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View Full Version : How stupid, the poll.



Ole Anderson
11-12-2012, 3:55 PM
So in the "How stupid do they think we are?" thread Moses Yoder posted the question:


So far as the original question, if there is a gas station selling gas for $3.499 and one right beside it selling gas for $3.50 any bets on which one will sell more gas? I have $50 on $3.499, any takers?

Let's do a poll to see how many of you would go for the one tenth of a cent discount per gallon and how many of you, on the principal, would go for the rounded-up-to-the-nearest-penny price.

John Fabre
11-12-2012, 4:02 PM
I have never seen fuel priced right to the penny, it's always been priced at 9/tenths.

Ole Anderson
11-12-2012, 4:09 PM
I have never seen fuel priced right to the penny, it's always been priced at 9/tenths.

That is the point of the thread. Quit trying to think you are deceiving us with the 99 is way less than 100 marketing.

Moses Yoder
11-12-2012, 4:17 PM
This is not a scientific poll by any means. First of all, the respondents are aware of the test and most likely will say it doesn't matter. Second, woodworkers are more intelligent than average and more brand faithful than average. I buy my gas at the BP station at SR 13 and SR 120 in Indiana on the way home from work because I believe it is better gasoline. There is a station just down the road that always has gas 10 cents cheaper and I avoid it like the plague; several people who used to buy gas there have told me it has either ruined their engines or their fuel pump. I am still betting if the average car wsa going down the average road and saw gas on the left for $3.50 and on the right for $3.499 they would turn to the right.

Here is an example of how stupid the average man is. My wife was working the service desk and somebody came in with a receipt for something that the price had been marked wrong so he was charged $3.66 instead of what it should have been, $3.44. My wife examined the receipt and the sales flier and said "Sorry, you are correct," and handed him his 22 cents. He looked down into his hand and said "22 cents!!!! I drove 15 miles for this!!!! I expect some reimbursement!!!" Really, people expect the store to pay them for driving around now? In a way I can understand the feeling, but why not just get your 22 cents the next time you're in town or (gosh) just forget about it? The best thing to do would be to catch it before you leave the store. Maybe he should sue.

John Fabre
11-12-2012, 4:17 PM
That is the point of the thread. Quit trying to think you are deceiving us with the 99 is way less than 100 marketing.
Ok, I never look at the prices anymore, I'll pay top dollar for better gas. Yes, there is a difference, even with the same octane rating.

John Aspinall
11-12-2012, 4:43 PM
If marketing can convince some people that $3.499 is so much cheaper than $3.50, don't you think that marketing can convince some people that a red label on the gas makes it better gas than a blue label?

That's not to say that I don't believe in "better" and "worse" gas; I've had enough variance in performance after a fill up to know that exists. But there are enough variables in here, that I don't think the label color tells the whole story.
The condition of the individual gas station's underground storage tanks (well maintained versus leaky, high turnover versus low,...) would be my first guess as to an important factor not covered by the color of the label.

Dan Hintz
11-12-2012, 5:17 PM
If I'm standing at a pump that has both prices on it, I'm choosing the fractional (cheaper) handle. If I have to so much as drive an extra block out of my way to pay the fractional, I'm sticking with the whole price.

I may save myself a whole 2 cents a fillup with the fractional pump compared to the whole, so even a few extra button presses may be enough annoyance to make me choose whatever is easiest. I'm not fooled psychologically, but I can make a quick risk vs. reward estimate in my head, and saving 2 pennies is not worth hardly any amount of extra trouble.

Eric DeSilva
11-12-2012, 5:49 PM
If marketing can convince some people that $3.499 is so much cheaper than $3.50, don't you think that marketing can convince some people that a red label on the gas makes it better gas than a blue label?

I understand what Moses is saying, agree with him, and think your statement illustrates a point that is being missed. It is not that advertising convinces people that $3.4999 is less than $3.50, it is that when they don't think about it, their instinctive reaction is to opt for what their subconscious perceives as cheaper--even if that $0.001 difference is, realistically, irrelevant. The whole point is that they aren't convinced and they aren't thinking. It is a pure appeal to their base gut instincts.

Again, it isn't advertisers convincing us, it is marketers playing to and taking advantage of a known misperception.

Jay Jolliffe
11-12-2012, 5:53 PM
You can complain all you want about the price of gas. I pay about .80 more per gallon because I live on an island. Stop your complaining

ray hampton
11-12-2012, 5:54 PM
If I'm standing at a pump that has both prices on it, I'm choosing the fractional (cheaper) handle. If I have to so much as drive an extra block out of my way to pay the fractional, I'm sticking with the whole price.

