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  • Gasoline Prices

    Today when I was driving from school, I saw an Exxon Mobil gasoline station that was offering $3.13 so I pulled over to fill up, and when I went to select the grade of gasoline, I saw that the pumps in the front and center were charging $3.13 while the ones in the back, where I was because there was only one pump available when I pulled up, were charging $3.79. I never thought that gasoline stations were "price gourging" because the free market and government interference tend to raise the price but that was simply deceptive advertising. I quickly canceled my purchase of gasoline at that pump and went to one that charged $3.13.

    Has anyone else had this happen to them?

  • #2
    No... We had a station locally that adjusted their pump to be off just a little so instead of one gallon you got .90 gallons for your money. The state shut them down and sued them for Weights and Measures fraud. That was three years ago. The station was recently sold to a Shell franchise and re-opened.

    Have never seen different prices at different pumps for the same grade.
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    • #3
      You need to come to the UK, prices are up and down like a fiddlers elbow. They also vary from station to station.

      Bob

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      • #4
        They vary from station to station here too, such that you could have one station with $3.15 and another station across the street with $3.19. I have no clue why people in their right mind would go to a station with gasoline for $3.19 when they could go to one with gasoline for $3.15 across the street but they must be going to those stations because those stations manage to stay in business, despite having to pay the same property taxes as their competition.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
          They vary from station to station here too, such that you could have one station with $3.15 and another station across the street with $3.19. I have no clue why people in their right mind would go to a station with gasoline for $3.19 when they could go to one with gasoline for $3.15 across the street but they must be going to those stations because those stations manage to stay in business, despite having to pay the same property taxes as their competition.
          Yes, all things being equal.
          All things being equal, no it doesn't make sense. But, in real life, things are very rarely equal.

          But if there is a lot of traffic at the cheaper station and hardly any at the more expensive station, it makes more sense to go to the more expensive one.

          Even if you have a HUGE gas guzzling vehicle like a RV and need to fill 40 gallons, it's only a $1.60 difference. Completely trivial when you consider filling up 40 gallons at those prices will cost you more than $120.

          For me, I rarely fill up more than seven or eight gallons, and if the cheaper station has a ton of traffic, I'll go to a more expensive station if it's within 10 or so. The 2 or 3 quarters I would save are not worth the stress, or the risk of being hit by some bad driver trying to get in or out of the busy station.

          Your mileage may vary. (how apropos )
          TheologyWeb. We debate theology. srsly.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
            Today when I was driving from school, I saw an Exxon Mobil gasoline station that was offering $3.13 so I pulled over to fill up, and when I went to select the grade of gasoline, I saw that the pumps in the front and center were charging $3.13 while the ones in the back, where I was because there was only one pump available when I pulled up, were charging $3.79. I never thought that gasoline stations were "price gourging" because the free market and government interference tend to raise the price but that was simply deceptive advertising. I quickly canceled my purchase of gasoline at that pump and went to one that charged $3.13.

            Has anyone else had this happen to them?
            Could that $3.79 pump have been for "full service" ? Stations that offer full service pumps - i.e. they will pump the gas for you, usually charge quite a premium per gallon (puns intended ) beyond the self-serve pump price. If you think about it, go past those pumps again and see if there's a "full service" sign on them. (yeah yeah yeah, get out all the non-gasoline related "full service" jokes .....)

            Some stations here in the Los Angeles area offer the full service option for those people who are unable to pump their own gas - handicapped/otherwise incapacitated, and those folks who think it's beneath them to be their own gas jockeys, etc.

            How many states still won't let you pump your own gas ? 2 ? Oregon/NJ ? Still haven't figured THAT out yet.

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            • #7
              Its 2.79ish here right now and I drive a pontiac sunfire (30 miles to the gallon. w00t.). Its very nice.


              Anyways, no I'v never seen it vary from pump to pump.

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              • #8
                I'm driving a Pontiac G6 with a V6 engine right now. It's a rental while my slightly smashed car is being fixed (rear-ended while I was at a red light; I'm not at fault so the other company paid for repairs and the rental). It's moderately powerful, but sucks because I'll get less than 25 MPG and I drive 80 miles round trip for work. It's highways nearly the entire way with no major traffic so it's not that bad except for fuel consumption.

