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Thread: Costco and fuel prices

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    Icon14 Costco and fuel prices

    Found my way to the new Costco Fuel Station at Epping.

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    Had one difficulty in that my membership card had suffered the male wallet syndrome and lost most of its coding even though it had been replaced earlier this year.

    Fortunately Costco had an attendant on duty to sort out that problem. and I was able to fill the Megane with Diesel at the remarkable price of 130.7 cents a litre check that against the market leader in price gouging SHELL in your area.

    The other prices at Costco 91 Unleaded 123.7

    98 Ron unleaded 141.7 and that seems very reasonable given that some others seem to be charging 160.9 cents .

    Didn't see a gas price, but on my country trip noted SHELL was charging 84.9 cents a litre for that as against the normal United 67 or 68.9 in Melbourne.

    Don't know if that COSTCO price was an opening special, but the fuel terminal sure was busy with motorists buying their fuel.


    Perhaps members interstate with COSCO fuel outlets might compare.

    I found that it was easy to access and exit back to the Freeway bypass that we use as a matter of preference when heading out of Melbourne when heading to Echuca and Bendigo so it seems no more need to call at APCO in Bendigo where we regularly saved $6 (compared with Melbourne prices) on each tank of fuel purchased.


    I purchased a 12 month COSCO membership for my sister in Sydney as thanks for allowing us to stay overnight so I hope that there is a similar fuel outlet that is convenient to her location and provides similar pricing.


    Australdi was amazed at the pricing difference as Tasmania has slipped back into higher pricing after a period where prices dropped due to ACCC surveillance (that didn't last sadly) she has been paying $1.90 for a litre of 98 RON Maybe COSTCO will finally open a store and fuel outlet there in Tasmania. Good for tourism too.

    Ken

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    I'm about to go to my local today to buy 98 for the 206. Presently $1.55.7 at Costco and $1.74 something at Woolworths.
    KB


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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    I'm about to go to my local today to buy 98 for the 206. Presently $1.55.7 at Costco and $1.74 something at Woolworths.
    So the 141.7 at Epping for 98 RON is likely an opening promotion, I wonder what the everyday prices are in other localities. Still sounds good as I remember when I was driving the Laguna regularly I considered anything around 1.50 to 1.55 for 98 was reasonable and overseas crude prices were much higher in those years all this pre my purchase of the Megane Diesel, and cheaper km's per litre, as reflected in my computer record of fuel costs for those years when daily life included a couple of trips back and forth to Echuca on any given week.

    Thanks for posting that.

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    The LPG price at Shell seems to be always 84.9cpl. They don't vary at all, don't follow the drops or climb the peaks. The jungle drums say that due to Shell selling off their refineries the access to a by-product,which they sold at times in a mean spirited cartel way, want to get rid of the expensive LPG equipment and put in better Return On Asset product and therefore equipment.
    How easy it is to get an oversea based board to sign off on a predetermined outcome from way down South?
    This drives down competition as to what fuel type is available by overt corporate disregard. One brand removes a fuel type then there are less stations to refuel and therefore possible less take up and the cycle repeats....
    Australia has lots of LPG but not lots of 'wet' fuel....this leads to overseas owned fuel companies making more from certain products than others.
    Ponder at will.
    Brendan.

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    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    My wife uses an app called NSW Fuel Check to compare prices, but I think there is a similar national one called fuel map or similar.
    So far, the price at our Costco has matched the app each time we get there.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Costco and fuel prices-2fab1dac-2a74-48a7-990c-5ebab7610b78.jpg  
    Last edited by renault8&10; 4th September 2018 at 09:54 PM.
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    Up here in Brisbane (Well, Northlakes just north of Brisbane) Their diesel price has been at least 7 cents per litre cheaper, when I've gone there. Unfortunately, it is not worth my while to drive 35 minutes to get it all the time.

    On a different note though, but still Costco related, their Hearing Aids (Yes, read correctly) are a bargain.

    I will try to keep this short.

    Qualified Audiologists, same testing booths and equipment as the major health fund I've been with for 20 years. They supplied their generic branded hearing aids, which are made under licence from a large international manufacturer. I had the option of purchasing/choosing their branded models or from three known brands, if I wanted. With the generic brand I chose, the only difference is that the technology inside is one model behind the manufacturers current model (So I was told) . In my case, they don't have inbuilt rechargeable batteries, still have to buy batteries . The casing/housings are identical in every way. Anyhow, you go with your own gut feelings... And mine where price driven. Health fund quoted $4000, Costco $2000.

