Colt Forum banner
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

Premium Member
Joined
8,674 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We say it all the time. " A picture is worth a thousand words" , yet a given percentage of the large internet auction photos are worth about four curse words. The seller wants the most money and the buyer wants to be happy with the purchase right...
So, to be constructive and helpful with some tips that I can think of that I look for. I'm not a photographer either, but I will include things that are warning signs also.

Good photo is in focus and well lit.

One good overall photo of the entire gun
One good photo of all the extras, box, manual. combine with the gun photo if everything can be seen.
One good photo of the box label.
one good photo of the other side of the gun.
The rest of the photos are usually close-up and dependent on the gun itself but most like to see:
cylinder
finish condition
barrel muzzle
barrel markings
inside the barrel when necessary
serial number (mask last digits if desired)
grips, stocks
additional or unique features that identify the varity or special options.
ANY FLAWS close up and far away (the close ups will indentify the issue and usually appear worse than they are. farther away shot to show how it will likely appear to the new owner without the magnification of the close-up)

Biggest mistakes:
bad lighting. say again. bad lighting. we are not trying to see how sexy and mysterious a gun looks with it half shaded. just wait until daylight as most of us do not have studio setups. Buyers want to see condition. indoor and outdoor photos can help better determine finish condition.
several photos all of the same side of the gun, but none of the other side.
many box photos , but no label photo. this says to me that either the box is not right or original, or in some cases the gun isnt what they said it was when the label says what it really is.
out of focus close ups, or even overall shots. This mistake really says youre hiding something.
not disclosing the scratches, marks, flaws. the love affair takes a turn with this one.

Buyers are getting smarter and even most new camera phones take photos that are more than adequate.
The mistakes listed above usually tell me that something is not right, and unless I want it real bad, I don't bother asking for more photos. And its always good to have more photos since you may not be able to include them all in the listing.

I dont look for the forum listings to be this inclusive obviously, but that certainly helps to have the first on the list.. one good photo. When we see it bright, focused, and colorful then we start to want it with our eyes first !


Please fill free to add additional tips and agreeing with me is appreciated.



:)
 

Premium Member
Joined
7,725 Posts
Clarity is the key. "Jack The Dog" is my hero when it comes to offerings and explanatory photographic skill. Nothing is left to the imagination. I sell very rarely and it so happens I'm selling an S&W Airweight locally. listed in 5 or 6 different gun groups. Close up of the package w/revolver and the revolver alone as well as a specific description and the incidentals if applicable. Fairly priced it's still unsold as I find these local folks want "flip and sell" deals and I don't play that game. Back to topic, I've had a number of comments stating "This is how you market a firearm for sale". Made me proud as a peacock :)
 

Registered
Joined
3,846 Posts
I don't know which is more annoying, when they are so close you cannot tell what it is or when they move the gun 1/8" and take another photo and have 300-500 pictures in the ad!
 

Registered
Joined
13,063 Posts
I hate seeing photos of a handgun at odd angles. At odd angles, at least most of the photo is out of focus. Another, is when a photo looks as if it's a piece to a jigsaw puzzle. You often have no ideas what the photo is of, unless the photo is identified properly.
Artsy photos just have no place in an ad to sell a gun. The photos need to be of the forensic variety where everything shows.

Some of the photos are so bad you wonder if the seller even looked at them before posting, or were they done that way on purpose.
 

Registered
Joined
12,840 Posts
Good mentions!


My best buys on Gunbroker, have been in Auctions where the images and description were both quite poor or even worse than poor...and or very minimal ( one image, one sentence for description ).

Where, I had to really strain and decide, and or even email the seller with a few questions if there is time, and, sometimes, I find these Listing when it is 3:00 A.M. and the Auction Ends at 5 or 6 A.M. and there is no time to email a question and get a reply, and I am too tired to stay up, so, I bid, and find out in the Morning if I won or not.

Most of these, no one else even bid, and, the Gun sold for a lot less than it would have, were the Seller to have had good images, thorough images, and, a viable and informing Text description.

So, a poorly done listing can be good for a buyer who has a good 'feel' for Calculated Risk, and for intuiting detail in otherwise blurry or badly lit images, but, that is about the only benefit I can think of.
 

