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Remember The Days When Competing Gas Stations Had Price Wars.......

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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:07 PM
Original message
Remember The Days When Competing Gas Stations Had Price Wars.......
and drove the price of gas down. Now they change the price of gas upwards. When one gas station raises their prices - their competition down the block or across the corner - raises their price to match. They are competing to push the prices up now.

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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. It seems like its still a gas war, but with the opposite purpose. nt
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KeepItReal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. Just like airlines and their new bag fees and surcharges
Monkey see, monkey do.

Southwest Airlines bucks that trend though. Good on 'em for that.
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physioex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. Its really not the gas stations that are the problem.....
Its more speculation.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. ... speculation -- and oil companies tell them what price to charge -- !!
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PBS Poll-435 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. The margins continue to shrink for gas stations. The profits are being allocated elsewhere.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. Look for those days only in books and movies, for those days are gone with the wind. nt
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. In the mid 1960's in Milwaukee we're talking .12-.14 cents per gallon for leaded n/t
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Mid 60's in rural Arkansas
I remember gas at 7 cents per gallon during a price war.

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Broderick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
7. Not that simple nor is this true
Prices change daily, and for a long stretch of time they have gone up because the supply cost is up. Stations net maybe 2-5 cents per gallon if they are lucky. The biggest problem is the smaller operations like mine, are in cash flow crunch because local credits are growing in size as the price is higher and whatever comes back into the tanks is more than what you sold it for almost every time - so even if you sold at a profit you are nicked in cash flow. Those two things aren't mutually exclusive. Price wars still happen, but the local stations price war off of the current prices. Unfortunately, the barrel price, and the incoming wholesale prices continue to rise. Support the little guys is all I can say, because they are going under left and right if you haven't noticed. The big stations have borrowing capacity far exceeding the mom and pops, and can afford to sell in losing fashion as well as manage negative cash flow more readily.

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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
8. gas stations actually have a very very small profit margin on gas, they don't get to set the price.
they makes their money off of ppl buying beer/smokes/chips/ect in the store while they're there to get gas.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Small gas stations aren't the norm these days, either. They're owned by the oil companies outright
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Broderick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. There are many independent gas stations
that are mom and pops, but might fly a flag for a particular brand. They are not owned by the oil companies, as I am not. The big oil companies penetrate markets with company owned locations but they are few and far between in my market. The wholesalers and big conglomerates run the biggest portion of the stations. Places like WAWA are an example. They do a great job in their stations, but the small business owners lose out. We are small. We don't get rich, and give back to respective community, but the convenience and the options and the choices make it tough on us when compared to the big box stations surrounding us. They have better access to funding cash flow issues as wholesale gas prices increase. Even if we keep prices the same as a WAWA, they run a great operation and folks use them. Sad, but I consider them the Wal-Mart of the business now. It's only a matter of time. They probably even pay less taxes then some of the smaller operations, just a hunch. It is what it is.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Out here in Colorado corporate owned are everywhere
But I understand what you said about mom and pop locations not making much on the sale of fuel. Decades ago, hubby worked on cars in gas/service stations. But then the corporate owned stations arrived. He worked for Phillips 66 back in the 70s. He was pumping gas and working on cars back during the embargo days when it was hell working the pumps.

:hi:
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Broderick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. There was a time
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 03:26 PM by Broderick
when you could make a necessary profit in fuel. Really, in the context of things, not that long ago. Taxes, regulations, insurance, etc kind of changed that along with many other factors. It has really changed as box stores come in and strive to do 500K in inside sales and prices be damned. I know that goes against the observation of the original poster, but in essence, you could run competing stations all owned by private owners and have the little gas wars, etc. in a neighborhood. Now, like I said, 2-5 cents profit is the norm and more importantly on much less volume. But one must consider that in 30 years the fuel economy has gotten extremely better so volume was gonna drop anyway. I hate to see folks that have been in business for decades unable to stay in business as the big boxes pop up. It is sad. Many were fixtures in their community, lived in the community, and did their best to give reasonable wages to employees. Like I said, it is what it is, and times have changed. Folks visit a Wal-mart for the same reason - convenience and choice. It drives the small folks under. Buying American is a farce as most neglect to even care when it comes to personal spending. Whatever is the best deal and whatever is the cheapest, yet they still expect the small business owners to partake in the community they live in and work in. How many car washes, softball teams, youth programs, and charities we are requested to be a part of, yet the big box does zero locally. Times have changed. Not whining, just stating the realities.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. Now it's labor instead of gas. nt
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
12. Yes, we used to get gas for 19 cents a gallon in Houston
sometimes back in the '60s.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. I've been using an app called GasBuddy to track ..
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 02:04 PM by hlthe2b
Today's prices for a gallon of regular range from a low of 3.499 to 3.659 in my area of Denver. It is undoubtedly even higher in areas outside of Denver, but I only set it to track within a 3.5 mile circumference. (I don't care how cheap it is, if I have to burn gas to get there).

Now that is a $0.16 difference for regular. Inexplicable, but I do see that a handful of stations geographically clustered consistently have the lower prices. So, maybe there is some limited competition? :shrug:
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Matt_in_STL Donating Member (150 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
14. I worked at a 7-Eleven about 13 years ago
Every morning on my way in part of my job was to look at the prices at all of the gas stations around the area. Once I arrived at work I had to input those rates into a national gas database we worked with. Once I was done the computer would spit out the price we needed to charge for each level of gas we sold.

10 times out of 10 it set the prices at exactly what everyone in our area was set to. I am not sure how the database itself worked but it never failed that we just matched everyone else.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
15. Exactly -- and that's why Capitalism and myths of "free enterprise" are nonsense ....
TRUE COMPETITION would immediately put three of the gas stations out of business --

and leave the fourth one bankrupt!!

It's all a farce --

PLUS these increasing gas prices only have to do with SPECULATION -- once again!!!

Wake up, America!!

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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
16. There were half the people on planet earth at that time.
And probably one fourth the demand on resources.

And I apologize because I know the intent or your post was not reflected in my reply. I hate people who do what I just did. But in a way the overriding influence on price is demand. Yes the root of all evil is the love of money. But we're heading into some very bad times, with billions all competing for resources.
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