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Today’s blog post is brought to you by a great question from reader Joelle. (Hi Joelle! Thanks for the question!)
She asked about what mannequin and camera I use. I’ll talk about the mannequin first, and then the camera.
I bought a fairly inexpensive dress form
off Amazon. It is a size small, and I use wire clips
to pin back larger-sized clothing items, making sure to keep the pinned version true to the garment’s actual silhouette. (Simple tutorial here!) I like the clips because they’re coated in rubber, so I don’t have to worry about snagging more delicate fabric.
When I’m not using the dress form, I take the top and pole out of the wooden base and store the two pieces in the bottom of my eBay closet:
When I first started selling on eBay, I hung my clothing on a coat rack that was mounted near our front door. I used that set-up for several months, and I saw plenty of sales. Here’s a picture from an old listing:
While using a hanger was an adequate set-up, it had a couple limitations:
It didn’t show the true shape of garments.
This is especially relevant for knit items, like sweaters and sweater dresses. A more structured garment, like a blazer, looks just fine on a hanger, but others really benefit from being filled out by the dress form.
I was tied to one spot in the house for photography.
I don’t yet have studio lighting for taking pictures (working on that!) so I have to use natural light. That means I need to be close to a window when taking pictures. With a dress form, I can set up by different windows depending on where the sun is at that point in the day. I can also angle the dress form toward the light however I want to, which isn’t possible with a hanger.
I did not buy a special camera for taking eBay pictures; I just use a basic point-and-shoot that we bought before my older daughter was born. It’s a Sony Cybershot DSC-WX9. I keep it on the automatic mode–nothing fancy here! I think just about any halfway modern point-and-shoot will do the trick.
So, that’s the dress form and camera I use in my eBay store. That being said, don’t feel like you need to have a dress form or expensive camera to get started! If you have a smartphone or tablet with a pretty good camera, you can use that! And if you don’t have a dress form, you can use a hanger and nail, or even lay your clothing out on your (clean!) floor. That’s one of the reasons that I’ve loved selling on eBay–you can start small, and as you make more money, you can invest in tools to grow your business even more.