Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Oct 17 2016 10:07:07

eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

By: Ina Steiner

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Parlez-vous Francais? eBay wants shoppers from all over the world to be able to shop from sellers no matter where they're based, and it's using automatic translation tools to facilitate such trade. It's also investing in new technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve its language-translation capabilities.

Not only may eBay show your listings to international shoppers in another language, it may also be translating your messages. Last year, eBay changed its User Agreement to give itself the right to automatically translate member-to-member messages into local languages.

eBay isn't alone - Etsy also uses technology to translate sellers' listings into other languages, as we noted as far back as 2013.

Such initiatives could add to sellers' bottom line by driving more sales. On the other hand, it has the potential to increase the incidents of misunderstandings and claims.

Have you noticed any differences in overseas buyers asking questions and purchasing your items? And have you noticed any negative ramifications from online marketplaces pushing to bring your listings to shoppers all over the world?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 17 10:22:09 2016

They can translate until the sun don't shine. WE DON'T SELL INTERNATIONAL AND NEVER EVER WILL.

Its bad enough the bozos here don't read a description I can't imagine what kind of translation ebay is giving the foreigners.

Nope no way no how.

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Oct 17 11:13:07 2016

They continue to give me reasons that make me thankful that I no longer sell internationally on their site. Forcing sellers to accept international returns AND pay for return shipping drove me away from it, but based on additional changes it makes me thankful that I stopped. I've more than made up for it with revenue that I have generated elsewhere.

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Oct 17 17:31:41 2016

I can envision it now -- non English speakers return items at sellers' expense claiming SNAD because ebafia's not so intelligent translation mistranslated something in the product description.

As one who speaks four languages including English occasionally, translation programs often produce incomprehensible gibberish.

If ebafia wants more international sales, then THEY MUST PROTECT SELLERS and offer a reasonably priced global shipping program rather than the ripoff they have now.

Buyers should be compelled to accept whatever applicable laws exist in the United States NOT where they live and NOT contrived ebafia anti sellers policies.

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 17 18:49:56 2016

As is so with everything the weed eBay has become, this too, stems from the same root.  

They have deemed it so, without cause and without due process, that the seller's item, simply because it is offered through their portal, is theirs to do with as they choose, and as they recon proper.

Every show, every tell, every issue, every hue and cry and concern (EVERY one) grows from this same baseless claim.  Take it or leave it on those ever fluid terms is their only justification.

This, only the latest, is just another branch on the poison plant they tend, denying any venom exists even as those who still choose it for sustenance cannot help but choke; their very lives and livelihoods yet again put to risk by those with only black thumbs.

Until this root is eradicated, no matter how it may otherwise be dressed or embellished, one's only choice will be to eat it, pretending gratitude, or grow one's own garden.

Plain English.  Choose.

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Oct 17 18:50:11 2016

Totally agree with Ming. Since eBay always seems to find a way to turn everything into a disaster, I can only imagine what sort of translations they will offer. And sellers would have zero chance of protecting themselves since whatever eBay wrote would, I am certain, be covered under their policy that the seller is responsible for what is in the listing (even when the seller didn't author it).

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Oct 17 22:12:01 2016

@ FeelingFroggy

Ditto

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 19 06:17:29 2016

They can translate until the sun don't shine. WE DON'T SELL INTERNATIONAL AND NEVER EVER WILL.

Its bad enough the bozos here don't read a description I can't imagine what kind of translation ebay is giving the foreigners.

Nope no way no how.
^^
THIS!

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

by: toyman This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 19 10:26:34 2016

Actually, after the most recent price increase on International shipping, by the USPS, we don't have too much opportunity to have a bad experience, because International Buyers can't afford the close to 100% hike in prices.

We sell 4-5 pound items. They used to ship all over the world for roughly $30. Now it's over $58.00 for the same items.
That's how you kill a thriving overseas business.

And they wonder why the USPS can't figure out how to make a profit.

Bad decisions, bad decisions.

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

by: fifilapew This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 19 10:32:55 2016

Basically, we all want more sales, n'est ce pas?
Perhaps ebay should spend OUR hard earned funds on purchasing more server space so our listing are visible 24/7

I do ship Internationally. Without the GSP. ALWAYS with tracking and insurance, no first class parcels
Approximately 25% of my sales are from International buyers. These buyers have been most appreciative and gracious to be able to acquire high end vintage collectibles. I do however have certain countries that I will absolutely not ship to as stated in listing and blocked in my ship to areas on listing page. I will cancel a transaction if need be due to country I do not ship to

ebay REALLY wants all sellers to use their overpriced GSP hence the lack of protection on International sales. The typical scare tactic...'use our GSP and we will protect sellers, if not you're on your own'

However, intelligent International buyers KNOW they are getting ripped off from ebay using this program. Many will not buy from a seller who utilizes GSP

sellers are stuck between a rock and a hard place

ebay needs to be the hosting site they claim to be (when in a court room that is) and leave the business side to it's sellers. After all, we are the ones who have our time, money, energy invested into OUR own business. If I wanted a partner, I'd have one who will give me more funds for more merchandise and not a dictator 'partner'

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 19 11:19:23 2016

As far as messages, I have always sent them in English and the buyers language (based on the country). I have used online-translation software to do this.

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 19 11:20:27 2016

The effort by Ebay, as far as my items are concerned, is moot, since I have stopped almost all foreign shipments.

Perminate Link for eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone   eBay Is Translating Your Listings - and It's not Alone

by: bpm This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 22 11:59:26 2016

I can spot the buyers who dont speak English from the appalling trasnlations Ebay offers up - so I just reply to them in their own language by Google translating my response in English to their language, then translate the result back into English to see if it makes sense, then tweak and translate back again until the result is clear; so, it's a rinse/repeat/rinse/repeat translation process.

I do not use contractions in those responses, I don't use slang, and I avoid words with more than one meaning. Most recently a Russian customer who spoke no English complimented me on my responses in Russian as "the best Russian he'd ever heard from an Englishman". I don't speak any Russian, and I'm not English.

I dread to think of the incomprehensible cr*p Ebay must be sending out this way.



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