Why does Kelly Bluebook underprice cars?

Is it due to not taking into account rarity and want? I have seen many vehicles priced almost dreadfully cheap but they always sell for higher. Also this is annoying because then you get people "Quoting" the Bluebook value for your car when you KNOW it's worth well over what's stated.


Also generally the only cars of mine that sell for TOP KBB are the really crappy reamed out ones. Generally they sell for well above what's quoted.

8 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    Actually, you have the Blue Book, Red Book, and Black Book...

    The Blue Book lists the "accepted" value of a particular car based on several catagories. Rarity and Desireability are only two of the benchmarks. This is the Book used by the Insurance Industry because it lists the Lowest Value.

    The Red Book is the one the Dealerships use to establish the sales price of a car, and that price can be modified by conditions...for example, a $50,000 used car that has dents, dings, and extensive body rust would probably sell for less than $20k, despite the fact it is listed as being worth more than double that.

    Then you have the Black Book, which not too many dealers have access to, that lists the "actual" value for said model of car in good or better condition.

    In any case, as with in other industries, the books are a GUIDELINE only. Consider them a Starting Point and not an End Point.

    Good Luck!

  • Otto
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    No "book" establishes value. There are several factors that come into play when determining what a car is worth. Condition, rarity, desirability and reliability being just a few. It boils down to a car is worth what someone will pay. I have seen cases where the book price is much higher or lower than the vehicle actually sells for. They are simply a guide and no price is set in stone.

    Source(s): A mechanic for over 45 years.
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    In my area, MOST, but not all cars bring more at dealer only auctions than KBB private party values.

    KBB is FREE and its worth what you pay for it.

    Black Book is the REAL value guide and its wholesale prices tend to be higher than KBB for most of the cars I dealt in. (Under $3500)

    Ive wondered if that is because I live in the deep south and our cars don't tend to have rust issues whereas, a similar car up north could have lots of rust.

    If you are buying, you want to use whatever you can to get the seller to sell for less. If you are selling, you want to use whatever you can to justify a higher price.

    KBB doesnt buy or sell cars. At least Black Book valuations are based on ACTUAL wholesale auction sale prices.

  • 3 years ago

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  • 3 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Call it what you want, but when comparables are selling for what you are selling your car for then there you go. Who cares what people say, YOU OWN THE CAR not them. However if other cars just like yours are selling around the book value, you have to look at yourself and see if you are pricing it right. Sometimes the book is not necessarily right but gives a good estimate as to how much you should pay. In the end its your decision.

  • 10 years ago

    You can negotiate, and KBB is just an estimate. Sometimes it is farther but mostly it is closer to the truth.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    kbb is a rough estimate of value and not set in stone. compared prices of what other are selling and price yours accordingly.

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