I may save myself a whole 2 cents a fillup with the fractional pump compared to the whole, so even a few extra button presses may be enough annoyance to make me choose whatever is easiest. I'm not fooled psychologically, but I can make a quick risk vs. reward estimate in my head, and saving 2 pennies is not worth hardly any amount of extra trouble.

how many people do you know that will drive 5 miles to buy one gallon of gasoline ? I will try to go to the store first then stop on the way home

Stew Hagerty
11-12-2012, 7:05 PM
You don't have a third choice:

"It is inconsequential and therefore does not matter to me"

Mike Cozad
11-13-2012, 5:01 AM
You don't have a third choice:

"It is inconsequential and therefore does not matter to me"

I would vote this as well. As a creature of habit I buy gas at the same place weekly. But out of curiosity, to those that mentioned one brand is better than another, can you lead me to some info on which is better? I would love to be a more informed consumer. I don't ever by citgo simply because I have no desire to send money to that raving lunatic Chavez.... Other than that I know very little brand-wise...

Jay Jolliffe
11-13-2012, 7:46 AM
Chavez can't be too bad if he's has helped close to 200,000 poor families in 15 cold-weather states -- in every Northeastern state except New Hampshire -- can thank controversial Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for helping them heat their homes this winter.
The Venezuelan-controlled oil-refining company, Citgo Petroleum Corp., donated 45 million gallons of free home heating oil this winter in a move that bought good publicity for the country's socialist leader, who famously called President Bush "the devil" in a 2006 United Nations speech.

I have not received any free oil as we burn wood mostly for heat.

Dan Hintz
11-13-2012, 8:03 AM
But out of curiosity, to those that mentioned one brand is better than another, can you lead me to some info on which is better?

I didn't want to post anything earlier to prevent an unnecessary battle, but... I think many would be surprised by just how few sources there are for the multitude of gas station brands. That local mom-and-pop store down the road? They're definitely supplied by a major refinery brand... Shell, Citgo, etc. Often the only difference between one truck and the next is simply what bottle of additives the company requests to pour in before it leaves the loading pumps.

Speaking about the quality of gas is pretty much irrelevant these days since it all comes from less than a handful of major, well-known refineries... now, the tanks that gas is stored in, that's another issue. Filling up at a 30-yr old station? I hope the tanks have a good sediment filter. But what goes in is essentially the same...

Moses Yoder
11-13-2012, 8:38 AM
I would vote this as well. As a creature of habit I buy gas at the same place weekly. But out of curiosity, to those that mentioned one brand is better than another, can you lead me to some info on which is better? I would love to be a more informed consumer. I don't ever by citgo simply because I have no desire to send money to that raving lunatic Chavez.... Other than that I know very little brand-wise...

I kept track of my mileage from different stations overa six month period. I know the gas from one tank to the next is not exactly the same level but I found one station which on average was the same price as most of the others gave me about 2 miles per gallon more. It happened to be the BP north of Middlebury, IN, which is right on my way to and from work, so that is the station I prefer now. Yes, I'm biased. I detest filling up anywhere else.

ray hampton
11-13-2012, 8:51 AM
I kept track of my mileage from different stations overa six month period. I know the gas from one tank to the next is not exactly the same level but I found one station which on average was the same price as most of the others gave me about 2 miles per gallon more. It happened to be the BP north of Middlebury, IN, which is right on my way to and from work, so that is the station I prefer now. Yes, I'm biased. I detest filling up anywhere else.

May I be the first to say that buying a gasoline because of good MPG is wrong a better reason would be to buy gasoline from a station that add WATER to the tank

David Weaver
11-13-2012, 10:43 AM
I'd fill up at the station that was closer. Unless another station guaranteed no more ethanol was in the gas than was needed as an oxygenate, then I'd probably stop by the latter if it was on the way to anything else.

Rick Potter
11-13-2012, 10:50 AM
Back in the day, like the 60's, my wife and family would take vacations with our camper or trailer. Chevy pickup with side tanks, common then. She would get upset with me because I would get off the highway and go a couple miles down the main drag looking for cheaper gas. Gas was $.30-$.33 per gallon then. That three cents back then made about a 10% difference in cost.

Now, with gas prices at $4.89.9 here a few days ago, and the price between Costco and major stations being about a nickel,
shopping around at that rate might save me a bit over 1%. If I get lucky and find it for $.10 less I save about 2%. Not worth shopping around anymore. Of course I fill up at Costco whenever I am there, but I no longer obsess about saving a nickel a gallon.

Curious, but diesel can be $.50 difference between stations.

Now, back to the survey......for half that $50, my vote can be bought.:cool:

Rick Potter

EDIT, EDIT: Oooops, senior moment. I meant $3.89, not $4.89. Percents change a bit but same result...not worth it.

