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Old 12-31-2008, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
28,959 posts, read 49,620,408 times
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It's been quite a year as far as fuel prices are concerned. From a high north of $4 a gallon all the way down to a sub-$2 a gallon, motorists can be forgiven for wondering what the heck is going on in one of the least avoidable places to do business -- the gas station.

Confessions of a gas station owner - CNN.com
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,424 posts, read 46,075,300 times
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I thought the article was poor. It didn't exactly say what the title of it suggested. But it was still fun.

I say fun because while I was growing up, I lived in one of the only 2 states where it is illegal for the motorist to pump their own gas. Which was kinda neat because this provded great opportunities for young people of making money at a nice job.

This article said the average profit margin from gas is about 23 cents a gallon to the station owner. Back in the mid 70s it was 5 cents for regular, 6 cents for mid grade and 7 cents for hi test. Yes we called it hi test gas, not premium. And many people bought hi test back then. Most cars still needed it. We were told to push oil because he made about 30 cents a quart and he gave us a nickle of that.

I was pumping gas when they had the fake phony oil crises in 1974. Remember the odd and even days to get gas? Remember the $5 limit except if you could prove you were a Doctor at which time we could fill them up? We kids would get people begging to give them more then the $5 limit worth. We would say "you take care of me and I will take care of you". We would get a few dollars bribe, sometimes $5 bribe and we would fill them up. Call it as you wish but all of us employees were 16 to 18 years old and owned brand new cars bought right from the showroom floor. Despite our $2.15 minimum wage income we were all swimming in money from tips. The manger? He was out there with us doing it. So was every other gas station everywhere.

Oh boy do I have gas station stories. Those were the days..................
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,856 posts, read 46,000,658 times
Reputation: 58657
I really miss the days when a gas station attendant washed your windshield, checked your oil and would put air in your tires if you need it. On top of that, I wish those jobs were still available for young people.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,424 posts, read 46,075,300 times
Reputation: 10436
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryB View Post
I really miss the days when a gas station attendant washed your windshield, checked your oil and would put air in your tires if you need it. On top of that, I wish those jobs were still available for young people.
Based on what you said I think you are from Oregon or New Jersey. But since the only gas stations who used to wash windows without asking were Hess stations... then I assume you were from New Jersey.

Yes it was a great job for young people and I will never forget those days of my life some 35 years ago.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:11 PM
 
1,966 posts, read 3,976,933 times
Reputation: 1088
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
I thought the article was poor. It didn't exactly say what the title of it suggested. But it was still fun.

I say fun because while I was growing up, I lived in one of the only 2 states where it is illegal for the motorist to pump their own gas. Which was kinda neat because this provded great opportunities for young people of making money at a nice job.

This article said the average profit margin from gas is about 23 cents a gallon to the station owner. Back in the mid 70s it was 5 cents for regular, 6 cents for mid grade and 7 cents for hi test. Yes we called it hi test gas, not premium. And many people bought hi test back then. Most cars still needed it. We were told to push oil because he made about 30 cents a quart and he gave us a nickle of that.

I was pumping gas when they had the fake phony oil crises in 1974. Remember the odd and even days to get gas? Remember the $5 limit except if you could prove you were a Doctor at which time we could fill them up? We kids would get people begging to give them more then the $5 limit worth. We would say "you take care of me and I will take care of you". We would get a few dollars bribe, sometimes $5 bribe and we would fill them up. Call it as you wish but all of us employees were 16 to 18 years old and owned brand new cars bought right from the showroom floor. Despite our $2.15 minimum wage income we were all swimming in money from tips. The manger? He was out there with us doing it. So was every other gas station everywhere.

Oh boy do I have gas station stories. Those were the days..................
desertsun41,

Happy New Year to you In reading the article, the article is actually spot on given today's slim profit margins. I remember those stations back in the 60's and 70's when you actually had a choice between "self service" and "full service" with the air hose you ran over that dinged the bell.

One thing you also have to remember is back then compared to today is that most of those stations did repair work such as tires, batteries, mufflers, etc. Station owners would make the most profit off the shop repairs, they didn't sell too many cigarettes, you would never find beef jerky or snacks in those stores. Just soda, a pot of coffee and some candy along with the old folding maps.

