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Choices, choices, choices ...
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gotta love stories like this:
Some outraged motorists have scrawled warning messages and curse words on gas pumps after paying up to $4.50 for a gallon for gasoline at a station near Orlando International Airport.

Residents and tourists said they were shocked to see the gas prices at the Landing Strip gas station located on Semoran Boulevard, just north of the airport.

"I didn't even look until I pulled up and I went, 'Holy cow,' " driver Julie Melser said.

There are no signs advertising the high prices at the station.
They don't check the price and are "shocked, shocked I tell you" when they finally notice. So, asks the intrepid reporter, how does the owner get away charging this price (which by the way is not illegal)?
"Well, mainly it is volume," Barnes said. "As you can see, the pumps are practically full. Everybody knows what the price is because they have to hit the little lever and they see the price above the lever. And that is how you get away with it."
Heh ... yes indeed. The price is there and it is the job of the motorist to ask or check before pumping.

It reminds me of going to a Braves' game. I can take bottled water in with me if I choose to do so. And it will cost me about 20 cents a bottle if I do. Or I can buy some on the way in from the stands outside the ball park. It will cost me $1. Or I can wait until I get inside the ballpark. That same bottle will cost me at least $2. In every case I have a choice and the price I finally pay for a bottle of water is entirely up to me.

So in this case why the high price? Opportunity:
The Landing Strip is the closest gas station to Hertz and Thrifty car rental returns and the last pumps before the airport.
Of course the car rental place (ballpark) will be more than happy to fill the car up for you at a much higher price than the Landing Strip (stands outside ballpark). But had you purchased your gas prior to getting anywhere near the airport (home), you'd have paid about $2 less a gallon.
"It seems like corporate greed," motorist Mark Ferguson said. "Wow, this is just a classic rip-off."
Is it?
 
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I wonder if the same folks who are complaining about gouging and greed will have that same attitude when it comes to setting the price to sell their homes? I imagine that their asking price will be as high as the market can bear.
 
Written By: mark
URL: http://
No signs? Yes, I’d be outraged too.

I don’t remember the airport, but I’d assume it’s on one of those access roads where you really can’t go back without driving all the way through the airport. Perhaps some enterprising competitor will post a sign alerting motorist to stop before they get to this rip off artist.
 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
One man’s rip off is another man’s convenience. They don’t call them convenience stores for nothing.

No one is holding a gun to the customer’s head. And I am pretty sure the rental overhead for this store is higher than that of the typical gas station because of the location.
 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://www.yargb.blogspot.com
is it corporate greed? yup
is corporate greed illegal? nope
is it bad business? definitely
will people still pay for convenience? yup
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Not just greed but "corporate" greed. Got more cred if you throw "corporate" in there.
 
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
"corporate greed"

Jessasec. Is this station owned by a corporation (XOM, Shell, Chevron, etc.) or is it privately owned, merely carrying one of those brands under a franchise agreement? If the latter, which I suspect is most likely the case, then there is no "corporate greed" taking place. It is just a story of a small businessman recognizing a market opportunity and taking it. It’s personal greed; the kind that makes us happy when our stock and RE investments rise in value on paper.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Every time I’ve rented a car, they make me bring back a receipt to show that the car was filled up within 5 miles of the return..

Would kinda suck to be a tourist in a strange town, and hafta pay the price because you don’t wanna get lost..
 
Written By: phuknjrk
URL: http://
is it corporate greed? yup
And that’s all you need to know...
is corporate greed illegal? nope
It will be after John Edwards is elected!
is it bad business? definitely
Especially after President Edwards has the "Kill the Landlord Act of 2009" and the "Lynch the Price Gaugers Act" of 2009 enacted.
will people still pay for convenience? yup
People need to be protected from "convenience" it is too all often a means of diverting our attention from the more pressing issue of Social Justice and Income Inequlaity that plague the US and the World! POWER TO THE PEOPLE
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
This is a really lame-brained article. Have any of these motorists ever driven on the interstate highway system? Gas right off the highway is more expensive (typically) than the gas you buy a couple of miles closer to town.

No one is holding a gun to these drivers’ heads and making them buy gas at any particular store.

Can you imagine how stupid you’d look if you went into a clothing store/furniture store/anything else you buy store, picked up whatever it is you’re buying (without looking at the price tag), went to the cashier to buy the thing, and then complained about the price?
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Location, location, location. Smart businessman.

Right across the street from both Hertz and Thrifty. Looks like there are several more gas stations just up the road.

Landing Strip (I presume)
 
Written By: Jay Evans
URL: http://
It may be a rip-off, but on its face - no. The state’s pricing laws, especially about advertising prices, would have to be checked before I would give a definitive answer.
 
