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Gas Stations Compete for Customers in Chappaqua

On any given day, thousands of cars driving through Chappaqua’s busy South Greeley Avenue need  stop to refill their tanks. For many, the choice isn't about who's gas cheaper but which is more straightforward with their pricing.

Preferred Auto Service, Inc., a Shell station located  at 114 South Greeley Avenue, is one of two gas station and repair centers in town, the other is a Mobil station at 25 South Bedford Road.

Alex Fernandez, Preferred's 15-year owner, explained how some gas stations try and trick customers into thinking its' gas is cheapest.

“The guy around the corner turns his signs (above the pumps) so you don’t see the price until you pull into the station,” Fernandez said. “The two gas stations in Pleasantville show the cheaper cash price in big, bold letters which gets people to pull in but then they don’t have $75 cash on them to fill up, no one carries that much anymore, so they end up paying the higher price at the pump.”

As for gas prices, Fernandez stated that it depends on the owner of the station.

"Being a private owner, I have to buy a shipment from a supplier at a certain wholesale price,” Fernandez said. “The two stations in Pleasantville are owned by the oil company. The company owns everything; the land, the tank and the pumps so it can receive gas shipments at a lower price.”

As for his profit margins, Fernandez said that although the business was once more profitable, now he is just making enough to pay the bills. It is the oil companies which own the stations, like those in Pleasantville, which really make a profit. Fernandez reiterated that it is more than just the gas but his three service bays which help his business to survive.

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