• Sep 8, 2010
Kelley Blue Book has been arming car buyers and sellers with vehicle pricing information since 1926, but the Financial Times claims that the privately owned company is looking to sell, with wo sources familiar with the matter saying KBB has hired a bank to handle the sale.
Interested in buying? Plan to have somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million to $1 billion on hand. You'll also likely have to bid against some of the industry's heaviest hitters. One of the news-leaking bankers tabs AutoTrader as the lead bidder, with both eBay and Google likely to be in the fold. Since nobody from KBB is commenting on the record, we don't know why the company is selling, but the KBB.com website has experienced a decline in traffic from nine million visits per month to about seven million over the past three years. KBB is family owned, though no members of the Kelley family currently work in executive management at the company.

[Source: Financial Times]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think if Google bought them it would be kind of cool... you could just Google your make, model, and year and get an estimated value, with a link to advanced options or something.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks for showing us how to use "Google" as a noun and a verb.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What kind of idiot gives a price range that varies by half a billion dollars?! Oh, wait... ;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sadly, KBB will find that their estimated trade-in value is somehow double the actual value of the company. Ironyyyyyyyy....... :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      What's to stop an automaker, or coalition of automakers, from buying the Blue Book and filling it with data skewed in favor of the manufacturers?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I need to get my boss to consider buying the company. Might make a nice addition to Nexpart. Besides, between Edmunds TMV (liked by consumers) and Galv's (loved by used car dealers for lowballing every trade-in), KBB's original market it gone.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Autotrader is bleeding cash and customers like a firehose
      • 4 Years Ago
      If KBB is valuing itself at $500-$1 million, then its really worth $400-$800 million. KBB values are notoriously high.
        • 4 Years Ago
        $1B for Excellent Condition
        $800m for Good Condition
        $500m for Poor Condition
        • 4 Years Ago
        well played sir.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe Consumer Reports should buy KBB.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The real reason KBB has made the move to sell, is because so many third party companies and even manufacturers, are offering dealers the ability to book their vehicles with a discounted or "free" BlueBook app. It's usually bundled with some additional service that's being sold, and these free/cheap versions of KBB online are purchased from KBB for a severely discounted rate.

      In the end, KBB has suffered from a smaller volume of vehicles being booked out by retailers, and a shrinking market share thanks to rival Black Book, who has been gobbling up dealers on the west coast for a few years now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Some of those "free/cheap" versions you mention are actually links to NADA, Black Book or Intelliguide. The first two sources are what banks and dealers ACTUALLY use to determine the value of your car and are usually a more accurate representation of what you'll be offered for your car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks guys, exactly what I was going to say.

        In fact I have said exactly what Jason said to people when discussing valuing their used cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Tourian:

        Exactly, if you check most dealer's desks, and especially banker's desks, they have the ubiquitous NADA guides, not KBB.
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