The Gallery Picture is the little picture people see next to the Item Title when searching for stuff on eBay. Although the Gallery Picture is often overlooked, it’s one of the most important aspects of your eBay listing, because it’s one of only a few things you can do to entice potential bidders to click on your listing. There was a time, way back in 2007, when the fee to include a gallery picture was 35 cents. At that time, many sellers opted not to pay the fee and many eBay searches resulted in pages of nothing but titles and little blue camera icons. EBay finally realized at the end of 2007 that this was not the shopping experience of the 21st century and made Gallery Pictures free for all listings. This is why just about every auction now includes one. Selling on eBay is a process. First, you have to get your item listed in a bidder’s search results by creating an Item Title with the best keywords possible. Next, you have to optimize your listing in Search Placement so that your item is listed high enough in search that bidders will see it. Then, you use the Subtitle and Gallery Picture to reel them in.
The picture that ultimately becomes your Gallery Picture is either the first one you upload or the one you move over to the far left with the arrows underneath the images.
There are several ways to go when deciding which picture to use as your Gallery Picture. As I have recommended before, look over the completed listings and take a look at what the most successful sellers use for their Gallery Picture. Unlike with titles and subtitles though, you don’t want to steal other people’s photographs, as it’s against policy and can result in your listing being removed if anyone notices. The first option is simply to choose the picture that you think represents the item the best. It does not necessarily have to be a picture of the whole item. The goal of the gallery picture is to pique the bidder’s interest and have them click on your listing. I do not recommend using a stock photo in most cases. Stock photos are the pictures eBay provides with “Pre-Filled Information” or pictures you can download and save from stores like Amazon.com or Nordstrom. When bidders see the same Gallery Picture over and over, they tend to skip over them and look for something more interesting. You want to include a photo that differentiates your auction from the others. In most cases, there are many sellers trying to sell the exact same item. You have to differentiate yourself to get noticed. The Gallery Picture is one of the only opportunities you have to achieve that.
An easy way to differentiate your Gallery Picture from other sellers is to add text to it.
Notice how this seller adds “Free Shipping” as well as a specific feature to the Gallery Picture of every item they sell. Notice she’s still using the stock photo, but the text and added color make the listings instantly stand out on the page. You can easily create a similar template for your listings. Your Gallery Picture also doesn’t necessarily have to be a picture of the item at all. Take a look at this seller
Remember, most sellers use a stock photo or some other boring image of the item. You want to catch the attention of potential buyers. This is the only purpose of the Gallery Picture – to convince potential bidders to click your item and continue the buying process. With that said, Gallery Pictures without an image of the actual item are popular mostly in the electronics categories where buyers are looking for a specific item like a “Canon EOS 50D Camera.” Bidders know what the camera looks like so it isn’t necessary for sellers to show them in the Gallery Picture. If you’re selling an item where it would be helpful to see it, you probably want to go the traditional route of a picture of the item.
When eBay announced that they were removing the 35 cent fee for Gallery Pictures, you can be sure that they were sad. To make up some of the revenue they came up with a new upgrade, called Gallery Plus. Gallery Plus also costs 35 cents, the same cost as the original Gallery Picture fee. Gallery Plus displays a larger Gallery Picture when the bidder mouses over the Gallery Picture. I don’t recommend this upgrade because I don’t think buyers bother with it. Most bidders have their mouse glued to the “down arrow” on the side of their browser. If they’re interested in seeing a larger version of your Gallery Picture they’ll click on the listing. In fact, that’s exactly what you want them to do. If they mouse over for an enlarged Gallery Picture instead of clicking on the Item Title, you’ve lost. Also, it’s annoying to have a picture expand like that and block other listings and the buyer is more likely to skip over your listing out of spite. There is an option to purchase the Value pack which includes the Subtitle, Listing Designer, and Gallery Plus upgrades for 65 cents. Since I recommend purchasing the Subtitle Upgrade in most cases, it may be worthwhile to include the Gallery Plus and Listing Designer for 15 cents more. It’s up to you, but be aware that in all the classes I’ve taught on eBay I’ve never seen someone mouse over for the Gallery Plus picture, which makes it pretty much worthless.
The sole purpose of the Gallery Picture is to entice potential bidders to click on your listing. You’ll have plenty more pictures in your description for bidders to look at, so it isn’t necessary to give them the whole story in one small Gallery Picture. Consider what your item is, and what the pictures you have available to you are, and choose what image you think is likely to make the most bidders click. Remember though, eBay is a family website so I don’t recommend posting nudes or something. Successful selling on eBay is all about the process and you’ll be more successful as you begin to understand how to put all the parts together.