I Let My Pickup Expire

The ugliest grille design ever conceived?
Yes, truly a face only a mother could love. But that’s not the point.

This new Lexus could be scaring small children away from your driveway— by subscription. It’s a new ownership model several car manufacturers are working on.

More automakers will soon offer vehicles through subscription services. Lexus today announced its upcoming UX crossover would be available through one and Bloomberg published a report today stating BMW is about to announce a subscription pilot. These automakers join a growing list of makers offering models through new financing vehicles. Currently, Volvo, Cadillac, Ford and…

via BMW and Lexus look to car subscriptions — TechCrunch

When Good Marketing Goes Bad

I’m constantly amazed just how wrong some marketing efforts can go. Even the big guys manage to mess it up.

Stock Photography - Canadian CoinsLast week we received an offer by mail from a large retailer. This retailer (who shall remain nameless) was rolling out a new shop-online/pickup-in-store service for groceries. To entice us to try it they were offering a respectable credit: $10.

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Still Your Buddy?

The popular website and mobile app GasBuddy has been acquired by Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).

GasBuddyThis is probably good in the near term, as it means better access to a database of wholesale gasoline prices. Most of the current pricing information provided by Gas Buddy comes from volunteer price spotters. But consumers should probably prepare for more ads as the integration with OPIS matures. They plan to accelerate development of OpenStore, a system for c-store owners to promote their car wash and burritos through social media.

Gaithersburg, Md.-based OPIS, a subsidiary of UCG, is a leading source for worldwide petroleum pricing and information It publishes daily spot prices for all refined products, more than 30,000 wholesale gasoline and diesel rack prices and more than 110,000 retail fuel prices Through its subsidiary, Axxis Software, OPIS also provides software for petroleum marketers to automate price collection, data storage and repricing of dealer and commercial accounts.

Source: CSP Daily News

Second Teensy Walmart to Open

Guess I spoke too soon.

sprawl-martWal Mart is taking sprawl to a more intimate level. Last week I remarked that Bentonville appeared to be a convenience store gold mine and pondered why Wally World wasn’t getting in on the action. Well, turns out the retail giant recently opened its second “tiny” store- it’s only 2500 square feet! Both are located in universities and branded as Walmart Express.

Hot dogs from China, anyone?

Full story from CSP Net Online

 

Separation of Charge and State

I have a real problem with Oklahoma’s new policy for income tax refunds.

Oklahoma's Way2Go CardBeginning in 2012 if you do not provide direct deposit info (those funky looking numbers along the bottom of a check) any refund will be sent to you as a debit card. This bright idea is the product of a new law requiring all transactions from the State to be electronic.

I had never heard of this- and apparently my accountant hadn’t either. When it arrived in the mail we thought it was a scam (albeit a very professional-looking scam) and nearly tossed it in the shredder. Many years ago credit card companies would send people pre-approved cards in the mail hoping they would activate them and become a customer. Of course scammers had a field day as they intercepted the cards from mailboxes all over town. I digress…

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