When the price of gas goes up, you might be surprised to learn that the places you're buying gas aren't necessarily pocketing that profit.
Just because gas prices have jumped 30 or 40 cents in the last month doesn't mean gas station owners are suddenly making that much more a gallon. We had one local station owner help us breakdown the numbers.
Marc Duebbers grew up in the gas business and has watched gas prices go up while his profits don't.
"When you used to be able to pull your car in and fill up for $10 or $15, now some of these SUV's larger suburbans are $100 or $135 a shot," said Duebbers.
On Wednesday, gas was $3.95 a gallon at Duebbers, and here's how it breaks down.
Duebbers hauler pays $3.43 a gallon from the big oil supplier, then the hauler marks it up three cents a gallon to sell it to Marc, and then charges another three cents to haul it. That brings the price to $3.49. After that, there's 41-cents in federal and state taxes. Now we're at $3.90 a gallon that Marc's paying for his gas, but that doesn't translate into five cents a gallon profit
"We get charged about 2.5 percent per use of credit card at the pump," he said.
And since most of us pay with plastic at the pump, that's about 10 cents a gallon for Marc to pay, leaving his price at 3.95 a gallon is five cents less than cost.
Fortunately, Duebbers has an automotive shop and convenient store to help supplement the loss at the pump, but those are suffering too.
"They're cutting the extra curricular things - the bag of chips and the 18 pack of Bud Light. Those are getting cut. People are going without," he said.
So what about price fluctuation from day to day, or even hour to hour? Marc says you can blame price wars most of the time.
"You can only afford to lose money for so long so what happens is they're running the price down to boost their gallons, then they say we can't do this anymore, then there's a spike and they go up 25 or 30 cents," he said.
Of course, supply and demand and pipeline issues also affect the price fluctuations.
The bad news is that Duebbers says he's hearing the same bad news we are, that prices will continue to climb into the summer.