Montana Auto Dealerships React To Facebook Marketplace Changes
Facebook's parent company Meta recently announced changes to it's popular Marketplace, which would make it impossible for auto dealerships with Facebook Business accounts to post their listings to Marketplace. In Montana, we spoke to several auto dealerships on how this change would affect their businesses.
The move is clearly an attempt to incentivize businesses to spend more money on ads through Facebook as the social platform's stock continues to drop to closer to $100/share:
When the new policy takes effect on January 30th, 2022, it seems reasonable to expect a rise in what many Montana car sales professionals already do: post the dealership's listings in Marketplace under their own personal pages, like HERE and HERE.
Anthony, a sales professional with Lithia Ford of Missoula, says that the change to Marketplace wouldn't affect him much as it isn't the only way to sell cars:
I would say among the sales people, some of us like to use it and some use Craigslist or rely on phone opportunities so I think it depends on each person. I use it sporadically, I kind of like it.
He also mentioned that a can-do attitude is vital with an ever-changing digital landscape:
I can use Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, TikTok, whatever the case is. It's always evolving, always changing. You just have to be flexible and adaptable. Not everything goes your way but you can just improvise, adapt, overcome, think on your feet, be flexible. Not everything's gonna be the way you want it to be.
However smaller businesses like Axmen Auto in Missoula will be hit by the change much harder. Justin Thompson, Axmen's General Manager says that a majority of his sales come from his listings on social platforms like Facebook and Craigslist:
It's great for the small guy at home who wants to sell his vehicle but for somebody who's trying to run a small business and keep a few employees, it's hard to flip a dollar with the supply and demand of cars lately. I can sit here at home and post every car for sale personally but if I try to do it under our Axmen Auto Facebook page or through our software, Facebook won't allow it.
Thompson uses a tool which allows him to post his listings to Facebook and Craiglist simultaneously. The changes from Meta will force him to either post his listings one at a time from his personal page or spend money on Facebook Ads, which would pile on top of the $5/post Craigslist requires. Like many Montana businesses, these changes will impact his bottom line.