Gas Stations to Thwart Holiday Hike Meme

Comment on the November 18 prediction:  In Indiana and Ohio, I was CORRECT, as prices rose, but in Michigan, we had to wait to Friday … and my predictions are supposed to be for Michigan.  So, WRONG.

Monday, November 25, 2013, 6:30PM:  Wholesale prices spiked a bit last week, leading to hikes across the board.  Now they are backing off, so there is a decent gap between retail prices and the cost to dealers.  This should lead to regular downward pressure on prices throughout this holiday week.  So, no rush to fill up. –Ed Aboufadel

Updated: November 25, 2013 — 6:22 pm


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  1. Yeah, margins are healthy now. Let’s hope the market doesn’t turn fickle to this idea.

  2. I’m sure everybody will remember this example of yet another driving holiday that isn’t immediately preceded by a gas price hike. And they’ll stop swearing that it happens “every time,” or nearly so.

    Nah, it’s more fun to complain than to change your mind.

    Happy Thanksgiving anyway, fellow Midwesterners!

  3. With 30 spikes a year whether it is a ‘conspiracy’ or ‘common practice’ to spike right before a holiday or not is largely irrelevant. why bother with one spike when there’s 29 more to worry about?

  4. Kroger’s gas prices in Troy, MI have varied from $3.039 to $3.399 within the past week. Today they were at 3.199. What really makes me crazy is the price flucuation between Kroger stations. In Lake Orion gas will be 3.039 while in Troy it’s $3.399. I’m not sure, but I think Kroger owns all their gas stations so where the big difference in price?

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too Ren Butler and the rest of you who read this page.

  5. What gets me, is the fact that NOBODY on this forum ever voices a single suspicious thought about the way that certain poultry prices will conveniently spike again, RIGHT AFTER FRIDAY. like it does EVERY year. Its amazing how all sneaky and pervasive ‘Big Turkey’ is about these spikes, sure, they might dip a bit before Christmas… but lets face it, theres no coincidence here when it happens EVERY YEAR. Ever try to buy a turkey before 4th of July weekend? or Valentines day? (Dont even get me started on Cranberry sauce or frozen veg. Thanks, Greedseye!) Grumble. Thats why I buy on the down cycle and fill my freezer. Happy Thanksgiving.

  6. TURBO: You are so right about the worrying about the spikes. And Speedway is hoping the vast majority of people just quit worrying about them and loose track and buy gasoline whenever they need gas instead of when the prices are low. If EVERYBODY bought gas like we on this site did, Speedway would go out of business or have to change their ways. Let’s keep hoping that there are enough people not tracking the prices so we can keep reaping the benefit they afford us.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂 I just want to thank you TURBO46032 and TimmP and many others who have taken your personal time to help our families save money and perceive the truth. I have been reading this site for about 2 years and have ALWAYS been grateful your insight. THANK YOU. Have a Wonderful Day. 🙂

  8. Driving from Lansing to southern Ky for Thanksgiving, gas in Seymour, IN was 2.95. That was much cheaper than anywhere else along the way. Most places seemed to be around 3.23, but I did see 3.18-3.19 a couple of times.

  9. Gas in Grand Cayman is at 5.69 a gallon. Just spent the last week there and enjoyed a great vacation but only drove 51 miles to our usual haunts…and the island ain’t that big anyway. Two large tankers came into Hog Sty Bay while we were there to unload at the ESSO tankfarm and one called PREBIUS (iirc) I think they took over the TEXACO franchise.
    Oh yeah, GCM dollar is pegged on the US dollar too. US worth .80 cents there so add that to the price if you pay in US currency.
    So yeah, be thankfull for our prices (somewhat anyway!)

  10. Just a thought here. Wholesale gas has not dropped nearly as fast as retail. Someone in these threads said that we normally have approximately 30 spikes a year. That works out to a spike every 1.75 weeks, or 12 days. Our last spike was 11 days ago. I’m thinking this week, Thursday probably?

