How Ebay Sellers Can Make More Money Online


Ebay Photos and Descriptions Have Value as Intellectual Property

Ebay sellers typically make money by selling items on ebay. There are several related activities that an ebay seller must engage in, in order to reach the final goal of selling the item.

First, a seller needs to take photos of the item, and then the seller must write a description of the item. In these two steps alone, an ebay seller creates “intellectual property” that has its own value.

Many ebay sellers do not realize this, but photos and descriptions can both be used to generate additional revenue for their authors.

How Ebay Sellers Can Make Money Online With Their Photos: Stock Photography

Did you know that there are stock photography web sites that will allow you to earn money from your photos?

This is one of the most obvious ways that ebay sellers can make extra money; after the item has sold on ebay, ebay sellers can sell usage of (or license) their photographs of the item in order to make even more money.

This, obviously, cannot be done with every photo, since not every ebay photo is interesting enough to merit selling. However, if you are selling on ebay, you should be actively working to take photos that are interesting and outstanding enough to show your items in their best light.

If you’ve spent any time at all studying the completed listings on ebay, you’ve no doubt noticed that there is a correlation between photos and ending prices.

Better photos tend to bring higher ending prices. Lousy photos tend to bring lousy ending prices. Not surprising, is it? Presentation is everything!

There is significant demand for interesting photos from stock agencies. Their needs change, but they are typically looking for a variety of different photos.

Ebay sellers who sell in the following categories should be able to take advantage of the opportunities available through stock photo agencies:

  • Sellers of antiques and collectibles
  • Furniture sellers
  • Artists who are selling their own artwork
  • Sellers of handmade boutique clothing, or vintage clothing, particularly if they used an attractive model in the photo
  • Sellers of pottery and glass, vases, vanity items
  • Sellers of one of a kind or original dolls and bears
  • Sellers of items which are not immediately recognizable as the intellectual property of another person or corporation
  • Vintage sewing items

If there are visible logos in the photograph, you probably will not be able to use the photo for stock photography purposes. If the photo shows intellectual property that you do not own the rights to, you will not be able to use it as stock photography.

Examples include recognizable book covers, book illustrations, or any artwork that was not created by you, unless it is now in the public domain.

Also, if the item shown in your photo is trademarked, and the item is a new or recent item that is currently being mass produced and sold, it might be a bit complicated for you to legally sell the photo as stock photography if it is recognizable as such.

(You won’t be able to legally sell photos of Disney toys or things like that). Those types of photos are not ideal for stock photography, and it would probably be a waste of time to try.

Otherwise, it is worth evaluating whether your photo could be submitted as stock photography. You can easily check with each stock photography site to see what their particular needs and rules are.

If you take outstanding product photos, and your ebay inventory is unique, the chances are good that you will be able to make some extra money with stock photography.

Recycling Your Ebay Photos and Descriptions in Other Ways:

I have been selling on ebay for more than 8 years now. I am now using photos from years-old ebay auctions as photos for articles that I am writing for my web sites, and also for articles I write for If I had deleted these photos and descriptions, I’d have to work a lot harder at finding photos for my content.

Let me give you some examples. I wrote an article about How to Create A Still Life For Painting or Drawing. The photos I used for the article were photos I had taken for a friend when he was selling his pottery collection on ebay.

Having these outstanding photos available allowed me to get a higher upfront payment offer for my article. I could also re-use these and other photos of the pottery collection in more articles for associated content if I decide to write articles about that topic.

Many antiques and collectibles are interesting enough to write entire articles about. You certainly should talk up their selling points in the item description when you list an antique for sale on ebay. After you’ve done that, the description can be re-used in articles and web pages. Let me give you some more examples.

I have bought and sold antique crochet patterns on ebay for years. I have accumulated a significant hoard of these patterns. I typically buy a pattern book, and then I read and enjoy it for awhile.

If I decide I am not actually going to crochet any of the patterns in it, I will typically turn around and resell the pattern book in order to make space in my stash plus additional funds to buy another pattern book.

I usually sell these pattern books on ebay in the usual way; I take photos of the book, and I write a detailed description of it. My description will usually give details about how many patterns are in the book, what the projects are, the author’s name and interesting biographical information about her, the year the book was published and which publisher published it, and any other interesting information I can find about the book.

The patterns that I buy and sell are mostly in the public domain, because the copyright on them has expired. For that reason, they aren’t necessarily going to be useful as stock photography, although some stock photography sites might welcome them.

However, I now own and maintain a web site about antique crochet, where I re-publish the original photos and descriptions from my ebay auctions. I do re-write the auctions to eliminate any auction-specific language referring to bids, bidding, ebay, etc.

I also buy and sell design books on ebay. I am currently working on a web site about design books that is utilizing photos and descriptions of interesting design books that I sold on ebay in the past. The web site is currently under construction, but there is enough content there that you can at least see what I am talking about.

If you want to start a web site relating to the types of things you typically sell on ebay, there are multiple ways in which you could monetize this kind of content. You could add adsense or similar advertising to the pages to earn advertising revenue.

You could join affiliate programs such as the ebay affiliate program to earn revenue by driving traffic to similar items for sale on ebay. You could even possibly sell advertising space on your web site to other web site owners and ebay sellers.

If you don’t want to maintain your own web site, consider that there are other web sites that might benefit from having your intellectual property. Check out sites like and; perhaps you will be able to sell your content to another webmaster.

You could also earn money with your content by sharing your knowledge and writing articles for or other similar web sites. There are many opportunities on the internet for making money from your intellectual property. It can be worthwhile to take time out from selling on ebay to learn more about these opportunities.


Don’t delete your ebay descriptions and photos after your ebay auctions have ended! They have value as intellectual property. It could be worth your time to explore your options for making money from your intellectual property.

I wish you all the best with your ebay sales, and I hope this article will inspire you to find more ways to make money online. Good luck!


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