David MetterNancy Turner
Cars.com Product Specialist

Dealers frequently ask us about the best way to manage photos and efficiently upload them to Cars.com. Product specialist Nancy Turner offers this advice.

Q: Do I need to work with a third-party data company to get my photos on Cars.com?

There is often confusion around this one. While there may be benefits to working with a third-party data company, depending on your store structure and size, dealers do not need to work with an outside vendor to get their vehicle photos on Cars.com. It’s now easier than ever to upload your pictures and enjoy the same professional exposure as the dealers who have outsourced their photo collection and loading.This simple how-to guide will walk you through the few required steps, and your cars can begin selling themselves in no time. Remember, two of the keys to selling online are show, don’t just tell; and more is definitely better when telling your vehicle’s story with pictures.

How to Manage Your Photos: Naming and Organizing Your Photos

Because your Cars.com MultiPhotos product will allow you to post up to 32 images per vehicle, it’s crucial to keep them organized. Once the photos are on your computer, name them appropriately so they will be easy to reference and find. Also, there are limits to the number of characters that may be included when naming photos, so it will help you to create a standard process.Whether you’re sending photos to Cars.com or to other online sites, the general industry standard we recommend is to name your photos by stock number. To differentiate multiple photos of the same vehicle, we suggest adding a dash and photo display number to each picture to keep it distinct. (e.g., 5446P-01.jpg, 5446P-02.jpg, 5446P-03.jpg, etc.). Ideally, the number assigned to each should correspond with the position you want it to appear in online. Another option is to adopt a standard naming principle where each number after the stock number corresponds with a specific picture angle or type. For example, StockNumber-01.jpg = side profile – right, StockNumber-02.jpg = side profile – left, etc.

Uploading Individual Photos

If you take your own photos, Cars.com makes it easy to upload them through our online inventory management tool in the MyDealerCenter dealer portal. Simply complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to MyDealerCenter and select “Inventory” from the InventoryEditor drop-down menu. (Your inventory will be displayed.)
  2. Highlight and click the appropriate inventory listing. (This will open the vehicle details page.)
  3. Click the “Add/Edit Photo” tab, then click the “Browse” button. (This will enable you to search your computer for the appropriate photo.)
  4. Double-click the desired photo. (The photo will appear in the preview pane.)
  5. If the correct photo is displayed, click the “Upload Photo” button to send this photo to Cars.com.

Uploading Multiple Photos

To upload multiple photos through MyDealerCenter, complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to MyDealerCenter and select the “Batch Photo” tab from the InventoryEditor drop-down menu.
  2. From this window you can upload a folder of photos with Directory Photo Upload, or you can select up to 64 to upload at one time with Batch Photo Upload.

Directory Photo Upload

  • Log in to MyDealerCenter and select “Batch Photo” tab from the InventoryEditor drop-down menu.
  • Select “Directory Photo Upload.” (Note: This method requires a one-time download of a Java application. Follow the simple on-screen instructions to download/install the application when prompted.)
  • Once the application is open, click “Choose Folder.”
  • In the Choose Folder window, navigate to the folder containing the appropriate vehicle photos.
  • Click “Preview Photos” to see the images prior to uploading. (The photos will enter an upload queue. Note: For this upload method, all photos must be named by stock number to match your inventory. To edit the photo name, click the “Properties” tab.)
  • Click “Upload Photos” and the application will upload the photos to Cars.com.

Batch Photo Upload

  • Log in to MyDealerCenter and select “Batch Photo” tab from the InventoryEditor drop-down menu.
  • Select “Batch Photo Upload.”
  • Click the “Browse” tab for each photo you wish to upload and navigate to the folder where it’s contained on your computer.
  • Click “Open” to add the individual photo to the queue. (Note: The name of the photo will be automatically added to the stock number field. If your photos are not named by stock number, you may edit this field to assign the photo to the appropriate stock number.
  • Once you’ve added the desired photos to the Batch Photo Upload queue, click “Upload Photos” to add the photos to Cars.com.

Other Helpful Hints

Cars.com cannot accept photos with symbols in the filename such as “#,” “$” or “&,” so be sure not to use these as part of your naming conventions. These symbols can interfere with the code used to create your ads.For best upload results, photos should be in “.jpg” format and no larger than 640 pixels by 480 pixels, or 33 kilobytes in size. The minimum photo size requirement is 206 pixels by 155 pixels.Although we can technically accept photos up to 1 megabyte in size, we do not recommend the use of such large files because connection speeds will affect photo upload performance.For additional tips and techniques on how to get the most bang for your buck when taking effective vehicle photos, don’t miss our related articles.