eBay Leverages the Power of Augmented Reality to Simplify Shipping

eBay News Team

New AR feature for Android ARCore devices identifies which USPS Flat Rate Box best fits your item.

When shipping an item, finding the right box can be a hassle. Today, eBay unveiled a clever solution using Augmented Reality (AR) that enables millions of sellers to quickly select the best USPS flat rate box for items they need to ship.

Built on Google's ARCore platform, which enables high-quality AR experiences on Android, eBay is taking advantage of motion tracking and environmental understanding to place a real-world item inside virtual shipping boxes of various sizes. In the new Android feature, users select a box size, place the virtual box over their sold item, and move the box around the item to see a complete view of the product inside the box. This allows sellers to virtually see if an item fits inside any USPS Flat Rate shipping box before they choose the physical box or try to package the item.  

With 1.1 billion live listings on eBay, this new AR technology will ensure perfect packaging for items sellers need to ship. Whether sending automotive parts, a children’s backpack, or assorted kitchenware, the feature will help with accurate sizing for sold merchandise, save time that would be wasted scouring boxes at the local post office, and provide real-time calculation of shipping costs.

“By coupling Google’s ARCore platform with premiere AR technology built at eBay, we are continuing to make the selling experience more seamless,” says James Meeks, Head of Mobile, eBay. “This technology is just one example of the types of innovation we’re working on to transform eBay. It demonstrates our continual innovation on behalf our sellers to help them save time and remove barriers.”

To get started, simply:

  1. Open the eBay app

  2. Tap Selling

  3. Scroll down to the AR feature to help you pick a shipping box that fits

An early iteration of this AR feature came from employees during eBay Hack Week, an annual company-wide competition challenging our technologists to innovate and reimagine the e-commerce experience. Simultaneously, the mobile team had an idea to display boxes around items to indicate that they’ve been shipped. The two teams came together to share knowledge about their projects and then the mobile team developed the technology and partnered with Google to bring it to life.

This new feature is now live on Android ARCore-enabled devices. Download eBay’s Android app from the Google Play store here.