We’ve all seen the serviceable but dull or poorly shot photos of stuff for sale on eBay, and even on some higher-end retail sites. That’s because when you want to sell clothing or household items quickly, the priority is getting the listing in front of people’s faces rather than having it look its best.
Design Shop, an iPhone app released today, aims to ease beautifying a merchandise post by offering a large number of professionally produced graphics and templates that you can use to make your photo — and thus your item — more attractive to prospective buyers.
This is not a new concept. There are plenty of apps that let you add overlays and text to your photos — including Overlay Designs’ own Studio Design app. “What makes Design Shop different is its simplicity and quality of design. If a seller has a product shot, all they need to do is remix one of our professional designs with that photo,” said Joe Wilson, Design Shop co-founder.
“We’ve found with our consumer design app that many people struggle to produce professional looking content, even with nice tools. Our aim with Design Shop is to only have designs that are so high-quaility that users feel confident they’re producing an attractive promo image. “
Many would object to the entire concept of using an app to dress up a merchandise photo: it may seem dishonest, overly hyped or unimportant that such a post is designed. But, from my perspective, it’s not trivial.
If a photo of an item is compelling, more buyers are likely to consider it. Moreover, the fact that someone took the time to present their item stylishly may also reflect well on both the seller and the merchandise.
Design Shop opens to a series of templates tailored to categories like Sales & Discounts, Must Haves, Handcrafted, Vintage Goods and others. Each category opens to a series of free designs plus additional ones available for a fee.
After you choose a design you like, you can then shoot a photo of your item or import one from the camera roll. Then adjust the image in the frame by zooming or repositioning it, adjusting the color tint and fixing the exposure. Then save and share the image.
While Design Shop’s goal is to build a large library of high-quality content. Wilson said he’s working on new design collections to expand the library, as well as ways for users to customize every post with their own branding information.
A free version of the app has a watermark, and if you want to remove the watermark forever, it’s costs 99 cents. However, if you want to unlock the designs behind the pay wall, there’s a $2 per month subscription fee.
For folks who have a low volume of items for sale, ditching the watermark and sticking to the free designs seems reasonable. However, if you are selling in volume, you may want to consider the subscription — $24 per year sounds steep to me, but time is money.
➤ Design Shop [iOS]