Preparing for the new eBay picture standards

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Catherine McDonaldI ran into Catherine of Remove The Background last week at Internet Retailing Expo and asked if they could help sellers who need to edit their pictures ready for eBay’s new standards in August.

To save sellers having to re-shoot all their images Remove The Background can remove existing borders, text, flags and watermarks, even in some cases if they partially obscure the product, so we asked Catherine to demo it for us. Some random eBay images were chosen and we have the “before” and “after” images below. We invited Catherine to tell us more and this is what she had to say:

eBay changes

Remove The Background eBay Service Before and AftereBay recently announced some important changes to their picture standards. The aim is to create a cleaner, more seamless shopping experience for buyers across all devices, as well as supporting the new eBay feed to be introduced in Europe this year.

What this means in practice is that from the autumn, you’ll no longer be able to include borders, text or logos in your images. Size-wise, the longest side will have to be a minimum of 500 pixels, but for the best possible display on all pages and devices, and higher visibility in Best Match search results, eBay recommends 1600 pixels.

There are also new rules around watermarks which will no longer be allowed to obscure the product or contain logos, links or any kind of marketing info. eBay also strongly recommend that your items fill 80-90% of the frame and are placed on a plain (possibly white) background.

Remove The Background eBay Service

At Remove The Background, we’ve made a custom eBay service to speed up the process of making sure your images comply with the new rules. Starting at just £0.59 per image, you can just upload your existing images, pick your delivery time and we’ll send them back to you fully compliant. If you have more than 500 images which need fixing, we’ll also give you an attractive volume discount.

Check out the package to remove borders, text, logos and watermarks at You can try it out for free.

We also provide a similar service for your Amazon images, as well as various other packages to handle all the routine image editing involved in running an online business.

Remove The Background is the world’s leading product image editing solution for online sellers. Our goal is to help you sell more with better product images. We also want to save you time, and with the time-consuming and repetitive task of editing product images taken off your hands, you’ll be left with more resources to concentrate on growing your business.

47 Responses

  1. Have ebay said that if your item image is 1600 pixels wide your item will be placed higher in best match search?

    Given that ebay are hosting images is there a limit on image data size? Are ebay prepared to host all these images? ebay could come to a standstill.

    A 1600 pixel wide image, depending on how much compression is used if any, can use up a lot of memory and can take a while to load.

    begs the question will we need to compress images?

    Remember also this has been done for the benefit of mobile. No doubt ebay have some wonder software that sends images to mobile at lightning speed.

  2. ebay have said that they can handle an image up to 7MB. That is massive for the internet. 12x7MB = 84MB for a single listing.

    Listings could take some time to fully load. And just becuase the UK has fast broadband in some areas does not mean the rest of the world does!

    Has this been thought through properly?

  3. I just have to say, great service, however looking at the example pictures you have shown, the memory stick wording and logo’s etc around the pic of the item would wake me buy it, as it tells me straight away what it is, rather than just the plan picture.

    Must just be me and I know why ebay are doing it but still…

  4. .
    This could end up bad.

    Am I correct that if an original photo has a coloured background that is alright?.

    How will the ebay system decide what is in the original picture?.

    Some of our pictures are assembled in Paint to become 1 picture [with natural colour backgrounds, that can vary in colour shade], what will happen to these?.

    Many sellers use stock pics from their suppliers web site/etc’ & these in the main are quite small, near Thumbnail sizes]. If you try to resize/zoom them bigger they just become blurred, what will these sellers do?.

  5. Download gimp & it’s a 90sec job to cut the image and past it against a white background.

  6. Trying to get my head round this and need some help!

    Why does eBay need 1600 pixels min. on the longest side for an item that in real life is around 1 inch square? In a series of pictures of a table that would represent a hugely magnified detail!

    Some of my existing images will be less than 500 pixels on the longest side. How from hundreds of listings can I please find out which – without waiting for eBay to refuse to relist them?


  7. 1600 pixels MAXIMUM on the longest side – not minimum.

    The reason is eBay are showing massive images these days. Even for a small item there’s no reason not to use macro camera settings and have large images.

    How to easily identify less than 500 pixel images is something I don’t know. Would be really nice if eBay had a tool or gave advance warning ahead of the deadline… is that too much to hope for?

  8. Thanks Chris but not seen MAXIMUM mentioned anywhere up to now.

    The Sell Your Item picture uploader says ‘for the best results use pictures that are more than 1600 pixels in height or width’

    The announcement that I saw just says 1600 pixels.


  9. This is interesting,

    Last night I was trolling through a search for memory stick,

    To get the cheapest as I didn’t know what size I wanted, so I changed the search to cheapest + P&P first,

    This meant I had 20,032 results quite a lot to wade through,

    Obviously I had to read the title so to get what I needed,

    It just so happens that one of the 1st listings I clicked on was the exact same image of the memory stick which has been displayed with the text removed,

    It was by no means the cheapest,

    But it gave me all the information I required,

    Brand name = Transcend

    Size = 4GB

    Type = Memory stick,

    Admittedly the free shipping could be removed, and best seller,

    But it was one of the first listings I clicked on, I was impressed by the design of the listing for such a low feedback seller only 3636,

    But without the text on the image I think I would of missed the listing as I was after a branded memory stick, and without text Transcend is difficult to see in the image, especially with 20,032 listings,

