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Author Topic: Boycotting gas DOESN'T work - However, this will Back to Topics

Rookie Author

Joined:Oct 2012
Message Posted: Oct 17, 2012 2:17:42 AM

A few years back, a buddy's sister worked at one of the big boys head office. I told her we need to boycott one brand of fuel to make competition. She said it won't work.

Apparently, there is some agreement between the big guys that if one runs out of daily fuel supply, they call upon each other to help each other out.

She said they really rely on money spent on stuff in the store. Want to hit them.. DON'T BUY FROM THE STORE... BUY NOTHING but fuel.
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Rookie Author Detroit

Joined:Jul 2013
Message Posted: Jul 19, 2013 1:16:53 PM

thanks for the info
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Rookie Author Barrie

Joined:Apr 2011
Message Posted: Apr 2, 2013 3:23:41 PM

It is an excellent post by brerrabbitTX--offering behind-the-scenes knowledge of how gas stations and oil companies work.
Addressing many key points most customers & sales staff would not know.
This enables both Canadians and Americans to understand 'who is really doing what to whom!'
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Rookie Author Colorado

Joined:Feb 2013
Message Posted: Mar 13, 2013 10:47:59 AM

Everyone should read brerrabbitTX's post again and stop spouting stupid ideas that only show your ignorance.
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Rookie Author Boston

Joined:Jul 2012
Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 8:11:51 PM

There is so much to respond to, I do not know where to begin. But here goes.

1)csrMark You want to drive down a gas station's profit from inside sales so that the price of gas goes down? That is so stupid it isn't even funny.
Every business needs a certain amount of gross profit to "keep the lights on", so lower profits would require higher margins to stay in business.

2)phpearso you win the genius award. How does your $10 purchase work in an upward moving market? Also, a non business owner probably on the doll doesn't care that the CC company will make about 30-40 cents on your $10 purchase while the station owner makes zippo.

3)thorman52 Read above!! Then reread catfish99 last post until it sinks in. Otherwise there is no hope for you.

4)burt12013 Yea I guess your right. The cheaper stations would sell more gas while the higher priced stations less. The less the higher priced stations sell the higher the margins need to be. So they sell even less and less and less until they go out of business. Then we will see what the lack of competition does to gas prices.

All gas does not cost the same. That is a fact. The unbranded gas costs, on average, 3 to 8 cents less per gallon than your branded Mobil, Shell etc.. Some gas station owners own the property, others lease from big oil, some get a great price due to volume or number of stations while others do not.

What does that mean? It means that the station selling gas for 5 cents a gallon might be making more per gallon than the higher priced station. What do you do then? Who do you support.

Bottom line is none of you have a clue as to how a gas station is run or which ones are making money, overpricing or breaking even. All you see is that station A is 5 cents less per gallon than station B. Good for you. Do you feel good? Are you warm and fuzzy inside?
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Rookie Author San Diego

Joined:Mar 2013
Message Posted: Mar 10, 2013 6:58:04 PM

if more people used gas buddy the cheaper priced stations would sell more.
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All-Star Author Indiana

Joined:Mar 2004
Message Posted: Mar 2, 2013 2:22:26 AM

My shtick against high prices is to buy $10.00 worth of gas at one place until it goes down as long as I am at home. I keep my tank low to cost average down.

On the road I know where the best prices usually are and with my 30 gal. tank I can get away with this tactic.

My smart phone has gas buddy on it and I have the major cities on the way saved . GB pays for my smart phone usage and then some.
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Rookie Author Grand Rapids

Joined:Nov 2003
Message Posted: Feb 28, 2013 3:32:44 PM

they will help each other ,but the cost they pay is inflated so that the seller is making a profit
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Champion Author South Bend

Joined:Jan 2009
Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 5:12:18 PM

"thats the guy I want to hurt" - No I don't want to hurt anybody but I would like to help the majority enjoy lower gas prices so they can spend their dollars taking their kids to a Major League game or on a cruise or a vacation anywhere. Maybe to buy a better car, be able to get daughter that prom dress, replace that broken down refrigerator, paint the house after 15 years, and other luxeries. It's all about the distribution of the dollar. In my opinion the oil companies are taking a much larger proportion than earned or necessary. How many billions do they need compared to how many hundreds we, the little guy, can use? Again, fortitude isn't fun but it is necessary to make any realistic attempt to bring down gas prices succeed.

[Edited by: thorman52 at 2/17/2013 5:13:05 PM EST]
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Champion Author Wilmington

Joined:Sep 2005
Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 10:22:19 AM

Thorman - the vast majority of stations are owned by small buisness people who live in your community. You know, the person who sponsors your son's little leauge team and your daughter's soccer team. And buys an ad in the school yearbook, and has a collection jar for the folks who were burned out of their home, and donates to the church auction.
That's the guy you want to hurt with your stupid scheme?
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Champion Author South Bend

Joined:Jan 2009
Message Posted: Feb 16, 2013 12:10:27 PM

I've suggested the very same thing in a few forums to no avail. The stations do not make that much on gas anyway. They make most of their money on the inside sales of snacks, cigarettes, soft drinks, health and beauty products and impulse items. Some of these items gain the station 40-60% profit. All of these items are also available elsewhere and almost always at a lesser price.

