropriatelybeforehand;withtwophotosinarow,I'd

recommendkeepingthewidthofeachtoamaximumof300

pixels.(Youcanforcethe300-pixelwidthbyaddingthe

width="300"attributetoeachofthetags,likethis:
src="URL"width="300">.)



Template7.2.PicturesontheBottom



ThisnexttemplateisavariationofTemplate7.1,withthe

photoscenteredbelowthedescriptiontext.Theresultisshown

inFigure7.2.



Figure7.2.Oneormorephotosdisplayedafter

thetextdescription.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Asyoucansee,thecodeisverysimilar,withthetags

placedbelowthefinalparagraph.ReplaceURL1andURL2with

thefullURLandfilenameforeachphoto,ofcourse.And,again,

youcanforceastandard300-pixelwidthbyrewritingthe

tagslikethis:

.

Thisisthetitle



Thisisthefirstparagraphofthedescription





Thisisthesecondparagraphofthedescription















Template7.3.PictureontheLeft



Thisnexttemplatechangesthingsupabit,byinsertinga

picturein-linewiththedescriptiontext,asshowninFigure7.3.

Inthisinstance,thephotoisleft-aligned,withthetext

wrappingaroundthepicture.



Figure7.3.Asinglephotodisplayedtotheleftof

thedescriptiontext.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Forthistemplatetowork,thetagmustbeinsertedjust



afterthe

tagforthefirstparagraph,andbeforethestartof

thetextitself.Towrapthetextaroundthephoto,thetag

includesthealign="left"attribute.We'vealsoaddedjustalittle

whitespacearoundthepicturewiththehspace="5"andvspace="5"

attributes.

Thisisthetitle





Thisisthefirstparagraphofthedescription





Thisisthesecondparagraphofthedescription





Youcancustomizethistemplatetoaddasecondphototothe

leftofthesecondparagraph;justaddasimilartaginside

thesecondparagraph's

tag.Ifyoudothis,makesurethat

thetextforthefirstparagraphislongenoughtoextendpast

thebottomofthefirstpicture;ifnot,thesecondphotowillbe

displayedtotherightofthefirstphoto!



Template7.4.PicturesontheRight



Nowwe'llcreateaflippedversionofTemplate7.3,withasingle

photoinsertedtotherightofthetextdescription.Aswiththe

previoustemplate,thetextwrapsaroundthephoto.Theresult



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Chapter 7. Adding Pictures to Your Auction Templates

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