Best PracticesDealership Marketing

Are your Facebook Marketplace listings being hijacked?

Over the last few weeks we’ve discovered some FB Marketplace activity by third parties that is not pro-dealer. Third parties are posting the dealers inventory, in many cases without their knowledge, and hi-jacking the traffic back to the third party site.

Some really disheartening tactics by major players, hopefully the do an about-face. Here’s the post:

Facebook Marketplace LI post 1-14-2021.png

There are only two kinds of Facebook Marketplace vendors, the ones that link your inventory listing back to your website (good), and the ones that link your inventory to their website (not good).

Let’s face it, FB Marketplace is pretty much a commodity. Everybody offers it, but dealers rarely inspect their listings. Dealers should immediately audit their inventory and find out what the customer experience is, and where shoppers are being directed.

The attached screenshot shows three major providers who are funneling your shoppers to their 3rd party site. Does it make sense to provide your inventory to a third-party so they can then hijack your Facebook marketplace listings, sending shoppers to their website portals, and then taking credit for those conversions?

Even worse, once those shoppers are taken to the third parties, they can easily shop your competitors! No way, choose a solution that funnels the shopper to your website for conversion.

Also, stop allowing multiple vendors to send your inventory to FB Marketplace, you only need one vendor who will channel those shoppers back to your site.

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George Nenni Principal Consultant Generations Digital

jscole86

Boss
Mar 2, 2011
149
110
First Name
Josh
Posted this earlier today on LI, getting some good comments and action by dealers. Over the last few weeks we've discovered some FB Marketplace activity by third parties that is not pro-dealer. Third parties are posting the dealers inventory, in many cases without their knowledge, and hi-jacking the traffic back to the third party site. Some really disheartening tactics by major players, hopefully the do an about-face. Here's the post:

View attachment 5262 There are only two kinds of Facebook Marketplace vendors. the ones that link your inventory listing back to your website (good), and the ones that link your inventory to their website (not good). Let's face it, FB Marketplace is pretty much a commodity. Everybody offers it, but dealers rarely inspect their listings. Dealers should immediately audit their inventory and find out what the customer experience is, and where shoppers are being directed. The attached screenshot shows three major providers who are funneling your shoppers to their 3rd party site. Does it make sense to provide your inventory to a third-party so they can then hijack your Facebook marketplace listings, sending shoppers to their website portals, and then taking credit for those conversions? Even worse, once those shoppers are taken to the third parties, they can easily shop your competitors! No way, choose a solution that funnels the shopper to your website for conversion. Also, stop allowing multiple vendors to send your inventory to FB Marketplace, you only need one vendor who will channel those shoppers back to your site.
Which 3rd party vendors did you see doing it? We use Homenet to post to Facebook Marketplace, but prior we had Cars.com doing it and they linked to VDP on website.
 

georgenenni

3rd Base Coach
Apr 13, 2012
161
124
First Name
George
As you can see from the screenshot, we’ve seen this from Cars.com, Edmunds and Carfax. Not pictured, we’ve also seen from Carsforsale.com. Another concern not mentiooned in this post is the Carfax approach, with their “Carfox highly tuned AI bot”, which answers every question from “Is this vehicle still available?” to “What is the capitol of South Dakota?”, by pushing a lead form to the shopper. This is completely contrary to FBM best practice, but cannot be turned off. Instead dealers should immediately request the feed from Carfax to stop. Carfax claims 50% of these engagements result in a lead into the CRM, which is a scary notion, since the other 50% left in frustration. Even worse the Carfox bot keeps peppering shoppers with lead form requests, I’m still getting chirped at by the fox this morning from my dealer demo of this issue yesterday. Carfax should pause this bot right away, as well as be transparent with their dealers, vs turning it on automaticall, even for dealers with legitimate FBM feeds.
 