All that is needed is for us consumers to plan ahead a little and get these convenience items at the grocery store, your cigarettes at the tobacco shop, health and beauty at the drug store. Ya get the picture? When the retailer starts to feel the sting of lost profits they'll start to get on the wholesaler and they in turn will complain to the oil companies. May sound good in theory but can it work?

Only a conserted nationwide effort lasting a month or more could such a movement be effective. Where could such an effort start? I think the ideal place would be They have the audience, the audience has the desire for lower prices at the pump, all the stats and figures are in place, what else is there? Network media press coverage, an organizing unit, and mostly, FORTITUDE: strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.

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Rookie Author Ontario

Joined:Apr 2009
Message Posted: Jan 13, 2013 8:29:56 PM

if a gas station runs out of regular gas, they use other octane till the supply truck comes in. & the existing supply in their could get high or medium, but they have to sell it at regular price.
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Champion Author Iowa

Joined:Dec 2009
Message Posted: Jan 13, 2013 4:52:03 AM

I'm boycotting Christmas Candy - it's working . . .
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Champion Author Cape Coral

Joined:Feb 2012
Message Posted: Jan 13, 2013 2:32:21 AM

That will hurt... gas is very low mark-up. Limited by state law in most places.
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Champion Author Wilmington

Joined:Sep 2005
Message Posted: Jan 12, 2013 11:21:38 AM

Stations break even on gas. They stay in business on the stores or service. You really want to force the price of gas up, drive a few stations out of business and watch the effect of reduced competition.
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Champion Author Toledo

Joined:Dec 2010
Message Posted: Jan 11, 2013 4:48:28 PM

I agree with rummbleseat
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Champion Author Indiana

Joined:Oct 2012
Message Posted: Dec 7, 2012 11:35:05 PM

spend your energy where it counts
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Champion Author Cleveland

Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Nov 19, 2012 3:34:05 PM

This is a good point. But, again, misses the mark.

It is true that the store (food, supplies, etc.) does indeed have the highest profit margin between gas sales and "stuff" sales.

If there weren't a store making money, would it not be logical that the gas price would be higher?

Consider this, the same property would have a very similar amount of property taxes, wages (lower, but not much probably), and utilities. If the store's profits were lower and the same amount of money needed to be raised to pay the employees, the taxes, and the utilities, how else would they raise that money? Higher gas prices.

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Champion Author Tucson

Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Oct 23, 2012 11:41:17 AM

very complex question with no answers.
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Champion Author Greenville

Joined:Jan 2011
Message Posted: Oct 19, 2012 10:02:49 PM

Yet another 1/120 member hashing over a tried and untrue topic.

CsrMark, use your brain for a second. If everyone stopped buying stuff sold inside the convenience store part of gas stations, and as you admit they "really rely on money spent on stuff in the store," then what do you think would happen to the price of gas? It would have to go UP to cover their operating expenses. Is that what you were trying to accomplish? And a rhetorical question, are you going to post any gas prices?
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Champion Author Houston

Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Oct 19, 2012 11:06:58 AM

Just to et the record straight for all our new posters coming up with this brilliant idea let's first understand a few things.

I work for a big oil company in retail fuel. I have for just over 12 years. When I first started I worked in the direct store operation side of the business. In other words I worked with the stations the oil conmpany owned. We got the profits for all the stuff sold in the store and all the gas sales. We liked the gas sales side because we made good money with it and did not have to share with dealers. On the store side profits were good as well.

Targeted gross profits for everything sold in the store was just over 30%. Individual categories were even better on certain items. Fountain sales, including coffee had gross margins of up to 80%. Tobacco on the other hand only had gross margins of about 10 to 11%. Problem was big oil companies sucked at running stores. To much overhead an inability to get the best prices from vendors, and a lack of store level control that lead to employee's theft.

You would think a big corporation like the oil companies could get good deals from Coca Cola, or Pepsi, etc but that is not true. There is no way to negotiate a national deal for product from Coke. Coke is bottled by regional distributers operating under licensing from the Coca Cola Corporation out of Atlanta. They cut their own deals and Atlanta cannot negotiate a national deal because it would involve to many other bottling companies. The local dealers who operate one site or multiple sites in an area can get much better deals. We had a dealer that owned his own site in NH and would cut deals with vendors and pay cash on delivery to the store for all his goods. He got great discounts and bought better than any big oil company ever could. He was in his store everyday and showed up at random times which discouraged employees from stealing. He made great money in this model.

