eBay have announced in the Autumn Seller Release that from the 6th of September 2018, the fee for using the subtitle feature is doubling from £1 to £2, per listing. This applies to listings in all categories except Motors.
Subtitles are still an incredibly popular feature, despite their decreasing visibility across the site. For starters you won’t see subtitles on the eBay mobile app search results and you also won’t see them on the desktop site in gallery view. Pretty much the only places that you’ll see them are on the desktop search results list view and on the item page itself.
How to view the subtitle fee hike
There are two ways that you could view the doubling of the subtitle fee by eBay. The first is the conclusion that most sellers will jump to, that eBay are simply looking for ways to gouge more fees from sellers. This could be a legitimate conclusion but perhaps there is another explanation…
eBay have very few options open to them to influence seller behaviour. One option is to mandate policy or end of life features to force sellers to change. The other is to use fees to either encourage or discourage certain actions. We suspect that this is the case with subtitles – they probably aren’t as relevant as they used to be and many sellers will be using them in less than optimal ways. eBay are simply saying think very very carefully about your use of subtitles and use them judiciously and sparingly.
When to edit your listings to remove the subtitle
We would suggest that if you don’t want to pay the increased £2 subtitle fee that you edit your listings either immediately or during the first five days of September. As it’s likely that many sellers have Good Til Cancelled listings that will automatically renew, there is a high chance that if you forget you could be hit for hundreds or even thousands of pounds in unexpected listing fees as they roll over from the 6th of September and onwards.
If you decide to keep subtitles then make sure you know which listings they are on and be certain that they are performing for you. If you have a listing for a relatively expensive item with deep inventory and a high sell through rate then, even with the cost doubling, subtitles may be worth the investment. If in doubt, edit your listings and remove them.