(WSYR-TV) — You ask, we answer!

A frequent question to NewsChannel 9: How can prices fluctuate so drastically from one station to the next? Sometimes, these stations are in close proximity to one another.

Viewer Mike Mazoway said gas prices in Baldwinsville are $.30 to $.40 more expensive than stations at Moyers Corners in Clay.

According to GasBuddy’s gas price map, stations in the Baldwinsville area are selling a gallon of gas near $3.80. The map shows a station near Moyers Corners selling gas for less than $3.40 a gallon.

For perspective on pricing, NewsChannel 9 interviewed Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s Head of Petroleum Analysis.

De Haan, said setting prices at the pump is a complicated formula, with complex factors.

He said competition is a major reason for price fluctuation. Areas with more stations may find cheaper gas because the stations are needing to drop prices to compete for your business.

De Haan also said when a station fills its tanks also factors into the equation. Most service stations buy gas every two to five days. So if a station buys high, their prices could be more than a station that purchased gas on a cheaper day.

He said it’s not uncommon to see varying pump prices when the price for a barrel of oil is constantly changing.

Location is another factor. A station on a prime spot of real estate is likely paying a premium to be there. With higher taxes as well, those prices likely get passed on to us.

Lastly, different business strategies come into play. Some stations will bring down prices at the pump because they make up for it by getting you inside the store. Wholesale clubs are known to use this strategy.