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Author Topic: Do You Think Gas Buddy Is Used by Stations To Remain Competive? Back to Topics
Titanic1985

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South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2013 11:45:11 AM

Since last summer, most of the gas stations in my area have upgraded their signs to digital and their pumps as well. These same stations are changing prices up to four times a day plus changing the price spread between grades. It is maddening and often defeats the goal of Gas Buddy and its members to provide accurate pricing. The only way these tactics can be accurately done is by physically going to other stations and checking the prices, calling the stations (not well received in my locale) or using Gas Buddy.

So, do you think Gas Buddy is used by stations to alter their prices and remain competitive?
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2014 8:23:10 AM

Do You Think Gas Buddy Is Used by Stations To Remain Competive?

I say no......................gas companies could care less.....

In Canada the gas companies do what they like and we just pay the prices.....
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biire2u
Sophomore Author Akron

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Message Posted: Jun 4, 2014 2:50:21 PM

Independent stations may worry about being competitive. But the big oil just worry's about keeping the collusion going and maintaining the oligarchy. To think that 10 different oil companies from Exxon to BP to Valero have costs that are so close to each other that their prices vary only by a cent or less is a little preposterous. But the government and most of us have given up and let them do as they want because they also use the scare tactic of losing or exporting jobs out of the country if we don't comply

Here is a big side note I noticed on a mini excursion:

Here in Ohio we have quite a few small oil wells with the traditional walking beam style pump. My wife and I drove around "Amish country", which in Ohio is mostly Holmes and Wayne County.

I passed at least 75 oil wells during the day of tourism and not one was pumping. I found it odd, with oil in excess of $102 a barrel which are great prices if you have an oil well in your back yard that is putting out even a modest 10 barrels a day.

My curiosity got the best of me, and I went up 3 different wells where I could see the landowner present outside while driving by.

I asked why the wells weren't pumping and only one said his pump seals were bad and was waiting for replacements.

The other two informed me that " No one is buying our oil right now, so we are just letting it sit there until the buyer comes back"

This kind of blew my mind. I guess I was under the impression that whatever supply you could give them that surely with "oil inventories down" in the news, that the oil depositories would want as much oil as possible and get that high price while the going is so good.

The oil farmers told me it wasn't the little guy picking up their oil that was the bad guy. They said it was the refinery that buys the oil from all the little guys that collect the oil from each well.

Since the refinery is a major operation ( Here in Ohio we have a big Marathon refinery close by) they also own a lot of their own wells and their production costs depend on where those wells are. So if they can produce all the oil they need from their own wells for $25 dollars a barrel, you get bet your sweet a$$ they aren't going to pay the "world price" of $102 a barrel unless they absolutely need to.

But yet all these refineries can tell their official liars ...errr....I mean, spokesman that they have to raise prices because those damn barrels of oil are $102 a barrel and poor old us, what are we to do?

It is like a farmer who has thousands of acres of corn that he feed his dairy cow and his production costs for that corn is $2 a bushel. Well, just because the futures price on corn, the world price, is $4.57 a bushel, doesn't mean he is going out and buying all that corn at those prices. He'll use up as much of hs inventory and hopefully plant enough for next year so he doesn't have to be involved in paying that world price for corn.

Refineries do the same thing. Most of the big refineries also own the land and the oil wells that feed those refineries and only go out to the world market when they use up their own supply or aren't getting enough oil to fill their refinery. But their is no refinery out there that is paying $102 a barrel for every barrel of oil coming in there. But they sure as hell charge out to the consumer like they are paying full price for every barrel
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hockeybabe25
All-Star Author Allentown

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Message Posted: Jun 4, 2014 1:53:23 PM

perhaps
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Nuzan
All-Star Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Jun 4, 2014 1:02:29 PM

No
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tiny1oh
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Jun 1, 2014 6:37:23 AM

they should
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mawtaow
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: May 27, 2014 7:15:04 AM

yes
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tiny1oh
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: May 27, 2014 6:53:07 AM

I would think so, I would
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Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2014 3:51:48 PM

Hello borsht,

I got your URL to work, so I am creating a link for other GBs to read:

The cost of gas: How two stations set their prices

It is a good article. Thank you :-). MGY

[Edited by: Titanic1985 at 1/16/2014 3:50:43 PM EST]
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datchboy
Sophomore Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2014 3:51:37 PM

kool
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Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2014 3:46:59 PM

Hello jonloft,

You said, "The smart station would also post their prices on GasBuddy when they see they are lower then the competition."

