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Opinion: Are Consumers Being Misled About Gasoline Profits?

Photo By Billy Goforth

My wife and I were watching the news the other night to hear a local reporter say words that about made me fall off the couch laughing! “How long do you think these amazingly low gas prices will last?” If $3.79 a gallon is amazingly low, I would hate to see her example of high gas prices. With summer rolling in and family vacations on the horizon, I can’t imagine how much it will cost my wife, daughter and I to head out of town. Also, if you haven’t noticed while shopping at Wal-Mart or your local United, food costs are skyrocketing as well. Much of which is thanks to these “Amazingly low gas prices”!

We are completely saturated with convenience stores in Amarillo with the two major stores being Toot N Totum and Pak A Sak. I know everyone has been filling up with gas -at a certain store- and seen the sticker on the side of the gas pump that reads “Where Does Your Fill Up Go”. On this sticker it states that 1% of all consumer gas cost goes to the ‘convenience’ store where you purchase it. Very simple math. If gas prices are $3.79 a gallon and the store gets only 1% of that, then the store only makes about 4 cents per gallon sold. Now here is where the conflict comes in. Everyone sees the gas prices listed at $3.79 a gallon, but you can get it for $3.69 if you use your ‘Gas Credit Card’. So, now we are expected to believe that this ‘convenience store’ is taking a 6 cent loss on every gallon of gas sold to someone using a ‘Gas Credit Card’?

Photo By Billy Goforth

I understand that they want to give us the ‘warm fuzzies’ when we are buying gas and avoid the consumer blaming the store for the prices, but don’t flat out lie to us. This sticker is a fabrication to make us believe that the store makes hardly any profit, and therefore can’t lower the cost of their gas without taking a loss. We are suppose to look at the sticker and say “That terrible Oil Company is to blame”. If you have ever gone in and purchased a pack of batteries from a ‘convenience’ store, then you know they don’t take losses on ANYTHING!

So, what do you think? Are they misleading the consumer or do they take that loss on credit cards? Let me know in the comment section below.

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