Facebook Marketplace reported nearly 250 million stores and a million active users worldwide in 2021. The platform's popularity has steadily risen since it was first introduced.
Facebook Marketplace is a one-stop for selling or buying everything from household items and clothes to furniture and cars. For example, selling a car on Facebook Marketplace can be a great way to offload an old car or make some extra money.
But it's easier said than done. You'll need some initial guidance if it's your first time using Facebook Marketplace to sell something.
An Overview of Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is a Facebook feature that allows users to buy and sell items with people in their local area. You can find it by opening the Facebook app and tapping on the Marketplace icon (it looks like a little shopfront).
Previously, Facebook had groups where people posted items they wanted to sell, but Marketplace makes buying and selling much easier. In addition, prospective buyers can get in touch with you through Facebook Messenger.
There are many benefits of selling a car on Facebook Marketplace. Some of them include the following:
- Extended reach: With 2.9 billion active monthly users, there's a good chance you'll find a buyer for your car on Facebook. Plus, Facebook is among the social media platforms where users spend most of their time. So, you can expect messages from interested buyers in no time.
- Faster sales: Unlike some classified sites, people on Facebook Marketplace are usually ready to buy. If you're looking to get rid of your car quickly, this may be the right way.
- Personalized experience: The Facebook algorithm shows interested buyers the products they have previously searched for. Thus, buyers are more likely to find what they are looking for on Facebook Marketplace.
- More interaction: Since all the communication happens on Messenger, you can get to know the buyer better before making a sale. You can also build trust and rapport, leading to a smoother transaction.
Although there are many advantages to selling on Facebook Marketplace, you might come across some shortcomings, too, including the following.
- No protection: Facebook does not offer any buyer or seller protection. Since it's a peer-to-peer platform, buyers and sellers are on their own.
- No vetting: Anyone with an email address can sign up for Facebook and create an account, and it's hard to know who you're dealing with. Buyers may not show up or may not be who they say they are. That’s why you need to be wary of fraudulent buyers.
- No customer service: Facebook does not get involved in the transactions between buyers and sellers. If there's a dispute, you have to handle it yourself.
The Vehicle Listing Process
Now that you know the basics of Facebook Marketplace, let's look at how to list your car. Note that the process may differ based on your unique circumstances. However, here are the standard steps you must follow to ensure a smooth sale.
Start by taking good-quality photos of your car from different angles. Include shots of the front, back, sides, interior, and engine bay. It's also a good idea to take close-ups of any damage.
Make sure the photos are well-lit and in focus. Avoid using filters, as they can distort the colors. You don't necessarily need a professional photographer for this. If you have a high-quality phone camera, you should be able to take amazing images.
Once you have all the photos, upload them to Facebook. We recommend using your computer to upload the listing, as it makes the process much simpler.
Details: Year, Make, Model, Mileage, Title Status, and More
The next step is to write an accurate and detailed description of your car. Here are some details you should mention:
- Make, model, and year
- Trim level
- Exterior and interior colors
- Title status
- Transmission type
- Fuel type
- Any damage or wear and tear
After adding all the relevant information, proofread your listing carefully. Be honest about the condition of your car. If there's any damage, mention it in the listing.
Here, you can write a more detailed description of your car. Include information like why you're selling the car and what sets it apart from similar models.
You can also talk about the frequency of oil changes, recent repairs or replacements, and other maintenance work. If you've done any modifications, mention them here as well.
The key is to present an accurate listing that gives the prospective buyer a clear picture of what they're buying. The more detailed your listing, the more likely you will make a sale.
Finally, you need to set a price for your car. To do this, research the value of your car using an online service like Kelley Blue Book. You can also check out classified ads to see how much similar cars are selling for.
Once you have an idea of the value, set a price that's in line with the market. Remember that you may have to negotiate with the buyer, so don't set your price too low.
You should also check the prices of similar vehicles on Facebook Marketplace. If your car is priced way higher than others, it's unlikely to sell.
After you've set a fair price, you can post the listing. Expect some questions from potential buyers in a few hours or days. Be patient and answer all their queries honestly.
Best Practices for Selling a Car on Facebook Marketplace
Selling used cars on Facebook Marketplace can be a bit tricky, considering the lack of vetting and customer support on the platform. Here are some best practices for listing cars for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
Post Quality Images of Every Angle, Feature, and Flaw
A prospective buyer relies on photos to determine whether they want to inquire about a car. In most cases, people only start reading the description if the images catch their eye.
