Good Question: Why such a difference in BJ’s gas prices?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Everyone wants to save money, especially with what we’ve been paying at the pump this year. One of the cheapest places to fill up? BJ’s Wholesale Club.
But one viewer had an issue with the prices around town.
Rich sent News10NBC’s Brennan Somers an email with a screengrab of gas prices anyone can find daily online. The screengrab was from December and includes all BJ’s locations from our area.
Each location had a different price, ranging from $3.09 to $3.42 a gallon. This includes pumps a short drive from one another.
Rich says: Since people have to pay to be a member, shouldn’t we all be paying the same price for gas in the same geographical locations? This price variance is ridiculous, 25 – 35 cents more on the eastside. If you are a paying member, it shouldn’t matter which location you purchase gas at.
For starters, yes, like this viewer, to get cheaper prices at BJs, Costco, and other chains with similar offers, customers do have to pay for memberships. Gas has some of the tightest margins you’ll see in any industry, so these companies drop prices for members to get you in the door to buy everything else in their stores after you fill-up.
If you’re a paying member, why aren’t you getting the same– or at least similar low price per gallon at the same stores in town? The short answer: you should.
Somers reached out to BJ’s corporate, and they told him:
"BJ’s is committed to offering the best value to our members. While the price may vary at individual BJ’s gas stations based on a variety of factors including local market conditions, our review of the data found that the value was in fact slightly off our standard. As a result, we have updated the pricing in our Rochester market to better align with our standards. We appreciate the outreach from our member(s)."
Our viewer caught an oversight on the prices, and then we got the fix. We went back out after hearing from BJ’s, and did we see the same prices for members this week?
No, but the prices were closer: $3.09 in Henrietta, $3.19 in Greece, and $3.27 in Webster. The Greece and Webster prices were down 10 cents from where they were before.
Now, how about the cheapest place to fill up? Somers checked the latest numbers as of Friday morning and found it was $3.09 at the Costco on Westfall and East Henrietta Roads. The same price could be found at the Walmart and the BJ’s in Henrietta.
Watch previous Good Question segments here. If you have a question you’d like answered, email GoodQuestion@whec.com.