What are the Amazon white background requirements?

In this article we’ll be looking at the requirements needed to pass Amazons strict white background photography rules.

If you’re reading this article I imagine you’re either looking to sell products on Amazon and want to get to grips with their white background policies or you’re already listing your products on their site and have had some listings suppressed due to the images not having a pure white background.

So what are Amazon’s rules and how can you ensure you follow them?

Amazon need the background of your image to be pure white, that is a RGB value of 255, 255, 255. Sometimes the background to your photos can look white to your eyes but a program like Photoshop or Paint (and Amazon’s own program) will show they are aren’t pure white. Take a look at the two images above (yes, there are two images there!). They’re the exact same image only we’ve completely reduced the brightness on image two, doing this shows up anything that isn’t pure white (in this case our message). The text has a RGB value of 254, 254, 254, very nearly pure white, so to our eyes the text isn’t visible in image 1, it looks like its pure white. So we could uploaded this to Amazon thinking it was pure white but it would have been suppressed. This shows that you can’t completely trust your eyes alone!

What shouldn’t you do?

We’ve seen some people take a product photo in a light tent then use a program to push up the brightness of the image until the background turns pure white. Doing this can give you a pure white background but at the cost of a washed out, poor quality main product photograph. We wouldn’t recommend doing this if you want your product to look it’s best (as we know, good images increase sales).

We’ve also seen some people recommend using Paint to draw a white margin around your product. This obviously won’t give you a complete white background, only a border. There will always be a non white section around the product. And although this may occasionally fool Amazon’s algorithms in the short term we wouldn’t recommend trying to skirt around any of Amazon’s rules as when they do find these images are incompatible you’ll still have to put them on a full white background anyway. Or, in the worst case you may have your whole account suspended for trying to flout the rules.

What should you do?

Personally we would recommend either using a dedicated photo manipulation program to edit your Amazon images or use a company that supplies this service.

With regards to photo editing programs arguably the best (and definitely most well know) is Photoshop. Using this program you are able to either cut your product out of a photograph and place it on a pure white background. Or alternatively use a background eraser (or standard eraser tool) to remove the background around your product.

Photoshop is a paid for program but if you’re looking for a free program one of the fairly decent ones is GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). Its basic in comparison to Photoshop but you may not need all of the functions of Photoshop.

Alternatively we can use a company who provide a white background service. Although you tend of pay per image the benefits are not having to learn a whole new program or skill, not having to pay for a program long with receiving a fast, professional finish. You can simply email your product photos to these services and have completed images back quickly.

A white background service is one of the many different services we offer at Turret Two Photography. Ask us for a quote today.

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