                And I can't use my iPod in the rental because I use an aux input adapter in my car, not a tape adapter (no tape player in either car anyway) and I don't have a compatible FM transmitter.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by filburt1 View Post
                  And I can't use my iPod in the rental because I use an aux input adapter in my car, not a tape adapter (no tape player in either car anyway) and I don't have a compatible FM transmitter.
                  That would suck. I use an iPod adapter in my car and can't stand to take my parent's car without it.

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                  • #10
                    A thought did occur that I bought my sister a basic FM transmitter for her MP3 player before I bought her her iPod Mini (aren't I nice?). I might be able to use that given she has an iTrip for her Mini instead.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mlucek View Post
                      Could that $3.79 pump have been for "full service" ? Stations that offer full service pumps - i.e. they will pump the gas for you, usually charge quite a premium per gallon (puns intended ) beyond the self-serve pump price. If you think about it, go past those pumps again and see if there's a "full service" sign on them. (yeah yeah yeah, get out all the non-gasoline related "full service" jokes .....)

                      Some stations here in the Los Angeles area offer the full service option for those people who are unable to pump their own gas - handicapped/otherwise incapacitated, and those folks who think it's beneath them to be their own gas jockeys, etc.

                      How many states still won't let you pump your own gas ? 2 ? Oregon/NJ ? Still haven't figured THAT out yet.
                      I think that it did say full service. The only thing is that there was no one there to pump the gasoline. I was about to pump it myself before I noticed that the price was 66 cents higher than what was advertised.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wayne Luke View Post
                        No... We had a station locally that adjusted their pump to be off just a little so instead of one gallon you got .90 gallons for your money. The state shut them down and sued them for Weights and Measures fraud. That was three years ago. The station was recently sold to a Shell franchise and re-opened.

                        Have never seen different prices at different pumps for the same grade.
                        We worked with the DA's office a few years back. A driver called in and spilled the beans on a few stations. They were getting in too much Regular (on purpose of course) and having the driver dump the excess in the Premium storage tanks.

                        http://www.foxchicago.com/_ezpost/data/13507.shtml

                        The big fraud stories were a few years back when they actually went into the devices and replaced the chips.

                        It's no secret what we normally do. We run a 5 gallon test and it has to be within 6ci +/- zero. So they made sort of a pirate chip (so good even the pump manufacturers did not catch it at first).

                        When doing a standard test the pumps would be perfect at 5 gallons. Anywhere in between it would be off. It basically sped itself up to "catch up" and be accurate at 5 gallon intervals. We still use 5 gallon provers but can really test at any gallon amount these days.

                        Ok, enough shop talk
                        Bob- (pank)
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                        • #13
                          what i hate is the zone pricing my town used to be cheaper by .12 per gallon now one station is more expensive sometimes by .20 per gallon than surrounding towns.

                          they need to go to rack pricing so all stations will be closer in price and they wont be able to go up in prices 2x or more per day but instead can only change prices every 24 hours and no sooner.

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                          • #14
                            The prices differ here per town too. Sometimes when we go visit my brother it is cheaper to leave with almost empty tank and fill 'r up halfway the trip.

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                            • #15
                              Just to give you and other people an idea, UK petrol/gas costs $6.88 a litre.

                              (1 gallon = 3.78 Litres @ 0.98 per liter) = 3.73 per gallon = (*1.84 for dollars) = $6.88 per gallon.

                              My tank is about 50 litres (13 gallons), so the price difference (66 cents) you talk about would be comparible to $8 if I filled up my own car.

                              Works out to be ~49 to fill up in the UK or ~22 to fill it up in the USA. That is a huge difference!

                              The difference between stattions makes it expensive indeed, but I feel that a lot more money could be saved by driving a car with a decent MPG rating - 25 is not good. 40+ is more sensible and can be increaed to well over 50-60MPG if using modern diesel engines (but is slightly more expensive per litre).

                              I've made the switch from a diesel to a petrol engine, and I didn't have any control over that since it's a company car. And I really do notice the difference in my wallet.

                              The higher the prices of fuel, the greater the incentive to be efficient and frugal with it.
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