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I guess like many people that sail I watch Trade Me yacht listings (and dream). But something that has struck me over the years has been the relatively poor quality of the photos.  Are yachties useless at taking photos?

 

Pictures are so often out of focus, out of date, over exposed, dark or tiny, and likely taken on a 10yo mobile phone.  Often there’s been no thought to the background of the photo. Sometimes there’s not even a thought to what’s actually in the photo; photographer’s shadow, people’s legs, junk on tables etc. And so few sail boat listings include photos of them actually sailing. Very common too that for every photo of the exterior, there are likely to be 4-5 or more of the interior.

 

Curious also, that people listing a boat worth tens of thousands vendors can’t spend a little money on a professional. Why is that? Oh and don’t even get me started on the poor spelling and grammar in the text.

 

Some examples of poor photos

Listing 1

Listing 2

Listing 3

Listing 4

 

 

And here’s a listing with some excellent photos.

 

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That's so true, anyone in marketing can tell you that. Boat brokers haven't quite got the message yet but its an opportunity for a good photographer to offer their services. Part of the problem is that boat interiors are quite hard to photograph without resorting to super wide angle lenses that most amateurs don't have and you also need good lighting gear. Outside shots really need a good eye for the boat and good light- early or late in the day. With our fickle weather its hard (not impossible) to get glamour shots of a boat with its sails up or indeed from an angle thats not from a dinghy. I would say a decent photo shoot would be a minimum of $500 but more like double that for a quality job.

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Listing 4

 

 

And here’s a listing with some excellent photos.

I'd swap those 2 around.

 

The one you like (the Lotus) shows the owner is a tight arse (tiny photos clustered into one) and too tight to spend $1 on the extra photos so you'd have to ask yourself, what on the boat did he also short cut by a dollar or 2.

 

The Logan you don't, has all the same size photos, OK composition but best of all shows a lot more of the boat in a clean simple manner.

 

Having done a few houses outward and inward in the last 18 months, we got that disappointed/ piss off/ sceptical of one or 2 agents photo listings we just totally ignore any listings of theirs we ran into. We found the places with the average photos got a better look in with us than those with the glamours. If the photos pump the place up too much you arrive only to get a bit deflated. when you rock up and the place is better than the photos then you aren't left feeling conned.

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I have always found in selling stuff on trademe that good photos plus front page etc = good response and good response = decent price. Tried the humble approach-one photo, no promotion and not much luck getting a decent price. If and when I sell my hole in the water it will be with professional photos. 

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