How to Buy a Digital Photo Frame on eBay

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What is a Digital Photo Frame?

A digital photo frame is a picture frame that displays digital images without the need to print them first. Digital photo frames have become a necessary accessory to Digital Cameras as fewer than 35% of all digital photos are ever actualy printed. Digital photo frames typically display the pictures directly from a digital camera's memory card, which can be inserted into a memory card reader that is part of the frame itself. Most digital photo frames display photos as a slideshow. Digital photo frames display images through a LCD screen, which being very flat is ideal for mounting on a mantel piece, table or wall.

Evaluate the Features

Does Size Really Matter?
Maybe........The size of the LCD screens Viewable area is very important to consider. Screens range in size from 1.1 inches upto and beyond 15 inches. The measurement in inches is the length of a diagonal line from one corner of the screen to the other. When choosing a digital photo frame of any given size, make sure you are aware of the screens resolution and brightness.

Screen Resolution makes a big difference to image quality when compared to the size of the LCD on a digital photo frame. There are many different resolutions available such as - 640x480 or 800x600.  The numbers represent the amount of lines of pixels the screen uses to display images. So an LCD with a high resolution will give you fantastic image quality, where as an LCD with a smaller resolution will have a lower image quality. To put this in perspective a frame with 800x600 has 172,800 more pixels of resolution than a frame with 640x480. Consider the size of the LCD and the Resolution!

Screen Brightness is important as a screen with a high brightness can be viewed in daylight. Anything over 250cd / M2 is a good standard of brightness for an LCD screen of a reasonable size.

Memory Cards
Make sure the digital photo frame you want to purchase accepts the appropriate memory card for your digital camera. Some frames have a multi-memory card reader; which means they can read a number of different types of memory card. Most sellers explain which types are supported, however some sellers just list the memory cards acronym - below are the acronyms for various memory cards supported by digital photo frames.

Memory Card                          Acronym
Compact Flash I                          CFI
Compact Flash II                         CFII
Smart Media                                SM
Memory Stick                              MS
Memory STick Duo                     MSD
Memory Stick Micro M               M2
Multimedia Card                          MMC
Secure Digital Card                      SD
xD-picture Card                           XD

Not all digital photo frames have a USB port, but if this is important for your application, make sure that the frame supports your preferred USB speed - USB comes in either USB 1.1 or USB 2. Most digital photo frames support both, but it pays to check.

There are 2 main types of USB ports on digital photo frames:

USB Flash - This is the large (chizel shape) size USB port you will find on your computer; these ports are purely for USB flash or jump drives. They allow you to transfer files or pictures from your computer to the digital photo frame via the USb flash or jump drive.

USB Slave port - This port is the smallest (flathead Screwdriver shape) size USB port, often these are found on digital cameras. These ports allow you to link the digital photo frame directly to your computer using a USB cable, for displaying images or files from the host computer.

Internal Flash Memory
Some digital photo frames come with in-built flash memory. This internal memory allows files or pictures to be stored on the digital photo frame itself eliminating the need to have a memory card inserted into the frame. The size of the internal flash memory determines how many pictures or files can be saved on the frame. However, as digital photo frames do not have huge LCD screens, standard picture files of around 100k size will display beautifully - larger picture files will be squashed down to fit the screen size.

Frame Functions & Questions
Digital Photo Frames often come with a remote control and control buttons on one side of the unit. It is useful to have both because if you lose the remote control you can still access the frames functionality through the frames buttons.

Find out about the frames functions - here are some good questions to ask the seller:
  • Can the frame re-size pictures to fit the screens viewable are automaticaly?
  • Can the frame allow you to zoom in or rotate pictures - can you adjust the slideshow settings?
  • What different types of picture files can the frame display?

How to Search for Digital Photo Frames on eBay

Digital photo frames are sold in a few different categories on eBay, so it best to search for them by simply typing in digital photo frame in the eBay search box and siffting through the results.
The main category for digital photo frames on eBay is:
Cameras & Accessories > Photographic Accessories > Albums, Storage & Mounting
Also try:
Home & Lifestyle > Home Decor > Photo Frames

Location, Location, Location!
When you want an item quickly and reasonably, it is best to Purchase from a good seller in Your Country. Not only will this minimise delivery time and postage costs, but you can also be assured that the item complies with your countries electricity standards (plugs, voltages & laws).
Check the location of the item you are purchasing as many large electronics sellers on eBay are located in Asia. The first clue to this is the high postage cost - often $40+ for a DPF. You can also see where the item is located under the price at the top of the listing.

Know your Purchase & Know your Seller

Research your purchase thoroughly by asking the seller questions about the digital photo frame you wish to purchase. Compare the functions of each frame as well as the screen size and resolution.

Research your seller thoroughly to be secure about your transaction. Check the following:
  • What is the sellers feedback rating?
  • How many transactions have they completed?
  • Click on the item numbers of their feedback to see what they have sold previously.
  • What percentage of positive responses have they had and what did buyers say in their feedback?
  • Does the seller offer a Return Policy or Warranty?
  • What are the Terms and Conditions of sale?


This buying guide is intended merely as a guide or review for those considering purchasing products one eBay. I do not make and nothing in this buying guide is intended to constitue, any warrantees, guarantees, representations or assurances about the accuracy of the information or content contained in this buying guide.

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