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April 26, 2004

Gas Wars

These gas wars are out of control!

I must have passed 4 gas stations selling at 80.9 on my way home today. Given that Superstore is 5 minutes from my house, I figured I would just head straight there. You usually get the lowest price and the bonus coupon of 3.5 cents per litre for groceries. Of course, Oliver blew a gasket a block before we got there...so much for "cheap" gas today.

As luck would have it, Ollie needed a couple of food items for the week so off to Superstore I went. Superstore is about the only place that almost hides their gas prices so all I could see was the Chevron across the street at 92.9! Outrageous! Imagine my surprise to find Superstore lagging behind at 80.9 and NO LINE-UP! Listen to me, getting excited about gas at 80.9! I can't even remember the last time it was below 70.

So, if gas prices get you all riled up, check out GasTips.com to find the lowest prices in Greater Vancouver. I also heard a tip on the radio today - when gas prices skyrocket, buying only 5 or 10 dollars when you need to forces the stations to lower the price to keep sales up.

Posted by penny at 10:38 PM in Rants, Rants, Rants | Permalink


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hey I noticed you are from Vancouver. I am from Kamloops BC. I love your blog!!!!!! I write too mine mostlt about being a mom to 3 kids :)http://zionsrain.bravejournal.com/

oh yes and about the gas, IT"S nuts! I don't know how anyone is going to be able to drive much longer.

Posted by: miranda | May 5, 2004 6:12:44 PM

Here's an email that's going around re gas wars.

Sure! - I’ll Help start a gas price war! – Will you?

A silly one-day gas boycott can never work to reduce gas prices – but starting gas price wars can and will! The purpose of this email is to do just that!

Keep in mind it’s not just gas that costs you more, but an entire economic spin-off that will end up in inflationary prices for everything and will include higher interest rates. This is a major war – and either gas suppliers or the public will win. Which are you going to support?

A New 3-Step Consumer Strategy and Tactics to make it work:

Step 1: How the strategy works

Keep in mind that Oil companies have their strategy, so you need one to counteract theirs. Their strategy is to win overall through tactics to keep you guessing by increasing and then lowering prices to end up with gradual increases they believe you will accept. It’s the old political game of “three steps up and one step down to make you think you have won!” Straight-out subterfuge – but it has worked for eons on our collective ignorance and inability (until now due to the Internet) to fight back.

Step 2: How to counteract the strategy effectively.

For this to work, everyone must boycott just ONE gas supplier (shown below) for a year, or UNTIL the price in your area comes down by the amount by which they are gouging you - about 25% (or more)?

Is it unfair to pick on just one supplier, and hurt local dealers by doing this? Not really. Local dealers do this sort of thing on their own from time to time just to gain a larger share of the pie. All that’s needed is public help to kick-start them again, and keep them kick-started until prices return to an acceptable level. This does not have to last forever, but a darned good PERMANENT lesson can and has to be given to the oil companies and their suppliers! Remember it is THEY that are being UNFAIR - and here is the only way they will listen:

Dealers being boycotted will be forced to tell their supplier to choose between:

1. Subsidizing them as dealers.
2. Risk the loss of their outlets if dealers go out of the gas business.
3. Reducing the price they charge to dealers.

Step 3. Use Tactical Pricing
It is recommended that you pull the direct reverse of the tactics the oil company’s use on you to achieve their overall strategy. They use three tactical prices, so you need three as well. The three they have, are:

1. Current established (recent historical) price.
2. Target increase they want for the next year (e.g. 10%)
3. A temporary increase to impose and then step back from if they must (e.g. 15%).

Additionally, they use all sorts of smoke and mirror propaganda such as “unexpected” supply and demand to confuse and “justify” their actions in order to hide their real strategy and tactics. There’s little that’s truly unexpected - a long-term fair policy is possible, but don’t hold your breath waiting for them to implement it - instead now you can help cause it!

The reverse tactics you can use:

Write down and keep the following in your wallet next to your money or credit cards):

My 1/3 – 1/4 Gas Price Strategy:

1. Today’s date and price. (e.g. June 1st 2004 - $1.00)
2. The target decrease I could live with for the next year (e.g. 25% less) = $0.75
3. The temporary decrease I will impose (say 33%) = $0.666 before I will again buy from
the boycotted oil company.

Remember, you will not send a message if prices come down to what you think you could live with, and then stop your boycott because that’s close to the price the suppliers wanted to begin with. You must hang in until a price that bites them back becomes effective at least for a few months. To do otherwise encourages their tactics.

The above could end up as an on-again, off-again game lasting as long as there is gas and the Internet. (What fun!)

The author of this email is strongly suggesting that to work, the supplier should be recognized globally. Therefore has chosen Shell Oil as the target for one year or until price target number 3 is reached. Don’t worry they won’t go out of business. Instead, they and all other companies will exert lots of pressure on their suppliers. (Goody, Goody!)

If you currently buy gas from Shell, and are afraid of losing discounts or air-miles, consider this: You can usually get discounts and air-miles from another supplier. Please consider a bit of short-term pain for long-term gain, not just for yourself, but your entire country.

Even if you are not a Shell customer, you will want to monitor results, so write down your three tactical figures right now, talk about them with your friends and see how things work out. What do you really have to lose? Collectively we can do what governments can’t, or won’t do! Let’s prove it, once and for all!

Why it will work:

Back in the early 1950’s kids in Canada went on a candy bar boycott, because of price increases and almost won. They made signs, paraded in front of stores, and really got a lot of national attention. Some sympathetic merchants sold at a loss for quite a while. Had there been an Internet at that time and had they boycotted just one company, as they should have, using a three-price system while saying they would allow for small increases to match inflation, they could have won. Those kids had guts. Today’s kids can do much the same with the gas companies keeping in mind that their allowances might be affected if mom and dad have to pay more for gas. They can still make signs and parade in front of gas stations literally or figuratively by using the Internet.

So whether a kid, adult, unemployed, or a senior on a fixed income, please take action today. Don’t just think “George will do it.” - write down your three tactical prices, put them next to your money or credit cards, boycott Shell for one year or, UNTIL they meet your target prices, and….

Above all, please forward this email to everyone on your address book. Thank you.


P.S. The author has promised to pick another oil company to boycott with another email campaign beginning next June 1st, if prices haven’t come down to a generally acceptable level for 3 months prior to that date.

Posted by: Ken | May 20, 2004 11:55:36 PM

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