Legal Ripoff?

Would it be to much to ask to have the the.9 business dropped on gasoline?Who gets that 60 or so dollars on a tankerload?Know of any other legal ripoffs?-Kevin

This is a “tradition” that goes back at least into the '50’s as gas has been priced this way since I was a little kid. Not sure how and where it started, but not likely to change anytime soon.

It isn’t a ripoff. You’r actually charged to the .9 decimal. It would only be a ripoff if they were charging to the even dollar.

No big deal. It could be .7 or .8 or 0 and the total result would be the same. The pump calculates the price. Interesting story I believe originated a hundred years ago in Chicago. The newspaper was 1 cent but people didn’t have a lot of pennies in their pockets. So the publisher convinced merchants to start rounding down the prices to .99 instead of a dollar. The result was lots of pennies to buy the newspaper. Its been around ever since. I still argue that you have to be an idiot to have it make any difference in a purchase if its 99 cents or a dollar. Walmart isn’t really fooling anyone in my view.

But…Walmart always gives me my penny change. If they did not, only then would I consider it a ripoff.

It would be a ripoff only if the price was something other than that advertised. Most people I know ignore the last almost-penny in the price. Even excludes it on their Heat Map, resulting in reporting a price that’s almost a penny low.

If one station were to round the price up, even though it would make little actual difference, most people would see it as a whole penny increase (which still isn’t a big deal). There would be a very small competitive disadvantage due to this perception.

It may be that this practice originated when a penny made an actual difference. One station advertises 12 cents, while another advertises 11.9, with the 9 being smaller, and people see it as 11 and think it’s a whole penny less. It isn’t deceptive, because the information is there, but people are misled by their own lack of attention to details.

I call $3.589 per gallon $3.59, even though that penny is now a very small difference, less than one-third of a percent. I wouldn’t mind seeing it go away and having prices increase by a penny for every 10 gallons.

It’s not a rip off…
it’s a MIND GAME. a legal mental manipulation.

To this day I am amazed at the success of such mind games.
Even my kids, who from the very start of asking and looking at prices, are completely suckered in to the lower dollar figure completely forgeting to add the pennies too…even though I have always…ALWAYS said to them the higher figure when they ask “how much is it ?”
“It’s 5 bucks.” I’ll say.
“But it says 4 on the tag.”
“No , it say’s 4.99. …99 cents of the next dollar may as well be all of it.”
“Oh. ok” they say as if it all makes sense.

Then a week or so goes by and they sucker right in again.
With their 5 dollars allowance in hand they’re looking at 5.99 price tags, as if.

Same a sales tax.
stores could in fact calculate that all on the displayed selling price, then just do the bookkeeping at the end of the month.
but the mind game of displaying a lower price seems to be the norm.
( except for a few ‘‘sales’’ advertising that ‘‘we pay the tax’’ or ''no sales tax this week only" )

Yes I always round up,I respect people and dont like to see them manipulated,sometimes I believe that manipulation is immoral.Not always moral to take advantage,thats were I differ a lot on the legalese eg: state troopers sitting up speed traps at the bottom of long grades and making short yellow lights.My mantra is -show me the harm to another Human being.Thanks for the replies,you are of course right its calculated in,for some reason I always figured it was an add on.Its a 60$ or so surcharge on a tanker of fuel(imagine how many dollars a day that generates).I keep hearing they may do away with pennies and dollar bills,anything to that you reckon?-Kevin

In Mexico, the new “paper money” is being printed on some sort of amazingly tough plastic material that is almost indestructible…lasts ten or twenty times as long as printed paper…

Gasoline has ALWAYS been sold with a price sign. The .9 cents lets retailers get $3.50/gallon but the sign says $3.49…When millions of gallons a day are being sold, those pennies add up…With gas selling for over $3/gallon, the .9 has become meaningless…

No, the sign says 3.499. I wonder why this gets so much attention, no real difference than everything at the grocery store being x.x9 or x.99 to make it seem cheaper. No cheating, nothing bogus, just an effort to make it seem a tiny bit cheaper.

The consumers eye never sees the .9 Retailers believe that a product priced at $3.49 will sell better than a product priced at $3.50…People will drive for MILES out of their way to save .01 a gallon on gas.

It’s not a ripoff; the price is posted for the world to see.

Back in high school I worked part time in a full serve gas station and used to go round and round with a 90 year old lady who would drop in every week and buy 5 gallons of gas; which at the time was about 31.9 per gallon for regular.
She would argue tooth and nail over that .9 differential and getting her the hell off the lot always took 15-20 minutes. To be fair about it, she honestly was not trying to screw anyone over; she just didn’t get it.

She would also follow me around making sure that all of her tires were at 29 PSI (not 28 or 30) including the spare, that the radiator was overfilled and which was going to be coughed up once the engine was running again, and to fully service the battery including overfilling that.

She came in one day and somone had sideswiped her Pontiac, raking it from headlight to taillight on the passenger side. I bought it off the showroom floor just like that she says; no one hit anything. :wink:

My wife will go miles out of the way to save a few cents and drive around with the yellow light on for a long ways,thanks for the input,a penny doesnt dupe me-Kevin