How To Take Good Photos for Your Mercari Listings

How to Take Good Photos for Your Mercari Listings

No matter on what online marketplace or platform you are selling, one key element that can make or break your sales is the quality of your product photos. High-quality photos not only attract potential buyers but also instill trust and confidence in them. In this blog, we’ll explore how to take good photos for your Mercari listings. We will cover everything from choosing the right equipment and setting up the perfect shot to editing the images for a professional look. So let’s begin:

Why Good Photos Matter on Mercari?

Why Good Photos Matter on Mercari?

Before diving into the technical aspects of photography, let’s understand why good photos are essential for successful Mercari listings. Here are a few compelling reasons:

1- Attractiveness:

High-quality photos immediately catch the eye of potential buyers, increasing the chances of them clicking on your listing.

2- Transparency:

Clear, well-lit photos provide a realistic view of the item, reducing the risk of buyer dissatisfaction due to misrepresentation.

3- Trust:

Professional-looking photos convey trustworthiness. Buyers are more likely to engage with listings that show the seller’s commitment to presenting their items in the best light.

4- Competitive Advantage:

On Mercari, you’re competing with numerous other sellers. Outstanding photos can set your listing apart from the crowd and potentially fetch you a higher price.

Now that we understand the importance of good photos, let’s dive into how you can take them.

How to Take Good Photos for Your Mercari Listings?

1- Equipment and Setup

 Equipment and Setup

To take good photos for your Mercari listings, you don’t necessarily need an expensive camera or studio setup. Many smartphones have powerful cameras that are more than capable of capturing high-quality images. However, there are a few essentials to keep in mind:

– Camera or Smartphone:

While a digital camera can offer more control and better image quality, a modern smartphone with a good camera can be an excellent starting point. Make sure to clean the camera lens before shooting to avoid smudges.

– Tripod:

For stability and consistency, consider using a tripod. This helps prevent shaky or blurry images, especially in low light conditions.

– Lighting:

Good lighting is crucial for capturing accurate colors and details. Natural light is ideal, so set up near a window or outdoors. If natural light is insufficient, consider investing in inexpensive photography lights or softboxes.

– Backdrop:

A clean, neutral background ensures that your item is the main focus of the photo. You can use a white poster board, a solid-colored wall, or a fabric backdrop.

– Optional Accessories:

Depending on the items you’re selling, you may need props, mannequins, or product stands to display them effectively.

2- Composition and Framing

Composition and Framing

Now that you have your equipment and setup ready, it’s time to focus on composition and framing. How you compose your photos can significantly impact their quality and appeal to potential buyers. Here are some composition tips:

Center Your Item:

Place your item at the center of the frame. This allows viewers to focus on the product without distractions.


Experiment with different angles to highlight specific features of the item. For clothing, consider showing the front, back, and any unique details. For electronics or small items, capture various angles to provide a comprehensive view.

Rule of Thirds:

Divide your frame into a grid with two horizontal and two vertical lines, creating nine equal parts. Place the main subject along these lines or at their intersections for a balanced and visually appealing composition.

– Fill the Frame:

Get close to the item, so it fills most of the frame. This helps showcase details and textures.

Depth and Layers:

If your item has depth or multiple layers, try to capture them in a way that emphasizes their three-dimensional qualities.

Negative Space:

Leave some empty space around the item to prevent overcrowding and allow the viewer’s eye to focus on the subject.

3- Lighting and Exposure

Lighting and Exposure

Lighting plays a critical role in photography, and it’s essential to ensure your Mercari listings have well-lit, evenly exposed photos.

– Natural Light:

As mentioned earlier, natural light is your best friend. Shoot during the day near a window to benefit from soft, diffused sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, which can cast harsh shadows.

Indoor Lighting:

If you’re shooting indoors, use soft, diffused artificial lighting. Position your lights on either side of the item to minimize shadows. Consider using white reflectors to bounce light and reduce shadows further.


Your camera or smartphone’s exposure settings allow you to control how light or dark the image appears. Experiment with exposure settings to achieve the desired brightness without overexposing or underexposing the photo.

White Balance:

Ensure that your white balance settings match the lighting conditions. Auto white balance is usually sufficient, but you can manually adjust it if necessary to correct color casts.

4- Editing and Enhancements

Editing and Enhancements

After capturing your photos, a little post-processing can go a long way in enhancing their quality. Here are some tips for editing your Mercari listing photos:

Crop and Straighten:

Use basic cropping and straightening tools to remove any distracting elements from the frame and make sure your item appears level and centered.

Brightness and Contrast:

Adjust brightness and contrast to make your item stand out without making the image look unnatural.

Color Correction:

Correct any color casts or inaccuracies to ensure the item’s colors appear true to life.


Apply a touch of sharpness to make your item’s details pop, but be cautious not to overdo it, as excessive sharpening can lead to a harsh, unnatural look.

Background Removal:

If you use a backdrop or need to isolate your item, consider using a photo editing tool to remove or replace the background with a plain, white one.

Resizing and Compression:

Mercari has specific image size and quality requirements for listings. Make sure to resize and compress your images to meet these guidelines.

5- Consistency and Branding

Consistency in your Mercari listings can help build trust and recognition among buyers. Consider adopting a consistent style and branding for your photos. This can include using the same background, lighting setup, and editing techniques for all your listings. A cohesive look can make your Mercari shop more appealing and professional.

6- Aim for Multiple Photos

Aim for Multiple Photos

While your primary listing photo should be a standout image, it’s essential to include multiple photos to give potential buyers a comprehensive view of the item. Here are some ideas for additional photos:


Highlight specific details or imperfections with close-up shots.

Size Comparison:

Include a photo with a common object, like a coin or ruler, to help buyers gauge the item’s size.

– Item in Use:

If applicable, show the item in use to help buyers visualize how it can be used.

Packaging and Accessories:

Display any packaging or accessories that come with the item.

Any Imperfections:

Be transparent about any flaws or imperfections by capturing them in photos. This builds trust with buyers and can prevent disputes later on.

7- Quality over Quantity

While including multiple photos is essential, remember that quality always trumps quantity. It’s better to have a few excellent photos that truly showcase the item than to overwhelm buyers with a large number of mediocre pictures.

Final Words

Knowing how to take good photos for your Mercari listings is a skill that can greatly impact your success as a seller. High-quality images attract buyers, instill trust, and set your listings apart from the competition. With the right equipment, setup, composition, lighting, and editing, you can create stunning photos that effectively showcase your items.

Remember to stay consistent with your branding and be transparent about the condition of your items. Good photos, combined with accurate and detailed descriptions, create a winning combination that can lead to happy buyers and successful transactions. So, put these tips into practice, and watch your Mercari sales soar as you present your items in the best possible light.

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