We’ve all heard that a picture’s worth a thousand words, but for those of us selling on Amazon, a picture can also be worth a thousand dollars in sales.

Unfortunately, it seems that once Amazon sellers succeed in getting their listing up and running, they often give little attention to the images they first used. This is a huge mistake.

You cannot overestimate the importance of images when selling online, especially on Amazon. Your Amazon images shouldn’t be viewed as simply a necessary requirement for the listing but as an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Product images are often the first thing a customer sees when they arrive at your listing, and you don’t want your first impression to be a bad one. So follow along as we point out four photo fails you need to avoid on your Amazon listing.

Photo Fail #1 - Taking the photos yourself

You’d think this mistake would be a given, but a quick search through Amazon product listings shows that it’s not. Perhaps it’s caused by a seller’s desire to save money or a mistaken belief in their photography skills, but thousands of sellers attempt to create their own product images.

Consider these product images found during a quick search for a dog leash.

Now sure, we’d all be tempted to take our own product photos if we had such attractive, well manicured hands. But the impression these photos give is that this product is being stored in the back of some guy’s garage. It doesn’t emote a strong sense of craftsmanship or business acumen.

Or here’s yet another seller who seems to have taken it upon himself to create his own images for his product - a light-up dog leash.

Now if I hadn’t told you this was a leash, would you have known? My guess is you would have assumed someone is selling a UFO landing strip. This is a picture of the leash lighting up in the dark. But does it really help customers know how well it lights up? Not really.

Compare these with the following dog leash seller who decided to swallow their pride and hire a professional to create his product images.

Notice the crisp quality, the ultra-white background, and the overall professional look of the picture. It says, “We’re a legitimate company producing a quality product.” “This leash can even handle this extremely angry and ripped doberman if you need it.”

If you’re trying to cut advertising costs, don’t cut it here. Hire the professional to create the image that says, “Buy from us. You won’t be disappointed.”

Photo Fail #2 - Using fewer images than are allowed

Let’s suppose you were offered the business chance of a lifetime. Imagine that you are invited to a dinner event full of customers who are interested in buying a product that you’re selling. The catch is you will be joined by other sellers just like you who sell a similar item. But each of you are given 15 minutes to describe, explain, and demonstrate your brand’s product and convince people that they should buy yours instead of theirs.

Now imagine one of your competitors walked up to the podium and spoke for only 5 minutes before being seated. Would you not think that was a foolish decision? If you’re given 15 minutes, why would you not use every minute of it?!

So it is always shocking when Amazon offers every seller multiple opportunities to describe, explain, and demonstrate their product through images and yet many sellers choose not to use them all. Most sellers are given six spots to fill! Why not fill them all?!

Here’s yet another seller of dog leashes (a very competitive niche) who only uses two of the six images he’s given.

This guy or gal is offered a chance to say six things about their product, and they only said two things! “We sell a blue leash.” “It fits on dogs.” How’s that for salesmanship?

And yet, not to be outdone, another seller looks at the six image spots and says, “Nah. I’m good with just one.”

He or she walked up to the podium in front of all those customers and said, “We sell a pink leash...Thank you.”

Just imagine how these listings could be greatly enhanced by simply filling up the image spots with six quality images! Think how much more attention the pink leash would get if it were pictured around the neck of cuddly little chihuahua! I know they’re just leashes, guys, but surely there’s more than just one thing you can say about them!

We know it’s possible because other top sellers are using every image available to them. Just check out this listing from (you guessed it) another seller of dog leashes.

This seller used all seven of their image opportunities to say, “Hi! We sell heavy-duty leashes. Here’s how the button works on the leash. And here’s the ultra-cool box it comes in along with a tiny bone to hold your doggie bags.” And even more is said through the other four images.

You get the point. If you’re not using all of your images, you’re making a huge mistake. It sounds simple enough, but thousands of sellers refuse to “take all 15 minutes” Amazon gives them.

Photo Fail #3 - Not Showing the Product In use

This one is quick and easy to grasp, but many seller images fail when it comes to utilizing all of their images’ potential advertising power. Statistics show that consumers are more likely to purchase a product online if they can see a depiction of it being used. Unfortunately, many sellers fail to provide that option on their Amazon listing.

So think about your product and ask yourself, “How can I show my product being used by way of an image?” If you sell headphones, don’t just show them lying on a white background. Place them in someone’s ear. Show that person smiling while listening to the awesome sound quality. Show a jogger using them while exercising. There are a thousand different ways to get your product into the imagination of your customers.

Here’s a great example of this from a listing for (ahem) dog leashes.

This image doesn’t just demonstrate how the leash works. It emotes a feeling of enjoyment. The dog looks happy. The setting appears to be a beautiful day in a scenic location. Customers are receiving signals that this is the leash that will make both you and your pet happy.

Now compare that picture with the following pet leash picture.

Imagine if this was the only picture on the listing (the fourth picture makes a poor attempt to demonstrate the product). It would be a disaster. It’s difficult to tell what the leash is used for. Personally, this picture would tell me, “This is going to be a huge, tangled mess by the time you’ve opened the package.” And off to the next product I would go.

Customers like to see the product in use. Use your image placements to give them that option and to demonstrate how they might feel after they’ve purchased it.

Photo Fail #4 - Not highlighting features of your product

When an Amazon customer finds your listing, it’s as if they are walking through the front door of your store. But of course, the problem is that the customer has no way to actually handle your product. They can’t pick it up. They can’t read the box. They can’t feel the texture or the quality. And they’re not really interested in ordering your product just to test it out. They want to purchase with confidence, and they need your help to do it.

Your entire job is creating an in-store feel for the customer through your listing. Your listing should allow the customer to virtually pick up the product, look over the packaging, feel the weight of the product, try it on, walk around in it, ask questions about it, then make a decision on whether or not to give you their money.

Your product images are a terrific place to offer that virtual, in-store feeling, especially when it comes to features and specifications. Don’t just post a picture of the product. Show it in its packaging. Then show the back side of the packaging. If it has a retractable handle, show it retracting. If it has ingredients, show the ingredient list on the package. If it’s smaller than a nickel, show it lying next to a nickel. Each of these will allow the customer to hold the product in their hand and turn it over a few times.

For example, this dog leash seller uses one image to point out lots of different features of their product.

After seeing this one image, customers now know the “lobster clip” is, in fact, “robust”, the length from the clip to the first handle is 12 inches long, the entire leash is 8 feet, the handle is padded, and more. All that was said within one single image.

By contrast, the following seller uses various images but each of the images say the exact same thing. Over and over again.

It’s as if the seller is saying, “It’s a black, braided leash with a brass hook” four times in a row. By doing so, he’s wasted three of the four images he used when he could have given the customer a much better experience.

Think about your customer picking up your product in a store. What would they want to know before they purchase. Now how can you help them get that information through your product images? The answers you come up with may mean a boost in your sales.


Product images are one of the most elementary pieces of an Amazon listing, but so many sellers often overlook them. But in a way, product images are like miniature salespeople that are greeting customers who just came through your door. You want these mini reps to be dressed nicely and know the product well.

Set yourself apart from other sellers. Hire a professional, and get smart about using as many images as you are allowed. Step up to the podium with a quality sales pitch and use all 15 minutes Amazon gives you to convince your customers they should buy your product.

After you've had professional photos taken for your listing make sure you set up your free Salesbacker account so that you can get more product reviews.