On 11/15/2013 I posted the following from the Moderators:

"The short of the long is: GB_Direct is a program used by GasBuddy to import prices from a variety of sources.

The long: GB_Direct is a program created in 2008 designed for station owners and operators to more easily submit prices to Gasbuddy. As the GasBuddy websites became more popular, stations are noticing that the GasBuddy sites were having an impact on their sales. Some stations and chains feed prices directly from corporate headquarters on GasBuddy sites.

Many stations still currently report prices to Gasbuddy manually. There is no cost or fee for stations to access the GasBuddy Direct program. It is simply a way for stores to get their prices on the site more easily on regular basis. The GasBuddy Direct program is not meant to compete with member price reports.

(The prices posted under GasBuddy Direct do not count for points and those stations etc are not eligible for the contests etc).

Occasionally some sources forget to update their feeds and it can cause some problems if they set themselves up to report prices automatically at a certain time each day, etc." Signed Don (DH) - Moderator

Apparently this is already being done by some stations.

Take care :-). MGY
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Gascapade
Champion Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Jan 14, 2014 6:00:56 PM

If they are smart....
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borsht
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Jan 14, 2014 5:15:53 PM

This could be a factor, but I doubt this is something most stations would do.
USA today posted an article on price changes, and what various retailers do.;

http://tinyurl.com/ploh34m

Mainly a lot of stations are under contract to clear prices with their distributer.
Most independents don't have enough time to come up with a strategy that would make sense to change the price up to 4x per day.
but as you mentioned, a stations are going to electronic signs and
network controlled price at the pump. I've been at Costco when the price changes. When this happens you'll see people pumping at the same time and paying different prices. Once you start the pump, the price won't change.
But while you are looking for your credit card, the price can change up to the point that you are logged in at the pump.
Costco seems to be slowing down this routine of mid-day changes.
I've walked out of the store and saw the price on the sign, but when I start the pump I see a different price. If higher, I lose some of my joy at Costco.
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jonloft
Rookie Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Jan 14, 2014 1:23:32 PM

No I don't think they do. Just generally clueless. The smart station would also post their prices on GasBuddy when they see they are lower then the competition.
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jan 14, 2014 7:02:47 AM

No.........
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mawtaow
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Jan 14, 2014 5:47:40 AM

maybe
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nourdives
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2014 10:07:49 PM

no
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magpie2013
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2014 5:55:32 PM

I sure hope they are watching and listening to us when we say that we will not fill unless we have too. Maybe if they tried to hear us this mite help them come done a bit. But I doubt it. Its the big boys in these corporations that need a wake-up call. This can only be done if all stop filling it up, and use only what you need.
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SpeedyGonzoMD
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2014 2:17:08 PM

I don't think so. I think the oil companies determine the price a station pays for fuel by a given geographic area and the station set their prices accordingly. Yes, station in the same area will adjust their prices to remain competitive with neighboring stations.
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fumanaz
Sophomore Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2014 2:01:01 PM

This is really hard to answer. I would think they use the app/website to see what other stations are reported to have. I would also think it depends on what type of station is owned. Private stations move to stay competive, like the mama and pop stations.

Stations like Shell, which I think is more like a Corporate station who only moves prices when someone tells them to. Shells in a big area appears to report the same price no matter where its located.

In my area I see Fry's (kroger) reporting very similar prices over a few cities. I see Shell similar higher prices over a few cities. Costco appears to be within 5 cent of each other and they are spread all over the great Phoenix area. LOL, the funny thing is areas that have higher income people living there are typically the higher price stations.

