What’s Behind Some of the Baffling Item Specifics on eBay?

Sun Sept 11 2022 20:01:42

City: Ina Steiner

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When you list a collectible glass bottle for sale, you don’t expect to see product-attribute fields pertaining to ironing, drycleaning, machine-washing, and tumble-drying. But that’s what one eBay seller saw when they attempted to fill out Item Specifics on a new listing.

In the post titled, “LAUGHABLE Item Specifics … Something to brighten your day,” the seller described four mismatched product attributes.

The seller joked that if they attempted to send the bottle out to be cleaned, their dry cleaner would likely have them hauled away – but they also asked with a grain of seriousness if they should fill in the fields so they wouldn’t be held responsible if the buyer decided to “tumble dry their bottle” because they hadn’t checked the “Do Not Tumble Dry” box when listing it.

The seller indicated that, jokes aside, they were frustrated that eBay had introduced such “nonsensical drivel” in many categories last year.

While incongruous Item Specifics may be humorous or maddening (or both), it’s definitely baffling how eBay missed the mark. After all, it has years of experience and has expert resources at its disposal, including sellers.

We can’t help wondering if eBay went down a wrong turn with Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence – and about the potential for companies to go down similar roads involving more serious matters.

Let us know if you have any theories and whether eBay is getting better at Item Specifics options, and feel free to share any humorous-but-maybe-not-so-funny stories about mismatched attributes.

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