Alternatives to Facebook Marketplace for car selling. Which is better: Motorway or Facebook Marketplace?

    alternatives to facebook marketplace

    Two prominent brands in the online car sales space are Motorway, a dedicated car-selling platform connecting private sellers with car dealers, and Facebook Marketplace, the social media brand’s classified ad platform, which it developed following the huge growth of ‘buy and sell’ Facebook groups. 

    Both Motorway and Facebook Marketplace are free to use and connect car sellers with car buyers – but they have very different business models and levels of customer care.

    This article looks at the sales methods, target demographics, and other key factors that can help sellers quickly and easily secure a great price for their cars and vans.

    How do you sell with Motorway? 

    Motorway specialises in providing a stress-free selling experience, principally by connecting sellers with more than 5,000 verified car dealers throughout the UK. It is also an entirely free service for sellers. 

    The process begins with a simple online valuation. Sellers enter their reg on the website or in the Motorway app (available in the App Store and Google Play Store) and are then provided with an instant estimated sale price based on up-to-the-minute market data. 

    They are then prompted to answer a few easy questions about their car or van and guided through the photos they will need to take to complete their vehicle profile. It can all be done from their phone – in a matter of minutes. Once the seller has created an online profile, they can add their car to Motorway’s next available online daily sale – which is usually the following day.

    Motorway's car selling app
    Motorway’s smart tech helps you get professional quality photos of your vehicle uploaded, which make dealers more likely to offer.

    Motorway’s network of verified dealers browse the vehicle profiles of all the cars and vans in the daily sale. They submit their best price for the vehicles they want to buy. At the end of the sale, the seller is emailed their vehicle’s best price – and if they are happy to approve the offer, they can do so with just one click. 

    Once the sale is agreed, the seller can arrange a convenient time and place for their car or van to be collected – for free – by the dealer. Then the money is quickly and securely transferred to their bank account.This method ensures quick and convenient sales with cars typically selling for more than they would at ‘instant car-buying’ companies, which usually purchase vehicles for the lowest price possible so they can resell – for a profit – at auction. 

    How do you sell with Facebook Marketplace?

    Facebook Marketplace has gained popularity since it was launched in 2007, due to its prominence and wide user base.

    Primarily a general classifieds platform, Facebook Marketplace lacks specialised features tailored to the unique requirements of car sellers. Essential aspects such as vehicle history reports, robust inspection systems, and secure payment gateways are absent, making it challenging for buyers to make informed decisions and meaning that many sellers struggle to get a decent price.

    Unlike dedicated car-selling platforms, like Motorway, Facebook Marketplace can cause problems as it lacks comprehensive verification and safety procedures – as users are not subject to any vetting and are largely anonymous. This absence allows potential scammers and unscrupulous individuals to pose as genuine buyers – putting sellers at risk. Moreover, the platform’s heavy reliance on user-reported issues for identifying illegal behaviour and scams often leads to delayed intervention or insufficient protection against fraudulent activities.

    The absence of a comprehensive feedback and review system on Facebook Marketplace also hinders the ability to assess the trustworthiness of buyers and sellers. This limitation further exposes both parties to potential risks. It sets it apart from other online sales platforms, such as eBay, where it is possible to assess users based on ‘scores’ from previous transactions.

    Facebook Marketplace
    Using a free classified listing site like Facebook Marketplace can boost your chances of selling privately – but with the lack of vetting on the social media site, it’s not always clear who you’re talking to.

    Whilst Facebook Marketplace offers convenience to users, it falls short in ensuring safety and reliability in car sales. Though it does have a huge user base, only a fraction of users are actively searching for vehicles at any one time.

    As an extension of the popular social media website Facebook, Marketplace is well-known to attract casual browsers. As a result, car sellers may encounter a higher number of non-serious buyers and time-wasters either making lowball offers or with little intention of buying. Relying solely on this platform may limit your potential buyer pool, reducing the chances of finding a suitable buyer for your car.

    Who do you sell with if you use Motorway? 

    Motorway is used by sellers who prioritise speed and convenience, while also seeking a fair price for their car or van, based on its actual market value.

    In contrast to ‘instant car-selling’ websites, which typically purchase vehicles at low prices to resell at profit at motor auctions, Motorway sells exclusively to a network of verified car dealers. These dealers compete to provide their best price for vehicles of interest. The platform also strives to offer sellers a seamless experience, eliminating the hassle of private negotiations and time-consuming admin tasks.

    Motorway provides its services completely free of charge to sellers. Moreover, for added convenience, once the sale is completed on the platform, the seller’s car or van is collected from their specified location, such as their home or workplace, at no additional cost. There are no admin or service charges either. The seller receives 100% of the price paid by the winning dealer for their car or van.

    Who do you sell with if you use Facebook Marketplace? 

    Facebook Marketplace’s huge user base means that all ads do have the potential to be seen by a wide range of potential buyers. Whilst this broader audience can increase the exposure of the seller’s listing, it also means it faces stiff competition – and car and van adverts must strive harder for visibility.

    This can be mitigated if sellers are willing to invest time in researching the ‘best practices’ of writing online car ads to maximise engagement on crowded listings pages.

    Conducting negotiations through Facebook Messenger can also be problematic. It can be challenging to track and manage offers, counteroffers, or negotiate effectively remotely. This can lead to inefficient communication and a prolonged sales process.

