Facebook Marketplace Is Better Than Craigslist For Car Shopping

For the better part of a decade, Craigslist has been my go-to source for all questionable automotive purchases. It has served me well for years (I haven’t died once!), but now—even though I remain obsessed with the List-O De La Craig—Facebook Marketplace has become primary junker search site. Here’s why.

The primary reason why I prefer Facebook marketplace to Craigslist is the fact that I can stalk the seller before ever looking at a car in-person. Unlike Craigslist, there’s no anonymity here; if you want to sell your car, you’ll have to provide a link to your personal Facebook profile.


Take this two-door four-cylinder Jeep Cherokee, for example.

I know this is being sold by someone named Beth Malugin from New Baltimore, Michigan. If I want to (of course I do), I can click on Beth’s Facebook profile and allow my inner judgements to run wild as I try to determine whether this is the kind of person I’d like to buy a red two-door four-cylinder Jeep Cherokee from, or if she’s really going to murder me and harvest my organs.


If I do decide I’m interested in this Cherokee, all I have to do is click the “message seller” button on the bottom of the posting, and then I can ask Beth questions all about the inevitable rust spots on her Michigan Jeep; if she has a messenger app on her phone, there’s a decent chance Beth will see the questions as soon as I send them.

I don’t have to email her with a strange fake email address, I don’t have to try to decipher the weird alphanumeric phone number she embedded in the post, and I don’t have to worry as much if I’m going to be murdered upon arrival. It’s great, really.


I’ve found that on Facebook Marketplace, there are a lot fewer strange, cryptic posts that seem like they were written by third-graders. I think that lack of anonymity makes people pull their shit straight and try to hook some words together into coherent sentences. (Though I will admit, there’s something charming about poorly written Craigslist listings).

I also dig the fact that on Marketplace, I can really dial in my location, and narrow results to within a certain number of miles from me. Even if I live in a podunk little town, I can still plug in my zip code and see which junkers are nearby. With Craigslist, I can look at the nearest city, but that’s about it.


Selling cars is also easier, as everyone has a Facebook page, and not everyone wants to deal with setting up a Craigslist post, opening up the confirmation email, and clicking it to make the post go “live.” Facebook is already an integral part of most people’s lives, which is why it appears that Facebook Marketplace is really taking off.

Between the stalk-ability, precise location-based searches and the ease by which a seller can set up a post, I’ve now turned to Facebook Marketplace for all of my shitbox needs.

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About the author

David Tracy

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).