Written By: Mikey NTH
URL: http://
When I was driving from Michigan to California a couple years ago, I stopped in Needles, CA for a bite to eat. Needles is a little town right on the California/Arizona border, right in the middle of the desert.

After I had eaten, I stopped at a gas station to fill up. I still had 3/4 of a tank left, but wanted to fill up so I could drive that much farther before stopping again. I found a gas station and pulled up. I had the pump in my hand when I noticed the price of $3.99... my jaw dropped. I put the pump back, got in my car and drove away. At the time I had been paying $2.00-2.30 per gallon, across the country.

As has already been said, nobody is forcing these people to pay what the owner is charging.


 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://
"Well, mainly it is volume," Barnes said. "As you can see, the pumps are practically full. Everybody knows what the price is because they have to hit the little lever and they see the price above the lever. And that is how you get away with it."
What a teetotal jerk. Not to mention a lame-ass businessman, I don’t care if he’s a freaking millionaire.
Is this station owned by a corporation (XOM, Shell, Chevron, etc.) or is it privately owned, merely carrying one of those brands under a franchise agreement? If the latter, which I suspect is most likely the case, then there is no "corporate greed" taking place. — D
True enough, but how many outraged customers are going to puzzle that out? It’s interesting that the article (this article anyway) doesn’t mention a Big Oil brand or say whether Landing Strip is part of a chain; if I had a stake in a corp tied up with Barnes, I wouldn’t be at all happy about his antics. There is such a thing as bad press and Barnes is going to get enough of it in the next 24 hours to share with plenty of business associates.

And yeah, yeah, at the end of the day it’s the buyers’ responsibility to check the price, suckers, and all that. But when your customers start scrawling warnings on your pumps and not only QandO but Drudge starts spreading the word, it might be getting time for the seller to think about what that high price can cost him. I mean, does anyone think that the people defending Barnes’s right to freak people out with his pricing are actually going to go buy a tank of that Landing Strip high octane to show their support?

Bob Barnes clearly has world-class contempt for the people who put bread on his table and I hope his volume goes straight to hell.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
I’d venture to say the folks tanking up before they return their cars to the rental agency weren’t paying attention when the rental company told them what the refill cost was if they brought it back empty (and are living in fear)...

Or, perhaps they did, and perhaps Barnes is actually offering a better rate than they are.

What looks like a crappy rate if you’re just Joe Public driving by, might sound much better if you knew you were about to be held hostage on your return by the rental car company who’s alternative cost was higher.

I think, based on his location, that’s the market he’s aiming at.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
A good example of niche marketing.

I bet, though, that his volume from high-profit snacks, beverages and "notions" are significantly lower than the typical convenience store.

Most of these establishments don’t make the bulk of their net profits from gas sales.

This guy may be a jerk for his candor, but he has to make money from something he sells; otherwise why be in business?
 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://www.yargb.blogspot.com
Speaking of theoretical rip-offs:

Why do men and women buy cologne and perfumes when the actual cost of the ingredients in those goods is about 10% of their purchase price? Most of the costs associated with those goods is in the packaging (expensive glass and misters), marketing (demonstrators at department and upscale men’s stores) and advertising (Vogue, Esquire, Playboy, Vanity Fair, etc., full pagers, High fashion TV spots in prime time).

You can buy knock-offs that pretty much smell the same for 10% of the going price.

But if you try to give your sweetie Chalet No. 5 (as the label usually says, "compare with Chanel No. 5") I will not be responsible for the reception you get.
 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://www.yargb.blogspot.com
Yet the millionth example of people wanting to eat their cake and have it too.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Idk. Why is he the only gas station at that location?

It sounds like this patch of property may be under the control of whoever planned the airport. This may not be this situation, here, but I’ve seen gas stations strategically placed in isolation near the airport to create a quasi-monopoly capitalizing on the panic of out of towners rushing to make a flight. I alway assume a cut goes back to the airport or whoever controls the airport planning.

If the gas station is so full, the airport customers would be better served by having a second gas station in proximity. Two problems solved (crowded station & very high prices).

But in the New Capitalism, Competition is a weed to be rooted out (unless its labor in which case we dump as much in the marketplace as we can).
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Or, perhaps they did, and perhaps Barnes is actually offering a better rate than they are.
Yup. He is.
But in the New Capitalism, Competition is a weed to be rooted out (unless its labor in which case we dump as much in the marketplace as we can).
If you can buy a great location and thereby achieve a monopoly, good on you. If a quasi-governmental authority awards you the location, that isn’t capitalism.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
I mean, does anyone think that the people defending Barnes’s right to freak people out with his pricing are actually going to go buy a tank of that Landing Strip high octane to show their support?
Obviously somebody is buying it, or he wouldn’t have a store.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://

 
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