eBay Uses AI To Review & Approve Videos In Listings

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay's Chief AI Officer Nitzan Mekel confirmed they've started using AI to review and approve seller videos in listings as of "about a month ago" in his session at the recent eBay Connect 2022 Developer Conference (session may have been pre-recorded, so it's not clear when exactly eBay launched AI video reviews.)

Since eBay rolled out video in listings last year, sellers have at various times experience backlogs in the review process, sometimes with delays longer than 7 days.

Is eBay Struggling With Video In Listings?
Some sellers report long processing times with eBay’s new Video In Listing feature.

Some of those delays were said to be the result of technical issues, but sellers have often wondered as well if they delays were due to eBay having actual human reviewing each and every video submission - and it looks like that was indeed the case until very recently.

Sellers have been noticing much faster review times lately, which is welcome news, but also report sometimes inexplicable or inconsistent rejections with little or no communication about why videos are rejected.

Trouble uploading video to listing
I’ve been in a chat with a customer service rep for over 30 minutes right now, but I decided I’d try here as well. The video I’m trying to upload keeps getting rejected, the message just states the following with no further info: “Your video wasn’t posted. Here’s why: Your video was not approved.…

I've been in a chat with a customer service rep for over 30 minutes right now, but I decided I'd try here as well.

The video I'm trying to upload keeps getting rejected, the message just states the following with no further info: "Your video wasn't posted. Here's why: Your video was not approved. You can learn more about our policies here." I tried uploading it twice, then I reached out to customer service.

The video is showing that an Xbox console is in working condition, I turn it on, put a game in it, run through the menus and then load the game and stop the video after the "press start" button comes up. That's all.

The CS rep has had me upload the same video twice now. It got rejected with the same message and now she has me trying on Chrome (was on Firefox). I'm still sitting here on the 4th attempt. I'm sure the reviewer is getting tired of me, but how can I fix the issue(s) if they won't tell me what, specifically, is wrong?

Ultimately the seller found it appears that some videos were being rejected due to possible copyright infringement from showing the game console working - which if being done by AI could certainly cause issues for sellers who are trying to use video to show game consoles, dvd or cd players, or many other kinds of electronics in use to advertise they are in good working condition.

Update: The 4th attempt is still under review, the CS rep created a ticket and closed the chat...so I guess I'll wait and see what happens.

My only guess would be that showing the game load violates: "Infringing content – Video, images or audio content that is used without permission from the respective rights owner is not allowed", but how else can I show that the console will run games / the disc drive works?

If that is the case, wouldn't even showing a still image of the game (which is much less effective of proving working condition) also be a violation?

I was really excited to start using videos in my listings, but this is kind of a bummer, especially because I have already taken the time to make & edit like 10 videos of console, console related items, or consumer electronics to show they are working, but they all include a game, movie or music being played.

It makes sense for eBay to be using AI for video reviews, as a completely manual review process would be impossible to scale over millions of listings, but AI is only as good as the programming and processes behind it.

Does eBay have the talent and resources to execute this technology well? Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!