Premium Member
Joined
3,761 Posts
I am not a good photographer at all. What I usually do is if I want 15 pics, then I take each photo twice (I have done 3 lol), because usually at least one of each is out of focus or blurred. I have a good camera, its a 10 megapixel Nikon with optical zoom, not digital (my brother is a camera expert:)). He actually used to do photos professionally on the side, but he got ALL the photographer talent in the family. Anyway when I go through them I pic the best one. Sometimes when I'm lazy, my auction ends up with one or 2 (maximum) slightly blurred, etc. If its a gun worth over 2k, I usually do the thing which gets on keystones nerves. I post about 25-30 pics. If its a gun worth about 4k or more, I usually do about 40 pics lol. The most I ever done was 75 pics I think but it paid off because that auction brought 5 figures. I was the first to ever take that particular NIB set over that mark :). So I had 2 guns and all the goodies to photograph... I finally learned recently pics usually do better it you prop the gun up:eek:.
 
  • Like
Reactions: what would you say

Registered
Joined
1,477 Posts
I do a certain amount of business with a large dealer out of South Dakota. This outfit is really known for lousy pix. I've gotten a few choice deals from four blurry photos both there and elsewhere. So, I agree. Good photos are essential for successful sales, but poor photos (and other mistakes) can be an advantage for the buyer.

A bricks and mortar dealer might not have the resources for excellent photography. Employees are not usually particularly well-paid, and let's face it, they're "on the clock".
 

Premium Member
Joined
8,674 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I do a certain amount of business with a large dealer out of South Dakota. This outfit is really known for lousy pix. I've gotten a few choice deals from four blurry photos both there and elsewhere. So, I agree. Good photos are essential for successful sales, but poor photos (and other mistakes) can be an advantage for the buyer.A bricks and mortar dealer might not have the resources for excellent photography. Employees are not usually particularly well-paid, and let's face it, they're "on the clock".
That is true. I've gotten good guns that were passed over because nobody else wanted to roll the dice on what they may be getting. Also gotten burned too by the one part of the gun that wasn't viewed in any photo magically showing up bruised. When you know the dealer it may be less risky, but it's driving in heavy fog in most cases... Ya just can't tell exactly what's coming at ya.. Or to ya. I just want to slap a monkey when I go to pick up a gun, see it, and then verify the 3 day return policy and call the seller. You make a good point about the picture taker may not really too concerned about the photo quality
 

Premium Member
Joined
3,761 Posts
A $20 tripod is the best money you can invest in making good photos. A 4 MP camera will take good pictures if there is no camera shake, and a 20 MP will make fuzzy pictures if there is shake.
Yes this is exactly right and could not agree more. This was most of my problem.
Also my brother, whom is an IT manager, said a long time ago that once you got past like 6-8 megapixels???, most people could not tell the difference between an 8 and a 20 MP camera looking on their computer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: what would you say

Registered
Joined
3,189 Posts
My bother Matt and I sell on the internet. Our approach is to take clear detailed pictures of key areas of a gun, the important areas. " recoil shield, end of cylinder, both sides of the muzzle, the end label of the box etc. We try to answer most of the questions in our pictures before potential buyers ask. Our descriptions are short and sweet and to the point. Within our descriptions I don't engage into a history lesson or express opinion, We give a buyer just the facts. Pictures/Model/Condition/Price. " No Fluff " We feel guns stand alone for themselves based on what they actually are, not what we think they are, or what we want them to be. We lay our cards on the table and call a spade a spade and let the buyer make his or her own unbiased opinion. We don't prod anyone to buy anything. We don't have or use any gimmicks, blue light specials, fancy words or boring stories. When you have something worth selling, it sells its self. We just revamped our website to accommodate potential buyers in the picture department. We added a feature where you can hover the mouse over the picture and it enlarges it in spectacular detail. Its the little things that count when collecting high conditioned firearms. This feature cost us a few thousand dollars to upgrade, but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Example of our simple approach. We are not promoting selling this gun, for it has already been sold.
1956 Smith Wesson Pre 29 5 Screw In The Box | Fugate Firearms

John Fugate
 

Registered
Colt 1911 Gold Cups The best ever made
Joined
747 Posts
The secret is getting the light just right. I use a cardboard box with an old sheet over it and some cheap lights from Home Depot. My camera is from WalMart. I may have $100 in the whole thing (and the memory card).

 

Premium Member
Joined
8,674 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh, I'm at no loss for finding the good ones out there... Because there are many that do it right including our Forum members in the business. Matter of fact, I DONT need to look for about six months....give or take a year. How does the ol Roger Miller song go.. " I'm lacking $14 dollars havin' 27 cents. ".
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top