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jscole86

Boss
Mar 2, 2011
149
110
First Name
Josh
As you can see from the screenshot, we’ve seen this from Cars.com, Edmunds and Carfax. Not pictured, we’ve also seen from Carsforsale.com. Another concern not mentiooned in this post is the Carfax approach, with their “Carfox highly tuned AI bot”, which answers every question from “Is this vehicle still available?” to “What is the capitol of South Dakota?”, by pushing a lead form to the shopper. This is completely contrary to FBM best practice, but cannot be turned off. Instead dealers should immediately request the feed from Carfax to stop. Carfax claims 50% of these engagements result in a lead into the CRM, which is a scary notion, since the other 50% left in frustration. Even worse the Carfox bot keeps peppering shoppers with lead form requests, I’m still getting chirped at by the fox this morning from my dealer demo of this issue yesterday. Carfax should pause this bot right away, as well as be transparent with their dealers, vs turning it on automaticall, even for dealers with legitimate FBM feeds.
Thanks for clarifying, for some reason the url's were blurry in the screenshots on my computer.
 

umer.autojini

Rust & Dust
Apr 13, 2009
164
43
First Name
U
Yes, very sad... that dealers don't realize that third party will take the traffic back to its own portal instead of dealership website.

IDK if it is without their knowledge... as the dealership needs to allow access to the page to post as the dealer to marketplace.
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,868
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Jeff
Yes, very sad... that dealers don't realize that third party will take the traffic back to its own portal instead of dealership website.

IDK if it is without their knowledge... as the dealership needs to allow access to the page to post as the dealer to marketplace.

I would say it's a combination of dealers not being aware and not know exactly how MarketPlace works.
 

umer.autojini

Rust & Dust
Apr 13, 2009
164
43
First Name
U
it's is just a big problem... either vendors (me) have not educated the client/sold them junk, the turn over at the dealership... or just lack of no one taking charge of things... what are we dealing with 20-30+ vendors for online marketing... look at the mix for inventory feeds, DMS, Lot Management Companies, Pricing Tools, Website Vendors, 360 Vendors, Video Vendor, Inventory Managers, Distribution, PPC companies, chat vendors... just thinking about this hurts... and no wonder... its like just f*** it, its at least up their... :)
 
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jwittler

Green Pea
Mar 20, 2020
10
17
First Name
Jacob
Hey everyone, Jacob from Cars.com here. Just wanted to provide some clarification on this topic:

  1. This VDP design on FB Marketplace rolled out late last summer. It incorporates the provider inventory link in addition to the dealer website link. Previously there was only one link provided and it was completely dependent on if the inventory was connected to the providers FB business page or to the dealer's.
  2. Facebook currently does not allow inventory providers the option to showcase one link or the other. It is a default setting that looks for a match on both the dealers website and any digital real estate that the feed provider has, and defaults a VDP link to both. We have confirmed with our partners at Facebook that we do not have the option to turn it off at this time (nor do other providers).
  3. When we provide multiple outbound links on Cars.com (one to the dealer website, one to the VDP), we see on average a 40% INCREASE in referral activity vs just having one. While I understand many would prefer just a single link, keep in mind that the dual approach does have its benefits.

Having been a part of the working team that brought Cars.com's Marketplace service to fruition, I can attest that ensuring the solution was dealer centric was (and always is) paramount to our efforts. We actually were second to market because we took the extra time to work through a dealer Facebook page connection and release in that manner.

Hopefully this clarifies for the Refresh Community!
 

umer.autojini

Rust & Dust
Apr 13, 2009
164
43
First Name
U
Jacob... please clarify #2, are you saying that dealership website URL and Vehicle Website URL on facebook would be the same?
 

jwittler

Green Pea
Mar 20, 2020
10
17
First Name
Jacob
Jacob... please clarify #2, are you saying that dealership website URL and Vehicle Website URL on facebook would be the same?
Happy to clarify - dealership website url points back to the dealership website (pulled directly from the business page integration) and the vehicle page points back to the providers vehicle page. I'll also candidly note its not my favorite verbiage in terms of the link labelling, but again this is all dependent on Facebook UI decisions.