  11. @TimmP
    Last year we had 35 SPIKEs and we’ve had 30 through 11 months this year.

    We’ve gone from as few as 4 days between SPIKEs this year all the way up to 27 days between SPIKEs. Just watch for the warnings on here and you’re going to come out way ahead of the game.

  12. Spot prices are down 16.44 cents from last Wednesday. Shouldn’t be any price hikes soon.

  13. Ryan: Been coming here for over 4 years now. Although I have been beating the highest prices for my whole life (since this game started back in the 70’s), and found this site to finally explain WHY it was happening. I used to calculate my own time when the prices would spike when one could get the wholesale price off Bloomberg. Ed and I have communicated directly several times and I have contributed a couple of graphics over the years. LOVE THIS SITE. A real godsend for us all. Thanks Ed, et. al.

  14. Fear not, fellow squirrels. Oil jumped a good chunk today and I’m sure we’ll see the crude reflected in gasoline price not too long from now. Enjoy those 2.87 prices as they won’t be sticking around for too long… Maybe a couple weeks just to say ‘below $3.00’…

  15. I saw that news on the WTI jump Turbo. Even with Chicago Spot going up 12 cents yesterday, we’re sill a good dime above the spike line. Maybe things will cool today, but if not, I wouldn’t be surprised if our $3.09 prices at home go bye-bye. We haven’t been below $3 in more than two years (east central Indiana that is). We’ve gotten close, but no cigar.

    I saw $2.82 on the west side of Toledo yesterday where I’m currently working.

  16. Filled up at $2.879 this morning. Lowest this year, for sure, if not the past two.

  17. Spot prices have risen 11 cents EACH of the last two days 🙁

  18. Is there an explanation why the spike probability is still 0% even with the tiny (or even negative) margins?

  19. Seeing a lot of $3.299’s popping up on GREEDway’s site for sw Ohio……

  20. Having a little trouble getting my data updated properly, so I didn’t see this hike coming today. I hope I can catch a station at the old price this afternoon and still win the Gas Game.

  21. We filled up both cars last night. Cashed in 1000 Kroger points. 30 gallons @ $1.999/gallon.

  22. 3.29 Kalamazoo area

  23. $3.29 in Grand Rapids and this, on the local news website.

  24. Speedway spiking to $3.35 in SBN now.

  25. A general .30 increase in Grand Rapids area today.

    As an aside, there are flex fuel stations selling corn juice for $1 less per gallon – I like filling up at $2/gallon, even though I get worse mileage; its a mind game with myself.

  26. $3.09 to $3.35 at the local Greedway. The Pilot’s and others are usually 12-24 hours behind. This may have been our last chance at home to ever see sub $3 dollar a gallon gas if a Congress gets their way. One party (I’ll let you guess who) has introduced a bill that would nearly double the federal gas tax. I hope it falls flat on its face!

  27. As somebody who tends to share your political bent, I’m surprised to see you characterize the legal pursuit of profit in a competitive industry as “greed.”

  28. This is a prime example of GREEDway. analysts have stated that there is no reason for a spike other than greedy stations. I STILL don’t get why independent retailers would follow suit. The idea of raising prices because the other guy did goes against every economic idea I have ever heard. If the little guy can keep his price down, you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to him. Yet another reason to boycott big gas!

  29. Ren, if we had a competitive energy industry I would agree to your statement, but given the current state of government controlled oil, cartels, huge multinationals, refinery shutdowns, and retail games like zone pricing and cyclical pricing, one would have to really go out of their way to describe the energy market as ‘competitive’.

    Besides, since the economy is a zero sum game, one company’s or industry’s pursuit of profit at all costs could ruin the rest of the economy ($147 crude anyone?) and eventually themselves. Or attract regulators (not likely those days but still…)

    Plenty of money could be made with sub-3.00 gasoline and/or sub-70 or 80 dollar crude. But, as the case happens, why sell 100 gallons at $3.00 when you can sell 80 gallons at $4.00 and make the same profit?

