Facebook Marketplace is an excellent place to shop for a wide range of items. This social network app can be used by businesses and individuals to list a number of new or used items, including cars. Learn how this site works and how the Facebook Marketplace used car shopping experience compares with other online listing services.

How Facebook Marketplace Works

This online service is designed to connect buyers and sellers, but it offers little in terms of verification. Sellers upload photos and information, and Facebook offers search features to help you sort by price, make, model, or other features.

Once you find the used car you want, you need to personally contact the seller to arrange for a test drive. Negotiating, closing the deal, signing over the title and other steps are up to you. Facebook Marketplace allows dealers and private individuals to list vehicles, but doesn’t offer the same protection and verification of other online services. You need to research the necessary steps of buying a used car yourself, like securing gap insurance, obtaining the vehicle history report, and more.

5 Things To Know About Facebook Marketplace

You’re probably very familiar with Facebook, but have you ever searched for items on Marketplace? This helpful app allows you to quickly find and compare used vehicles in your area. It’s easy to set up a profile and list a vehicle, so many private sellers and dealers in your area may use this listing service. Here are five things you should know before placing an offer on a used car on Marketplace.

1. It’s Easy To Search for Used Cars

Facebook offers highly convenient search features for browsing used cars in your area. The convenience of searching on Marketplace means you can quickly sort out cars that you’re not interested in. View only the brand, price range, or other features of your dream vehicle.

The online service also makes it easy to see the seller. A seller with a Facebook profile is easy to connect with before and after the purchase in case you have questions or wish to purchase again from the same seller.

Check out sports cars you’ve been dreaming of or find a reliable SUV without the pressure of a dealership or face-to-face purchase. Direct messaging allows you to ask questions and set up your own meeting point before making an offer.

2. You Can Find Certified Pre-Owned Cars

Dealership-certified, pre-owned vehicles often come with an extended warranty. Financing can also be easier with a certified pre-owned car. Dealers can list these cars online and Marketplace's sort features lets you search for them specifically. Of course, you may pay more for a certified pre-owned vehicle from a dealer compared to a used car from a private seller.

Look for only private sellers if you wish to avoid dealer fees. You can’t avoid title fees, sales tax, and other fees associated with purchasing a used vehicle, but you can cut out dealership fees and other charges by working only with private sellers. A private seller, however, usually can’t offer the same warranty that comes from working with a verified dealership.

5 Things To Know About Facebook Marketplace Used Cars

3. Sellers Can List the Vehicle History Report

Be sure to view the vehicle history report of any used vehicle you purchase. Marketplace offers you a convenient place to connect with sellers where they can include the VIN and vehicle history report information. Ask to see these before you make an offer to confirm the information in the listing is accurate.

This report includes any accidents and verifies the current owner. It helps you verify the information on the listing and ensure you purchase a reliable car. Sellers who are unwilling to give you the VIN may not have created a dishonest listing, but they can’t offer you any proof of the information provided. Consider passing on a car if the owner isn’t willing to provide you with this information.

4. Marketplace Is Available on the Facebook App

One of the most convenient features of this online listing service is that you can access it through your Facebook app. Check listings on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or anywhere else you browse your social media channels. Messages and alerts are sent through the same app, keeping you conveniently in communication with sellers.

Connecting with sellers on an online listing service gives you a written record of all communication. You can clearly state your offer, handle negotiations and schedule a meetup in a way that you can look back over the information at a later date.

5. Some Listings May Be a Scam

While convenient for communicating with sellers, Facebook Marketplace may not be the most reliable way to buy a used car online. Sellers don’t have to upload their VIN or other information to verify they own the vehicle or that the information they put on their listings is accurate. This may expose you to a number of scams.

Marketplace is connected with Facebook profiles, but sellers may use a fake profile to list a vehicle. If you’re purchasing a vehicle from a seller you don’t know, use these tips to avoid a scam:

  • Meet in a public location
  • Ask for a vehicle history report or VIN
  • Ask to have a professional inspect the vehicle before making an offer
  • Bring a friend when you meet up to see the vehicle
  • Never make an offer without seeing and driving the vehicle
  • Sign a bill of sale
  • Be sure you have a clean title and possession of the vehicle at the same time you make the payment

These strategies aren’t foolproof, but they can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud. If you’re concerned with online used car scams, consider checking out a listing service that works with verified buyers, like PrivateAuto.

Shop for a Used Car From a Verified Buyer

Search PrivateAuto listings today to see how they compare with Facebook Marketplace used cars. PrivateAuto verifies the identity of sellers and ownership of used vehicles before allowing sellers to list their used cars. A seller must enter their VIN into our secure site, so you’ll only find used cars that are real listings. Shop for cars from dealers and private sellers today to get a great deal online.