    In the end I did buy from this seller, I actually went for his Transcend 8GB model for 85p more, on the 8GB listing it also had new 2013 model on the picture which is again important information,

    As I would guess to get them at these prices they buy huge stocks, so some listings could be old versions,

    There was a Kingston 8GB version for £1.00 less with no text on the picture, but I still bought the Transcend 8GB,

    I personally am not tricked by best match, it only shows what ebay want you to buy, so it rarely shows the best value listings, buy it now has been used for so long now, people are wise to it and do click price + P&P first, there is definitely a push towards the cheapest sells most on a couple of lines I sell,

    One of my listings is the cheapest by 5p, and this listing gets all the sales,

    So I expect after the changes that sales may not fall, but individual sellers may see a decrease in sales,

    But is would be incredibly annoying to have to read each title on 20,000 results as well as extra time lost.

  10. Once again, eBay comes up with a one-size-fits-all solution that completely defies logic.

    We sell beads, some as small as 1.3mm. If we size our photos of them up to 1600 pixels to take advantage of best match, our items will look ridiculous. Heck, they’d look ridiculous at 500 pixels.

    Given how many buyers don’t read descriptions properly, I’m sure we’d start getting SNAD complaints: “Hi, I’d like to return these beads. In the photo they are the size of a small bowling ball, but when I received them they were tiny little things”.

    This, along with all the other changes coming up, is why we won’t be trading on eBay any more.

  11. I had posted part of this on the free pictures thread, but I think it is more appropriate here, so here an adjusted version.

    You can imagine how we feel…

    Puddleglum, before you tell me to ask Seller Council, we attended the last Seller Council, and I have to agree with Lee in that eBay were very accommodating and willing to discuss the issues. They had an opportunity to consider all of the views that have been expressed at various points in these threads.

    However it does not necessarily follow that eBay took notice. They’re fully aware of what this change means for us, but they’re so focussed on buyers that they forget that it is actually the sellers that are their customers! I fully recognise the need to keep buyers happy, but this is change just for the sake of it and we fully expect it to result in lost sales. Our images have evolved since we started on eBay and a lot of time, thought and effort goes into them. I had cause to call customer support today, and even the recorded message whilst you wait stresses the importance of using your own images. As you will know, an image is a reflection of your business, and we found that if we pay attention to these details, buyers recognise that they can expect the same degree of service when it comes to their purchase. The toy industry is different to others; everyone stocks the same products and the margins are similar for for all of us, so we have to create our own point of difference and, as we offer combined shipping, it helps that our listings can be easily identified as ours. If we use a standard product shot, everyone will have the same image!

    I fully agree with the views expressed above in respect of image sizes and logos etc. We know that buyers don’t read descriptions so use our images to convey as much product information as possible to those buyers. We use lifestyle images to illustrate size and show the relationship between the child and the product as direct result of “item looked bigger in picture comments” and will also use text to indicate exactly what is included as manufactures packaging will frequently show other accessories that aren’t included.

    We don’t do these things because we want to spend several hours creating each image – using a manufacturer’s image would be much easier. We have learned what works best for our products through experience and feedback from customers.

    If these changes do go ahead, I can only think that low DSRs and diluted sales will follow although we would love for eBay to prove us wrong. I fully understand the need to tidy up the site and remove the Fast Delivery and Top Seller banners etc, but a one size fits all rule isn’t helpful.

    I’m fairly sure that the average eBayer does not have access to photoediting software so the site will continue to be filled with images with random backgrounds anyway, so I’m not sure that that can be prevented or policed. The new rules will therefore achieve nothing more than creating work for sellers who just want to concentrate on selling their items.

  12. so Gemma
    as a person running a business, could you tell me in which way, how ,when, or what, did attending an ebay seller council, add gain, or profit to your business? ,
    do you receive a fee? or a discount? for providing your knowledge and experiance for ebay to make use of?

  13. A bit crossed about these new picture standards. Text on images definitely help to know what the product really is, another thing is that it might end up with a number of listings having almost, if not, exactly similar pictures of products and could have claims that another seller’s pictures were “copied” by another. Has eBay thought well of that? Could ruin one seller’s business I guess.

    Helpful with the Remove The Background service though, could be wise though to use Gimp to do it yourself if you have a few listings but useful for ones that have a boatload.

  14. I have a lot of bad looking backgrounds on my pictures and did look at the offer posted here, but it seems expensive for all my pictures.
    I googled and found:

    In 2 easy steps you have a neutral background on your pictures and I am not a graphics expert.
    If you want to buy it it is just 29$. I was convinced and have started implementing it.
    Those of you who are not experts in Photoshop etc may want to check it out
    (ps. I am not from the company so this is not advertising, I am an Ebay TRS who was convinced by the product)

  15. I wonder about my montage photos. I am now shooting with a garden or beach background, one for each colour. Anyone know if I will be able to make a montage of 5 or 6 colours with the garden background on each (bit like taking 6 photos you have and arranging them around an A4 sheet)?

  16. Looking at the images that Catherine has edited. I noticed that there are no watermarks etc???

    So lets get this straight, someone spends ages taking professional photos, edits them so they look great using photoshop.
    Then, everyone else copies their images because it looks like a stock image and they are unable to claim ownership?

    Have I missed something here?


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