If you have ever sold something on eBay you know that the process of listing an item can be time-consuming and full of questions about setting an appropriate price and describing the item properly.
eBay has heard these complaints and has figured out what they call a ‘Magical’ answer powered by AI.
The company has been Beta-testing a tool that allows users to simply upload a picture of the item they are selling which is then compared to millions of items in its database providing descriptions and even suggestions for pricing and shipping.
This use of AI as an assistant makes it much easier for casual users to list and sell items getting them over what the company calls a ‘cold start’ process where users start but fail to complete listings.
Like many tech companies, eBay is investing heavily in AI automation including the acquisition of two AI companies earlier this year to help the company weed out fraud on the site.
In February, eBay announced the purchase of 3PM Shield which provides advanced AI-powered compliance solutions that will help flag suspicious behavior on users of the marketplace.
In July, Milan-based Certilogo was similarly acquired to help eBay identify fraudulent private-label clothing and prevent them from being sold on the website.
Not all users are pleased with all this automation.
Long-time users of the site have posted their displeasure on the company’s comments page under the tag ‘Ebay is damaging itself and sellers using AI’s that do not work well‘.
The main thrust of their complaints is their belief that valid items are being erroneously flagged as fraudulent.
It remains unclear if this is a result of these users getting caught or the AI tool making mistakes but one thing that is clear is that AI isn’t going away anytime soon.