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Facebook has started a push to attract car dealers into their Facebook Marketplace which is powered by Oodle. The image shown above was part of an email solicitation campaign that reach one of my dealer clients to offer their automotive advertising package.
According to the Facebook marketing website, your subscription with Oodle Pro will display your cars on Facebook as well as a number of other websites in the Oodle network. Do you think that Facebook could create a competitive automotive marketplace challenge to Autotrader.com and Cars.com?
Here are some excerpts from the Facebook Marketplace website:
If anyone has been using the Facebook Marketplace for their car inventory, please share your results. I am familiar with the Oodle network outside of Facebook but not their ability to market cars within Facebook. I was also a bit suspicious that they are hawking this service to advertising car inventory on Twitter and MySpace, which qualify for "Weak Ideas of the Week".
Once you reach Facebook Marketplace, you can click on Cars in the top navigation as shown below which pops up a box to help you narrow down your search criteria.
Once you click on "submit" you will see a listing of cars for sale, not unlike any other automotive advertising portal. So I clicked on a 2007 Chevy Cobalt that appeared in my list, and this is the Vehicle Detail Page I was presented.
I wanted to experience how I would communicate with the seller so I clicked on the RESPOND button at the top of the listing and I had to give Facebook Marketplace access to my profile. This is where things started to go off the tracks for me. Recently I accepted an App that wreaked havoc on my friends so we have to assume the Marketplace will not abuse this access.
Once I granted permission to access my profile, a message box appeared which will allow me to contact the seller as shown below:
I decided to look at car dealer listings that appeared for my search and Sheehy Ford of Springfield appeared in the list. The car did not have any photos and in fact, all the dealers that I saw on the first few pages had photos missing. Here is what the Vehicle Detail Page looked like:
This is one ugly Vehicle Detail Page in my opinion. Since I gave access to my profile, the form at the bottom of the page to contact the dealer is pre-filled with some bacsic information from my profile.
As you can see from the pricing chart below, you can list up to 500 cars a month for $499 if you go month to month. If you want to syndicate more than 500 cars, you need to request special pricing.
So what do you think about Facebook Marketplace for automotive advertising?
The Marketplace application was very slow from my computer so I would like some feedback is speed was also an issue from your PC.
Our recent survey of automotive shoppers indicated that "ease of use" of the shopping interface was the most important factor in selecting a website to shop for a car. This current version falls short in my opinion of creating a positive shopping experience. What do you think?