Kelley Blue Book is going social with a new platform comprising five of its tools designed to integrate a virtual, dynamically updated KBB sticker on everything from a car window to sites like Facebook, Craigslist, and eBay Motors -- and even personal blogs and Twitter. The product, called the Seller's Toolkit, is free through Private Party Pricing Report on kbb.com.
Cy Scott, KBB senior software engineer, tells Marketing Daily the program is pre-configured with Live Value, which basically means that wherever the virtual (or physical) sticker resides, the benchmark Kelley Blue Book pricing -- a value that can change based on the market -- gets automatically updated.
"In the old days, someone would print a [KBB] window sticker, put it on their car window, not sell it for six months and then by that time the KBB value is out of date," says Scott. "So a potential buyer would go to our site and get a totally different price. That's what the Live Value feature solves."
Per Scott, even a physical printed KBB window sticker has a live update feature, as the sticker includes a QR code that when scanned, launches a mobile KBB site specific to that car. "You can walk up to a car, point a cell phone at the QR code, scan it, see the current value, and get more information about the car."
The social-network tool is an app that lets sellers publish a digital version of the window sticker to their Facebook wall. A seller can also add a custom "Car for Sale" tab to a Facebook profile.
Another tool is a direct-link for e-mail, IM or Twitter that generates an abbreviated URL to take buyers to Kelley Blue Book's pre-configured Pricing Report on kbb.com.
A third tool is a widget version of the sticker that can be placed on sites like Blogger or WordPress. People can also use a "dynamically generated image" for places like Craigslist, or they can use it to save the image and upload it directly to sell-it-yourself sites.
Scott says marketing is built-in, as the KBB virtual window sticker visual diffuses through social media. "It will get our branding out there, and hopefully people will start to expect that Live Value will be part of listings. The fact is that nowadays, people don't put a window sticker on their car and drive around to sell it. They go online, on Facebook and Twitter, to get the word out."
The other variable that KBB hopes will change with the platform is the uncertainty of actually getting an accurate value for the vehicle someone is selling, since every car value is different based on mileage and options from moon roof to suspension.
"In the past you would see car on a lot, look it up and see a different price. This is a level playing field between buyer and seller because the value you get is for the exact vehicle condition, and mileage options. Everyone's on the same page."