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Author Topic: Price Posting Etiquette? Back to Topics
umbluegray

Champion Author
Memphis

Posts:1,930
Points:663,650
Joined:Jun 2008
Message Posted: Apr 4, 2013 11:31:07 AM

Though I've had an account for a while I've only recently begun habitually posting prices.

I assume we're a community of users who post prices not only to gain points but to also provide the most up-to-date pricing information for our fellow users.

Personally, I make a point to post all grades at once. If a station doesn't list all prices on their sign or if, like in a few of our suburbs, road-side signs aren't permitted, I pull into the station and post the price listed on the pumps.

Because I use GasBuddy to make in-route purchase decisions I find it frustrating to see a recent price update only to find out that only one grade was recently updated and the other grades have older prices.

Is there an unwritten price posting etiquette?

I understand this is more of just a rant rather than a call to reform. But I'm just curious.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:12,663
Points:2,211,750
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Message Posted: Apr 20, 2013 12:25:49 AM

If I saw a station with conflicting signs I would not post anything unless I was able to drive in and read the prices right off the pumps — you know for sure those are accurate. Reading prices on the pumps as a matter of routine is a utopian idea. I can do it if necessary when checking just a couple of stations but it is entirely impractical when I am on the road, passing and reporting several dozen stations. On those days I post what is on the large signs and nothing else.

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LJGP_MO95
Champion Author Missouri

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Points:643,865
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Message Posted: Apr 19, 2013 3:44:42 PM

Having a smart phone would help me post prices for all grades. I don't have one therefore I wait to get to a computer to post. I can't remember prices for the other grades therefore I don't.
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umbluegray
Champion Author Memphis

Posts:1,930
Points:663,650
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Message Posted: Apr 6, 2013 3:52:23 AM

Brindfan,

I agree. I've learned the hard way that if the price hasn't recently been updated then it's probably not an accurate price.
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 2:09:01 PM

"All signs only list the Regular price. However, the sign on the street shows a price 2 cents less than the signs on the building. As you drive by, which price do you post?"

I wouldn't post any price in that case. Same goes for when one of the numbers is missing from a sign.
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Brindfan
Champion Author Colorado

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 12:30:09 PM


"I would not update any price that's less than 10 hours old, unless it has changed."

NO! Update it! I always look for the most recent update when I'm going to buy fuel.
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umbluegray
Champion Author Memphis

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Points:663,650
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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 10:55:13 AM

Last night I pulled into a station that I normally post.

They only list the Regular price on their sign.

Even thought the regular price was the same as I posted the night before, the mid and premium prices dropped by two cents.

Even though motorists are probably unaware of the price drop as they drive by, Gas Buddy users know the current price.

And that's because I pulled in to the station and posted all prices.

Even if the posted sign price doesn't change, that doesn't mean the pump prices haven't changed.

Oh, and another example. One of the local walmart's apparently forgot that they have 3 signs: 1 on the street that looks like a "for sign" stuck in the ground, and 2 price signs with replaceable numbers - one sign on the north side of the building and one one the south.

All signs only list the Regular price. However, the sign on the street shows a price 2 cents less than the signs on the building. As you drive by, which price do you post?
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 9:33:55 AM

"I would not update any price that's less than 10 hours old, unless it has changed."

You should update any price at anytime, regardless of it's age.
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ziyulu
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 7:06:02 AM

I'm sorry. I meant to say "I would not update any price that's less than 10 hours old, unless it has changed."
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 6:44:29 AM

"I would not update any price that's less than 10 hours old."

Why? Prices can change at anytime. The most current price is always best even if it's the same price that was reported 10 hours ago.
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 4:54:28 AM

I won't waste the fuel to pull into a station to look at the prices on the pumps if I am not purchasing fuel, or something from the store.
Few stations in my area post more than regular on the pylon, so I will post the price for regular that I see as I drive by.
I don't worry if somebody has posted the same station 3 days ago, or 3 minutes ago, it doesn't matter. If you drive a busy route to work, you might be posting a station that others are posting almost the same time as you. You get credit for the points even if somebody posts 2 seconds later and their post is the one that shows.
The site only works with the latest information available.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 3:40:13 AM

>> I would not update any price that's less than 10 hours old.

