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Enterprising Seller Uses Cat in His Photos; A Turnoff?

Enterprising Seller Uses Cat in His Photos; A Turnoff?


This blog post of AuctionBytes calls out a seller on eBay who has been using his pet cat to get attention on his listings. It seems to be working: according to the Forbes article that features the story, seller Tim Dombrowski has been getting "plenty of messages, about three per day," he says.

It started out as an accident; "As I took my pictures," Dombrowski says, his cat Mercedes started wanting more attention and sitting next to his items, "so I just started using her to pose,” according to the piece. “Then she started to stand up, really hamming it up good."

The cat is apparently becoming a celebrity, according to AuctionBytes. But while this whimsy is reminiscent of the old-school days of eBay, when quirkiness reigned, it begs the question, are pets in product photos a turnoff?

Generally sellers mention their items come from a pet-free and smoke-free home, if they mention the environment at all. And many folks shiver at the notion that their item may come with any kind of pet hair and dander. But, as AuctionBytes points out, the items Dombrowski is selling are antiques and collectibles, so less likely to be affected by any kind of squeamishness.

But how would you feel about seeing a pet in a product listing? Would it turn you off whether it was a collectible or an edible? I once wrote a piece for EcommerceBytes about a cat that had been photographed by a seller of tea; that seems a definite no-no. Or is this kind of thing something that can bring more fun back to eBay? What do you think? Post a comment here!

Will Image Search Become a Thing on eBay with Its Acquisition of Corrigon?

Will Image Search Become a Thing on eBay with Its Acquisition of Corrigon?


There has always been a ton of stuff to search for on eBay.  Now it looks like there will be coming a new way to search, by image. Image searching is something people have been doing via Google's search for a while now when they have an item that they can't find by searching on words describing it.  If you have a "whatzit," as the Kovels used to call it, or a thing that you don't know what it is, you could plop the image into the Google search and select "images."

In the announcement of the acquisition, eBay said, "eBay has signed an agreement to acquire Corrigon Ltd., a pioneer of visual search technologies. Corrigon helps identify objects within an image, matching both visual and textual elements to ensure that the image is recognized, correctly classified and best-matched to its corresponding product. With more than one billion live listings on eBay’s platform, Corrigon's expertise and technology will help match the best images to their products so that shoppers can be confident that what they buy is exactly what they see."

And, "As we continue to evolve the eBay shopping experience, Corrigon's technology and expertise will help buyers find the best results when shopping on eBay through experiences that were not possible a year ago, before our investments in structured data,” said Amit Menipaz, Vice President and General Manager of Structured Data at eBay. “Corrigon represents eBay’s third acquisition in the structured data space this year, further underscoring our commitment to powering deeper inventory insights for our sellers and compelling new user experiences for our buyers.”

Sometimes words alone cannot describe a thing adequately, and that's where image search comes in. There also may be some subtle differences between, say, one type of antique sword and another, and that's where the image search technology could come in to help someone find just the item they are looking for,

I have sometimes advised friends to do an image search on Google if they are not sure what that item they picked up at an estate sale is.  What do you think the acquisition of Corrigon and its move into visual search will mean for you as a shopper? Or even as a seller? Is it something you anticipate using?  Post a comment here!