CHICAGO (CBS) — In the past week, some analysts have predicted that we could soon be paying $5 a gallon for gasoline.
Here in Chicago gas already averages $4.15 a gallon.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, while consumers hate to see price hikes, so do gas station owners who say that as prices go higher their profits plummet.
As much as drivers hate to see prices like those in Chicago on Wednesday, many gas station owners said they hate the high prices even more, because they make their money by the gallon.
The more gallons they sell, the more money gas station owners make and, right now, drivers are cutting back on gas.
As gas prices rise ever higher, customer frustrations rise right along with them.
“They’re outrageous,” Heriberto Pinero said. “It makes me not want to go nowhere. I should invest in a scooter.”
Although Pinero could find the bright side, many customers who come into Mohit Vaid’s Mobil station were feeling furious on Wednesday.
“They yell at us. They think we’re the ones who is making money. They say ‘look at your gas prices,’” Vaid said.
He said the high gas prices are anything but good for business.
“Of course not. We don’t have any customers,” Vaid said. “In the afternoon you can have a nap because nobody out there.”
He said that the spike in gas prices has almost ruined his business.
Vaid and other gas station operators typically make about a nickel for every gallon of gas they sell. So, when demand sags, their revenues do as well.
“Now we are selling like five or eight hundred gallons a day. We used to sell like 1,600 or 2,000 gallons a day before,” Vaid said.
At a Citgo station on South Pulaski, managers said they’re selling about 600 fewer gallons a day as customers cut back.
Motorist Randy Alvarado put about four gallons of gas in his van.
“That’s all I could afford right now with the way the gas prices are going,” he said.
Still, Vaid said that many customers believe he is swimming in profits along with the oil companies.
“They’re probably doubling, maybe tripling the prices,” Pinero said.
Gas station owners said that’s a very common misconception.