Gas prices and loss of profit

Anyone else out there frustrated with the current gas prices? Does anyone know if any MSCs are helping us out with this - just a few bucks for gas expense? Gas prices in my area are $3.00/gallon - that’s $1.00 more than just 6-8 months ago.

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They pretty much always go up in the summer here. If it's a great distance, I will ask for a higher bonus. I think there was some discussion awhile back on the legality of offering to pay for gas, though. MSCs will pay only if they can't get someone to do it without a bonus. Supply and demand.

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?” ~Walter Williams
@CAGB33 wrote:

Anyone else out there frustrated with the current gas prices?

Not really. Gas costs are a small percentage of my overall costs. A full $1 a gallon equates to less than 4 cents a mile for most people. For most people that would be $5 or $6 on a full day. If $5 or $6 makes a difference on a full day you're not doing it right.

Edited to add:
My hotel choice makes a bigger difference on my routes than how much gas costs.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2018 06:24PM by bgriffin.
I've responded to a similar question on another post. My answer is the same - no, it is the cost of doing business. It wasn't that long ago when the gas prices were around $4.00. Be patient, they will drop again.
If you do the math, you will realize it is fairly insignificant. For me, a 50% increase in gas works out to only slightly more than a 2% hit to profit. 2% certainly doesn't warrant asking for more pay or for changing anything about how I shop.
Be glad you are not in California. Gas here is over $3.60 a gallon and the shop fees are generally not any higher
Gas prices don't frustrate me. The over abundance of shoppers willing to complete assignments for "just a few bucks" is what I find amazing. Supply vs. Demand.

Maybe you can find other types of gigs and/or opportunities to offset the fuel costs?

BTW, gas is $3.69/gal regular unleaded in my neighborhood.
Fees will balance out with gas prices over time, if necessary. As it gets more expensive for us to do shops, we will simply not do them for the same prices. This will force MSC's to pay a touch more. Of course, the process will be slow as MSC's can only afford increased fees when they negotiate a more lucrative contract with the clients. The key, for all of us, is still to perform task if the compensation is poor.

It also makes a difference to drive a car that gets great gas mileage. I put about 45,000 miles on my car last year. Had I purchased the F150 that I wanted, I would have burned about 3000 gallons of gas. Instead, I picked up an Elantra and burned about 1500 gallons of gas. At $3/gallon that's a difference of $4500. (If only gas was that cheap....)

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
These threads have come up several times in the 16 years I've been shopping. The MSC's for the most part do nothing about it. Personally, I tighten up on where I will go and will be more likely to ask for bonuses on out-of-the-way places. I did a shop today that I will not do again unless it's bonused. It's just not worth the amount of gas it cost me.
Well if the prices go up the IRS will adjust the deduction amount they had it a few cents higher in the past. So tell me how do you decide the break-even point on distance traveled. How much a mile is OK and how little is not gonna bother.
I know it might sound crazy, but ….. I do a lot of gas stations and find that when gas becomes more spendy the job tends to be easier. I may not be bringing home as much extra gas or buying gas and giving it away, but I'm okay with that. When it was much cheaper, I was scurrying about to find more containers to carry with me (usually, I carry two 5 gallon gas cans).
When I do the other shops where I'm not buying gas, the extra gas I have on hand supplements me.

I've not had to buy gas for any traveling in quite some time.
A dollar rise in gas (which is what I personally experienced in the past 6 weeks) is not inconsequential. It is a 30% increase in a variable cost.

Do you actually think if McDonald's or Burger King had a 30% increase in the price of ground beef for their burgers in 6 weeks, that they would not immediately increase their menu prices to offset the increased cost? They pass the increased cost on to their customers.

As shall I.
That's not remotely the same.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
How is it not the same? I am a business; MSCs are my customers. Of course I must pass through to them my increased costs.
Yes but beef costs would be a significantly larger percentage of McDonald's costs than gas would be for a mystery shopper.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Nope, beef is an extraordinarily SMALL % of costs -- their major cost is PAYROLL.