With cars getting advanced with diagnostics and computers, the "service station" became obsolete since the mechanics weren't going to school to learn OBD I and II. Station owners realized that they had to get other means of revenue/profit and thus expanded their food line.

I have a client who runs a Chevron off a major highway. I made a visit today to restock them on beef jerky and various snacks. They are making anywhere from 30 to 50% profit margin on those items so when you're talking over 3,000 items, it adds up pretty quickly. They also are connected to a Taco Bell so they feed off each other.

In short, those that just sell gas are leaving a lot of money on the table.

Have a good day,
Golfinnova
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:56 PM
 
Location: NJ/NY
14,282 posts, read 11,615,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
Based on what you said I think you are from Oregon or New Jersey. But since the only gas stations who used to wash windows without asking were Hess stations... then I assume you were from New Jersey.

Yes it was a great job for young people and I will never forget those days of my life some 35 years ago.
I'm going to take your lead for a small threadjack here.
For some strange reason, people from other states always want to change our "no gas pumping policy". I dont know what it is to them, but they complain about it all the time. The people who live here love it. In fact, most of us hate having to pump our own gas when we go to other states, but we dont try to force our preferences on them. It's great during a rainstorm, or freezing temperatures to just sit in the nice heated car and have someone else pumping for you. People say it would be cheaper to have self serve, but 1. We already have some of the cheapest gas prices in the country, and 2. Anyone who knows NJ, knows that prices wont go down when they allow self serve. What they will do is RAISE the price for full serve, and why would we want that? So I guess my whole threadjacking point is, if you want to pump your own gas, get it somewhere else.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:13 AM
 
437 posts, read 712,385 times
Reputation: 306
Desert, When I pumped gas, Premium was called Ethyl. The cost was about 35 cents per gallon. And I made $1.60/hour.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,208 posts, read 43,953,665 times
Reputation: 29733
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrtx View Post
Desert, When I pumped gas, Premium was called Ethyl. The cost was about 35 cents per gallon. And I made $1.60/hour.
me too... but I only made $1.25/hr, which was real killer when the pumps got left on one Christmas morning after we closed for the day, and we (two teenagers) got stuck with paying for $500 of missing gas. Double checked the breakers after that .

Made good $ on tips, oil changes, tire sales, and tire repairs. I still wear my 'Sudden Service Standard' blue and gray jacket. (with protection for zipper and buttons for leaning over the car washing windows.) I have a pic of my dad's "Champion" service station from the 1930's... grease pits, outdoor racks, and 'visible' pumps.
Vintage Gas Museum - Filling Station Images, Gas Pumps & Signs

Profit is squeezed from retailers, just as any other business that relies on a 'fixed' distributors. No an easy way to make a buck (liability is high... both environmental and safety)

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 01-03-2009 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,424 posts, read 46,075,300 times
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I think Im old but I dont ever remember gas being called ethyl.

I have seen some of the old gas stations of the day, out here they still stand. I live way out in the country now. Some of the FM roads you can find an old dilapidated building with a small overhang with the remains of an old gas pump still standing. There is no pavement around the pump. The pump and store are inches from the edge of the pavement. You can tell this store, whats left of it may be 60 or more years old. I bet in those days when you pulled in for gas you did not get a dirty look from the gas station attendants like you do in NJ and Oregon.

Nearby we even have a station that has been closed down and falling apart for maybe 12 years now. The sign still remains and says $1.25. Just 7 months ago we were laughing at that sign thinking we would never see those prices again. Now look. We filled up for $1.18 in Houston last week.

Downtown in what we call the square there are row stores all connected by wooden planks like in the old west. One place has the origional gas pumps outside in the origional condition. The ones with the glass surround and the liquid filled measuring tubes.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:37 AM
 
437 posts, read 712,385 times
Reputation: 306
Once in the sixties, a customer pulled up to the pumps and asked for "five". I assumed five dollars and pumped it. Well, when I asked her for five dollars, she got real mad. She wanted five gallons which would come to about $1.75. The owner of the station also yelled at me.
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