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Saturday, September 22

The Gas Auction

As a lifelong (pretty much) consumer, I realize that costs of goods vary--from store to store, state to state, country to country, etc.  However, as the price of gasoline sky-rocketed this past week to $3.99/gallon, I took notice of a consumer puzzler.

Just about every gas station I passed along the main roads of Wheeling--National Road, Mt. de Chantal Road--were advertising their regular gas at $3.99/gallon.  But, as I traveled my super stealth back roads home from work since all main roads are currently under construction (such poor planning), I discovered a couple of outliers.

Schmidt Brothers Sunoco station in Wheeling (2811 Eoff Street) had their regular gas priced at $3.79/gallon.  Now, while a $0.20 discount may not seem like much in the big picture, my concern is that we're really pretty much getting the exact same product regardless of which station we choose.  And the fact that the majority of stations made it seem gas had to remain at $3.99/gallon (I think this time it was because of the unrest in the Middle East) became even more of a puzzler for me when suddenly, I noticed a change in the price at the Sunoco.  Oh no, not an increase, but a $0.05 decrease to $3.74.  I greatly anticipated hitting Elm Grove to see how low those stations had gone in the day, but to my great disappointment...they hadn't budged!  As I finished my drive home, I couldn't stop thinking about how simple getting the cheapest gas is as long as the Sunoco lasts in this phase.  I don't even have to spend more money on groceries to earn points to save on gas.  The automatic $0.20 discount comes at no price.  Shocking!

There's one other station in Bethlehem that also has its gas around the same price as the Sunoco on Eoff, but otherwise, I see the $3.99 price everywhere.  I'm sure that in this area of economics, something alludes me just like in many other areas of economics, but it kind of makes it seem like a huge free-for-all on the outside.  All I know is that for the foreseeable future, I will have to remain a Sunoco gal and victoriously cheer Schmidt Brothers each time I cruise by (using their cheap gas).  

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