How Did the Practice of Pricing Fuel with 9/10th of a Penny Get Started?

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In this video:
The practice of pricing fuel with a fraction of a penny is thought to have started around the 1930s. While we can’t be sure who was the first to price fuel this way, it seems to have become relatively commonplace across the United States all the sudden around the same time. So what happened? In short- taxes and the Great Depression.
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  • I pretty much ignore fuel prices anyways. I need fuel, so I fill up with however much money I have or to the top, depending on which one stops me first. I'd generally rather pay 2¢ a gallon more than drive a mile out of my way. And often my choice of fuel station is based on what food they have available. I also have preferences for fuel stations towards the edge of town that aren't as busy, and stations that don't feel like I'm going to get shanked washing my windows. That said, there are some places I'd watch out for different prices if I fill up in that area a lot. Near an interstate highway, prices are often more expensive than half a mile into town, because interstate travelers are lazy (which generally includes me). Several miles (or more) out of town, prices are generally higher. Better to fill up in a city than a small town, and better to fill up in any town than a crossing in the middle of nowhere. Near state lines, one state often has dramatically lower taxes, so it's better to fill up before leaving that side, or to wait until getting there going the other way.

    GeekOfAllnessGeekOfAllness18 gün önce
  • 11 is more then 10

    Jeremy CornwellJeremy Cornwell5 aylar önce
    • Jeremy CornwellJeremy Cornwell5 aylar önce
  • A 11 transactions.

    Jeremy CornwellJeremy Cornwell5 aylar önce
    • 9 10th

      Jeremy CornwellJeremy Cornwell5 aylar önce
  • Im a little bit drunk right now!

    Joe BaumgartJoe Baumgart5 aylar önce
  • 3.18 per "gallon" in russia the country with oil

    tsartomatotsartomato5 aylar önce
  • Where I live in Louisiana I paid $2.05 (2.04 9/10) for a gallon of regular gas at a Circle K store on August 11, 2019

    Brent HaymonBrent Haymon5 aylar önce
  • 5:12 I once read that a liquor company increased sales of a whisky by raising the price, therefore making people think it was a premium brand.

    George CohnGeorge Cohn5 aylar önce
  • I smashed the like button. You owe me a new telephone.

    baylinkdashytbaylinkdashyt5 aylar önce
  • You must mean insanely cheap prices. Average price in Prague today was 34 kC/litre, which is $5.34/gallon here in the states.

    MotorCity SportsSwamiMotorCity SportsSwami5 aylar önce
  • Thought you were VSauce at first, figured he had yet another channel i didnt know about. Then you talked

    Libidine- LustLibidine- Lust5 aylar önce
  • I think gas was only a quarter a gallon when I was young. Also, cigarettes were only a quarter per pack and a bus ride was only a dime.

    Lucy 1950Lucy 19505 aylar önce
  • Gas is almost $4.00 a gallon in California that is crazy 😢😱

    Tyler SmithTyler Smith5 aylar önce
  • I remember when you could fill - up with a,$5.00 bill and get some change back! I remember the price "skyrocketing" to. 50¢ a gallon, I was a teenager and had just gotten my license (in Alabama you could get drivers license at 15 and motorcycle license at 14). Wi the hint three years had hit . 99 9/10 a gallon! What's the world coming to!

    Jim BrewerJim Brewer5 aylar önce
  • Compared to prices anywhere except OPEC countries gas prices in america ARE cheap. I've paid for it in several countries while serving overseas and I:m not gonna bitch about a fraction of a cent!

    Jim BrewerJim Brewer5 aylar önce
  • I am more interested in why US prices use fractions and not decimal points like the rest of the world.

    Nick FergusonNick Ferguson5 aylar önce
  • People can be very stupid, but when money is tight you count every penny. I heard that Israel has banned pricing items with unpayable fractions unless they are sold in a fluid quantity such as fuel or electricity.

    Amihai FreedAmihai Freed5 aylar önce
  • Consumers (which includes me) are so stupid.

    PaulPaul5 aylar önce
  • You think $2.29 per gallon is fucked try $1.39.9 per Litre(Yeah $5.29 per gallon) is what Victoria British Columbia petrol is currently going for.

    bcmaledragonbcmaledragon5 aylar önce
  • Gas price today at the local station in Columbus, OH: $2.58.9 per gallon. It was 2.87.9 a few weeks ago.

    MotorCity SportsSwamiMotorCity SportsSwami5 aylar önce
  • We got those hefty gas reserves lol

    Austin SoiAustin Soi5 aylar önce
  • I was paying $1.96/gal for 93 with no discounts at the end of 2018.

    dolamytedolamyte5 aylar önce
  • A friend of mine was saying it was around the time the currency was bits and mils a bit being 12.5 cents and a mil being 1 hundreths of a cent.