Make sure every photo is high-quality. How do you do that? Here are some tips:
- Wash your car before taking photos.
- Take the photos in good lighting. Natural light is the ideal option. But, if you have to use a flash, ensure it doesn't wash out the colors.
- Try to take the photos from different angles. Include close-ups of features that might be appealing to buyers and any flaws that should be noted.
- Take photos of the interior, including the trunk and engine bay.
- Use a tripod or place your camera on a level surface to avoid blurry photos.
Don't only highlight the flashy features of your car. For example, if there's a dent or a scratch that you've mentioned in the description, make sure you have a picture of it, too.
There's no standard for what a 'tiny scratch' means. For you, it may be unnoticeable. But for the buyer, it could be a dealbreaker. A picture of the said scratch will give the buyer a better idea of what to expect.
Include Thorough and Detailed Descriptions
Once you've managed to woo prospective buyers with your stunning photos, it's time to give them the nitty-gritty details about your car.
Start by stating the basics: make, model, year, trim, color, and mileage. Then, move on to the more specific details about your car that will help the buyer make a decision.
Here are some things you should include in your description:
- The car's condition — whether it's mint, fair, or needs work
- Any modifications or aftermarket additions
- Service history — When was the last time you changed the oil, brake pads, tires, etc.?
- Accidents — How many, when, and what kind?
- Warranty — What does it cover, and for how long?
- Receipts — For any recent repairs or mods
- Safety and emissions test results, if available
The key is to be as transparent as possible. As a private seller, you have to deal with your own disputes, since Facebook does not step in as a mediator. It's best to avoid creating misunderstandings by being as detailed as possible in your listing.
You should also include information about the car's title. If it's a clean title, say so. If it's salvage, rebuilt, or has any other issue, make sure you mention that.
If there is a loan on the car that needs to be paid off, add that to the description. Likewise, if you include extras like winter tires, write it in the description.
Provide Potential Buyers With the VIN Number
One of the best tips for selling a car on Facebook Marketplace is to share the VIN with prospective buyers. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a 17-digit code that uniquely identifies every car. Think of it as a fingerprint for your car.
The VIN can be used to get a car's history report. For example, here's what the 17 characters tell about a car:
- First digit: Final point of assembly or country of origin
- Second digit: Region and manufacturer
- Third digit: Indicates manufacturing division or vehicle type combined with the first two digits
- Fourth to eight digits: Vehicle's transmission type, engine code, model, restraint system, and body type
- Ninth digit: Check digit that helps detect fraudulent or wrong VINs
- Tenth digit: Shows the year of production (only applicable for vehicles after 1981, since the VIN system was not standardized before that)
- Eleventh digit: Shows the manufacturing plant of vehicle assembly
- Twelfth to seventeenth digits: Production serial number of the vehicle
It's a good idea to provide the VIN in your listing so prospective buyers can get a car history report. It will give them peace of mind and build trust, making them more likely to buy the car.
If you're not comfortable giving out this information due to fraudulent buyers, you can only share it with potential buyers. For example, if someone is interested in your car, you can give them the VIN after they've given you their name and contact information.
Be Authentic and Honest
The first rule of selling a car on the Facebook Marketplace is honesty and authenticity. If you try to hide anything about the car or mislead potential buyers, you will only end up getting into trouble.
For example, if you say your car is in perfect condition but it has a few scratches, the buyer will be disappointed when they see the car in person. It could lead to disputes or, even worse, a legal issue.
Sometimes, you're not intentionally misleading someone. Rather, you forgot to proofread your listing or include all the relevant details. Make sure to double-check your listing before you publish it.
There you have it! We hope that the tips, tactics and information laid out in this blog post have proven to be helpful for you. Most importantly, we hope that this has given you some insight into how Facebook Marketplace works and why it is such a thriving resource for people looking to buy and sell products around the world. With these tips, you will be able to navigate your way through Facebook Marketplace with confidence, knowing that you are optimizing your chances of successfully selling your vehicle!
This article was provided by Caramel. Caramel's mission is to change the way people buy and sell cars from one another – making the entire experience safe, simple & sweet. The first car checkout platform designed for private party buyers and sellers, you can find or list your car anywhere & use Caramel to handle everything else. That includes DMV work, secure payment, identity verification, vehicle reports, financing, delivery, insurance, vehicle protection & more.