Perhaps a better illustration would be if their cost of syrup for fountain drinks increased suddenly by 30%; the markup on their sodas is much higher than the markup on the cost of their burgers.
I am at the end of a 5 week route. I've driven about 7000 miles and bought about 200 gallons of gas. Let's assume I paid $1 more than I would have 6 months ago.*. That's $200 over 5 weeks of work, or $40 a week, or $6 a day. $6 a day is insignificant. It's an extra drink from Starbucks. It's staying at the hotel across the street. And this is on a long route with a ton of driving. For a local route I really doubt it would make more than a couple of bucks in a day.

*I also don't buy the $1 increase. I've only seen about half that. And I'm on a route covering a pretty significant part of the country.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Even from a single shop perspective, let's say you are doing a shop that is 150 miles round trip and you get 30 mpg. That means you're spending an extra $5 for that shop. I would need $110 to do that shop. At $110 I am not quibbling over $5. It's not like I would be willing to do the shop at $115 but not $110. It's not a significant difference.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Your gas prices may differ from mine; in April, I paid $1.79 - $2.09 a gallon, depending on where I was. It's currently $2.99-$3.15 a gallon.

Six dollars a day may be insignificant to you, but if you work 200 days a year, that's still $1,200.

To me, $1,200 is a significant amount of money.

It's about what I spend on groceries for an entire year.

I put 5,000 miles on my car ms'ing in May. My routes are rarely over 800 miles round-trip.

My car gets 30mpg on the road, less in town, but most of my driving is on the road.

A common business axiom is to maximize profits, it's necessary to have a "ruthless control of costs".

Ignoring bottom-line impact of a 30% price increase for necessary business costs is a poor business practice.

Of course, you (and all the others who agree with you that "it's just 2 cents a mile increase -- insignificant" ) are all entitled to your opinions.

I shall pass the increased costs on to my customers.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2018 06:16PM by ceasesmith.
If you can pass your costs on, that's great. But it is your competition that determines your pricing, not your costs.
LOL. Fortunately for me, there's not much competition.

And what you say is a given -- except if it were true, every small retail business in the USA would be out of business because they CANNOT compete with WalMart on prices.

Therefore, they have to shine in customer service and other personalized services.

That would be me -- stellar reports, reliable as all get out, definitely the companies' "go-to" shopper.

Well, part of that is there's not another shopper within 100 miles.

smiling smiley
What about doing gas station shops to help offset the cost of gas? You have to have gas in your tank whether you MS or not.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Most of my shops ARE gas station shops. However, the reimbursements have been cut. Couple slashed reimbursements with rising costs of gas, it's a double whammy!
Gas here in the subs.:LA. now at a mere 3.85 and going up by the minute......sticking close to home these days

Live consciously....
Gas here in the subs.:LA. now at a mere 3.85 and going up by the minute......sticking close to home these days

Live consciously....
I also prescribe to cutting costs whenever possible and gas expenses are no exception.

I came across an app recently that gives cash back on gas purchases in select markets (DC and suburbs and Tampa, FL currently I believe). I just filled up my tank and got a $.32 per gallon refund. Sorry to sound like an ad, but wanted to pass this along to shoppers in the DC and Tampa areas. If you're interested, pm me.

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
@ceasesmith wrote:

Your gas prices may differ from mine; in April, I paid $1.79 - $2.09 a gallon, depending on where I was. It's currently $2.99-$3.15 a gallon.

I can't speak to April, but I have seen prices under $2 in ages. I'm looking at a map of gas prices. While I don't know exactly where you are, you have mentioned the areas you travel. I am seeing small pockets of prices in the ranges you suggest while most of the area is $2.76 to $2.91. Have they gone back down in the last couple of days? If so, you may be experiencing a short term bump that will come back closer to the nationwide average soon.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Average in L.A. (subs) are 3.75 and going up for summer.....some places are close to 4.00/gallon.

Live consciously....
I actually don't know what the prices are today; my car's been in the shop for two weeks, so I haven't been anywhere!
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