    As is the case with Costco, I had to fork out $60 for an annual membership, and wait nearly 3 months for the free hearing test. Big deal, been deaf for years. After having had the test, I asked the Audiologist if he would mind comparing the Health Funds test results with his. No problem, it was basically identical. The kicker is, my health fund gave me the full benefit refund I would have received, had I used their services.

    So back to fuel, three visits to obtain the hearing aids and three tank fill-ups have covered the membership fee.

    Dano

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluey504 View Post
    The LPG price at Shell seems to be always 84.9cpl. They don't vary at all, don't follow the drops or climb the peaks. The jungle drums say that due to Shell selling off their refineries the access to a by-product,which they sold at times in a mean spirited cartel way, want to get rid of the expensive LPG equipment and put in better Return On Asset product and therefore equipment.
    How easy it is to get an oversea based board to sign off on a predetermined outcome from way down South?
    This drives down competition as to what fuel type is available by overt corporate disregard. One brand removes a fuel type then there are less stations to refuel and therefore possible less take up and the cycle repeats....
    Australia has lots of LPG but not lots of 'wet' fuel....this leads to overseas owned fuel companies making more from certain products than others.
    Ponder at will.
    Brendan.
    My understanding was that Australia has plenty of crude oil assets in the ground but looking to government to underpin the exploration with taxable adjustment credits like in the past. There are some quite powerful lobbies working on both major parties for and against local exploration to reveal new supply sources. Not easy to get official verifiable figures as major players hold cards close to their chest, shortages of course give excuses to charge higher prices. Nice to see new players in the retail fuel industry at least. And obvious long suffering motorists are taking whatever little advantage they have, the more the motoring public does in that respect the sellers market might just respond with that competition the industry is always claiming.


    I am told that onshore conventional gas exploration is moving forward to even out domestic shortages of production, the news seems favourable as state governments feel the pressure to remove self imposed moratoriums and even out the domestic gas markets.


    I should have raised this LPG Shell issue with some relatives who are insiders in shell marketing when I attended a family funeral earlier in the year. If the opportunity arises I will see what I can find out and report back.

    Ken

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    Hi
    Shell owns no refining or petrol stations in Australia as they sold them to Vitol. They also sold the Shell branding as it applies to petrol stations. So there is no point asking anyone who works for Shell about the price of anything at a Shell petrol station. You need to get your inside information from someone at Vitol.

    LPG prices don't have the discount cycle thing and its wholesale price is effectively set by Saudi Arabia. This is from some years back but as far is I know the same still appliesl

    "Most worldwide producers use a set Saudi Aramco Contract Price (Saudi CP) as a world marker price upon which exports and domestic sales to wholesalers (marketers) are negotiated. The reason for this is that there are few other world quoted prices and Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer of LPG. "

    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/archive/petrol

    As I understand the situation petrol retailers are getting rid of LPG tanks/pumps because demand has fallen so much that they don't get a useful return on the capital invested. So it is due to lack of demand not some arbitrary decision to deny consumers a fuel type.

    Those Costco prices look very low. I hope that a large greedy US corporation is aware it is illegal in Australia to sell a product at a loss to undercut legitimate Australian owned businesses which can't subsidise fuel with a giant retail goods operation? Looks like they might be doing that.

    Thanks
    Andy
    Last edited by 1972Ren; 5th September 2018 at 12:37 PM.

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    Those Costco prices look very low. I hope that a large greedy US corporation is aware it is illegal in Australia to sell a product at a loss to undercut legitimate Australian owned businesses which can't subsidise fuel with a giant retail goods operation? Looks like they might be doing that.
    You've got inside information on how they set their retail price?
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
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    Icon10 Who are the owners, some might say who cares..

    I hope that a large greedy US corporation is aware it is illegal in Australia to sell a product at a loss to undercut legitimate Australian owned businesses which can't subsidise fuel with a giant retail goods operation? Looks like they might be doing that.

    Well from the look of the swarm of Australian motorists that I have noticed lining up to buy at the Bendigo APCO fuel station and the Costco Epping outlet then those greedy [email protected]@gers are doing very well in the face of other overseas subsidiaries run by multi national companies padding up prices (as they can) and those motorists obviously like saving real Aussie earned dollars on each tank of fuel just like I like to do... Sorry but I can't share your concerns when it is my money that is getting ripped off by profit taking.


    Guess that is the bottom of the tank, line!!


    Regards

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1972Ren View Post
    Hi
    Shell owns no refining or petrol stations in Australia as they sold them to Vitol. They also sold the Shell branding as it applies to petrol stations. So there is no point asking anyone who works for Shell about the price of anything at a Shell petrol station. You need to get your inside information from someone at Vitol.

