Priceline to Let Drivers Name Their Price for Gas

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From: Sally Khudairi (
Date: Sat Feb 26 2000 - 03:11:56 PST

Wow. This is interesting...especially if you have more than one can
add up rather quickly.

I'd like to see Priceline embark on a "name your own price for
pharmeceuticals" -- one of my prescriptions retails at $130/month [!]; how
do those without insurance or with non-comprehensive programs cope?


=== ( ), in its
quest to expand its "name your own price" business
model into new arenas, said it will let consumers name their
own price for gasoline.

Starting May 20, Priceline's WebHouse Club will let users
choose what they will pay for up to 50 gallons of gasoline
per month. After settling on a price, drivers get their gas
at local gas stations selected by Priceline. The
participating gas stations pay WebHouse Club a few cents per
gallon for the pleasure of getting business from the site's
users. The service, which mirrors the WebHouse Club's
name-your-price service for groceries, hotels, and airline
tickets, also will be supported by ads. With gas prices
currently on the rise, Priceline says drivers can expect to
save 10 to 20 cents a gallon.

"Give us just 3 minutes online, and you can get your
gasoline for up to an entire month at your price," said
T. Scott Case, president of the WebHouse Club gasoline group.

To participate, consumers visit to get a free,
blue gas card mailed to them. Users then go to
and enter the I.D. number on the back of the card and provide
the company with a credit card or debit card account number.
The consumer settles on the price per gallon he or she's
willing to pay, the number of gallons, and the grade of gas,
and then preapproves three or more local gas stations where
he or she's willing to get the gas. If the price is accepted,
in a process that takes about a minute, the price is locked
in for up to 50 gallons, and the credit or debit card on file
is charged for the purchase.

The consumer then takes the blue Priceline card to the pump
and uses it instead of a credit card. Priceline e-mails
receipts to customers telling them how much gas is left at
the agreed-upon price.

A spokesman for Priceline said the company is negotiating
with gas retailers and oil companies and will announce
participants next month.

Jay Walker, founder of the Priceline WebHouse Club and, said in a statement, "This is the perfect
time for consumers to do something about the high cost of
gas. It's the battle of the titans -- the global Internet
versus global gas prices. OPEC was a force to increase the
cost of gas. Now, the Internet is the new counterforce to
lower it."

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