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Interesting gasoline pricing strategy

Most expensive gas in Wash. DC is next to the Watergate Hotel.

In my part of the country, regular is only $2.87 to $3.09, mid grade is 20 cents more and premium is 40 cents more. Much wider spread than your Cali example. Stations in the interior are on the cheaper side than the coast. The price is set by the owner of the station based on what he can get people to pay. That is how everything is priced. Gas in the ritzy neighborhood is higher than the country because they can get it. Premium is 40 cents higher because those that drive premium-only cars usually don’t care much about gas prices. Cheap gas gets you into the “Kwiki-Mart” to buy milk, beer and Lotto. That’s where the REAL money is made!

Here (Dallas) for QT it’s $2.65/$2.80/$2.95.

"Cheap gas gets you into the “Kwiki-Mart” to buy milk, beer and Lotto. That’s where the REAL money is made!"

Absolutely, this is where most of the profits for a gas station come from nowadays.
If they had to rely on me, however, they would quickly go out of business.

Yeah, @VDCdriver, me too. I don’t drink cheap beer nor trust the freshness of milk in a Kwiki-Mart. Lotto is just a tax on people who can’t do math…

Interesting that I have quit buying milk at the super market in favor of the convenience store because the outdates are too short at the super market. We don’t use a lot of milk so a one week outdate is not acceptable to me. I get two to three weeks at the convenience store. Don’t know why.

Hey in WI It was a $.60 per gal dif for a mid grade. 2.89 regular, 3.49 mid, 3.69 premium, what is up with that?

Do they still have “gas wars” anywhere now a days? I recall as a kid back in Colorado my dad saying “hey, there’s a gas war going on, let’s fill the tanks of both cars this afternoon”, and we’d pile into the car, dad driving one, mom driving the other, and off we’d go. There’d be a line usually, but not too long, and we’d fill both tanks. In those days the price was normally say 40 cents per gallon, and during a gas war the price would drop quite a bit, to like 27 cents, but only for a day or two, sometimes for just a few hours. Often one station would be much lower than the others, then the others would soon follow suit.

These days I don’t see anything like that. At least here in Calif. The price is relatively steady among the stations, they all seem to go up and down about the same amount over weeks, not hours or days.

A mile from my old home in Ohio had 2 gas stations 200 yards apart. When the larger of the 2 dropped the price, the smaller would be out changing the price within the hour to 1 cent a gallon lower. Same for an increase. I think the smaller had binoculars to read the price every hour. Monday afternoon to Tuesdays always seemed to be the lowest for the week.

A Costco manager explained their pricing to me:
Every morning, they survey the prices at all of the other gas stations in the same town.
Whatever is the lowest price that they find, then Costco’s local price is set one cent lower.

Yep, I was in a Super America one morning when the manager was on the phone with her corporate folks, asking for permission to lower the price due to the competitor’s prices that day. They all try to stay reasonably competitive to bring the business in so that they can make their real profits on bakery and coffee.

For those of us with < 50 miles work commute and fuel efficient cars, I’m not sure why gas price matters when it’s a 10-20 cent difference.

My 2000 corolla is about 11 gallons, that’s about $2 a fill up. At 4 fill ups (generous) a month, it’s $12. Yearly, that’s $144.

Going to the restaurant a couple of times a year cost more than that.
Going to the grocery store a couple of times a year cost more than that.

I have never been one to go out of my way to save a little on gas. My Mother used to check the Wednesday paper for sales and coupons. She then drove to at least 4 different grocery stores which were located all over town. That could be why I have never felt the urge to drive across town to save a little on gas.

Good reply ! There is a reason why Luxury cars cost more then regular cars by a wider margin then just the cost of making them. These people can afford the exclusivity and it’s good marketing to charge them more if they are willing and able to pay. It isn’t like retailers of gasoline are going to go out of business or they would just move somewhere else and abandon the area.

You choose with your dollar bill in hand…nothing more. No politics. And you are right. When poorer (not poor) people are forced to make a choice between food, heat and going for a joy ride or two or five, they are much more apt to cut back on gas or buy more efficient cars.; Corolla Junkers instead of F150s. Growing up, we did in our neighborhood with our large family and gas stations had comparably very reasonable prices that had to compete with savvy buyers. They were often too off the beaten track…again, location, location, location. And only the locals had easy access. It was a dependable but frugal market.

Remember those two 76 stations I mentioned?

On the way home today, I payed attention to the gas stations on the way. I determined that the more expensive of the two 76 stations is is simply out of line. Their price is about 30 cents more expensive than all the other stations in the area. It has 8 nozzles

I went to the cheaper 76 station to fill up this afternoon. It was hardly a detour. 42 cents cheaper than the other one . . . !

Almost 5 bucks cheaper to fill up. That ain’t pocket change, guys

it has 12 nozzles. The intersection is slightly busier than the expensive one

All things considered, I think the other 76 owner is flat out gouging everybody. I don’t think I’ll ever give him my business again

Some 76 stations I noticed in this area are quite a bit more expensive than the competitors. As exactly as you’d expect, they don’t seem to get many customers. But they sponsor an inde shop with a couple mechanics, lifts, and all the equipment, so I presume that’s their major revenue source, not selling gasoline.

One time as I walked past one of those stations I asked a friendly looking customer why he purchased gasoline there, when there was a station less than a block away for considerably less. He told me he was away of the price, but his car (an expensive looking one) pinged unless he used 76 gas.

I don’t call it gouging when the price is on a sign for all to see.


“As exactly as you’d expect, they don’t seem to get many customers”

Around here . . . with the exception of that one particular station . . . the 76 stations have prices in line with the competition, and they do a good volume of business

Before you call it gouging step back and look at the business at a whole. See if it meets your standards, not just for gas but for the quality of the people that work there and the clientele it has.

Look at it this way. 50% of professional auto technicians don’t have access to medical coverage through their jobs. Something like 25% don’t get things like overtime pay, paid holidays, vacation time, sick days. Some technicians are well paid and compensated. Some shops charge $18.95 for an oil change, some charge $39.95. Which people work at which shop?

I had friend who owned a Chevron station, a big freeway station, the kind that went through a tanker truck a day. His prices were almost always the highest on that corner. But his employees were treated well. A full time employee after 2 years there made a living wage, medical and dental coverage for free, 2 weeks paid vacation time, and matching 401. Not bad for a convenience store clerk. He had to have higher prices to afford those people.

I will say a difference of .42 is much. But if people are buying it.


That expensive 76 station has only a handful of employees, only one there at a time

Near as I can tell, they have rapid turnover

I can only speculate as to the cause