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The Price at the Pump

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

Crude oil prices are on the decline, so why do gas prices still appear to be climbing?

It may all come down to where you fill up.

If you're stumped at the pump, you're not alone.

Gas prices seem to fluctuate from one station to the next, and for some drivers it effects where they filler er' up.

"Just the prices of the gas -- that's basically why I stop," said Driver Nathan Johnson.

"Most of the time I will go where it's cheaper because this big vehicle takes a lot to fill up," said Driver Misti Wagoner.

Others say an extra mile down the road for a better price, really isn't worth it.

"If gas is a few cents different when you buy 20 gallons it doesn't make that much a difference," said Driver Jaye Congleton.

Just on one corner alone, the prices vary.

Next door it's a $1.99, for regular unleaded, here it's $2.05 and across the street it's a $1.97. It makes you wonder why there's such a big difference?

"A convenience store may have bought fuel at a higher price one day and next door they bought two days later at a lower price," said TAMU Finance Professor Detlef Hallermann

Hallermann says when a retailer buys is as important as what a retailer will do to get you in the door.

If it's a large retailer, like H-E-B, it can afford to charge a cheaper price.

But once inside, you may pay even more.

"One convenience store may have lower prices on gas but charge more for candy bars," said Hallermann.

The cost has to be made up somewhere or the owner would be out of business.

Some charge at cost, some a little bit more and others a little less.

But when you fill er' up you're always paying taxes, the cost of transportation, fees for using a credit card...and of course, the actual gas.

So does it really save you money in the long run to comparison shop?

It's ultimately up to you to decide.


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