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Finding cheaper gas onlineCNET News.com's Charlie Cooper and Michelle Meyers discuss how sites are providing information on cheap gas in your area and the differences among these sites.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> I'm Charlie Cooper along with my colleague in news dot com, Michelle Meyers, and I'm sure you all have noticed that the price that for filling up your car has just gotten a little bit insane up late. But bless the internet, there is cheaper gas out there. It's only a few clicks away, and okay--playing with words here, you obviously can't use the internet to fill up, but there is now a network of sites that helps you find the cheapest gas in your region. How does that work? >> Well, actually these sites are pretty old. The couple of them, you know 7, 8 years old. We've been doing this for a while, and just years ago, you know we thought gas is never gonna get any higher and they started to really the traffic really adds up, and now all of a sudden it's higher and higher. Everyday we have record highs and traffic continues to go up with these sites, and they are offering some new options ahhmm--some of them have tools where you can get some of the stuff on your cell phone or your smart phone, GPS. >> And who are these people that they populate the sites? >> Well, there's different--there's--there's different--different systems. They have different models. There are couple. The ones I like to use are one's that actually have what we call spotters and they're consumers who are fed up with prices or obsessed with gas prices. >> That means it's 99.9 percent [inaudible] [simultaneously talking]. >> Well pretty of stuff right, right. >> Okay. Fair enough. >> And--some would be--are willing enough to actually drive by, look at prices, compare prices, and they become part of members of this network. They send the prices in and the sites use these. >> And they input the data from the different regions, and therefore if you live in San Francisco and you see gasoline at 4 dollars, but a spotter sees it at 3.75, they go into what ever it is. >> Absolutely. >> [Inaudible] URL is, and you can find the best deal. >> Absolutely yeah, so they are the ones, and they're actually in a lot of--a lot of them are--get incentives. They get points, or they get prizes or something in that they wanna be the best spotter and the most popular. But most of them, at least the couple, that I talked to all say they were really in it more just to be sort of stick it to the man and exploit the--with the gouging gas stations on--and also you know show off the ones that are offering fair prices too. >> People who've read your piece and you can check it out www dot news dot com, some of them have talked about issues regarding accuracy of the pricing that you finally said. More or less it's within a range-- >> It is. >> --and we're not talking about exactly the price that gets posted. >> It is. They're not as good give advice. Don't expect it to be the exact same number. They--Some of them--Some sites are updated than others. One thing I've noticed is that some of the sites like for example Triple A site, it--it--they offer a lot of information there, but they based it on credit card information. So, lets say an ARCO station which ARCO doesn't take any kind of credit cards, those prices tend to be cheaper from what I've learned because they--you know--because they don't--not passing on the credit card charges. So, if you're gonna look at something like--like Triple A you need to know that that's only credit card transactions and there might be cheaper gas out there too. >> So the lesson is shop around even if it's on the internet. For my colleague, Michelle Meyers, I'm Charlie Cooper. ^M00:03:11 [ Music ]