I feel QT is the best priced, but Fry's has fuel reward points to help save money at the pump. This is the most of used station I get gas from. Fry's is always priced competitively when compared to other stations in the same area.
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46chief
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2014 1:08:49 PM

They might. I've always wondered how they all know when to change their prices. They all seem to do it at the same time.
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BartandLisa
Champion Author Newfoundland

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Message Posted: Jan 12, 2014 9:23:45 AM

Possibly, but they all tend to move in unison around here. Usually always cheaper in the east, near Costco and prices usually spike before the weekend.
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EvPv
Champion Author Maine

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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2013 3:16:11 AM

We have to check daily by going to the competitor's stations.
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2013 3:13:52 AM

Not sure. Some are still way too high.
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Glasman
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2013 1:34:40 AM

I think all station "price fix" in an area- hear locally the stations on the south side of town are always higher priced and as you travel across town the stations on the mid sections are a little lower , the station on the north side are lower and have always be less pricy, plus each section is only 1-2 cent difference price wise.
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xbAG
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2013 9:30:39 PM

Some do, some don't
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nourdives
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2013 9:28:41 PM

no
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SpeedyGonzoMD
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2013 4:06:21 PM

I don't think so. I think the oil companies determine the price a station pays for fuel by a given geographic area and the station set their prices accordingly. Yes, station in the same area will adjust their prices to remain competitive with neighboring stations.
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2013 3:22:54 PM

I don't think so. Most probably haven't even heard of GasBuddy.com. My guess is that the majors in an area look to futures prices and the small guys key their prices on the majors.
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jes
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2013 10:29:26 AM

No.
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chrisd552
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Dec 6, 2013 10:54:21 AM

Doubtful, since the 90% of the city is the same price...except for the outliers where it's cheaper.
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nurdco
Champion Author Colorado Springs

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Message Posted: Dec 6, 2013 10:46:34 AM

Yes since there are Local un biased GB-Direct random posters
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nichols
Champion Author Halifax

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Message Posted: Dec 6, 2013 10:07:20 AM

doubt it since they mainly keep an eye on statins very near them
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dgh9
Sophomore Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Dec 4, 2013 9:13:17 PM

No.
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Camry05
All-Star Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Dec 3, 2013 10:58:20 PM

Yes RF4CPhantom, How can you tell?
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NickoliMB
Champion Author Manitoba

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Message Posted: Dec 3, 2013 11:07:23 AM

Some definitely check who is going to make the first move to lower prices when called for.
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MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Dec 3, 2013 9:43:53 AM

Why do they need to be competitive since most of their prices are the same?
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bluenvoy
Champion Author Nashville

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Message Posted: Dec 3, 2013 9:37:53 AM

Some do.
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blaman
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Dec 3, 2013 8:32:56 AM

No
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Dennis783
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Dec 3, 2013 7:47:41 AM

not to remain competitive but to coordinate when to raise the price
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mohrorless
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2013 6:01:09 AM

That would be good. Don't think it happens too often
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mawtaow
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2013 5:13:22 AM

Maybe
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mybigtruck
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2013 12:10:05 AM

The electronic signs are better for the owners since they don't have to go outside and change the numbers every time prices change.

However! I heard the local popular membership warehouse gas station is priced to be the same or cheaper than the cheapest station within a 5 mile radius. Not sure how they determine that...

GB is still better than MapQuest or Sirius's travel link gas prices which are purportedly based on credit card transactions and often 2 days old



[Edited by: mybigtruck at 12/2/2013 12:10:52 AM EST]
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Blackbyrd5
Rookie Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2013 11:04:25 PM

How can you tell?
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keriazy4
Veteran Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Nov 26, 2013 10:47:13 AM

don't know
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RF4CPhantom
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Nov 17, 2013 8:44:47 PM

Yes, here in OKC they do.
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EvPv
Champion Author Maine

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Message Posted: Nov 17, 2013 8:00:09 PM

most chains would not rely on internet posts. I've seen enough bogus prices posted myself.
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lwood655
Champion Author New Orleans

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Message Posted: Nov 17, 2013 7:49:01 PM

no all they have to do is look to see the station closest to them for prices
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blaman
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Nov 17, 2013 6:36:46 PM

No
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dfp609
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Nov 16, 2013 4:17:43 PM

I doubt it, but I really wouldn't be surprised if they did.
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morrongiello
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2013 8:18:05 PM

not here in Staten Island
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