    LPG prices don't have the discount cycle thing and its wholesale price is effectively set by Saudi Arabia. This is from some years back but as far is I know the same still appliesl

    "Most worldwide producers use a set Saudi Aramco Contract Price (Saudi CP) as a world marker price upon which exports and domestic sales to wholesalers (marketers) are negotiated. The reason for this is that there are few other world quoted prices and Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer of LPG. "

    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/archive/petrol

    As I understand the situation petrol retailers are getting rid of LPG tanks/pumps because demand has fallen so much that they don't get a useful return on the capital invested. So it is due to lack of demand not some arbitrary decision to deny consumers a fuel type.

    Those Costco prices look very low. I hope that a large greedy US corporation is aware it is illegal in Australia to sell a product at a loss to undercut legitimate Australian owned businesses which can't subsidise fuel with a giant retail goods operation? Looks like they might be doing that.

    Thanks
    Andy
    To remove gas tanks that have already been paid for and which will last leasts 10 years without a hydrostatic test seems at the first instance not only stupid but counter productive. LPG vehicles haven't gone away, but the multinational sellers of LPG in Australia seem determined to keep LPG vehicles at a minimum by charging huge prices for gas that was always guaranteed to be cheap. I can remember buying petrol in Kingston for my truck at 8c per litre, and gas was always half of your retail petrol price. What's going on?
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoBo View Post
    You've got inside information on how they set their retail price?
    Hi
    no but as I read this thread Costco is undercutting competitors by more than the typical retail margin, so they must be selling at a loss. That is a giant American retailer conducting unfair competition against local petrol retailers.

    I am surprised to see anyone here defending it, though I suppose breaching consumer laws isn't so bad when it helps one's own wallet.

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    To remove gas tanks that have already been paid for and which will last leasts 10 years without a hydrostatic test seems at the first instance not only stupid but counter productive. LPG vehicles haven't gone away, but the multinational sellers of LPG in Australia seem determined to keep LPG vehicles at a minimum by charging huge prices for gas that was always guaranteed to be cheap. I can remember buying petrol in Kingston for my truck at 8c per litre, and gas was always half of your retail petrol price. What's going on?

    Hi
    I don't really understand any of that. As far as I know there has been a sharp drop off in auto LPG demand so those tanks are just unproductive and taking up space which could be occupied by different fuels. I also believe LPG is about half the price of petrol or a biut more which has been typical of the situation for years.

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1972Ren View Post
    Hi
    no but as I read this thread Costco is undercutting competitors by more than the typical retail margin, so they must be selling at a loss. That is a giant American retailer conducting unfair competition against local petrol retailers.

    I am surprised to see anyone here defending it, though I suppose breaching consumer laws isn't so bad when it helps one's own wallet.

    Andy
    Perhaps, so why can the retail price jump by about 20c almost synchronous from one day to the next ? Don't tell me it's normal (un)competitive forces at work.
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
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    Icon14 Demand for LPG is relative to cost effective supply to justify conversions.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1972Ren View Post
    Hi
    I don't really understand any of that. As far as I know there has been a sharp drop off in auto LPG demand so those tanks are just unproductive and taking up space which could be occupied by different fuels. I also believe LPG is about half the price of petrol or a biut more which has been typical of the situation for years.

    Andy
    Not so long ago, we were talking of an LPG world wide glut with over supply in many countries and the amazing success of the USA in freeing up coal seam Gas (CSG) with fracking and conventional supplies with new horizontal drilling, since then we have had a huge increase in Australian exporting of bulk natural gas, the stuff should be cheap as chips, but some how, the gas and energy middlemen have somehow conned the ACCC into allowing retail prices to be set overseas, put about scare propaganda that lead to State Governments banning (for strange reasons) exploration on shore to prove known underground conventional gas and sent more gas offshore for export....

    That scary stuff and locked in export contracts, have meant windfall profits to both the investors in present Gas producing wells and also fed into the instability of Electricity grids, where lack of base load power at critical times requires/needs expensive power fed into the grid -all profit driven.


    Hopefully when one reads the ACCC government papers (2018) not 2016 like those quoted earlier, the penny is dropping, that high gas prices must be addressed, cutting through to the heart of the matter and increasing pressure on State Governments to drop moratoriums that only serve overseas profiteer interests and not that of the Australian consumers, who are struggling with high prices at the fuel outlets. Gas is just one part of the equation, the other is Diesel that fuels most goods carrying loads over this vast continent. Slight increases in Diesel have a knock on effect in rising domestic pricing and the Consumer Price Index.