PS: Out running around this morning, and the price at Costco had dropped to $3.69. $3.79 elsewhere.

Brian Kent
11-13-2012, 10:51 AM
I love the 9/10 of a penny instead of rounding up. If I get 30 miles per gallon and drive 15000 miles per year, that non-rounding saves me $.50 per year!!!! Over eight years, that could buy me an EXTRA GALLON of GAS!

ray hampton
11-13-2012, 11:11 AM
I get a discount if I use the grocery store receipts but with cold weather coming I will be buying my gasoline at the station that pump it for me

Jim Koepke
11-13-2012, 12:24 PM
In the 1960s or early '70s one or two gas stations tried this kind of pricing. Many folks fueled up at the stations, but most people felt the pricing seemed odd.

People will stay with what they are familiar.

In my area there are a few stations that offer discounts for shopping at certain grocery stores or paying with cash. At $0.10 a gallon, it can make a difference.

Fifty years or more ago, a penny a gallon difference was a big difference, especially if one was driving a truck that had two fifty gallon tanks. In those days, you could by a sandwich and a drink with the savings.

With my current vehicles, $0.30 is about all that could be saved for a penny difference per gallon in price. If the difference was to make a left turn in and out of a station as opposed to making a right turn in and out, a penny more per gallon would be spent on gas.

jtk

Lex Boegen
11-13-2012, 3:44 PM
Nigel Tufnel (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001302/): The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
Marty DiBergi (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001661/): Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001302/): Exactly.
Marty DiBergi (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001661/): Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001302/): Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001661/): I don't know.
Nigel Tufnel (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001302/): Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001661/): Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001302/): Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001661/): Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001302/): [pause] These go to eleven.

Stew Hagerty
11-14-2012, 10:04 AM
I love the 9/10 of a penny instead of rounding up. If I get 30 miles per gallon and drive 15000 miles per year, that non-rounding saves me $.50 per year!!!! Over eight years, that could buy me an EXTRA GALLON of GAS!

This is exactly what I meant by "inconsequential".

In your Question scenario, which side of the road, or which one is less busy, or (the biggie) which one has the best coffee is much more important in my decision that that penny.

By the way, did you know that it costs 2 1/2 to make a penny? Does that seem ridiculous to anyone else? In 2012 alone the US Mint is slated to produce more than 5 Billion pennies. That's $12,500,000,000!

So, say mahogany buffet you just made cost you $1500 to make (materials & labor) and now it's time to sell it. If you were the US government you would put a price tag of $600.

Any questions as to why we're 16 Trillion dollars in debt?

Dan Hintz
11-14-2012, 10:51 AM
By the way, did you know that it costs 2 1/2 to make a penny? Does that seem ridiculous to anyone else? In 2012 alone the US Mint is slated to produce more than 5 Billion pennies. That's $12,500,000,000!

You missed a few decimal places... at 2.5 cents each, that's $125 million, not $12.5 billion ;)

David Weaver
11-14-2012, 12:17 PM
The gas discounts - I think those started here almost earlier than they started anywhere else (where you get 10 cents off per gallon for a certain amount of shopping).

At the time, they caught on really fast, that could've been 10 years ago now, or close to it. I spend freely on things I like, but I rub nickels together for a while before separating them on things I don't get enthusiastic about.

At that time, it was 10 cents per gallon of gas for each $50 spent. I think it's still the same, but it might not be. If I can get 12 gallons into my vehicle, that's $1.20.

However, the mainline grocery stores here have prices so bad that it pays not to get *anything* at them that you can get anywhere else. One of the organic lettuce things (it's my wife's idea, not mine) at costco is about $4.30 and $8 at the grocery store. Chasing those gas savings without looking at actual costs vs. bulk places and discount grocers is a good way bascially to hand someone $10 to get back $1.

If there are things you have to get at the grocery store because there's nowhere else to get them in your area, then it's a gain. On my road, there are 3 mainline grocers, 3 discount grocers, two targets and a big lots (it's the suburbs, what else would there be other than several of the same store on the same stretch of road). The mainline grocers cost about 20% more than target on comparable groceries, and the discount grocers generally are less, though their products are either house brand or overstock.

Brian Elfert
11-14-2012, 1:22 PM
I used to drive 16 miles round trip to buy diesel for my VW Golf TDI. It took less than 1/2 gallon of fuel to make the trip. I saved between 10 and 20 cents compared to local stations. I pretty much always saved enough to cover the cost of the trip. I also made the trip because they sold better diesel. Instead of blending #1 and #2 diesel in the winter they would add additives instead. I got better MPG than with blended diesel.

