Facebook has just announced new partnerships with many popular online auto dealerships and expanded car sales in the Facebook Marketplace. Their goal is to make the service a more popular and reliable sales channel for consumers and keep users inside the Facebook ecosystem.
The Facebook Marketplace is a relatively new addition to the world’s most popular social media network, launched in October 2016. If you are completely unaware of what this service is, it’s basically Craigslist on Facebook. People can buy or sell whatever they want, from their vehicles to, yes, their collection of Beanie Babies. Now the social media behemoth wants to reshape the online car buying process.
The Marketplace will currently allow you to search for vehicles by make, model, year, mileage, and price. The option for even more strict searches will likely be coming in the near future, but, for now, these preliminary tools should be enough to help you narrow down what you’re looking for. You will be able to browse the full inventory of a partner dealership, get information to contact the dealer directly, or even use text chat to communicate via Messenger—no doubt Facebook’s preferred option. According to the company, we should expect to see these new features added over the next few weeks.
The providers that have agreed to partner up with Facebook at this time include Cars.com, Edmunds, Auction123, SocialDealer, and CDK Global. The Marketplace will also show used car values pulled directly from Kelley Blue Book to stabilize pricing. Aside from going to the dealerships directly, I think that this method is probably the most reliable way to get a good price for what you’re looking for. You don’t have to worry about the seller backing out, and you know that what you see online is what you should get upon purchase.
Personally, I would be happy to take a look at some of the cars that are being offered. When it comes to going through with a purchase, I might be a bit more skeptical. That skepticism would have nothing to do with the Marketplace, but rather my need to physically touch, inspect, and drive a vehicle for a long period of time before making up my mind. For those of you that would arrange a third party inspection or trust in the warranty, the Facebook Marketplace now has a viable alternative to other online sales channels.