    Does look from the ACCC reports they are aware of the problems and responding to directions to look in the ACCC mirrors and try and fix the profiteering industry that exists with its slick lobbying behind the scenes. I have high hope that they succeed in the interests of all Australian Energy consumers.


    If you go and lookup the COSTCO and is it good quality fuel? on the Whirlpool fuel comment sites, you will easily identify the industry commentators who try and sway the comments with doubts about the merits of buying their fuel/paying membership etc, but the overwhelming motorists appreciation of the quality sweeps away the negative propaganda and the buyer activity at the cheaper fuel outlets is having an effect, though the overseas owned majors will try and hold out.


    Hopefully LPG prices at 40c a litre will encourage motorists again to pay to change over to LPG! IF the ACCC works its magic of course to achieve this.


    Ken.

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    Hi
    I think you are getting confused about gas. You are talking about coal seam gas and natural gas. They are not LPG. The price of LPG is set by Saudi Arabia and its supply was not affected by fracking. It is als being progressively taxed higher in Australia as part of its cheap price was due to lack of fuel tax on it. So I wouldn't expect LPG to be costing 40c/l anytime soon if ever. Perhaps you haven't noticed this, but the trend is to electric vehicles not gas.

    World Parity Pricing of fuels has been a feature in Australia for decades for very sound economic reasons with which parliament, economists, and government agencies all agree. It has nothing to do with the ACCC.

    Thanks
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1972Ren View Post
    Hi
    I think you are getting confused about gas. You are talking about coal seam gas and natural gas. They are not LPG. The price of LPG is set by Saudi Arabia and its supply was not affected by fracking. It is als being progressively taxed higher in Australia as part of its cheap price was due to lack of fuel tax on it. So I wouldn't expect LPG to be costing 40c/l anytime soon if ever. Perhaps you haven't noticed this, but the trend is to electric vehicles not gas.

    World Parity Pricing of fuels has been a feature in Australia for decades for very sound economic reasons with which parliament, economists, and government agencies all agree. It has nothing to do with the ACCC.

    Thanks
    Andy
    Had this out with alexander years ago, he didn't understand the components of LPG (Liquid petroleum Gas and how the different marketing terms operate, like CNG (compressed Natural Gas) LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) and in the early text books index propane as a subject was "see liquified petroleum gas" and for Butane "see liquified petroleum gas" and most gas in early marketing was by way of tankers labelled "Butane" There are two sources for such gases one is the gas byproduct that was often flared (burnt) at the wellhead and the other was s byproduct of Commercial refineries and often flared (burnt) as a useless byproduct at those refineries.


    In modern marketing parlance some try and ascribe some magical difference that explains higher pricing of the base product, true some field gas is high in Butane and low in Propane and vice versa, and the mix can be varied for more propane compressed in the mix for winter or high altitude use, other than that it is what it is.


    Page 194 "a thirst for burning" Australia's oil industry History states LPG, or more specifically propane and butane , familiarly identified as bottled or camping gas in domestic use, but also can be used as fuel in industry- particularly the agricultural and automotive fields - as well as feedstock for petrochemicals, can occur naturally in oil or gas fields and it can be produced as a by-product in an oil refinery. It is gas at normal temnperature and pressure so storage as a liquid requires refrigeration or higher than atmospheric pressure

    Now except for those that like to confuse, there is little difference and not what you say!! as to the basic product, just some clever marketing spin or propaganda if you like to jack up premium pricing at the wave of a wand. I think there is a ARAMCO spin department that sells this wonderful idea.

    Just in case you want to argue on the Coal seam Gas - Page 339 ..
    Methane is also the major component of natural gas (usually over 95%), a source of potential energy which the country has in abundance. The difficulty for development of most of these natural reserves is lack of markets and the fact that most are offshore at remote locations

    Regards

    Ken
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 6th September 2018 at 01:24 PM.

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    Hi
    Sorry but you've completely lost me with all that stuff.
    LPG is butane and propane. Natural Gas and Coal Seam Gas are other things. So there is no point talking about world gluts of natural gas when you are talking about LPG. The price of LPG for cars here is effectively set by Saudi Arabia, not local interests. As that Federal Government document tells you.

    Thanks
    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1972Ren View Post
    Hi
    Sorry but you've completely lost me with all that stuff.
    LPG is butane and propane. Natural Gas and Coal Seam Gas are other things. So there is no point talking about world gluts of natural gas when you are talking about LPG. The price of LPG for cars here is effectively set by Saudi Arabia, not local interests. As that Federal Government document tells you.

