Over the last couple of months we have made sourcing used vehicles from consumers on Facebook Marketplace a key focus here on the VAN Blog. The reasons why have almost everything to do with the rapid growth and popularity of the online marketplace. But there is another significant factor as well.
Back in September we looked at one surprising key to sourcing vehicles on FB Marketplace - transparency.
In a recent conversation with VAN Co-Founder Tom Gregg during our monthly best practices and training webinar, the company President stated, “We've seen a transition from platforms that have a reputation for having zero to very little transparency into who the buyer and seller are, e.g. Craigslist, AutoTrader, Cars.com to name a few. These platforms, when you are peer-to-peer and buying from each other, there is little known about who these buyers and sellers are.”
Well, consumers have spoken clearly that they want transparency, they want to know who's on each side of the transaction.
Platforms like Facebook Marketplace have taken a significant percentage of the total volume of listings because, as Tom explains in the video, “when you're looking at buying a product and its peer-to-peer, you can see who it is. You can see family photos, interests, political affiliation...you know who you are dealing with before you actually engage.”
We've seen a significant number of increased listings on Facebook Marketplace so it's really important for dealers to evolve their process to be in a space where the private party sellers are.
“If you're not then you're simply missing all of these opportunities,” - Tom Gregg
Navigating Facebook Marketplace
FBM has a huge volume of listings, but for someone to go through them all individually every day or week to find what you need would not be efficient for a dealer looking to source vehicles. This is where a tool like VAN becomes useful.
VAN does all this for you. You program it to find what you are looking for and communicate with customers on Facebook, but then update all your notes and contact info inside of VAN, like a “full featured CRM,” says VAN Director of Learning and Development Mark Curcio in a recent conversation.
“One of the great things about the new VAN platform,” explains Curcio, “is aggregating all the FBM listings and identifying which ones match the dealer’s search criteria.”
How are dealers engaging with consumers on Facebook Marketplace?
One pain point for many dealers with Facebook Marketplace is that you must be logged into your Facebook account as an authenticated user to search listings and engage sellers. “Many dealers find this constraining,” Mark says, “because it is difficult to manage the communication.”
But that is a requirement for using the online marketplace.
Consider a Professional Facebook Profile
Last month on the blog we talked about how to contact private party sellers on Facebook Marketplace with Used Car Manager Brent Faron. In the video, Brent explains that contacting sellers from your personal profile goes a long way with customers because of transparency and being personable.
And as you can hear Mark in the video below, dealers who are using FBM with a professional profile are finding the most success with this.
“I see tremendous upside for dealership opportunities to engage in Facebook Marketplace,” says Curcio. “The ability to communicate with active consumers inside of a market is something that we really support here at VAN through both our messaging system and our listing aggregator.”
Contacts Us Answers
For more information about how VAN can help you source used vehicles from private party sellers on Facebook Marketplace, contact us today to set up a conversation.