GAS PRICES
Posted by BLT (+87) 13 years ago
In Miles City, yesterday the going price for unleaded fuel was 148.9.

At 8:00 A.M. the town pump was 158.9. At noon today all the other retailers were at 158.9.

I fail to see the logic other than price fixing, which is illegal. Who do we need to complain to.

Prices are supposed to dependent on your costs, labor etc. These stations all respond to Town Pumps raises and lower.

I think it is illegal.
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Posted by David Schott (+17532) 13 years ago
Yesterday, regular unleaded was $2.139/gallon at a Chevron near my home in Redmond, WA. You guys are getting a bargain at $1.589.

- Dave
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10042) 13 years ago
I heard on the news yesterday that Billings had the lowest price in the nation.
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Posted by JLB (+217) 13 years ago
From what I have read, it is my understanding that OPEC has shut down some of their oil refineries in order to increase gas prices. The lowest price was at $40/barrell and "they" feel that that is an unfair price. They would like for the price to rise up to $80/barrell and consider this the overall "fair" price. Not sure where this will all end up but it was sure nice to have a little break around the holidays. Hopefully we won't see it get as ridiculous as last summer....guess we will see.
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Posted by Montana Kid (+120) 13 years ago
If I read it right, the question has to do with the fact that Town Pump's price was higher at 8 am and the others followed suit much later. I don't know the answer. Perhaps the manager with the "pull the numbers off the sign" stick didn't come on until noon?
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Posted by BLT (+87) 13 years ago
You have missed the point, why do stations down the street change their prices as soon as they see the other guy raise or lower his. This is price fixing,which is illegal by federal law. How do they get away with this. Prices are not supposed to be fixed at the retail level.
If I am wrong correct me.

Robert
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15094) 13 years ago
If the price of Busch Lite was the same at M&H and Town Pump would you comment?
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Posted by BeerNut (+63) 13 years ago
But gas isn't beer. If I went through the same amount of beer as gas on a road trip to Billings, I wouldn't be able to find Planet Lockwood when I arrived.

[This message has been edited by BeerNut (edited 1/27/2009).]
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1887) 13 years ago
I'm guessing they get their orders for gas prices from corporate HQ. Perhaps each corporation uses a similar formula to calculate gas prices in a certain area. Or maybe there's a more Bigfoot - Loch Ness Monster type explanation.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15094) 13 years ago
In many small towns the gas for several stations arrives on the same truck. It ought to be exactly the same price.
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Posted by JCF (+388) 13 years ago
It is only price fixing if they coordinate the price adjustments. It would not be price fixing, if say, I saw Town Pump raise its price to 1.58, and so I immediately raised mine to 1.57, to be just barely price competitive, but still maximize my profit. Because it is still the same gas in the tank that I was chargin 1.48 for the day before. The point is, price fixing is illegal, having the same price isn't.
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Posted by Steve Allison (+976) 13 years ago
Prices are fixed at the retail level, it is called competitive pricing. Just like Wal-Mart or other big chain store goes into the competition and checks prices, gas stations check their competitors. It is just easier for them because the price is on a big sign you can see for blocks. Price fixing is when owners or managers meet some secret place and discuss what price they will sell at to keep competition down and their profits up. Matching someone else's price is how a free market is suppose to work. The idea is that the price competition should give you, the consumer, the best price that still keeps the businesses in business.
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Posted by JCF (+388) 13 years ago
Steve, you said what I said, only much better. Regardless, the real question is, are the businesses acting illegaly? No, unless they are nefariously setting the price at some certain level in coordination with one another.
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