    Thanks
    Andy
    Talking through hats is cheap, we need cheap fuel, Saudi Arabia is a stroke of a Ministerial pen, just as governments can tax, they can if they wish set up price justification tribunals, where the applicants have to justify any increase in prices. Next thing you will want the UN to set prices for our domestic energy markets.



    Define Natural Gas and Coal seam gas - other things can be anything a fertile mind can introduce to talk past facts.

    Ken

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    Default Epping Costco Diesel price today

    Had to drive past COSTCO today so called in and bought a tank of Diesel, sorry didn't check other prices.

    bought 36.45 litres at $1.417 $51.65 paid for the fill So yes the $1.307 paid last visit was an opening special it seems.


    I had to replace my card (would not read in the fuel bowser) so went into the Store. Like the Fuel outlet the store was absolutely chock a block with customers, probably buying "stuff they didn't need, we just had a look around very similar to Ringwood but I think more stock, more customers that seemed to be a cross section of everywhere in the world (all Nations) with a big crowd feeding their children, we bought a couple of the hot dogs with the lot for $2 each including refillable soft drinks and headed for home.


    Cards replacement was quick and easy, lots of people lined up to buy new memberships...

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    Talking through hats is cheap, we need cheap fuel, Saudi Arabia is a stroke of a Ministerial pen, just as governments can tax, they can if they wish set up price justification tribunals, where the applicants have to justify any increase in prices. Next thing you will want the UN to set prices for our domestic energy markets.



    Define Natural Gas and Coal seam gas - other things can be anything a fertile mind can introduce to talk past facts.

    Ken
    hi
    Sorry, but I must confess I don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about. But if you mean that LPG and Natural Gas are the same thing, then I am sorry to have to say that is quite incorrect.

    https://www.elgas.com.au/blog/486-co...ethane-lng-cng

    Natural Gas and CSG are basically the same thing: Methane

    Regards
    Andy
    Last edited by 1972Ren; 9th September 2018 at 01:14 AM.

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    Icon10 Argument for?? ARAMCO interests? or cheaper quality fuels for motorists!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1972Ren View Post
    hi
    Sorry, but I must confess I don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about. But if you mean that LPG and Natural Gas are the same thing, then I am sorry to have to say that is quite incorrect.

    https://www.elgas.com.au/blog/486-co...ethane-lng-cng

    Natural Gas and CSG are basically the same thing: Methane

    Regards
    Andy
    Nice marketing research, but then that is only the modern touches that the marketeer introduces. Largely semantics that some trade on to emphasise a difference. Sure the chemical makeup is slightly different, in individual chemical make-up, but the essential product is able to be used across the board, even in natural states.

    Oh and from your marketeers selling chart.

    As noted previously, raw natural gas may include propane, butane, isobutane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, and pentene and pentanes plus.
    As I said semantics and propaganda to introduce specialisation of product, smacks of the "Special" Diesel and so forth marketing ploy.


    As always cheap good quality automotive fuel to motorists is all we need to care about. I don't mind if the rest of Melbourne Fuel outlets fall in line with the lower COSTCO price or even that someone beats them with a better lower price, as that is COMPETITION and the ACCC and thinking motorist's want that!


    Regards

    Ken

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    Hi
    you asked for facts and definitions and to I gave you some facts and definitions. And the answer is that LPG and Natural Gas are not the same thing. The former is Butane and Propane mixed together and the latter is Methane. The global glut you mentioned was Methane not Butane and Propane. In short, you are just wrong.

    Based on what I've read in this thread, Costco is engaging in illegal marketing by selling below cost to gain market share, and is a big greedy US company doing that. You shouldn't supporting that, even if it you some cheaper fuel, as it is at the expense of hard working Aussies trying to run their businesses honestly. Shameful.

    Thanks
    Andy

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    As always cheap good quality automotive fuel to motorists is all we need to care about. I don't mind if the rest of Melbourne Fuel outlets fall in line with the lower COSTCO price or even that someone beats them with a better lower price, as that is COMPETITION and the ACCC and thinking motorist's want that!
    …………………………………...

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    From a mate at work who spent some time doing fuel quality testing, the word is don't bother with 98 - its usually 96 at best. Marketing...

    I reckon the Alfa is smoother on 95.

    I have nothing to add on fuel prices, I never look at them... Fuel light comes, I fill up at the next convenient location - life is too short to stress out about a couple of dollars over a tank. It helps I cycle to work and a tank of fuel will last nearly two months
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