eBay’s app will soon use image recognition to automate listing trading cards

Do you have a stack of Magic: The Gathering cards in storage somewhere? With the game’s “modern” format, you’re likely to be sitting on at least a few that might be worth selling. One of the most popular places to buy and sell trading cards online is on eBay. What keeps most people from parting with their collections is that it can be time consuming to list every single card. However, eBay has a plan to speed up the process. In an announcement that flew under our radar until Gizmodo picked her up this morning, eBay said it was updating its Android and iOS app with image recognition capabilities.

Starting later this month, Magic: The Gathering will allow you to point your phone at a card and the app will automatically fill in most of the list for you. The feature will be launched in May with Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards and then other games and trading cards sometime later in the year.


The company says you can list a card in about half the time it takes to manually put a card up for sale on the website. You first create a list and in the search bar enter the name of the game that the map came from. At this point, the app will prompt you to “Tap to search with your camera”. Pointing your phone’s camera at the card will bring up a list of possible matches. The nice thing about it is that the app automatically populates the list with details like the name of the card, the set, the type, the rarity and a lot more. It is then up to you to add photos, describe the condition and finally set a price.

Unless you want to buy and sell cards on eBay, a feature that can save you time listing your collections doesn’t seem like much. But until you find out how many cards are listed on eBay every day. In the past year, more than 41 million new cards have been listed on the platform, with approximately 119 cards going up every minute. Once you add that up, people can spend a lot of time playing their favorite game instead of the hassle of entering data.

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