^^^ VERY well put. This was exactly the kind of opinion that I was looking for. I added the boot black for aesthetic purposes (I thought it might photograph well and register as "classy").
@ pnutpug: Assuming you received the shoes and they either met or exceeded your expectations based on the written item description with only the addition of boot black, would it make a difference to you one way or another?
@ capnwes: I did not know that eBay was going to be offering a full 12 pictures. I try to stay within the limits of the picture packs to save a bit (I collage 2 or 3 pics together and take advantage of the zoom feature). You're completely right that more pics are always the way to go. You sell more shoes in a week than I do in two months, lol.
First, I really dislike the black sole
Second, find an image host to use and just embed your own pictures, as many as you want for free.
+1 Coulnt have said it better myself. IMO the black soles look like cheap rubber soles or the fact your looking to hide something. If you want to clean the soles up of dirt ect thats great (I dont even do this and my shoes tend to sell OK), BUT take more pictures, every angle, top , sides, backs, fronts, close up details of the lace area, etc. I try to average 15-20 pictures for a shoe listing. Taking the pictures is super easy and if you upload to a host like photobucket it takes less then a min to upload, select all, copy and past into a ebay add or onto a SF add.
ALSO, dont use newspaper, thats just silly if your a SF member at this point, but get a pair of shoe trees and use them for the photos, make 100% sure to put "shoes trees not included" in the auction. As someone said (I'm too lazy to go look who) this def make the shoes look better and is how they would look when on someones foot. I personally like a solid color background but thats just my opinion, too much other stuff going on to distract someone from the shoes.
On a side note, any of you small guys (bigger then me but still small) might be interested in this (not my listing): http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280883606288