I did some research and asked people for advice, and finally came up a plan which includes:
- Adding a second item image, showing the actual spool (people commented the primary images are brilliant, but don't show the details of the ribbon).
- According to the advice given on Danielle's latest "Etsy success" email, I did the math to realize what minimum price I need in order to return my investment (it's easy with this shop, cause have all the ribbon is already at hand).
- Changing the price for the majority of the items, mainly increasing the amount of ribbon from 3 to 5 meters.
- Changing the banner to match my shop styling (will be done soon). Pitty, cause I like the current banner which my friend made for me..
- Find more unique ribbon to add to the shop.
- Notify my potential customers of these changes.
I took photos of my ribbon spools, in natural daylight (on the roof, as usual) on white background. I got horrid images, since I had to use low exposure, or else the picture would turn out "burnt" from all the white.
I edit it in MS Photodraw, but you can use other tools, such as the wonderful free online editing tool Picnik). First, I turn the image into a square, since Etsy shops a square thumbnail, and I want it to show the entire spool. I crop it, to remove as much as possible of the dark background.
I place the item in the middle of the square, and fix the tinting, to make sure the color pallet is correct. I want the white to be as white as possible.
Now, I start fixing the brightness and contrast. My goal is to eliminate the dark background, and make the spool "pop out" of the screen. I increase contrast and carefully play with the brightness till I reach the point where further brightening will hide the details and change the actual color of my ribbon.
Now I use a faded erase tool, to get rid of the left over dark spots. The fading edges will eliminate deleting parts of the actual spool, and will leave a nice shade which helps to highlight the very bright item.
And here it is - a nice crisp item image. Who would have ever believed it used to look so bad to begin with?
Pink organza ribbon with red hearts available at 3.60$ for 5 meters (5.46 yards)
My main problem remains that shipping price makes the ribbons less attractive to the buyer, while I cannot reduce them without hurting myself. Any ideas to go around that will be most welcome.