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Old 03-29-2016, 01:49 PM
 
2,378 posts, read 4,344,078 times
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In Pasadena, gas is much cheaper at the 76 than at the Chevron a few blocks away. Why would Chevron allow this, since it's the economic equivalent of jumping off a cliff or shooting yourself?
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Old 03-29-2016, 01:51 PM
 
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I have a vague idea that gas stations close to each other will lower their prices until they are about equal - basic economics.

Last edited by Ibginnie; 03-29-2016 at 10:46 PM.. Reason: moved thread LA
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:03 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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No, people get stuck on the idea that one gas is better than another, or are willing to pay more to avoid waiting. I filled up at Costco today for $2.21, but a block before it passed a Chevron full of customers paying $2.56. Everyone around here has a Costco card. Here nearer my home, the 76 and Shell are less than a block apart, charging $2.29 and $2.33. It also depends on the store and what they sell, some people will pay more to be able to get a good coffee or something to eat while the cheaper one doesn't have a store or the same selection.
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Stasis
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In my travels I've usually found Chevron to be more expensive than the competition.

Here are prices in Pasadena:
Pasadena Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in Pasadena, California

https://www.gasbuddy.com/
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:56 PM
 
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I'm surprised that you are discovering this just now. It has been like this for decades. This is very common. And gas stations definitely know how to optimize their earnings to a letter, I'd be surprised if someone there failed their economics class. There are tons of factors that go into the pricing, most important sourcing of oil. Also, some stations make a decent buck from their stores, so they can lower their prices on gas while those with just a kiosk or something have to make up with higher gas prices, but they may have a better (lower) wait time than a gas station with a store. Just as an example.
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
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I always think it's crazy when it's like a huge difference . Like a whole $1 more per gallon versus other places in the area .
Gas stations make very little on gas .
I'm guessing that perhaps the stations with the much higher prices are just hoping people will stop and fill up because they only use that brand or because they just want to get gas as soon as possible .
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:18 PM
 
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When I was commuting to work, I would typically go to ARCO because it was so much cheaper than Chevron. Then I went to Chevron a few times and realized I was getting roughly 4 miles per gallon more with their gas. So, roughly 80 miles more on a full take. That's about 3 gallons of gas. Doing the math, it was pretty much a wash for me.
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:25 PM
 
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It's funny that different 76 stations have different prices. Thanks for the link.

The 76 at N. Lake has tons of homeless people asking for handouts. The Chevron on Colorado is roomier and generally nicer. It also has a car wash that usually has a long line, generating more revenue, yet their gas costs more!
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:40 PM
 
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At the end of the day, it seems that lot of gas is pretty similar and whatever purported differences are just marketing attempts by various gas companies to differentiate their brands.

For instance, ARCO brands itself has having "Quality Top Tier" gas, which to me is nothing more than a marketing attempt to convince folks that their gas is somehow better.

I feel that I'd have to filling up at a bunch of different stations and drive under near identical conditions/routes to test if one type of gas seems better than another.

Anyways, the margins on selling gasoline are razor thin and the convenience store/car wash/repair station is where the money is made.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Elysium
5,811 posts, read 3,090,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socal88 View Post
At the end of the day, it seems that lot of gas is pretty similar and whatever purported differences are just marketing attempts by various gas companies to differentiate their brands.

For instance, ARCO brands itself has having "Quality Top Tier" gas, which to me is nothing more than a marketing attempt to convince folks that their gas is somehow better.

I feel that I'd have to filling up at a bunch of different stations and drive under near identical conditions/routes to test if one type of gas seems better than another.

Anyways, the margins on selling gasoline are razor thin and the convenience store/car wash/repair station is where the money is made.
And once upon a time you saw regular TV commercials for Chevron, 76 and Mobil and today they remain $0.10 a gallon more than their generic and ARCO competition across the street. Blocks away as the OP described could just be real estate differences
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