eBay’s AI Listing Tool Sparks Seller Debate

  • eBay's New AI Tool: eBay introduces an AI tool to create product listings from photos, aiming to simplify the selling process.
  • Mixed Seller Reactions: Sellers appreciate convenience but criticize inaccuracies and lack of customization in AI-generated listings.
  • Balancing Automation: The article highlights the ongoing debate on balancing automation with human involvement in e-commerce.

In a bid to streamline the online selling experience for its users, eBay has rolled out a new AI tool that generates product listings from a single photo. Available on the eBay app for iOS initially, with the Android version following shortly, this tool has sparked a range of reactions from sellers, with some hailing its convenience while others voice concerns about its accuracy and customization.

For many South African sellers, the process of creating competitive listings on eBay has been a daunting task, often referred to as the “cold start” problem. New sellers, in particular, find it overwhelming to input all the necessary information, including product titles, descriptions, categories, and pricing. In response, eBay introduced an AI-powered solution aimed at automating these tasks.

The AI tool is designed to analyze a single photo and extrapolate key details required for a listing. This includes generating a product title, crafting a description, suggesting release dates, and even recommending appropriate categories and subcategories. Additionally, the tool proposes list prices and shipping costs, all with the aim of simplifying the selling process for users.

Mixed Reactions from Sellers

While eBay’s initiative to leverage AI for the benefit of sellers has garnered attention, it has also sparked a range of reactions from the seller community. Longtime sellers on the platform have voiced their opinions, both positive and negative.

Some sellers have praised the AI tool for its potential to reduce the time and effort required to create listings. They appreciate the convenience it offers, especially to those new to the platform. However, a significant number of sellers have expressed concerns and criticisms, highlighting several key issues:

ConcernsSellers’ Opinions
Inaccurate DescriptionsSellers report that the AI-generated descriptions can be misleading or contain factual errors. For example, a camera listing may inaccurately state that it comes with a lens kit.
RepetitivenessThe generated descriptions tend to be verbose and repetitive, which sellers believe may deter potential buyers seeking clear and concise information.
Lack of SpecificsAI-generated descriptions may not adequately highlight the individual characteristics of items or mention any flaws, which is crucial information for potential buyers.
Limited CustomizationSellers may prefer to craft their own listings to ensure accuracy and personalization, rather than relying on AI-generated content.
Photo Recognition ConcernsThere are concerns about the accuracy of eBay’s photo-recognition component, given potential biases and errors in computer vision algorithms.

eBay’s Response

It’s important to note that eBay acknowledges these concerns and has included a disclaimer warning users that the AI-generated text may not be completely accurate. This recognition of potential issues raises questions about the balance between automation and human involvement in the selling process, particularly when accuracy and customization are crucial for successful transactions.

The broader trend in e-commerce, where companies like Shopify and Amazon are also deploying AI for product descriptions and reviews, demonstrates the growing significance of automation in the industry. However, eBay’s experience underscores the need for fine-tuning AI systems to meet the specific needs of sellers and buyers and to address issues such as accuracy and clarity to ensure a positive user experience.



South Africa’s primary source of financial tools and information

Contact Us



Rateweb strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions.

Rateweb is not a financial service provider and should in no way be seen as one. In compiling the articles for our website due caution was exercised in an attempt to gather information from reliable and accurate sources. The articles are of a general nature and do not purport to offer specialised and or personalised financial or investment advice. Neither the author, nor the publisher, will accept any responsibility for losses, omissions, errors, fortunes or misfortunes that may be suffered by any person that acts or refrains from acting as a result of these articles.