eBay will give sellers the ability to create entire product listings from just a photo using the company’s generative AI tool announced on Thursday. eBay believes AI-powered product listings will speed up the sales process, especially for new merchants who may feel overwhelmed by all the details they have to provide.
The new tool uses images uploaded by sellers to fill in details like the product title, description, item category, and other key information a buyer might want to know. It is currently only available in the iOS app and second TechCrunchwill be available on Android in the coming weeks.
Like someone who spends Very of time on eBay, I’ll be the first to say that the platform is a bit like the Wild West when it comes to shopping. Product listings often contain typos or missing information, and descriptions can be three words or three paragraphs, depending on the seller. AI-generated listings might make item information more consistent or robust, but again, sellers tend to be very responsive to questions, at least in my experience.
The image-based generation tool isn’t the company’s first foray into generative AI. The company recently began offering a stripped-down version of the new tool that generated a product description based on other details entered by the seller. AS TechCrunch points out, sellers have complained about the quality of the generated text.
Having tried it myself with the previous version of the tool, I have to agree. When I experimented with it, the result was a clichéd, stilted language that added more words but nothing very useful. My initial description included a note about the condition of a vintage clothing item and a misleading size tag, but the AI tool removed information a potential buyer would likely want to know. Ultimately, the AI description tool saved me no time, and if left unchanged, I would expect a complaint from anyone who ends up purchasing my item.