8 Tips for Taking Motorcycle Pictures for Inventory Listings

Having top-notch photos is crucial to get more eyes on your bike listings. Here are our eight tips for taking motorcycle pictures for your inventory listings.
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The buying process for nearly everything has changed over the past few decades. With the consistent growth and evolution of technology, online research has become increasingly important to buyers when they make a purchase. Having top-notch photos is crucial to get more eyes on your bike listings. In fact, on Cycle Trader, listings with pictures generate 1.3X higher search result impressions, 4.2X higher click-through rates, and 5.4X higher vehicle detail page-views than listings without photos.

Here are our eight tips for taking motorcycle pictures for your inventory listings:

1. Make it Shine

Make sure the bike you’re listing is clean. Buyers want to see their potential bike in tip-top condition, so give the unit a detailed wash before taking photos. Sponges and brushes are great for the intricate details of a bike, and they remove dirt and grime with ease.

2. Use the Right Camera

Are you using a camera that produces high-quality photos? If not, you’ll want to make sure your camera is fairly recent so your photos are clear and not grainy. Most smartphones have amazing cameras, which is a great option that won’t require you to purchase a new camera, but if you want to take your photos to the next level, consider investing in a new point-and-shoot model. Most newer point and shoots are very easy to use and take crystal clear photos.

3. Shoot at the Right Time of Day

Lighting is important when it comes to taking photos, so you’ll want to keep in mind the time of day you choose to shoot. Avoid taking listing photos midday when the lighting is harsh. Instead, opt to take photos in the morning or late afternoon where the lighting is “warmer” and less likely to wash out your photos. When taking advantage of that natural lighting, remember to watch out for shadows from nearby trees or buildings. Cloudy days can also be great photoshoot days, but make sure it’s not too dark and avoid taking photos at night where flash would be required.

4. Keep in Mind Positioning and Location

When taking listing photos, you’ll want to keep in mind where you’re positioning the bike. It’s important that the bike you are trying to sell is the focal point of your shot. Minimize any distractions in the background like large signs or street traffic.

5. Take a Few Test Photos

It’s important to take your time while shooting your listing photos, as they are a crucial part of your entire listing. Take a few test photos of your unit to make sure the lighting is right, the camera is clear, and that you are satisfied with the outcome. If you aren’t pleased with the photos, you can take a step back and see what might need to change to enhance your photo (positioning, lighting, etc.).

6. Have a Variety of Photos

We cannot stress this enough – take a lot of photos. Buyers want to see every angle of the bike before walking into the dealership so they can visually picture themselves on a new ride. Take a few full shots (showing the whole bike) as well as detailed, close-up shots. We suggest having a full bike shot as your main listing photo to grab the buyer’s attention right off the bat, then they can explore more photo options as desired.

7. Be Honest and Authentic

It’s important to avoid misrepresenting the motorcycle you are listing, especially if your dealership sells pre-owned inventory that has been previously used. Don’t hide the imperfections of the bike you are trying to sell. If the unit has a few dings or scratches, your potential buyer deserves to know. They really don’t want to be surprised by imperfections when they come to view the unit in person. As for new units, it’s also a good idea to stay away from using stock photos – authenticity is key.

8. Highlight Special Features

Does the bike you’re listing have any special features like digital consoles, LED lights, or custom paint jobs? Make sure you are highlighting them in both your listing photos and descriptions.

Bonus Tip: Add Video 

Just like pictures, videos are powerful and persuasive advertising tools. If you are already taking photos, why not record some videos too? You can record a simple walk around video or even a demonstration of the bike in action.

Conclusion: Listings with photos have more buyers looking at them, clicking to view additional information, and contacting dealers to pursue a purchase. We hope that these eight tips have helped you realize taking listing photos doesn’t have to be difficult. Getting the right photo takes some practice, but it will be worth it in the end, trust us.

If you’re ready to snap some photos and sell your motorcycle, we encourage you to list your motorcycle on Cycle Trader’s nationwide online marketplace.

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