    Moreover, since the buyers on the website are not vetted, they can be anyone. This means sellers need to be cautious of potential scammers.

    Employing the following techniques can help ensure sellers find a buyer who is on the level:

    • Setting up a video call – showing their face on a Zoom or Google Meet video should help to confirm that the buyer’s Facebook profile is accurate.
    • Requesting the buyer’s phone number and address – any legitimate buyer shouldn’t have any issues sharing these details since they will eventually need to ask the seller for their own details to collect and pay for the car.

    Discussing payment options – there are several ways to receive payment when selling a car, but a bank transfer remains the most secure. If a buyer comes up with excuses or tries to convince the seller to accept a cheque or cash instead, it should be seen as a warning sign.

    selling your car privately
    When you’re selling your car privately, you open yourself to multiple would-be buyers, not all of them legit.

    Once a seller finds a buyer on Facebook Marketplace (assuming they do), they will then need to handle all the subsequent admin tasks themselves, including organising inspections and test drives.

    As with selling anything via a classified ad, once interest has been shown by a potential buyer, that marks the conclusion of the platform’s role in the process. Taking care of post-sale admin can be stressful and time-consuming, potentially involving further negotiation and haggling with the buyer when they arrive in person to inspect the vehicle.

    How do I get the best deal on Motorway?

    Motorway handles this aspect of the process for sellers, linking them with a network of verified car-buying companies that compete against each other to provide their ‘best price’ for vehicles of interest.

    Through Motorway’s ‘blind bidding’ system, which promotes a competitive environment, sellers can typically ensure they obtain the true market value – and a fair price – for their cars and vans.

    best car deal
    Motorway only sells cars and vans to verified dealers that have been rigorously vetted before being allowed to use the platform – this means safe sales for sellers.

    How do I get the best deal on Facebook Marketplace?

    Facebook Marketplace relies on negotiations between private sellers and potential buyers. Whilst this offers flexibility, it can be time-consuming and uncertain. Sellers may also need to haggle with buyers to reach a mutually agreeable price.

    Though an advert is free on the platform, you will likely need to research how to get the best results when creating it to ensure it gets noticed amidst a sea of similar adverts. You may have to put time into crafting the perfect advert for your vehicle, including writing a pitch and taking great photos. On Motorway, however, clever automation in the vehicle profiling app take the hard work out of the equation.

    getting the best from Facebook Marketplace
    When you’re selling your car privately, you open yourself to multiple would-be buyers, not all of them legit.

    How do I get more money on Motorway?

    By adding a competitive edge to car buying with their blind bidding system, Motorway can get better prices for sellers.

    Unlike classified ads, instant-car-buying websites, or online auction sites, Motorway helps sellers show their vehicle’s true value with a comprehensive, modern, and easy profiling system, and prompts to help you take great photos. 

    Unlike most other free services, it connects sellers with verified car dealers. These companies are willing to pay a premium for well-maintained, privately-owned cars and vans – and this gives sellers a better chance of quickly securing a higher sale price. 

    When a dealer has offered for your vehicle, this price is secure based on the profile you submitted, including detailed questions about maintenance and condition. When they come to inspect and drive away your car, you’ll get that full price sent straight into your bank account.

    How do I get more money on Facebook Marketplace?

    There are plenty of potential buyers visiting Facebook Marketplace trying to find a great deal. It’s also free to use, so you don’t have to worry about the cost of advertising.

    However, Facebook Marketplace’s massive size and lack of specialism may be a hindrance rather than a help for sellers. With its vast number of sales channels and lack of vetting, car ads are often lost in the crowd – often amongst myriad other ads for cars and vans that are priced unrealistically. Consequently, it can be hard for sellers using the platform to connect with serious buyers.

    Unlike Motorway, Facebook Marketplace does not have a built-in mechanism for ensuring sellers receive the best possible price, the negotiation process depends on the seller’s skills and ability to engage in price discussions – often remotely, using channels such as Facebook Messenger.

    Whilst some sellers may successfully negotiate higher prices, others may find it challenging to close a deal at their desired price. Or find the hands-on nature of bartering with strangers awkward and stressful. Not to mention, actually getting paid what you’ve agreed through messenger is another challenge.

    Motorway's TV advert
    Sell with Motorway’s network of 5,000+ dealers who compete to give you their best price.

    What’s the best way to sell my car?

    If you’re thinking about selling your car quickly and easily, at Motorway we offer a simple – and completely free – method of getting the best price when selling, whatever the model.

    Just enter your reg and you will be provided with an instant, free valuation based on up-to-the-minute market data. To profile your car on our app or website, all you need to do is answer a few questions by clicking on the correct answer. There’s no need to write out an ad for your car when you sell with Motorway. We’ll also guide you through the photos you need to take to complete your vehicle profile. It can all be done right from your phone – in a matter of minutes.

    If you choose to enter your car into a daily sale, it will be shown to our nationwide network of more than 5,000 verified dealers looking to add to their stock of used cars. Interested dealers will then compete to buy your car, offering you their best price.

    In as little as 24 hours you will receive your best offer – and, if you choose to go ahead with the sale, your car will be collected for free by the dealer and the money will be quickly and securely transferred to your bank account. 

    Time to sell your car?

    Want to learn more about owning, maintaining, and selling your car? Check out more of our guides here, covering everything from finding buyers, to negotiating a good price, and completing payment safely.