You ask, we answer! Viewer Jan Powell of Fayetteville emailed the Your Stories Team to say she noticed a 30-cent a gallon difference at two gas stations. The stations are only 1.5 miles away from one another. Jan was concerned about possible price gouging.

So why can prices fluctuate so drastically from one station to the next?

For that answer, our team went to Patrick De Hann, head petroleum analyst for Gas Buddy.

De Hann does not feel price gouging is happening here in the Syracuse market. He did say setting prices at the pump is a complicated formula, with complex factors.

First, he said stations are at the mercy of the volatile wholesale gasoline market. Wholesale prices can change one to two times a day. Most service stations buy gas every two to five days. De Hann said if a station buys high, its prices could be more than a station that purchased gas on a cheaper day.

Location is another factor. A station on a prime spot of real estate is likely paying a premium to be there. The station could be paying higher property taxes than its competitor. De Hann said those added costs 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. De Hann said wholesale clubs are known to use this strategy.

Do you have a question about something happening in your neighborhood? Let the Your Stories Team know, and we will work to get you an answer!

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