"Let's Buy Gas at The Best Price"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, June 24, 2013

If you ask a gas station owner how much they make on a gallon of gas, you will get variable answers. I have been told from 1 cent to 10 cents per gallon and that without the convenience-store sales, they would not make it.

I can’t quite believe there is that much profit in the quick pick items such as: milk, bread, beer and soda. No matter what the station owners make, I don’t find fault with a person wanting to make a profit. Why else would they make the major investment to sell a product so direly needed?

I understand cost and mark-up, but I just can’t figure out how they make it.
I had reason to travel around Huron County last week and I wondered who actually sets the gas prices. I purchased fuel in Pigeon at $4.09, drove to Elkton and saw the same brand for $4.03 which would have been a $1 savings on a single fill-up. As I continue into Bad Axe I saw prices ranging from $4.19 to $4.25. In some cases, they were the same brand and all were regular, unleaded.

The highest price I saw that day was $4.29 a gallon. What I want to point out is the variation of prices could add up to $2.60 for 10 gallons of fuel.

The very next day I drove through Caseville and saw a price of $3.99 a gallon. This same brand was $ 4.09 in Pigeon and $ 4.03 in Elkton the day before.

I’m not trying to point out any one brand is the problem. The variation in prices were mixed among numerous brands. My conclusion is when one refinery in the country goes down, almost all brands of gas go up throughout a major portion of the country. Recently, due to this fact, Michigan was recorded as the highest for fuel in the country.

The difference in the fuel itself is little more than the possible addition of a few additives and distance traveled to haul the gas to the various stations.

As I see it, the cost of gasoline hinges on the amount the station is willing to profit per gallon. You do the math. See if you, like myself, figure out there can be a difference of as much as $5 for a 20-gallon fill-up.

Maybe we should all start checking the price at various stations before we head out or at the half-a-tank mark. If we burn three tanks a week, we can save enough for a nice dinner, movie or even several more gallons of gas!

There has to be a reasonable explanation about the differences in price in our county. Until I hear one, I’ll try to shop to save, especially if it’s not out of my way.

If we all buy at the best price we can find, I’ll bet the higher priced sellers will come down to reality. Considering volume, they can still make a good profit and perhaps we can all save a little money.




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