Why is the mint making so many pennies anyhow? Is it because so many people throw away pennies? (Yes, I know people who will throw away pennies instead of keep them for later use.) I find it hard to imagine that 5 billion pennies wear out every year.

Rick Potter
11-14-2012, 1:38 PM
The best advertising ploy I have seen in years was a year or so ago, when the '99 cents only' store which has nothing over 99 cents announced it would have to raise prices. That hit the network news, and they let it simmer for a week or so, then the boss had a press conference, which again was covered by the media. He announced that prices were going up to 99.999 cents.

A PR coup. Now, thats advertising.

Rick Potter

PS: When did they take the 'cent' key off computer keyboards? Looks like it was replaced by this ^, whatever it is.

Jim Rimmer
11-14-2012, 1:49 PM
I would vote this as well. As a creature of habit I buy gas at the same place weekly. But out of curiosity, to those that mentioned one brand is better than another, can you lead me to some info on which is better? I would love to be a more informed consumer. I don't ever by citgo simply because I have no desire to send money to that raving lunatic Chavez.... Other than that I know very little brand-wise...

I did a non-scientific experiment a few years ago. My wife had a new Honda Accord and was getting mileage in the low 20s. She was buying gas at WalMart and Kroger. I asked her to only buy gas at Shell for the next several tanks. It could have been Exxon, BP, Valero or any other major brand but I chose Shell because I had a Shell Mastercard that got me an additional discount of 10%/gal. Her mileage improved 3-5 mg and we have avoided the cheap gas ever since. I assume it goes back to the comments about the additives. Whatever it is, it is my own opinion that there is a reason other than volume for the cheap gas at box stores and grocery stores.

David Weaver
11-14-2012, 1:58 PM
I would guess it had more to do with the car being new. New cars sometimes go through a period of improving mileage for a while.

There isn't enough difference in energy content in gasoline from one place to another and assuming the octane rating was the same for each place, it would function similarly in the car's engine.

I have never noticed any difference in mileage from place to place (tracking every tank of gas I have filled in the car, unless my wife fills it and forgets to reset the trip indicator) until we went up to 10% ethanol, and then I noticed a slight decrease in mileage of about 5% doing same-station calculations (if we visit relatives across the state, we always fill at the same station at home and there, so if the weather is similar (no substantial wind, etc), it gives a good indication of whether or not anything is going afoul in the car.

Assuming down in texas, the urge to put corn in the gasoline isn't as strong as it is to do it in iowa and minnesota.

Ben Hatcher
11-14-2012, 2:07 PM
I did a non-scientific experiment a few years ago. My wife had a new Honda Accord and was getting mileage in the low 20s. She was buying gas at WalMart and Kroger. I asked her to only buy gas at Shell for the next several tanks. It could have been Exxon, BP, Valero or any other major brand but I chose Shell because I had a Shell Mastercard that got me an additional discount of 10%/gal. Her mileage improved 3-5 mg and we have avoided the cheap gas ever since. I assume it goes back to the comments about the additives. Whatever it is, it is my own opinion that there is a reason other than volume for the cheap gas at box stores and grocery stores.

It has to do with the ethanol content of the fuel. Ethanol has only 70% of the btu/gallon as gasoline. A 10% ethanol blend will therefore yield 3% lower mpg.

Stew Hagerty
11-15-2012, 4:12 PM
You missed a few decimal places... at 2.5 cents each, that's $125 million, not $12.5 billion ;)

Oops. :confused: I had just come back from the dentist when I posted that and I was a little loopy from the pain meds. It looks like I just multiplied 2.5 x 5,000,000,000. I forgot to add the /100.

It's still a lot of money.

Bryan Morgan
11-17-2012, 1:18 AM
So in the "How stupid do they think we are?" thread Moses Yoder posted the question:



Let's do a poll to see how many of you would go for the one tenth of a cent discount per gallon and how many of you, on the principal, would go for the rounded-up-to-the-nearest-penny price.

I don't even care. I'll get whatever is most convenient and isn't Arco. When you're paying $50 for a tank of gas who cares if its a buck or two more or less.

Ole Anderson
11-18-2012, 8:46 AM
I guess, as the OP, that I am one of the few that cares and feels manipulated by the 99-is-way-less-than-100 marketing mentality. So I will try to let it be.

mike holden
11-19-2012, 10:44 AM
I hope that everyone realizes that the federal tax on gasoline is umpteen POINT NINE cents per gallon. So it is NOT a marketing ploy, but rather our tax dollars at work. (grin)
Mike

Brian Elfert
11-19-2012, 11:34 AM
The .9 cents on the national gas tax is probably to satisfy some congressman who thought the amount was too high.