How to Professionally List Your Products (Step #2)

Posted by Michael Cannata on

So as you may recall from my last post on the first step in the Ten Most Important Steps in starting an Etsy Business (if you haven’t read it yet, click here) I left off with telling you how I went about reverse engineering my product. If you have gotten to this far in the process, Congratulations! you are already through one of the toughest parts.

Now that you have your product comes step #2, actually listing your product. This is where winners separate themselves from losers. You buy with your eyes. I could have the best product in the world but if I simply list it with a grainy photograph and a messy background it will never sell. When I first started listing my drink coasters I was pretty much in that category. My photos looked like crap, and guess what, if the photos look like crap, people are going to think my products are crap. Because if you can’t take the time to take stunning photographs, are you really going to be able to persuade people you took the time to hand craft, quality products? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Here is one of my first photographs I took. Yeah. Not Great. Not great at all.

butterfly drink coasters

Okay. It is not the worst thing in the world but certainly not amazing.

Here is what is good:

  1. Stamp is clear
  2. Details in travertine tile are show in detail

Here is what is bad:

  1. Dark, black, background
  2. Lighting makes the travertine look very different than it does in person
  3. Can’t clearly see the image
  4. Coasters are not centered in the picture
  5. Corner of coasters is cut off

Photography is always a work in progress with new styles or techniques. Here is what my photographs have progressed to over the years.

beach themed drink coasters

Qualities of a good product photograph:

  1. Light background (some websites like Amazon require a solid white backdrop)
  2. Properly focused on details (notice how you can see the hanging strands of twine)
  3. Textured background, usually opposite of the item itself (stone vs burlap cloth, wood versus concrete)
  4. Centered image
  5. Stylistically placed item (can be angled, used in combination with a prop etc.)
  6. Natural shadows but still light enough to show detail (for a great video on how to do this without expensive equipment watch this video: )

This clearly is just a small list of many simple and easy techniques and tips to make your product photography better and standout to prospective customers.


Stay tuned for step #3 in the next couple of days!








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