How to sell cars on Facebook Marketplace for auto dealers

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Millions of people shop for vehicles on Facebook Marketplace every day. This makes Marketplace a natural fit for auto retailers looking to promote vehicle inventory on Facebook. It is now possible for dealerships to list their inventory on Facebook Marketplace and reach more car buyers than ever before.

From our early tests, our clients have enjoyed a steady stream of enquiries from Facebook Marketplace for used car inventory, so it’s a good channel to prioritise for 2019.

Facebook Marketplace for auto retailers is still relatively new and we’ve had many questions from dealerships on how to best integrate Marketplace in their Facebook campaigns. In this blog, we aim to give an introduction to Facebook Marketplace for auto retailers and provide some guidance on how to use Marketplace to reach buyers at every stage of their buying journey.

Facebook Marketplace launched in 2016 as a local shopping platform and quickly started gaining ground on shopping sites such as eBay, Motors and Gumtree. In 2018 Facebook introduced ads for Marketplace giving businesses a real chance to reach customers who are actively shopping for their products and services.

When Facebook learned that a huge number of Marketplace shoppers were browsing for used cars, they decided to strengthen their Marketplace proposition for auto retailers with a number of new features. Facebook partnered with listing partners such as Cars.com in the US and Motors.co.uk in the UK to allow car dealerships to list their used car inventories on Marketplace.

This feature is only available in a limited number of regions at the time of this article being published in 2018 but there are plans to roll this out to a wider global audience.

As a Facebook Marketplace Listing Partner If you need help getting started, get in touch with us here.

Marketplace is a new feature for Facebook, so expect lots of exciting improvements in 2019 too.

Why use Facebook Marketplace for Auto Retailers

  • Increase your brand visibility

  • Reach in-market buyers

  • Allow buyers to browse your products and request information without having to leave Facebook

  • Respond to enquiries quickly with Facebook Messenger or a short instant form

  • Showcase vehicles and display useful information such as price, model and mileage

  • Target your audience with phone friendly listings

  • Offer easy and convenient search of your inventory - At the moment Facebook Marketplace allows buyers to filter results by Vehicle type, Price, Year, Make and Model, Body style, Mileage and Transmission making it quick and easy for potential buyers to find the right vehicle

  • Reach buyers with high buying intent - the Dealership Only filter on Marketplace allows you to cut through the clutter and reach people interested in buying from an auto retailer

How to list your used vehicle inventory on Facebook Marketplace

Here is how to get started with using Facebook Marketplace to promote your used vehicle inventory.

  1. In order to start taking advantage of Facebook Marketplace for auto dealers, you need to have an active Facebook business page.

    You can manually upload your inventory for free. If you would like to automatically sync your inventory with Marketplace, you will need to sign up with a Facebook Marketplace Listing Partner such as Driftrock. Find out more here.

  2. The Inventory partner will request access to your Facebook page in order to list your inventory on Marketplace.  

  3. If you are using a live chat provider you need to connect it to Messenger. Alternatively, your Marketplace inventory partner will set up instant forms so that you can hear from your customers.

This is what an instant form looks like on Marketplace

This is what an instant form looks like on Marketplace

How to create Marketplace ads

In addition to the free listings on Marketplace, you can also advertise on Facebook Marketplace as a placement.

The big advantage that Marketplace has over other ad placements is that majority of buyers on Marketplace will be actively looking to make a purchase and will therefore be more likely to convert.

Here is the step by step process of setting up a Marketplace ad:  

  1. Log in to your Ads Manager Account

  2. Choose any one of those as your objective - Brand awareness,Reach, Traffic, Video views, Lead Generation, Messages, Conversions, Catalogue Sales or Store Visits and click Continue

  3. Select your Destination

  4. Choose your Audience and targeting options

  5. Choose Automatic Placements or Edit Placements

  • Automatic placements option is a good way to ensure your ad shows at the placement that is likely to generate the biggest return on investment.  

  • Marketplace is not available as a placement on its own. If you choose Edit Placements bear in mind that Marketplace ads only work if they are available across different placements. Every Marketplace ad will also display in News Feed.

6. Set your budget or schedule

7. Choose the ad format

8. Click done when you are finished setting up your ad

This Marketplace listing uses a Facebook Messenger integration to answer buyer enquiries as fast as possible

This Marketplace listing uses a Facebook Messenger integration to answer buyer enquiries as fast as possible


Check out our Free Guide to the 6 Essential Automotive Facebook Campaigns for some inspiration.

How to manage Facebook Marketplace leads

It’s important to respond to your Facebook Marketplace leads as quickly as possible.

With Driftrock you can sync lead form leads to the correct dealership, with the vehicle they are interested in through to your DMS or CRM. Alternatively, you can also sync leads from Messenger Chat bot conversations in the same way.

Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more

What to expect in the future

AI improvements

In October 2018, Facebook announced New AI features aimed at making it even easier for people to find exactly what they need on Marketplace. A new camera feature that is currently being tested could potentially allow people to snap a picture of a product they are interested in and get recommendations for similar products for sale in their area.

Building a reliable, trusted community

Facebook is also use AI technology to analyse images, content and context and help detect and remove inappropriate content. Facebook is utilising to AI technology to analyse images, content and context and detect any content that violates Facebook policies.

Buyers and sellers on Facebook Marketplace can now rate each other on criteria such as friendliness and response time and leave feedback for improvement. This provides invaluable information and helps people make a decision on who to transact with.  

Facebook Marketplace is definitely a promising new channel for auto retailers looking to raise awareness and increase sales revenue.

Visit our auto dealer marketing page for more automotive dealer marketing resources and campaign ideas

Looking for your Facebook Marketplace Listing Partner?

With Driftrock as your Facebook Marketplace Listing Partner you can keep control over your listings and sync leads directly to your CRM or DMS or send them straight to your email inbox.