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The Big Three: How to Determine Which Auto Valuation Data is Best for You!

Posted by Brian Berg Google+


Marketers of auto dealerships have been finding great success in valuation mailing campaigns  with automobile mailing lists and data appends, but which data set is best for auto marketers; the Kelley Blue Book, Hurst’s Black Book or NADA data?  Our blog this week takes a look at valuation data from all three sources.


Kelley Blue Book


Eighty-one years old, this guide boasts that one out of three people who buy a new or used car in the United States use this service.   Kelley Blue Book collects its information by attending auctions throughout the country where it bases used car evaluations: Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor.  From those, Kelley Blue Book then sets wholesale values based on what are called "front line" (as in traffic stopper) vehicles, which also includes costs for reconditioning, transportation and auction fees.


NADA Guide: Blue-and-Orange/Yellow Book


Spokespeople for the 74-year-old NADA guidesay their data is superior to the others because the NADA book is the official data guide issued strictly for dealer members of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) trade group, and it has access to totally exclusive data, such as dealer retail sales, and it analyzes additional data from more than 500,000 various points of sale and other market data.


They say the circulation of the NADA guide out-guns the competition by almost five to one.  The wholesale and retail pricing listed in the NADA guide seems to be higher in some areas than Kelley Blue Book due to its preset standard that all trade-ins be in very clean condition. 


Black Book


The 52-year-old, widely-used Black Book guide is circulation controlled, restricted to dealers and financing sources.  Unlike and, the Black Book Web site does not provide data, only links to dealers.  The Black Book is the only value guide issued weekly instead of monthly, reflecting the latest prices direct from actual or online automobile dealers.


Whereas other value books or value Web sites may break down value into wholesale and retail numbers or trade-in, private party and retail, Black Book truly specializes in wholesale value, determining the value of used cars within categories of extra clean, clean, average or rough.  Although the others also issue editions for special interest/classic/rare cars, the Black Book's Cars of Particular Interest (CPI) value guide contains over 14,000 vehicles, dating from 1946 to 2007.


To make valuation data the centerpiece of your next automobile mailing list marketing campaign, contact a member of the BB Direct team at (866) 501-6273.