3 Strategies For Online Auction Listings

Don’t sit around wondering if you can do online auctions or procrastinate. I know a lot of people would love to do online auctions, but for what ever reason, they are scared, afraid of failure, they are not computer savvy, or just plain intimidated. We are all human and we have to start somewhere. Trial and error is the best teacher and trust me, you will learn. Overwhelmed with fear? Don’t know where to start? Afraid for what ever reason?. All you need is a little effort, patience, a camera, and a computer. I will share my 3 strategies for online auctions so you can feel more confident in starting your new online business.

1. Research your product, find out what the proper name and description, how much it is selling online, how much competition do you have, and look at your competition’s ads to see what they are saying about the product and what are the key selling points. Don’t be afraid to use some of them yourself. Then ask yourself How much am I willing to let this item go for? Remember you cannot be attached to the item emotionally, and when you find yourself doing that, just say to yourself, “It’s for sale I don’t care how much I get”. The reason for this is people tend to attach themselves to items and that distorts the true value of the item. Your not buying the item so what you think the item is worth doesn’t really matter. Once a wise friend of mine said, ” if you wanted to keep the item that you are selling then buy it from yourself”. Wow! what great advice she gave me. I was afraid that we would start hording items just because we liked them, that idea really helped me out by keeping the correct mindset and let items go and really start thinking of it as a business.

2. Okay this is also very important, Good Pictures… I know you heard that before, but people don’t really understand why it is so important to take good pictures. There are several reasons why, You want to look professional, you want to be perceived as a trusted seller, and you don’t want your items to look like junk out of your basement. Recently I had a pretty bad camera, and one trick you can do to make your pictures look better is put 2 lights on each side of the item so your picture is well balanced. I also use a black or white backdrop, So the item has no distractions and the colors look more vibrant. I also would recommend editing or cropping your photos, with one of the free online photo editors.

3. If you think your item is going to get a lot of bids from your research then you can start your item at a lower price this attracts people and improves your bidding war. Bidding wars are what you are looking for. If several people have it in their minds they want the item then the price sky rockets and you will be very pleased. Warning if you over price your item your item may not sell. People will get turned off and move on to someone who is asking for a lower price. We all want a deal.Don’t you look for a deal? Think about how you would be as a buyer what do you look for and practice it. It’s pretty much the golden rule. Be honest, treat those the way you want to be treated. Don’t give up because you had a bad experience. Remember it is a learning process and you want to learn so all the negative experiences can be positive ones.

If you would like to learn more or have questions I have just opened a Blog where I will be answering questions and giving advice on online auctions, storage auctions, estate auctions. My husband and I go to storage auctions and resell our items on eBay and Craigslist. We just recently opened our first online store and are still learning about the tricks of the trade. I just got a new camera and you can see the difference in the picture quality. We will be updating what we get at the auctions on the blog and rant and rave our auction experiences.. We sure would like it if you would join us.. Let us know how you are doing with your new success. I hope we all can share advice and experiences. Hope to see you soon at the blog!

Getting Your Photos Ready for Sharing

One of the main reasons people buy digital cameras is so they can share their photos with others. Even if you are just going to print your photos for yourself, you will want them to look their best. Here are some tips on getting your images ready for sharing or printing.

1. ORGANIZE YOUR PHOTOS

Delete the ones you don’t like or those that are near duplicates of others. No sense in clogging up your hard drive or CDs with junk. Use a good photo management software program like ACDSEE 7, Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 or Jasc Paint Shop Photo Album 5 to view, organize and name your images. These programs also let you batch rename so you can give more descriptive file names to a group of photos at the same time. You can add key words and tags to make finding your photos easier. Be detailed in your photo descriptions, not just “John and Laurie.” You’ll probably have hundreds of photos of your kids and it will be harder to find the one you’re looking for. Better to say “John and Laurie waterskiing on Lake Powell, May 2004.”

2. BACK UP YOUR ORIGINALS

Mistakes can happen. It is a good idea to back up all your images to a CD before you start editing or changing them. That way you always have the original to go back to if you accidentally save over an image or made changes to a photo that you later decide you don’t like. CDs hold lots of photos, making it cheap insurance.

3. ROTATE IMAGES

Trying to look at a sideways photo is annoying. Use your photo management or editing software to rotate photos as needed. And if you have any images that are a little crooked, you can fix that using your editing software. Most photo editors have an automatic “straighten” function, or you can manually rotate the image a few degrees to straighten the horizon line.

