Meta recently announced that starting on January 30, 2023 they will no longer support the ability for dealers to create vehicle listings on Facebook Marketplace using Facebook Business Pages. Additionally, Facebook will be removing the vehicles tab and manage inventory tab in all markets where those features are currently available.
This move by Meta is not exactly surprising. In September of 2021, Meta took away the ability to automate the upload of inventory feeds, effectively ending most dealer listings on Facebook Marketplace. Without a dedicated person or team, the manual uploading and managing of the listings became too much work for most dealerships. As a result, consumers that were using Facebook Marketplace to shop for a boat were met with frustration due to out-of-date listings, and the sharp decrease in dealer listings overall. The deprecation of Marketplace Listings for dealers had begun.
After January 30, 2023 only individual profiles will be able to create Marketplace listings. This new reality is frustrating for dealers who now will have to utilize individual user accounts to leverage Marketplace listings. I fear this change will continue to exacerbate the poor user experience with customers no longer being able to clearly identify dealer listings vs boats listed by individuals on a “for sale by owner” basis. I do recommend dealers have their salespeople list inventory on Marketplace from their personal profiles, but I would also be very transparent in the listing details that the boat is for sale by dealer as to not confuse the shoppers.
There is good news though, dealers will still be able to reach these shoppers through paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Octane’s product BoatFuel puts your boats front and center on Marketplace and Newsfeeds for in-market shoppers. We automatically scrape inventory from our dealer’s websites multiple times each day and leverage those feeds to power dynamically generated ad units that are customized to each shopper’s buying journey. If they are in-market for a pontoon today, but start considering bow-riders tomorrow, their ads will adjust to their ever-changing preferences and begin injecting bow riders into the ads they see.
If you have any questions on these upcoming changes to Marketplace, or would like to learn more about our product BoatFuel, please reach out and we will happily schedule some time to connect!