Big oil was losing money running sites so they slowly starting exiting the direct market. The first go round they kept the gas sales and got an operator to run the site and let him take all the inside sales. From there they wanted to eliminate the liability of the gas on site so they started selling the stores outright to dealers and wholesalers which has lead us to where we are today. And where we are today is that the majority of sites in the US are independently owned and operated but branded with the big oil companies and obligated by contract to buy all their gas from them. In return they get discounted credit card processing, grants and forgivable loans to improve sites and the advantage of national advertising and promotional programs like tie ins to grocery rewards programs.

Where things get a little off kilter as I have noticed that these ideas of buying nothing from the stores seem to come from Canadians the most is that Canada is not at the same place we are in the US. In Canada a lot of the stations are still owned on paper by the oil companies, but they are leasing the site to the operators. Oil companies still control the gas side of the business but the operators run all the sales inside and get all the profits.

At this point in the US oil companies operate virtually no sites and own no sites (land and building). In Canada the oil companies don't operate sites but in many cases still own the site (land and building).

In either instance (Canada or the US) however not buying inside the site will only hurt the local operator and have no effect whatsoever on the oil company.
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Champion Author Chicago

Joined:Feb 2011
Message Posted: Oct 18, 2012 11:47:10 AM

prius22: Markup is high compared to what? McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks? I do not see it. And how much of they coffee profits do you thinks goes to "the big boys" at the oil companies?
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Champion Author Pittsburgh

Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Oct 18, 2012 8:55:25 AM

More evidence for why new members should not be allowed to start topics.
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Champion Author Twin Cities

Joined:Apr 2012
Message Posted: Oct 18, 2012 8:54:21 AM

Mark up is high, a cup of coffee is probably a few pennies and the same with fountain beverages. They make a killing on that stuff.
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Champion Author Maryland

Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Oct 17, 2012 7:39:47 PM

I'm just wondering, csrMark, what you think your plan (not buying anything but gas from gas stations) will do? Do you expect that because you're only buying gas that the price of gas will somehow drop in price?

But, as you used the word "boycott", if you're going to boycott a store or business or entity, you need to have a goal, something that you hope your boycott will accomplish, something that you can tell the people you're boycotting that you want them to do in order to meet your demands, and in order for you to end your boycott. if they don't know what you want from them, what you want in order to end your boycott, it's impossible for them to meet your demands. So, what is it that you want them to do in order for you to end your "boycott"?

That said, I, like several others, simply don't believe the "sister working at the "one of the big boys" head office" story. That said, what do you mean by "one of the big boys"? Who is or what is the level of this "big boy" that you expected to have influence on? Just for a point of understanding; that's all; just for understanding.

Another "that said", thanks for your gas price posting for the benefit of your fellow Toronto Gas Buddy members.

[Edited by: Gas_Buddy at 10/17/2012 7:40:09 PM EST]
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Champion Author Vancouver

Joined:Oct 2008
Message Posted: Oct 17, 2012 7:10:44 PM

Did she know my cousin's sister-inlaw's nephew's wife? She worked at big boys head office too.
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Champion Author Chicago

Joined:Feb 2011
Message Posted: Oct 17, 2012 6:29:05 PM

I do not believe any of your story csrMark. As rumbleseat points out, oil companies own few of the stations. I agree with rumbleseat that the plan is silly.

Who are these "big guys" that you speak of? And how much money do you think these "big guys" by selling coffee.

[Edited by: maxstar at 10/17/2012 6:30:13 PM EST]
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Champion Author Winnipeg

Joined:Oct 2002
Message Posted: Oct 17, 2012 5:13:11 PM

Since oil companies have sold off or closed their stations, they won't notice a darn thing if you don't buy anything in the stores, which are owned by franchises, business owners, your friends, neighours, and family, many of whom have their life savings tied up in their businesses.
And they don't need that silly agreement you seem to think exists. There isn't a single city that has refineries or distribution depots for every major company, and in many cities there are independent distributors that cater to many different brands, adding the individual additive mixes in the truck.
So, your silly plan would do nothing, and if it did actually work, would put some more stations out of business, raising prices because there would be less competition.
If you had actually taken some time to lurk in the forums, you would have discovered you are about the 43 billionth person (give or take 100 million) to suddenly think of this "brilliant" idea.
I hate to say it, but this is another indication that members who haven't contributed a darn thing to the site shouldn't be able to earn their first and only points with an original, and I use the term loosely, post.
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Champion Author Alabama

Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Oct 17, 2012 12:32:00 PM

Looks like csrMark pulled a "ACORN". Newsmonger is that you?

[Edited by: 1OILMAN at 10/17/2012 12:34:20 PM EST]
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Champion Author Omaha

Joined:Sep 2005
Message Posted: Oct 17, 2012 8:45:06 AM

1. Very few large oil companies own the local stations.

2. The station owners, probably your neighbors, get very little from gas sales and don't set the price

3. Why would you want to hurt your neighbors or local station owners? Do you like to see other people suffer?

4. How about posting some prices so others can find the lowest price?
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