Well we are finally down to $2.57 here at Costco. Meanwhile, there seem to be a number of stations around here still set on getting people for more than $3.29/gallon.
It's pretty sad for two reasons: Either the higher priced stations are stuck with trying to sell fuel they themselves purchased at a higher wholesale price, or they think people are too slow to notice the rapid drop in prices, so they continue to charge as much as they can get. It's probably a little of both, but Costco does huge volume, so I'm willing to give the smaller sellers the benefit of the doubt in having to unload expensively purchased fuel. (But we still buy at Costco most of the time anyway.)
Stations make a very slim profit on fuel. I know from my experience in managing 7-11's in college and also managing a fuel station @ a PX for the USMC that your goal is to lure people to your C-Store with low fuel prices. You make your money selling coffee, donuts, and fountain drinks to those who purchase fuel from you. If your fuel is priced too high those people will stop elsewhere for their high profit items. If a station was stuck with a supply of fuel that they paid a high wholesale price for its cheaper to mark it down and take that loss, and make up for it in the store.
That might explain why the stations with the most notoriously high prices are also the lone convenience merchants in the immediate vicinity. They know that people will come into the store anyway, whether they purchase gas or not. Unfortunately it's the station owners who fail to maintain a convenience presence that are hit hardest by dropping prices. They have nowhere to make up the shortfall from.
I know one station owner who really isn't in a good position in that respect. When things are humming along, she makes about 8 cents a gallon - when she is the one doing the pumping, and about half that when an employee is. But kitty corner to her is a 7-11, with another convenience store another block down, and another gas station/convenience store a two blocks the opposite direction from her. Talk about having to eek out a customer base!
Her prices are always a touch higher than average but not unreasonable. I always fill my work truck there when it is logistically feasible, but she's definately not doing the volume of business the gas/convenience store down the street does. It's too bad since she is a local owner, vs. the regional conglomerate.
I am amazed that my favorate gas station has just dropped a dime in price since Monday when it had already dropped a dime since last week. Makes me want to go for a drive and burn the 35 cents a gallon more gas I have in my tank from last month. Now at $2.019 dropped again since Yesterday.