Why it matters: If you are a card collector, making a bit of coin by selling off your duplicates is getting somewhat easier. Online auction house eBay already has a pretty large trading card community, but if you’re looking to sell more than just a few cards, creating an entry for each one can be a time-consuming hassle.
Fortunately, eBay announced last month that a new image recognition feature is coming to Android and iOS apps later this month that promises to automate much of the process of listing trading cards. Sellers can simply point their phone’s camera at the card, and the eBay app will generate a listing that already has most of the fields populated. The company claims the feature cuts listing time in half compared to manually inputting everything. It is not fully automatic, though.
First, the seller has to search for the relevant game or category to which the card belongs. Then the app will present a prompt to search for the card with the camera. The seller then selects the proper match from a list of possibilities. The app will fill out various basic information about the card, but the user still has to enter details like the card’s condition, price, shipping costs, and photos.
“We’re actively listening to our growing community to invest in new enhancements, including leveraging computer vision technology and building a robust trading card catalog,” said eBay’s Head of Trading Cards and Collectibles Nicole Colombo. Our new listing feature will not only create a faster and more convenient experience for our sellers, but will also provide more robust trading card inventory for shoppers – all while ensuring that the information in card listings is more accurate.
It takes time to train machine learning models, so the feature is on a slow rollout starting with Magic: The Gathering cards in late April. In May, eBay will add Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh. It said the app would get recognition support for sports and other trading cards later this year.