KBB.com: Kelley Blue Book Revises, Relaunches Its Web Home

May 29, 2011

It’s like an old friend receiving a makeover. In this case, the old friend is online at KBB.com.

Most buyers or sellers of cars, trucks, or SUVs have crossed paths with Kelley Blue Book in the past. KBB.com is the industry standard for valuing pre-owned vehicles. The makeover that this “old friend” just received is not simply cosmetic with a better social media-friendly interface. The changes are substantial and put new and useful shopping tools in the hands of consumers who use the Internet to make sure they are getting more than a good deal when buying their next vehicle.

Kelley Blue Book has spent the last 18 months researching and testing its new website. There is more white space on every page, which translates into a simpler look and feel. But don’t confuse simplicity with a less efficient site. On the contrary, a vast array of information is now at the user’s fingertips after just a few clicks, versus ten or twenty or more to get the same information using the previous website.

Example: used car pricing

 Let’s take the example of someone wanting to value a used car. They may be buying or selling. The new system quickly walks you through the selection process to get to the vehicle you need pricing on. However, you are now presented with a new page that offers centralized information. You have the option of clicking on tabs for the “overview” perspective of the vehicle you’re looking at, or for photos of the car, detailed specs, KBB expert reviews, consumer reviews, or ratings.  

You always have the option of leaving this detailed information and following the money, or in this case going straight for the monetary valuation of the pre-owned vehicle.  All the old favorites are still here: private party or trade-in values, as well as the suggested retail value. Another new feature: you are told how many of these vehicles are for sale in your geographical area, including how many are priced below Blue Book value. Follow this link and see a detailed list of vehicles for sale in your area.  

Example: new car pricing

Consumers looking for new car pricing on KBB will be pleasantly surprised with new information that helps make shopping at dealerships more transparent than ever before.  The new, visually-pleasing pricing page offers the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and the dealer’s invoice cost. But the most useful feature is the new “Fair Purchase Price.”

The Fair Purchase Price is the price that other consumers are actually paying for the vehicle. The figure that KBB provides is based on actual transactions from thousands of franchise dealers across the country. And it’s the exact information that consumers need most when they walk into their neighborhood car dealership.

Most consumers want a fair deal. They don’t want to be ripped off or taken advantage of. If they know what other car buyers are actually paying for the same car they want to buy before they walk into their local dealer’s showroom, it provides a level of transparency that is priceless. It’s also a practical negotiating tool that helps let the buyer know when to say “yes” or walk away.

The new car pricing pages use the new interface that puts tons of information at the reader’s fingertips. Just like the used car section, new car shoppers see an overview page, or can look at photos, specs, expert or consumer reviews, and ratings for the vehicle in question. However, the new car section also allows the reader to compare more than one vehicle side-by-side. There is also a “rebates and incentives” tab to make sure you don’t miss out on every discount coming to you.

Social media

Finally, KBB has made its new website social media-friendly. Readers can easily forward new or used car information to social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter. After all, if you’re buying or selling a vehicle, it’s good to take advantage of the help and support your family, friends, and others may be able to provide on your favorite social media website.

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