Why would I take the effort to inspect when prices that I want to post have been previously posted? That's just silly!
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 2:49:12 AM


Don't be concerned that you are updating a price that was updated recently by another member. The main thing is to keep prices as current as possible.

Try to get prices for all the grades a station sells, but if you can't then just post prices for what you can see. Someone else will come along and update prices for the other grades. Just don't guess the prices for the grades you haven't seen even if you think you know that a station steps their prices by 10 cents per grade or whatever.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Apr 4, 2013 9:30:49 PM

The prices you post - etiquette or otherwise - are prices that you (the member) have personally (visually) confirmed. That is, you're not obtaining the prices via phone or internet/gas station websites.

Because of the variance of station price posting, (I'm speaking from personal experience from living in two diverse regions of the U.S., as well as extensive cross-country travel), some stations post the singular price of regular (some have alternating LED-type signs alternating between the cash price and the credit price); others post the price of regular, mid-grade, and premium; still others post the price of the three primary grades of gas plus the price of diesel. Others post the price of regular, premium, and diesel.
Still others have a continual virtual column listing the cash and the credit price for different combinations of fuels sold.

The bottom line is that you post the price of fuel that you have (visually) confirmed, whether its the price of one grade only, mulitiple grades, and/or diesel. That you may only be updating the price for (for example) premium, and the the price of regular appears "backdated", that's entirely acceptable. Your only responsibility is to try to be as accurate as possible for the prices you post. You're not expected to post the price of all grades or types of fuel a station. After all, the prices posted on Gas Buddy are intended to be a guide; they're not expected to be continually and totally accurate; they're subject to members' abilities to post what information is readily available. As for which prices you should update, how long after a price has already been posted, that's your individual choice, however the intent is to provide the most current price, regardless of when a price was previously posted, a process that extends and maximizes the "life" of the price post's visibility (before automatic deletion).

As for pulling into a gas station to confirm prices by viewing the pump, most members would consider that to be excessive as well as a wast of time and driving, whereas most gas stations would consider it an intrusion to have people continually driving onto the grounds, stopping to observe prices at the pumps, and then pulling off without purchase.

Does that help answer your question?

[Edited by: Gas_Buddy at 4/4/2013 9:33:55 PM EST]
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Apr 4, 2013 7:15:42 PM

The "etiquette" is to keep prices accurate and up to date as possible. Meaning so long as they are accurate, update the price or prices even if the prior update was 5 minutes ago. No need to worry about points each member will earn points (for up to 5 a day).
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ziyulu
Champion Author Austin

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Points:2,201,300
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Message Posted: Apr 4, 2013 2:43:12 PM

Me personally, I would not update any price that's less than 10 hours old.
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umbluegray
Champion Author Memphis

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Points:663,650
Joined:Jun 2008
Message Posted: Apr 4, 2013 1:25:20 PM

SUVFan,

Thanks for the comments.

Yeah, I've noticed a patten in prices per grade. Like you said, incremental. Some by $0.10, $0.12, $0.15.

I've recently noticed at some stations that when the regular price drops a few cents, they'll actually increase the mid and premium prices by a cent.

I, too, have thought about what the attendant must think when they see me drive up to the pump, tap on my phone and then drive over to the station across the street.

The way I see it, this does THEM a favor by posting their prices for consumers (aka customers aka dollars).
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SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Apr 4, 2013 12:18:50 PM

Good question, umbluegray.

I'm not aware of any true etiquette other than posting only prices that you've observed personally.

That standard limits folks ability to post all grades. Most will not have the time to drive into a station to personally observe grades not posted at the curb. And I remember a really old thread that I don't have time to dig for now in which concern was raised that driving into a station just to check out prices on a pump might be viewed as suspicious activity and lead to a police report. That's never stopped me . . . .

Around here, virtually every station has a reliable pricing pattern for their different grades, other than diesel, the availability of which is spotty and typically on the curb sign if available. I've yet to see a Speedway that didn't use 10¢ increments. The 3 major grocery store chains follow Speedway. Every BP and Shell I've seen has the midgrade at +10¢ over regular and premium is +12¢ over midgrade. That covers a huge percentage of local stations. So when I see regular updated for any of those, I'm virtually certain I know what the other grades will be.
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