How to effectively find used cars on Facebook

Jun 25, 2022Digital Marketing

Facebook marketplace

Facebook was once simply an online forum for socializing, but is fast becoming so much more than that, especially for car dealerships. Yes, the social networking channel now provides automotive businesses with a whole new e-commerce platform, presenting those in the car industry with a powerful opportunity to easily reach a much wider audience. And it’s not just about selling cars on Facebook – with the used car market booming, the social media platform is now an ideal place for your dealership to discover pre-loved vehicles too. But how can your dealership effectively find used cars on Facebook?

Facebook Marketplace

If you’re wanting to find a used car on Facebook, then the perfect place to start is definitely Marketplace. With one billion monthly active users worldwide and one in three Americans admitting they regularly use the online forum, browsing Facebook Marketplace for used cars is a no-brainer. 

It’s easy to see why Facebook Marketplace has quickly become one of the most popular classified sites for used car buyers and sellers, and in fact, a firm favorite among Americans. After all, it’s easy to navigate and definitely provides dealerships with a safe and private space to browse and purchase used vehicles. 

Facebook Marketplace was first launched as the main competitor to Craigslist. And, once it had integrated with the current Facebook platform, it quickly rose in popularity and that’s because Marketplace had something that Craigslist didn’t, and that’s trust.

Marketplace is one of the safest and trusted platforms to use because the only way your dealership can communicate directly with the seller is via messenger, which means both parties must have an actual Facebook profile. But, don’t get too far ahead of yourselves – before you start browsing, here are a few tips from the experts at SnapCell:

  • Always communicate using your dealership’s Facebook profiles. However tempting it might be, refrain from using a personal account to communicate with vehicle sellers. Of course, feel free to browse for cars on your personal account but when it comes to actually contacting and communicating with the seller, we would always advise you to use your dealership’s profile. Why? Remember, you’re doing business here, and liaising from your personal Facebook account, could lead to things getting personal – and that’s the last thing you or any of your team members need. You should never ask staff to carry out conversations on behalf of your dealership from their personal Facebook account, or you’ll be putting their safety at risk.
  • Switch your account to business. If you haven’t already done so, make sure your dealership’s Facebook profile is a business page. Having a Facebook business page will allow you to effectively grow your dealership and brand while providing you with endless potential engagement opportunities across the globe. Better still, you can actually connect personal accounts to your business page, so you – and your staff members – can easily interact as your business by seamlessly switching profiles at the touch of a button.
  • Sharpen up your business’s Facebook page. If you’re looking for used cars on Facebook, chances are you’ll be making new connections – which means, potential new customers. Don’t waste these opportunities. Instead, be smart and make sure your dealership’s page is totally up to speed. This means all contact details are up-to-date, the basic information about your dealership is there, as well as your profile image and cover photo both being clear and relevant. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to be posting regularly with engaging content either.

It’s worth noting that you can’t actually directly purchase a car on Marketplace, but instead, your dealership must make contact and negotiate with the seller privately. 

Make sure you shop smartly

If you’re thinking about using Marketplace, then make sure you shop smartly. Just because it’s one of the most trusted online advertising agents, there are still risks involved – but, if you take a smart approach, these can be avoided:

  • Check the seller’s profile. There’s absolutely no point in pursuing communication with a seller if they aren’t legitimate. And, with an estimated 10 percent of Facebook accounts thought to be fake across the world, here are three ways you can instantly spot a sham:
    • The profile picture. If the person’s profile picture is of a celebrity or a perfect image, then you’re likely to be looking at a fake profile. Similarly, if they don’t have a profile picture at all, we would be hesitant to trust them.
    • Few or no friends. If the user has very few or no friends, then this rings alarm bells and you should avoid doing business with them.
    • Their posts are all links. If their posts are simply links after links, then their page is clearly fake and being used for promotion, rather than being a legitimate person.
  • Watch out for scammers. Due to the ongoing semi-conductor part shortage, the used car market still remains hot. With this in mind, it’s sensible to remember there might be scammers out there, trying to get their hands on your cash. While these might sound obvious, you can avoid scammers by:
    • Asking for the VIN. Ask the seller for the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), which you can then search for using a trusted website, to ensure the photos and description on the advert are real.
    • Always see the car before you pay. This goes without saying, but you should always make sure you see the vehicle first before you pay for it. Especially as industry experts, you’ll be able to spot any additional damage or concerns.
    • Stay safe. When you are visiting a seller in person, always take somebody with you – and never let one of your staff members go alone. For added security, it’s probably worth suggesting a secure, well-lit area to meet up. Just because you’re in the vehicle industry, doesn’t mean you’re not human – never put you or your staff at risk for the sake of a sale.

How to use Marketplace effectively

Marketplace really is so easy to use. Simply open Facebook and click on the Marketplace icon (it looks like a storefront). From there, click on the ‘vehicle’ category and start browsing.

Of course, with billions of Marketplace users posting adverts each day, you probably want to condense the results. Here’s how to narrow down your search, to make it more relevant to you:

  • Always check the ‘used vehicle’ box. You’ll notice on Marketplace there is a drop-down category called ‘condition’. As you are searching for used cars, you should check the ‘used’ box, to avoid any new vehicles appearing. This will prevent you from wasting time scrolling through vehicles that aren’t relevant to your needs.
  • Search for a specific vehicle. Are you looking for a specific model? If so, there’s a search bar ready and waiting for you. All you have to do is search for the vehicle you’re after and the results will appear. You can then filter the results further by editing the finer details, including location, minimum and maximum price, and of course condition (which in this case, would be used). It might be that you’re looking for a brand, rather than one model. If this is the case, then you can use the search list (below the ‘make’ tab) to filter out one or more vehicle makes.
  • Sort by distance. It might be that you’re not necessarily fussed about the model or make, but instead are just trying to increase your fleet of used cars. If this sounds familiar, then add your location and radius – the radius will determine how far sales are from your dealership.
  • Customize your search. In fact, one of the reasons so many people like shopping and selling on Marketplace is because of its incredibly easy usability. With so many different filters available, you can customize the search to suit you and your dealership, right down to the finer details, like interior and exterior color, as well as body style.
  • Search by trends. With so many filters available to narrow down your search, it’s a good idea to keep on top of vehicle buying trends and then explore nearby used vehicles for sale accordingly. For example, with the price of fuel booming, drivers are likely to be looking for smaller, gas-efficient cars – so use this information and search Marketplace for these types of vehicles for sale. And if research predicts certain models, makes and body styles will be popular, why not get your dealership in the fast lane by adding these cars to your fleet?
  • Use the ‘notify me’ feature. If you are proactively searching for a specific model on Marketplace, then be sure to make use of the ‘notify me’ feature. This will allow you to add further details, like distance from your dealership, as well as price, and then be notified when vehicles that fit your criteria become available.

It’s time your dealership started using Marketplace 

We all know that for dealerships, Facebook Marketplace is an extremely powerful tool – not just for buying used cars, but for selling vehicles too. Optimize engagement with potential buyers by adding video to your vehicle listings using SnapCell. With statistics proving the power of video, adding clips to your vehicle listing is a must – especially with a recent experiment revealing a video advert generated nearly 500 percent more clicks than a still image. Created by automotive professionals, with automotive professionals in mind, the SnapCell app allows users to seamlessly create high-quality clips at the push of a button. Schedule your free SnapCell demo today.

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