Skip to comments.Is there still a law about Gas Price Gouging?
Posted on 05/23/2008 9:16:33 PM PDT by easternsky
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Yeah but what would be the point if you couldn’t define gouging?
I can now, see post 2
There is a gas station around the corner from my office that, I swear, charges the highest prices in the country.
Right near Orlando airport (MCO) across the street from a Hertz rent-a-car is a Signature (independent) gas station. This putz nails the tourists returning to the airport and returning their cars.
I hadn't been by in awhile so I figured I'd go by to see what he was charging. He hangs no price sign out front so I had to drive in. The result???????
$5.19gal for regular!!
Which is less than a spread than the last time I was in. Last time regular was about a $1.50 higher than average.
People whine about it. Occasionally, news reporters will setup across the street and interview tourists, angry because they've been "gouged", but they had a choice. Another station is right up the street.
I wish somebody would tell this guy a thing or two but, hey, he can charge what the market will bear.
Most gas stations here are discount retailers. The Shells and Exxons are a minority and are considered a premium. Their prices rarely have huge swings, but also tend to be the highest consistently. QT, Racetrack, Costco, Walmart, Tom Thumb and Valero are the main retailers in the DFW area. They keep maybe a 2 day supply that has to be constantly replenished, thus the price changes every day if not twice a day. This is also due to the fact they pay upfront which is why they raise(or lower) the price prior to the gas being shipped. With the exception of Valero, QT, Racetrack and others are purely retailers. Valero is the largest refinery operator in Texas as well as the largest owner of oil pipe infrastructure in Texas. So as far as their gas goes they control it from the refinery to the pump. They also sell it to other retailers like QT and Racetrack.
So what happens if the price is cheaper one day and many more people buy gas that day to take advantage? It shortens the supply availability and causing either a shortage or a need for an “hot shot” delivery. That causes prices to go up.
Also this is fact. QT sets their morning price at a certain time and then updates it at a certain time in the afternoon. The Costco on Matlock in South Arlington, sends an employee up a few blocks to the QT to check the price in the morning then comes back to put theirs at a penny less. Then they check it again in the afternoon to make sure they are still a penny less.
Yes the Texaco/Chevron, Shell and Exxon/Mobil stations have to set the price from their regional headquarters even if they are a franchise. That is due to the company controlling the purchasing and deliver of the gas not the station. They could run out of gas and wait for days because they are not going to get anymore gas until the scheduled delivery comes in. A QT general manager has to constantly watch his inventory to make sure his Just In Time inventory method is in smooth operation. Otherwise they could be out of gas and have to pay a higher price from the distributer/refinery to get a delivery sooner than scheduled.
No such thing as a bad question. Just lots of funny answers. Gouging event I last witnessed was 9-11 when a local station charged 5 bucks a gallon. They got fined for gouging.
Who runs the 3.99 station and who runs the 3.74? I have seen a Shell station sell .10-.20 higher than a Valero across the street because the Shell operator had to set the price that he was told while the general manager at the Valero had control over his pricing. It is a reason why many of the what was the big name retailers are going out of business. QT, Racetrack and Valero are cleaning everybody’s clock. Retailers make anywhere from .03-.09 per gallon in profit. Subtract .06 per gallon from that if a credit/debit card is used.
My apologies for thinking you were naive. The station I was referring to is a Shell convenience station, and I believe their price is set “from above”. It’s pretty busy and they pump a lot of gas. I really doubt the 394_9 price caused a run. As I say, since it had been rising steadily, the drop from 399_9 was as likely to inspire hopes for a further drop as anything else. At any rate, why would it go down $0.05 and then up $0.21 ? I regard it all as happenstance - like gusts of wind in a storm.
The $3.99 station is a Exxon and the other is a Shell I believe.
There is a law, but as of yet, the only gas station ooperator who got prosecuted was an owner in Wisconsin (I think) who provided a discount to military members, their families, and veterans who showed their ID cards. Seems the station owner would provide a 2 cent discount, out of his prifits, to anyone who would show a military ID card. The judge who prosecuted the case stated he was providing an unfair price to non-military customers. That’s my recollection anyway.
See that same situation a lot around here in Northern VA. Usually depends on how close the service station is to I-95. Generally, the further away, the lower the price. I figure the ones just off of the interstate are adding a little for the “convenince” for drivers looking for a quick pitstop on the way through.
As for the price gouging mentioned in the original post, its hard to tell. With the price of a barrel of oil bumping up the way it is on a daily basis, the service station owners (who are just one notch above us on the dirty end of the stick) have to be experiencing the same concerns we are: they’ve got to make enough on the fuel they are selling now to pay for their next delivery.
The oil companies make .10 on the $. But the gubmint is cleaning up bigtime with gas taxes! The lawmakers ain’t gonna make a law agin that un!
Bottled water costs about a buck for a quart in a bottle.
I think charging as much for that as for gasoline is too much.
Give me the number to call.
Rather let the gubmint knock out those injunctions against domestic drilling and building refineries. We’ve got plenty of oil of our own to last a long, long time. Let the oil companies get it for us, and we will be independent from the Middle East who in, conjunction with some our liberal Congress, are trying to bankrupt the country!
Here is how it works, pump $300M into the econmy and the prices go up. Reise the min wage and the prices go up.
When the price is going up... FILL UP
When the price is going down... keep it HALF FULL
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