Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The .009 Scam has run its course

I'm talking about adding that ubiquitous 9/10 of a cent added to the price of every gallon of gasoline.

Even considering the fact that it is stated in the posted price- it is still an attempt to psychologically trick people into believing the gasoline is a little cheaper than it really is. That makes it a scam.

It was always a dishonest practice, now it is a pointless one as well. Back when gas cost 35 cents per gallon, that extra 9/10 of a cent was a significant percentage of the price. Over 2.25%, in fact. That made it even worse.

Is your integrity so unimportant to you, as a gas station owner, that you still feel the need to skim that extra 9/10 of a cent when the gasoline costs $3.40 or more per gallon? That scammed 9/10 of a penny is now only about a quarter of a percent of the price, and will continue to be less significant as the price rises.

Yes, I realize that if a person buys 15 gallons, you get the same profit off that 9/10 of a cent whether the price per gallon is 35 cents, or $5.45. Round the price up to the next whole penny, and you can add another 1/10 of a cent to the total honestly.

I would like to see a gas station (or franchise) owner step up and publicly reject the traditional price scamming game. Just round it up to the honest whole-cent price, and publicize that you did it. I'll bet you'd get more business just as a reward for rejecting the scam. At the least, you'd be trading a dishonest psychological trick for an honest one.


  1. I have always felt this way Kent! Thanks for pointing out how dishonest this practice is!!!!!

  2. Feel free to send this to other people. Maybe if enough people see this some gas station owner somewhere will come to his senses.

  3. When I was working in a convenience store, the distributor set the price of gas, not the station owner. Honestly, if all the station owners sold was gas, they'd promptly go out of business, they only make a couple of dimes on a gallon. Owners make money on the stuff they sell inside the store, like beef jerky and 24 packs of Bud Light.

  4. I had some friends who ran a convenience store several years ago. They said they would definitely go out of business if all they sold was gas. However, they were free to set their own price for gas- as long as they covered the wholesale cost, I suppose.

    Due to the town their station was in, they were charged more per gallon, wholesale, than other stations that were sold gas out of the same delivery truck just on down the road because we were in a "remote location" (that just happened to be on the way to other, non-remote locations that got better pricing, I guess).

    But this proposal doesn't cut into their minimal profits in any way. All I'm suggesting is that stations eliminate the deceptive 9/10 of a cent price and round up to the next whole penny. That wouldn't cause them to lose any money (it would actually increase their profit margin by 1/10 of a cent), and would gain them much respect.