These are questions that I anticipate.
||Q: How will buying cheap gas make the price come down?
A: If the easiest way to make money is to sell the cheapest gas, there will be at least two or three gas stations trying to become the lowest price in town. If at least two stations are competing in this way, they will each slowly cut their price again and again.
|Q: Gas prices are actually determined by OPEC, the world
oil situation, refinery situations and futures trading, all of this
running around price-checking will have zero effect on the price of
A: I disagree. The supply of gasoline does have an effect on the price, but so does the demand. More information onsupply and demand at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
|Q: This is a nice setup, why don't you do it for
Warrensburg, Missouri too?
A: I've probably already bitten off more than I can chew with the enormity of this project. I live in Sacramento, California and I know a bunch of people here, which should make this easier to get started. A similar service calledgaspricewatch has been serving Canada and the entire USA for a few years already, you can try using them, or you might try creating a cheap-gas map of your own city.
|Q: Why don't you just use Gas Price Watch?
A: Their system is amazing, but it didn't seem as though anyone else in my area was updating the price information, making it less than useful. By focusing on Sacramento, I think I can get a large group of people interested and active.
|Q: How much does this cost?
A: It is free, but it is going to take a lot of help to actually work.How to help.
|Q: How long are you going to keep this project hot and
A: I will update it at least once a day for two months, until June 10th, 2003. At that point I'll either have the updates very streamlined or I'll transition the day-to-day updates over to gaspricewatch somehow.
|Q: Why don't you convince people to ride the bus or a
bicycle instead, lowering demand for gasoline and reducing the price that
A: I couldn't even convince myself. Check outThe Underground Newton Transportation Site if you are interested in busses.
|Q: Are gas stations going to start cheating?
A: Maybe. I'll try to stay on top of any questionable business practices. If you see any funny business, send me a note. Be specific.
I anticipate surcharges for ATM or VISA/MC/Amex and rapid price changes (more than once per day) if stations begin to feel the effects. I don't think it is possible for a gas station to "water down" their gasoline, by the way. You can read more about that inthe price and quality of gasoline.
|Q: This is a nice setup, why don't you do this for
A: This project is going to be a lot of work, but the price of gasoline is very important. I think gas is a necessity with a remarkably inflexible demand curve, uniquely susceptible to an information-sharing project like this one.
|Q: What if this backfires?
A: The only way I can foresee this backfiring is if every single station in town works together to keep prices high. There should always be at least a few stations that won't go along with that scheme.
|Q: What is going to happen when the price gets really,
really low? Couldn't gas stations going to start going out of business?
You are going to hurt minority owned/small businesses this way.
A: I guess it is possible that a gas station could go out of business, but it should be the one that is the least efficient. If they aren't making enough profit, I encourage them to put pressure on the gasoline suppliers. Don't forget that this scheme should help transportation companies, such as truckers, taxi drivers, private bus companies and delivery operations, some of which are minority owned/small businesses too.
|Q: What about long lines?
A: There may be a times where the lowest priced station has a long line of customers. I've waited as long as 6 minutes for gas at station #027. It might be a pain in the short term, but the more important we make the price, the more pressure we will put on the retailers and suppliers.
I encourage people to courteously wait in those lines, or to come back later. Please move your car before you get your change. Please don't honk unless a collision is eminent. We are all in this together, with the same goal: filling up on cheap gas.
A: I'm not including Costco gasoline in the daily updates. I don't have a Costco membership and I'm not willing to pay $45 per year for one. In any case, the price of gasoline at Costco in South Sacramento is usually right at the same price as the lowest in town, and the Costco on Exposition is a few cents more. I'm also leaving out gas stations that require you to buy a car wash with your gasoline.
|Q: Doesn't Connoisseur mean snob? Like a wine
connoisseur? Shouldn't connoisseurs buy the finest gas, not the cheapest?
A: No, well, some people use the word like that, but it means "expert".
|Q: What about the 9/10ths of a cent at the end of gas
A: I've dropped them, rounded down to the nearest cent. Always assume that the 9/10s is included in these prices.
|Q: Why are the photo-prices wrong?
A: Most of the photos were taken in March, when prices were high. The photos aren't updated daily like the rest of the site.
Will my car's resale value be affected by cheap gas?
A: No, check out the Kelley Blue Book website and examine the many, many different things that make your used car more valuable. Top-of-the-line gasoline isn't mentioned.
If your engine catches on fire, then, of course, your car would be worth less, but I promise that won't happen.
What's the fastest way to see today's lowest price?
A: Visit www.cockeyed.com/139.php. That page is updated daily. The 139 stands for $1.39, the goal for this project.
|More information about Sacramento Gas
This page last updated May 1st, 2003 | Copyright © 2003 Rob Cockerham
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