  30. Steve
    I don’t know where gasbuddy said this hike was for “no reason” because it wasn’t. Grand Rapids average gas price had dropped 21 cents from the day before Thanksgiving until this morning while wholesale, with some wild gyrations in between was essentially the same as at the start. If you’re not in Grand Rapids, probably similar drop occurred if Speedway hiked today

    Spot prices finally turned around dropping 6.65 cents today. For markets where Speedway hiked today (and that doesn’t include northeast Illinois where we lucked out) look for an immediate 6-7 cent rollback…NOT!

  31. Why no prediction now? Elkhart has spiked to 3.35 over the last 12 hours!

  32. Turbo, I’m just saying that the use of the silly nickname like “Greedway” detracts from the otherwise intelligent and useful nature of this site (a rare thing on the internet these days!). It’s like when somebody tries to make a solid political point but then includes a shot at “Obummer” or “Shrub” in the process. I think it’s distracting and unnecessary. That’s all.

    Okay, I think the point has been made, so I’ll let it go. I’m sure it will be ignored by most of the defenders, who seem to use such nicknames with glee as some sort of badge of dubious hilarity…

  33. Jim I get what you are saying…my problem, and hence the reason for this site, is why do we go up 30 flipping cents while other areas may see a dime increase. I truly don’t know why this is even permitted legally. I don’t think that sort of a hike was necessary (or is ever necessary).

  34. if you are getting gas from a low priced zone the increases are more like 39-49 cents a gallon, not 30. I last filled up at 2.83 or 2.87, then it spiked to 3.35…

    The zone pricing is even funnier. Used to be we had serious Carmel Premium pricing built into gasoline – as with everything else – in Carmel. Now there’s a price war going on again (right…) and everyone in Carmel is right at $3.00 +-…

  35. Steve…
    When you ask “why do we go up 30 flipping cents while other areas may see a dime increase ” are you talking about stations in various parts of your local market or your city vs say somewhere else entirely? Within a given market, the hikes led by Speedway may be 10 cents at a station that had not had to lower its price since the last hike to compete, and 30 cents at stations that were much lower just before the hike. The end price is usually the same at ALL Speedway (and most other brand I suppose) stations in your market. If you are comparing price changes in Grand Rapids (if that’s your market) vs price changes in say Denver, the answer which you can read more about from links on this web site, is that that’s how Speedway operates where it dominates. I would guess there are more frequent but smaller hikes in other markets, whereas Speedway seems content to let prices get down to no profit in a given market before deliberately overshooting a “reasonable” (subjectively) price target knowing that the cycle will repeat endlessly. Why? I don’t know.

  36. My theory is this… Assuming ‘normal’ up and down price variations vs spikes and lows have no net effect on price paid in a Speedway state (and I’ll need a few bags of salt to believe that) the reason(s) are:

    1. obfuscate ‘true’ price compared to states with steadier prices
    2. motivate customers to fill up more often in fear of paying high and increasing traffic inside
    3. allow for better management of zone pricing. If prices bounce all over the place and come down at different paces it’s easier to miss zone pricing
    4. it forces other retailers to set prices where Speedway wants, whether they paid high or low for the gas in their tanks
    : : : : :

    I really think that in the long term, the alienation of customers and the use of mobile websites to track prices should take care of spikes. Instead, spikes are increasing to epic levels (now up to what, 50 cents?)… My personal bet is it’s number 2…

  37. Anybody read – The source for convenience store and fuel news?

    A friend that doesn’t follow this site or gas prices in general, but hears me talk about gas prices and Speedway sent me this

    The last few paragraphs are interesting.

  38. Thanks for the link. Sounds as though Greedway might be looking at expanding to other states. Shall we send letters welcoming them to our “exclusive club” of 25 cent or even 50 cent spikes in some cases LOL.

  39. Speedway will probably avoid the few states that have a law restricting spikes to 5¢ a day. For whatever reason they do it that we don’t understand, it is working for them. I still maintain that it hides what is really happening by just muddying the waters of the real price.

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