4. REMOVE RED-EYE

Even with your digital camera’s auto red-eye reduction function, your subject’s eyes may still have red-eye. Use your photo editing software to remove it. Zoom in on the eyes and it will be easier for you to correct the red-eye. I’ve tried a number of red-eye correction tools and find that the one that comes with ACDSEE 7’s photo editor is among the best. It zeros in just on the red eye and doesn’t darken the surrounding eye area like some other software does.

5. CROP YOUR PHOTOS

Crop out unnecessary or distracting backgrounds and focus in on your subject. Most photo editing programs will keep the aspect ratio, so when you draw a box around the area you want to focus on it will crop it as 4×6 or whatever you have specified. That way you won’t end up with an odd size photo. Kodak EasyShare Gallery also has a very good cropping tool for maintaining the proper print size. It comes with its free photo editor.

6. ADJUST LIGHTING AND CONTRAST

Some of your photos may have come out washed out or too dark. You can automatically adjust the color, brightness and contrast of your photos. The better programs like Photoshop Album 2.0, Jasc and ACDSEE also have tools for making manual adjustments for fine-tuning. Be careful not to overdo it, though, or your picture could come out grainy.

7. PREPARE TO SHARE

There are a number of ways to share your images. Several programs, like Roxio Photo Suite 7, ACDSEE7, Photoshop Album and Paint Shop Photo Album allow you to create digital photo albums or slide shows, complete with music, transitions and captions. You can burn them to CD or resize and optimize for emailing directly from the program.

Online photo services such as PhotoWorks, Shutterfly, Snapfish and Kodak EasyShare Gallery also let you share your photos on line, for free. You simply upload your images to their server into your own photo albums and add captions if you wish. Then email your friends with a link to your albums. With most of the online services your photos stay on their servers as long as you have an account with them, for free. Signing up for an account is free, you only pay for photos you choose to purchase.

For hardcore photo sharers, there are also dedicated photo sharing applications such as PiXPO v1.5.0, which lets you share photos right off your hard drive. This is a peer to peer software application that allows you to connect directly with your friends and family to share and view pictures online with no uploads. Unlike traditional photo sharing services, you have unlimited storage and you don’t have to upload your photos to a distant server or wait for friends to log onto some photo sharing site. The application is easy to install and use and it’s inexpensive, around $30. PC Magazine rated it an Editor’s Choice in their January 3, 2005 issue.

Uploading Your Photos Online

Imagine yourself on vacation, taking it all in and relaxing while making the most of your time away from work and the real world. After taking an excellent shot using your recently bought SupraUltraMax camera that is powered by an 18 megapixel lens, you are now all too excited to share it with everyone back home.

To email the pictures, you scoured that foreign country for an internet cafe desperately looking for a place to get your pics onto the computer so that you can send them to friends to show them what a great time you’re having. You attached your camera’s memory card on your rented computer and you found out how amazing your camera’s storage is – the file size of the pictures are enormous.

You can’t possibly email home images amounting to twenty seven megabytes. With the computers in the internet cafe you went to without any photo editor, there’s no way you can resize the pictures. So would sharing the photos mean you have to return home first?

Not really.

With today’s broadband technology, there are a number of websites that offers uploading and editing of pictures online.

Considered as one of the best in online editing, Phixr has a wide array of available tools such as Red Eye removal and Sepia conversion. It also has OCR recognition as well as the tool called Borders.

Phixr also allows the editing of pictures online and transfer it to other sites in a jiffy. This is because it has a go-between agreement with Costco, Flickr, Live Journal and other websites of such nature.

But it is important to note that Phixr does not keep the pictures for longer periods of time. Since it’s not really meant for storage, the pictures, get removed three hours after editing is over.

Meanwhile, there’s PXN8 (pronounced as Pixenate and yes, it’s seems like a license plate). It’s Bookmarklet feature makes immediate loading of images possible. In just two mouse clicks, you can upload and open an image using PXN8.

One of the reasons why PXN8 is getting good reviews is because of its multiple features and functions. Hence, workflow becomes fast and easy.

Meanwhile, a site named Pixoh is the one that provides the largest limits when it comes to file size. In fact, you can edit pictures as much as 10 megabytes with Pixoh. That’s why among online photo editors, it is considered to be one the best interfaces. The only drawback is that it can only tender limited features like rotation and resizing.