TIps for photographing gear for ads?

I'm not happy with the pictures I take of my gear for classified ads. Looking for simple pointers on lighting, composition, etc. Simple. Did I remember to say simple?
This is EZ.
1st of all, if at all possible, use a tripod.
Best is ambient natural light with no flash, if this cannont be done, use a flash and stay off angle slightly to diffuse glare.
It is MUCH better to take the photo from farther away and zoom in if you use a flash.
Just make sure you avoid close up and head on and use a tripod.
If you dont have a tri pod make sure you brace the camera or your body.
I take higher rez pictures then make them smaller on my computer before uploading them to Agon.
Hope this helps!
While I dont have the greatest digital camera to take pictures with, I have found that if I take whatever I am taking pictures of outside, the pictures come out just like I want them to. Taking them inside, I tend to get to much flash from the camera even though I change the setting or they are blurry.

Hope this information helps ?
Both suggestions already offered are good. As a professional photographer, the other great tweak for an image is "fill light."

This is achieved by placing a large white cardboard flat in a position to fill the shadows created by the sun or (your own) artificial light.

This provides a natural look, opening the shadows and providing shape and texture between the main (source) light and deep shadows. Opening the photo this way extends the tonal range and color, making it easier for your digital chip to record and Audiogon to display.

Aluminum foil wrapped around a cookie sheet works for very small objects and provides extra punch when needed. Both of these are free and can make the difference between just an average shot and a great one.
Everything said previously is spot on. Don't use the digital portion of your zoom however.
This is a question for Marco, Photographer Extrordinaire .
Apart from ways to capture the model itself, adding something else, like a green houseplant or small antique, creates visual interest. Background choice helps too. For example, placing the model on a grainy wooden table or oriental carpet can help your pic stand out. If you need to go outdoors for the best light spreading a drape, like your favorite leather jacket, can hide distracting elements like peeling paint or broken concrete.
Marco is probably too busy playing in his sandbox, that or Diesel ate his C-stand so he couldn't be of any help even if he wanted to. Besides we got Badass Albert Porter The Texas Shooter here!

After you've taken your digital photos, e-mail 'em to me and I'll practice my dark arts on them and manipulate the photos so your Rega Planet looks like an Audiomeca Mephisto.

Nothing like a little fraud to spice up an ad!
Try bounce light off the wall or ceiling. I would usually shoot on tripod without the flash.
There is always photoshop 8
Add soft filter to the background to make the item more standout.
Aside from that, you can also add "fill lights" in the digital dark room.
Since you're a novice, close ups and cropping the image might be your best bet.
I have used a small peice of paper to diffuse the flash, my camera wont take pics without the flash so I simply keep the flash from getting in the way, I know it sounds kinda cheesy but it works

Look at other ads that are attractive, try to do the same.

Here is what I do.
(1)Outdoors, slightly overcast(no shadows but brite)The white cardboard trick, reflecting the light will make your pics a touch better than the others.
(2)Tripod with hands off timer.
(3)Neutral background(not black or white)
(4)Keep background clutter to minimum.
(5)Crop, adjust brightness, correct tint(saturation), sharpen, size for internet(about 440px wide)