Are you still using the eBay Subtitle Feature now it costs £2.00?

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The eBay Subtitle feature fee is to doubled from £1 to £2 on the 6th of September 2018 and if you’re still using it then it may be one of the reasons that your eBay invoice is significantly higher than it would have been in the past.

The Subtitle feature is obviously one that eBay thinks has little impact and this would be correct if you look at most search results on eBay as you don’t get to see it. It’s not present in gallery view and you won’t see it on eBay’s new Product Based Shopping Experience pages either. Practically the only place that a buyer will see your subtitle is if they are looking at your listing on eBay.

Our latest check of eBay invoices reveals that on listings or new Laptops, the subtitle features is present on 27% of listings, down from 35% in August. We also see a small reduction in the feature on listings for new Vacuum cleaners down from 27% to 23%. Contrarily, when we check how many listings for bikes carried the subtitle feature in August it was only 8% and the usage over the past two months has risen to 15%.

Doubling the fee from £1 to £2 might be expected to discourage it’s use, but looking at the numbers it’s hard to see a massive shift in seller behaviour over the course of the past two months. This may of course change once they start to see their eBay invoices, the first of which with the increased fees will have already been issued, regardless of whether you are billed mid-month or month end. If you haven’t already, we’d recommend taking a quick look at your latest eBay invoice and checking how much you’re spending on the Subtitle feature.

Our recommendation would be that you strongly consider discontinuing or at least downscaling you usage of the Subtitle feature on your listings. At £2 you could be better off investing the money into eBay Promoted Listings to buy visibility in ways that are more likely to be seen by buyers and, more importantly, eBay Promoted Listings has a clear visibility on your return on investment through reporting – with subtitle there’s very little you can do to measure how much it impact conversion rates.

There is no easy way to ascertain how many sellers use the subtitle feature and of those that do whether they use it on every listing or just a proportion of their listings. What is easy to see is that the usage of the subtitle fee is widespread across all categories – in a search for a wheelbarrow on eBay, 11 out of the first 50 listings (22%) carried the subtitle feature and on product so mundane it’s really hard to see the justification.

2 Responses

  1. I used to use it on every one of my antique listings. I believe(d) it helped me stand out from the crowd. Now I only use it on items which I’m certain will sell for a large amount of money.

    Hopefully that will suffice to bring people into my store to see my less expensive items.

    I can’t use Promoted Listings on Auctions.

  2. I’ve removed it from most of the listing that had it and kept it on a few key items (8). The change is probably a good thing as I’ve assessed ones that probably didn’t need it and the outcome is cheaper overall invoice.

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