Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    7:06 PM

Message Forum - Read Message

Category: Talk back to us! > Topics Add to favorite topics   Post new topicPost New Topic
Author Topic: who does the GB Direct price posts? Back to Topics
sagnat

Champion Author
Riverside

Posts:1,915
Points:877,880
Joined:Jun 2012
Message Posted: Aug 9, 2013 9:57:48 PM

I ask because there is a station near me that does not sell diesl, yes a GB Direct price post is showing diesel at an odd price and while I can zero it out from home the GB Direct price still shows on my phone. This is also leading other posters to repost a price for a fuel not sold.
REPLIES (newest first) Topic is locked
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,587
Points:854,430
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Aug 12, 2013 6:55:38 PM

I still don't see where either of the links/summaries address placement on the price board. I still find it objectionable that the GB-direct appear to remain at the top of their price "class" even when much older than newer non GB-Direct prices.
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:30,016
Points:3,681,205
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Aug 12, 2013 11:36:39 AM

The following is based on a compilation of information regarding GasBuddy OpenStore and starts with some background on a fuel price management program associated with Gas Buddy, PriceAdvantage.

The PriceAdvantage pricing program, in brief, synchronizes fuel prices from corporate headquarter to the gas station on the street, and simplifies/maximizes price-related (posting, etc.) efficiency for the stations by providing data from the store/chain's headquarters directly to the store and enabling price changes to be pushed to the street with a clicks on a computer (essentially taking the individual store manager out of the equation).

Using PriceAdvantage data and analysis (if I understand the program correctly), price changes can be sent from store/chains' corporate headquarters to the individual store in a matter of minutes, and when the prices are confirmed (again, in a matter of minutes), the confirmed prices are sent to the web, social networks, and can be sent to smart devices (in literally one or two clicks) including in-store point-of-sale devices, pumps, and electronic price signs, etc. And, if you're part of their program, you can access the information from your iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, or Droid. The bottom line is that gas stations, and apparently Gas Buddy (and other fuel tracking sites) get the information without the need for phone calls to every station to change prices, faxes, spreadsheets, individual sightings, etc.

When and how the "price change" information is posted is up to the different entities. Some gas stations make (or do not make) daily price updates, others make immediate price changes based on the competition.

Said in the simplest way, PriceAdvantage provides automation for the entire fuel pricing process from collection of competitive surveys, to analysis for price determination, to rapid speed-to-the-street price change execution with price change confirmation feedback.

Where does Gas Buddy come in? Based on what I've been able to find, PriceAdvantage customers (CST (formerly Valero) and Highs's, for example), are using GasBuddy OpenStore as their digital marketing solution. What happens (and, again, I'm basing this on what I've found) is that when the fuel analyst pushes the optimized prices to the street, and the fuel price changes are completed at the POS, pumps and electronic price signs, the confirmation message is returned back to PriceAdvantage with a time and date stamp audit trail showing the exact time of completion; once the price changes are complete, PriceAdvantage through its integration automatically publishes the newest gas prices to GasBuddy OpenStore. From there the prices can be distributed to the various GasBuddy sites, making sure the latest and most accurate prices are on the GasBuddy map. This process also helps make sure every store appears on the GasBuddy map and doesn’t drop off due to a lack of price report updates.

Because Gas Buddy and OPIS haven't been integrated into a single entity, t
PriceAdvantage offers a similar integration with OPIS, where upon completion and confirmation of the fuel price changes, PriceAdvantage publishes the latest price information to OPIS, from which the prices are distributed to the entire OPIS network including MapQuest, Garmin, and AAA.

To summarize, as gas price signs have already moved from the old fashioned manual suction cup to the electronic gas price sign, by integrating PriceAdvantage with GasBuddy OpenStore and OPIS, the price signs are current across every type of operation. So it seems that GB Direct price posts may be made by individual stores, by stores' corporate headquarters or management teams, or possibly by PriceAdvantage (as a part of the store or chain's operation).

Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:98,166
Points:3,900,015
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Aug 12, 2013 9:36:08 AM

Open Store

Here's a link with more info.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,587
Points:854,430
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Aug 12, 2013 7:15:27 AM

If they are paying for preferential treatment, it should be openly indicated that they are a PAID SPONSOR with price board preferential treatment.

