How many sellers will be impacted by eBay Subtitle fee increase?

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eBay announced in their eBay UK Autumn Seller Release that the fee for the eBay Subtitle feature is to double from £1 to £2 as of the 6th of September 2018.

This means that any of your eBay Good til Cancelled listings that renewed over the past week that carry the eBay Subtitle listing enhancement will renew after the 6th of September and if you do nothing you’ll be billed an unexpected £1 extra come your October invoice.

The 6th of September is a Thursday, so you’ll need to remove the Subtitle feature from your listings in the first few days of September if you decide that the increased fee makes Subtitles uneconomical. However as it’s the middle of August and sellers may well be on their well deserved summer holidays we’d suggest reviewing your usage of Subtitle now or at least setting a diary entry to remind you to review them in the first week of September.

We wanted to know how widespread the usage of Subtitles are so did some research on eBay. In the last 90 days:

  • From 6,703 fixed price listings for new Laptops, 2,349 (35%) listings carried the Subtitle listing enhancement
  • From 13,907 fixed price listings for new vacuum cleaners, 3,803 (27%) listings carried the Subtitle listing enhancement
  • From 2,822 fixed price listings for new bicycles, 247 (8%) listings carried the Subtitle listing enhancement

These are only a couple of examples from the many hundreds of thousands of categories available on eBay, but does indicate that a significantly large proportion of eBay sellers still use eBay Subtitles.

Are eBay Subtitles worth the investment?

We strongly suspect that eBay increasing the fee for subtitles is to discourage their usage. From this we can conclude that Subtitles have little influence on conversions and don’t add the value that sellers assume they do. Often, we see Subtitles that carry messaging not immediately related to the product, such as ‘UK Stock’, ‘Fast shipping’ or ‘UK Seller’.

Unless you can unequivocally demonstrate that eBay Subtitles are increasing your conversion rates then we would strongly suggest that you remove them from your listings prior to the 6th of September. There are other listing promotions which are likely to pay greater dividends and one idea would be to reinvest what you spend on Subtitles in eBay Promoted Listings. With Promoted Listings you’ll have access to metrics telling you exactly how well (or badly) your investment is working and they have the advantage that you’ll only pay when you get a sale.

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