Gas Stations Don't Really Make Money On Gas

Illustration for article titled Gas Stations Dont Really Make Money On Gas

Even though you think gas costs a fortune—because it does—gas stations make little, if any, profit of fuel sales. Their cash cow? The cheap, pink sunglasses.

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Gasoline prices hover at around $4 a gallon nationwide, but oil prices are so high that the seemingly exorbitant prices aren't enough to keep gas stations in business. According to USA Today:

They make only pennies per gallon sold. Most of the profit, about 75%, comes from the markups on convenience store items such as sunglasses, hot food or medicine, according to the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers, or AFPD, a trade association of independent operators.

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So just remember: the next time you're scooping up a four pack of powdered donuts while refueling—you're helping that gas station stay in business. Petroleum and empty calories: It's the American way. [USA Today via Slate]

Image by Slavon/Shutterstock.com

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DISCUSSION

MakeSense
Make.Sense

We Swedes are paying $8.95 per gallon. When I flew home from the US on April 2nd it costed $3.71 per gallon in Minnesota and the family I lived with there for a couple of weeks were complaining over the price while I was amazed over the fact that it was basically free.

Though we always have the option of taking the train or taking the bus to work or school or wherever people are going. I know that in the US you don't. Sure they had buses in Minneapolis/St. Paul and they were building a tram system, but outside of the cities there were no buses, no trains, no nothing. If you had no car you couldn't get anywhere.

Here in Sweden, even if you live 100 miles from the nearest civilization you bet there's a bus line going by nearby at least twice a day or a train station not too far away. This is why gas price is such a big deal in the US, because there are no options to taking the car.

Still, you Americans pay basically nothing in tax compared to us Swedes. The average income before tax is almost the same . Our gas is more than twice as expensive. Our sales tax is 25%, and living expenses in the US is dirt cheap and you're complaining. I don't want to start a flame war or anything but I do think you're a bit over sensitive. Come to Europe for a while and you'll be amazed over the difference in mentality and over how expensive it is to do stuff and how much more it would cost to buy gas, groceries, clothing etc. here compared to going to Walmart, Target, JCPenney and so on.

But I still like America, I really liked Minnesota to be honest and I could easily imagine myself living there once I'm done with my studies.