Blue Book Value
The Used Car Invoice!
The Kelley wholesale blue book value is by far the most used, of KBB's four used car values, by car dealerships, their used car managers and their finance managers.
It is not only the most important value to dealers, but is the most important value to the consumer as well; although, most consumers don't realize it...But how could they when the car dealers and Kelley keep it such a secret.
This is the value that you'll definitely want to know well if you are looking to get a really good deal on your next used car and to be sure you are getting top dollar for your trade in.
A Car Dealers Magic Number
The wholesale blue book value of a used vehicle, as defined by me, is the maximum cost (after repairs and reconditioning) a dealer wants to own a used car for.
In other words, a dealer would inspect a used car they are considering buying and subtract from the wholesale value all the expected reconditioning costs, transportation costs, etc., plus extra profit and that would be the number they would pay to buy the vehicle.
The Kelly wholesale blue book value is where all the "Magic Happens," so to speak.
Unfortunately for consumers, and to be expected, the wholesale values are not available for free and are only available to subscribers...Usually car dealers and auto lenders.
In fact, when reviewing Kellys website (after clicking on the "Kelly Blue Book Values" link) I could not find any mention of the wholesale value.
The Other Values
Retail, Private Party and Trade In are the other three Kelly Blue Book values and Kelly shares these values for free on their website.
Dealers will occasionally use the retail blue book value, but rarely, if ever, use the last two values.
How The Wholesale Value Is Used
Dealerships use the Kelly wholesale blue book value when buying cars from:
- The Auction
- Other Dealers
- Customers (trade ins)
and for structuring loans for some of the nations top auto lenders.
From Your Point of View
From a customers stand point, it is so important to know this value, because it gives you a way to figure the ever elusive used car cost of a dealers vehicles.
It also gives you a great way to value your own trade in to be sure you are getting a fair trade in value.
Of course, a dealers cost of a used car will vary from dealer to dealer and car to car, but to get in the ballpark of what this cost is can save you thousands!
It will also help to eliminate those after the sale worries of "Did I get a good deal, or did I just get screwed?"
Once you're done here, I'd highly recommend reading my Used Car Values guide to learn to figure a dealers used car cost.
Two Ways To Figure
The Wholesale Blue Book Value
So how do you go about figuring the Kelly wholesale blue book value? It's actually quite simple and I'll show you two ways to figure it.
Keep in mind that this is not an exact science and may vary from vehicle to vehicle, but will get you really close to the wholesale number...
Add the Kelly Private Party Value to the Kelly Trade In Value and divide by two.
Figure 75% of the retail blue book value.That was easy!
Now that you've got the "Magic Number" figured out you can use the wholesale number similar to how you'd use a new cars invoice.
Just like you'd want to buy a new car for invoice, or close to it, you'll want to try and buy used cars for wholesale, or pretty darn close to it. Consider the wholesale value to be a used cars invoice.
There are two things
to keep in mind however:
#1 A new cars invoice does not fluctuate on a weekly basis, up and/or down, like Kellys wholesale blue book value will.
#2 The dealers cost of a used car can vary due to repair(s) or reconditioning costs that were necessary to get the car sale ready.
Keeping those factors in mind, when you use the wholesale number as a used car invoice, it's safer to consider it a "flexible" used car invoice.
Other Cost Factors
There are also other factors that may influence a car dealers cost that may be of great benefit for you to know and those are covered on my Used Car Values page.
All in all, it is important to remember that Kelly Blue Book is just a guide and should be used just like that, a guide.
Even though Kelly is just a guide, knowing the wholesale blue book value of a car you are looking to buy and the ability to roughly figure a car dealers used car cost is some extremely powerful information that gives you a huge upper hand.
After all, the Kelly wholesale blue book value is the number dealers and Kelly work so hard for you not to know and now you know why.
Return from Kelly Wholesale Blue Book Value to KBB Guide
Go to Insider Car Buying Tips home