eBay’s new ‘magical’ AI tool writes product descriptions for you from a single photo

Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Second-hand websites are a great way to get rid of the things you don’t want while still making some money. However, listing an item can be a lot of work, and eBay’s new AI tool can help.

On Thursday, eBay announced its new image-based magical listing tool that uses AI to generate a product description for a listing from a single product photo.

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All the user has to do is snap a picture and have AI fill in item information details, including titles, descriptions, product release dates, and sub-categories. It will even suggest a price and shipping cost for the item.

The magical image-based listing tool will be available in the eBay app for iOS users only. However, in the blog post, the company shared that it is excited to release the feature to the wider public soon.

The first version of this magical listing tool took a user-entered title and converted that into a product description.

That version had positive feedback, according to the blog post, with 30% of US sellers on the app trying the feature at least once on any given day, and over 95% of the users who tried it opted to use the AI-generated descriptions.

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The purpose of these generative AI assistants is to remove some of the barriers to entry that prevent people from listing items in the first place, such as not even knowing where to start.

“This addresses what we call the “cold start” issue, in which first-time sellers can feel overwhelmed with the amount of information required to create a competitive listing,” said eBay in the blog post. “There’s no need to work through a cold start with AI: as soon as you’re ready to sell, your listing is ready to post.”

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As someone who has been listing products on second-hand websites recently to make room in my closet for the season change, I was intrigued by the feature and decided to test it out because product listings are something I find tedious and time-consuming.

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I had to download the app, create an account, and start a listing. For the product photo listing, I took a picture of my Hydroflask since I always keep it next to me when working. Then, for the description, I clicked on the AI-automated option, and I was impressed with the results.

This Hydro Flask water bottle is a reliable companion for your outdoor adventures. Made with high-quality materials, it ensures that your drink stays cold or hot for hours. It comes with a secure lid to prevent any leaks and spills, making it perfect for hikes, camping trips, or just everyday use.

With its sleek design and durable construction, this water bottle is a must-have for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors. It is available in a variety of colors and features the Hydro Flask logo on the front. Whether you’re a hiker, camper, or just looking for a reliable water bottle, this Hydro Flask is sure to meet your needs.

As seen by the text above, the tool generated two paragraphs of sensical text that described the uses of a Hydroflask, had proper grammar, and almost looked like a company description you would on the site. If I were actually listing the Hydroflask, I would have felt comfortable using it.

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In the blog post, eBay also announced the addition of a more seamless background-removing tool. With one click, the tool removed my busy living room background and replaced it with a clean white backdrop, as seen by the hero image.

Overall, these tools make the listing experience easier for sellers. It is especially impressive to see an e-commerce company that has been around as long as eBay readjust its platform to reflect the latest technology.