Driving Success: Unlocking the Full Potential of Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer 

Mar 27, 2024

Every good car dealer knows new car sales are not enough to build or continue operating a successful dealership — you need a quality used car inventory and strategies for acquiring it. 

This blog post will explore the importance of trade-ins; the pivotal role Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer can play in your acquisition strategy; and how to optimize Instant Cash Offer so it works harder for you, your staff and your customers. 

Used-Car Sales Are Paramount to Dealership Success  

With the average gross profit of a used car surpassing that of a new car by $378, according to the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA),you can’t afford to overlook the profit potential of used vehicles. Acquiring quality used cars requires not only patience and persistence but also accurate assessments and seamless transactions.  

With more data at their fingertips than ever before, sellers are shopping around to find the dealer that will give them the highest offer, with 64% of consumers waiting more than a month to pull the trigger on a sale. Digital retailing tools like Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer are more important than ever in closing used car deals with higher profit margins while simultaneously gaining more trust from the customer. In fact, Kelley Blue Book is the most trusted third-party website among consumers when it comes to assessing trade-in value, and 55% of used car deals are made with an Instant Cash Offer.3  

Trade-Ins Without Trade-Offs  

Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer can stack the deck in your favor when it comes to used car acquisition, but knowing how to best use its features is critical to ensuring you and your staff get the most benefit out of it. 

Getting your entire team on the same page in utilizing Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer ensures the best experience for your customers and the highest likelihood of success for your staff. Here are four key points you can communicate to your team to get them excited about embracing all that Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer has to offer:   

1. Customer trust 

Kelley Blue Book is a powerful and trusted name among car buyers and sellers alike and is the top single website source for sellers looking for accurate used vehicle valuations.4 

2. Seamless experience 

One of the keys in achieving high customer satisfaction at your dealership is creating a seamless and transparent selling experience for your customers. Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer removes friction from one of the most challenging aspects of the trade-in process — appraising the used car’s trade-in value. 

3. More deals closed 

Most sellers you encounter have done their homework, gathering trade-in values and offers from multiple sources before arriving at your dealership. Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer gives sellers confidence knowing they’re going to receive a fair offer on their used car, and your team members confidence knowing they’re getting a used car they can turn a profit on. 

4. Better margins 

Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer deals have an average 3.2% lower cost to market on used vehicles acquired directly from customers, which gives your dealership roughly $900 more profit on every vehicle.5 

Getting The Most Out Of Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer 

While Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer is one of the best digital tools you can use for used car acquisitions and inventory management, there are a couple of things to consider that can help you and your team maximize the service. 

Get the ratio right 

Having the right ratio of staff to opportunities will help ensure your team members can adequately manage the trade-in process and provide every customer with a good experience. Kelley Blue Book recommends not exceeding 175 leads per dedicated dealer team member to process inbound trade-in opportunities. 

Anticipate longer timelines  

Just a few years ago, the majority of customers would trade their car in within a week of receiving an offer. Now, customers take much longer to engage in a deal and everyone is on a different timeline. 29% of customers close on a trade-in within one week, 25% in one to three weeks, 22% in three to six weeks and 24% take six or more weeks. That means your team has to be prepared to follow up with customers more than 42 days after their trade-in valuation to maximize deals closed.6 Using your CRM is a great way to automate the communication process with customers while saving your team’s time. If you don’t have the staff to manage follow-ups, Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash offer has added tools to do the leg work for you. Add-ons like Contact Centers, which is a virtual assistant to handle follow-ups for you and RE-ENGAGE, which identifies customers whose offers have expired and automatically sends them emails.

Optimize inventory with Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer 

By now you’ve read how Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer can help your dealership find and acquire quality used cars that will help propel profits, earn loyal and trusting customers, and ensure a sound overall inventory strategy. And while this digital tool can do a lot, keeping the few helpful tips we outlined in mind will help you and your team maximize Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer’s benefits. 

Looking for the latest news and product updates? Read more on our Dealer Resources blog. 


  1. National Automotive Dealers Association, “2023 NADA Data: Midyear Report,” January 2024. 
  1. Cox Automotive dealer transactions (Jan 1, 2022–Dec 10, 2022) 
  1. Total trade-in figures for 2022 based on collective data estimates from Experian, Polk and Cox Automotive industry statistics. 
  1. 2023 Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study, Cox Automotive. 
  1. Average ICO Margin % vs. non-ICO Margin % across all dealers with vAuto inventory from Oct 2022–Sept 2023. Savings per vehicle comparing average monthly costs for ICO dealers vs. non-ICO dealers with vAuto inventory from Cox Automotive data Jan–Nov 2023. 
  2. Cox Automotive Instant Cash Offer Dealer Transactions (January 2023-December 2023)