eBay wants to make selling your phone as easy as sending a text. In a patent application, eBay describes some of the challenges of selling on its platform. Time consuming, burdensome, and inaccuracies are among the challenges it describes:
"Many electronic marketplaces allow individuals to list various items for sale. To list items for sale, users may be required to enter information about their items, which may be time consuming and/or inaccurate. Some individuals may find the time it takes to list an item for sale in a marketplace as too burdensome. Moreover, inaccuracies in a listing can lead to a number of problems including a lack of trust between buyers, sellers, and the marketplace."
Given the higher average selling price of used electronic devices, and the pace at which people upgrade, it's not surprising eBay devotes resources to trying to make reselling them easier.
For electronics, eBay envisions making the listing process as easy as sending a text in part by allowing marketplaces to extract specifications of the device from metadata that accompanies the text message, including the device's serial number.
In a graphic, it describes the process as follows:
- Receive a message from a user device with component metadata.
- Parse the metadata.
- Determine a sales price for the user device from the metadata.
- Create a product listing for the user device in a marketplace.
- Send an indication to a user that a listing has been created.
- Receive approval from the user.
- List the user device in the marketplace.
Digging deeper, the patent describes the use of a "user profile database" to ease the listing process - among the information eBay imagines such a database might include is the following:
- Demographic data: age, gender, ethnicity;
- Behavioral data: "a shopping history, a purchasing history, items most recently viewed, items most recent items purchased, items most recent items placed in a virtual shopping cart but not purchased, preferred shipping options";
- Personal and financial information: user location and "credit card information, listing information, an address, a telephone number, etc."
The patent indicates the user profile database might also include listing preferences: "The listing preferences of a user may include auction preferences, auction duration preferences, shipping preferences, store front graphics, store name, user name, comments, ratings, payment preference, or some combination thereof."
The patent application is found on the USPTO.gov website
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