I would like to know more about how OPEN STORE, and GB Direct work and affect pricing display and labeling for members.
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:23,391
Points:4,322,230
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Aug 12, 2013 12:54:16 AM

Hm, I thought the word from the moderators was that no money changes hands for any sort of GBD participation, but it's possible that I misunderstood.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,587
Points:854,430
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 4:41:47 PM

Bytebug - sorry for the incorrect spelling.
Profile Pic
Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:17,542
Points:3,003,600
Joined:Sep 2006
Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 12:34:00 PM

Some years ago in one of these threads I remember a moderator saying that there were several different levels of GasBuddy Direct membership. Some had no logos or advertising. I believe that their price posts are treated the same way as ours are. Others had logos and advertising. Prices for those stations stay on top of their respective price level regardless of age, and their price balloons on the maps are larger and cover other balloons. The moderator stated that those companies pay to get that preferred treatment.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,587
Points:854,430
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 11:37:44 AM

@ Bytebut, that is what I observed but apparently not what Scoutmaster is seeing. I wonder if it works differently on different sites, or if it is also tied to if they pay for logo.

All the GB Direct I could find posted by GB Direct were Hess and Rally the day I looked, and they all, I believe had logos. Some of their stations showed GB Direct posting and some showed a regular member, but they were ALL at the top of their price class. It seems to me, that all the HESS were above the Rally, but I would have to check again.

Just looked - couldn't find any with "GB Direct" for Rally, found one Racetrack by going out to maximum hours and it did not go to the top, it also had no logo. So, maybe it requires GB Direct and Logo to go to the top, then logo, and if just GB Direct it either doesn't matter or only keeps them at the top for X number of hours. I am not sure if the Rally has GB Direct now, or was posted over.

Still, the end appearance is of favoritism and I now look more closely at the time stamp when deciding which station on my route home I will plan to get off the expressway to fill up at. I only pass 1 station (and it is not easily accessed on the way to work) on my normal commute, so when I need gas, I have to plan where to get off to get it.

[Edited by: TxJeans at 8/11/2013 11:40:24 AM EST]
Profile Pic
bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:29,357
Points:4,769,510
Joined:Oct 2001
Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 6:28:49 AM

>> The station stays at the top no matter who posts it.

I just verified that what you say is true. I'd just assumed that was the reason why they reposted so frequently.
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:98,166
Points:3,900,015
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 6:25:45 AM

"The station stays at the top no matter who posts it."

If you post over a GB_Direct station, it will move it to it's spot in the list based on time posted. All GB_Direct posts regardless of time move to the top.
Profile Pic
WR-INC
Champion Author Twin Cities

Posts:43,334
Points:4,268,420
Joined:Dec 2002
Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 5:56:28 AM

bytebug,

"No, if one of us mortals posts over the GB_Direct post, the station is no longer at the top of the heap."

That's not what I've seen. The station stays at the top no matter who posts it.
Profile Pic
bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:29,357
Points:4,769,510
Joined:Oct 2001
Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 3:50:52 AM

>> it causes the station to display with a logo?

Only if they've paid for that bit of advertising.

>> So the hourly GB Direct postings only helps position against other GB Direct posts
>> as far as I can see.

No, if one of us mortals posts over the GB_Direct post, the station is no longer at the top of the heap. By frequently reporting a price, GB_Direct insures that they stay positioned at the top.

[Edited by: bytebug at 8/11/2013 3:54:17 AM EST]
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:23,391
Points:4,322,230
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 3:49:31 AM

I just spotted a bogus GBD price; I've zeroed it out, and will report it to the mods in a bit.

The station in question does *not* show a logo on the (Web site) map. I thought that whenever GBD reports a price, it causes the station to display with a logo?
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,587
Points:854,430
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 10:46:49 PM

First - can someone give me the "cliff" notes for Gas_Buddy's post? I am short of time this weekend.

Next, posting hourly isn't necessary for GB direct unless you have a lot of different GB direct in your area. In a group of prices for 3.44, the GB Direct posts are listed first then the rest are posted based on "freshness". So the hourly GB Direct postings only helps position against other GB Direct posts as far as I can see.
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:98,166
Points:3,900,015
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 9:20:08 PM

"Unfortunately, their advertising revenue pays the moderators to look the other way. I've also reported one of our GB_Direct stations posting non-existent diesel prices."

It may pay the bills, but in Pittsburgh when we have had issues with GB_Direct posts and got on the moderators about it, they did do something.
Profile Pic
bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:29,357
Points:4,769,510
Joined:Oct 2001
Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 4:30:32 PM

>> If there issues with GB Direct prices, report them to the moderators.

Unfortunately, their advertising revenue pays the moderators to look the other way. I've also reported one of our GB_Direct stations posting non-existent diesel prices.

>> GB-DIRECT that move to the top of the list

And if that's not bad enough, we have a GB_Direct poster who updates their prices every hour to maintain that top of the heap positioning.

And while the rest of us would be booted from the site for listing a station by the market name, our local GB_Direct member posts his prices with a "Corner Store" logo instead of Valero.


