Maybe I am not qualified to be writing about product photography since I have only given it a whirl for two weeks but then again; maybe my lack of experience will also help other newbies
I do not like to think of myself as lazy; I prefer to call myself a conservationist. I conserve my personal energy. If I can take a short-cut and get the same result; good. If I can bypass an important step and still achieve quality; then I have conserved energy. Maybe I can use the conserved energy to do more photography.
Problem is; my desire to conserve my personal energy has resulted in massive amounts of extra work. So; after two weeks of shooting the same objects multiple times; I have learned one area that can not be short-cut.
Unless you are shooting grunge; your objects must be clean. I do not mean "sitting on the shelf for a week without being disturbed" clean; I mean really clean without dust, hairs and fingerprints. Sure, you can clone out some stuff in photoshop or your favorite processor but do you have any idea how much work it is to clean up a dusty product.
Therefore, I have assembled my cleaning kit that consists of the following items:
lint-free cloth, various kinds of cleaning liquids, polishing cloth, q-tips, magnifier and last (but not least), a strong light source so I can inspect my items before I ever take the images.
Your background also needs a shaking to get out all the hair and other room dust. I do not have any animals in my home but somehow, there always seems to be hairs on my backdrop; I must shed hair like a wooly bear.
Next tip; take time to get your lights set correctly. Sure, again, you can cut out the background in photoshop with levels, curves, dodging the highlights, etc. But, is is so much easier to get the lighting even so that all RGB values are at 255 (white).
Anyone wish to share their insights concerning product photograph. My next step is to be a bit creative with my product photography; starting shooting concepts or ideas, not just products. Temperature here in Far East Russia was -46 today, -47 yesterday; I can take a couple hours outside with nature then I am back in the studio to warm up; so I will need some good products or concepts to shoot.