[Edited by: bytebug at 8/10/2013 4:36:02 PM EST]
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:30,016
Points:3,681,205
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 3:01:26 PM

buckeyecountry wrote:
"I never trust their postings"

Never? Why?

I can only speak from what I've seen and in my local driving areas/price reporting areas (I've been in Northern Florida the past month), Several chains report prices via the GB Direct program, one relatively large regional chain in particular updates prices several times a day regardless if the price changed or remained the same, and I have not yet seen false pricing from GB Direct updates. Granted, I obviously have not seen and compared each and every GB Direct price update but from what I have seen and compared, there has been complete accuracy. That's not to say that the price didn't change after the GB Direct price was posted; I don't expect that every GB Direct participant is jumping online to post prices continually update prices and expect that program participants probably do it once a day and perhaps not on weekends).

I have, however, seen multiple errors in price posting, either as a result of copying a price already posted, misidentifying two gas stations and posting the correct price but for the wrong station, or posting a price that was seen some time ago and not updating the "time seen" option. And I'm sure I've seen prices that someone simply thought was close (and wanted points). The bottom line, for me and my driving experience, up and down the east coast and from the east coast to the western states, I haven't seen flagrant (if any) false pricing by GB Direct participants.

Several things:
First, and forgetting that posting for diesel or mid-grade when it's not sold might not be an inadvertent post when updating multiple or numerous stations, even if a GB Direct post was blatantly wrong, and blatantly lower in order to "get cusstomers", most Gas Buddy members would notice that a price was abnormally low for an area and assume it was an error (regardless of who posted the price). (Or am I giving Gas Buddy members too much credit for common sense?) Second, how many people actually drive out of their way to get gas a few cents per gallon less than locally, without wasting gas to drive (say) across town or a half hour away to the next city? (Or, again, am I giving Gas Buddy members too much credit for common sense?) Even if a gas station did post a false price, wouldn't it seem that some members would be reporting the false price posting, or (and I'm not saying this sarcastically) are false GB Direct prices only noticed by people who happen to be driving "out of area"? Even false price posting, deliberate false price posting would only attract so many people (or so few people) as to not justify the posting.

Second, while GB Direct prices may lead the search list, GB Direct participants receive no points icons, no points for ticket "buying", and don't lead the leader boards, something that individual members' false price posting can do.

The bottom line is I trust GB Direct posting based on my experience and my observation. Questioning GB Direct "advertising" or leading search/price lists is one think; questioning their accuracy (at least at the time of posting) is an entirely different thing.

Just my opinion. But it would be good, for the sake of discussion, if members saying GB Direct participants can't be trusted or simply false post, would provide some substance to their comments other than "one time I saw...or the owners operate 20 stores with varying options at each station and for this one station they posted... If a station "can't be trusted", at least provide some more than a "one time..." Even the best of us, even the members saying GB Direct participants can't be trusted, have probably posted a price in error one time or another.
Profile Pic
buckeyecountry
Champion Author Ohio

Posts:11,311
Points:1,347,915
Joined:May 2011
Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 12:34:58 PM

I never trust their postings
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:98,166
Points:3,900,015
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 8:13:07 AM

If there issues with GB Direct prices, report them to the moderators.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,587
Points:854,430
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 7:11:36 AM

I have less problem with the logo, but I really have a problem with the price posting position advantage.

It appears that if you have a bunch of stations at the same price, they are normally listed with the freshest first --- EXCEPT for GB-DIRECT that move to the top of the list. This is wrong.
Profile Pic
sagnat
Champion Author Riverside

Posts:1,915
Points:877,880
Joined:Jun 2012
Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 2:56:00 AM

Will do, thanks.
Profile Pic
jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:12,844
Points:2,261,900
Joined:Jan 2006
Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 12:22:50 AM

GB Direct prices are posted by the company that owns the station, generally a chain of stations. It is odd that they would report prices for products they do not sell. Please report this to the Mods with dates and times, enough info that they can follow up on it.

GB Direct is an ill-conceived program which presents an aura of impropriety for GasBuddy. The GBD program, by providing preferential treatment for some stations, destroys the apparent objectivity of GB as an unbiased and generally reliable source of information on gas prices. The most meager intellect should be able to see that a price list (or map) where some entries are given special prominence is to be viewed with skepticism as to its objectivity. My personal reaction is that I would not buy from a GBD station regardless of its price. I have been told that no money changes hands for the GBD program but that does not diminish the aura of impropriety. GB provides free advertising and prominent posting for companies wanting to post their own prices. It’s stupid; let them join as regular members and operate under the same rules as everyone else.

Topic is locked Back to Topics