    Carolyn BaileyCarolyn Bailey5 aylar önce
  • Must be me but I round it up before I buy it. It's both irritating and condescending to me to deal with the 9/10's of a cent.

    david Horsleydavid Horsley5 aylar önce
  • So the comment on US gas prices, what we forget is that our taxes pay to make gas cheaper at the pump. So we pay about the same as the EU, it's just taken from our pay first.

    Sean EikSean Eik5 aylar önce
  • Here in Chicago gas frequently gets up to nearly $4.00 USD per gallon. Nobody knows taxes like Illinois.

    Logan SmithLogan Smith6 aylar önce
  • And then there are people like me who always round up that extra 1/100th cent to make multiplication much easier, or at least estimate higher when figuring totals of grocery bills. My grandmother had a clicker counter to tote up her grocery cart. For my cart, I use my calculator app. For taxable stuff, I multiply the total by 1.06. (It was so much easier to figure in my head when sales tax was only 5%.) Still, figuring stuff in my head is preferable to not knowing without a calculator. *Core curriculum victims,* make a times table up to 12 x 12 and carry it with you to practice. You'll get the hang of it in a few months if you use it every day. Then it can help you calculate in your mind long - digit numbers by a single - digit multiplier, or also some double - digit multipliers.

    Ginny JollyGinny Jolly6 aylar önce
  • Just filled up for $2.25/gallon...that doesn't include my 3% credit card refund! Gotta love the south! Really the base price for crude is more or less the same around the world - the difference in gas prices is almost entirely taxes the Britts voted on or started by a person they voted for. The actual underlying cost for fuel is the same.

    Ryan RobertsRyan Roberts6 aylar önce
  • If you where any intelligent, you would stop using these retard units.

    Toaster Bath ChallengeToaster Bath Challenge6 aylar önce
  • why must we do this to the "like" button?

    Eric TEric T6 aylar önce
  • Meanwhile in Australia we're regularly paying $1.50 per litre.... or roughly $5.67 per gallon. Yep, doesn't make sense to us either!

    Rowan StreeterRowan Streeter6 aylar önce
  • we just got rid of pennies here...

    king james488king james4886 aylar önce
  • today i found out one of the ad items is 6.00 and not 5.99 or 6.99 so sales will surely be down on that one. U.U

    KittsueraKittsuera6 aylar önce
  • Please use metric, can't understand the other crap...

    vorlockvorlock6 aylar önce
  • So Does that mean if Gas is 3.99 and 9/10 and i buy 1 gallon and pay $4, does that mean the gas station owes me change?

    Joshua ChudleyJoshua Chudley6 aylar önce
  • $2.30 a gallon today's prices?! I dunno where you get gas but it's way more than that here.

    Sir NicholasSir Nicholas6 aylar önce
  • I still do NOT understand the concept, no matter how many times it comes up, how people think something is significantly lowered price. I have worked in sales for a long time. Before that, I asked as a child and young adult “why” the 99? So, I knew the idea of this concept at a young age, but never have yet understood it. i always rounded up when shopping. When you are tallying your purchases, it’s annoying to do the math in your head for ever .99/.98/.29 cents, so... I just round up to make shopping not feel like homework. Simple as that. I generally have been poor, I grew up middle class and higher (i was not aware of that because my family didn’t “act” rich, nor were they frugal, it was just important to know the worth of a dollar) I just can’t imagine that I am the strange outcast who sees the actual price? Working in sales I know it’s not a misnomer. We put an orange sticker on vs a white sticker of the price and it sells more. or we raise the price significantly and then put a blue “Always low prices!” sticker on it and it sells at least twice as well as before. I actually feel like a bad person when I’m told to put those stickers on, I inform customers that the day old food(up to 4 days old) is the same price as the freshly baked... waiting to get fired for that one. Sales is evil, but it’s the job I have. Part of me does not feel bad and feel stupid is as stupid does? I donno. End of rant! lol

    Anie AntonAnie Anton6 aylar önce
  • This is kinda funny, because i mentally round up any price ending in 9 (so 3.99 becomes 4).

    Adam ChevalierAdam Chevalier6 aylar önce
  • I've never understood how it is that so many people fool themselves when going from a .01 higher price to a $X.99 price. Same with gas and ignoring that 9/10. I always round up. Price tag says $5.99? Okay, it's $6. Gas is $2.29 9/10 per gallon? Okay it's $2.30/gal. People are weird and kinda dumb. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    MethamphetamelonMethamphetamelon6 aylar önce
  • Ok... It's insane to British folks........ WHY? Are we supposed to read your mind why it's insane? Is it really high? Really low? What?

    Bewildering Truth SeekerBewildering Truth Seeker6 aylar önce
  • Of you're being charged a fraction of apenny, why aren't these coins available

    nineoclockheronineoclockhero6 aylar önce
  • I managed a gas station in Indiana, early 80's, we priced our gas at 8/10. NOT 9/10. Speedway station.

    Steve BorkowskiSteve Borkowski6 aylar önce
  • Thank you Simon for finally explaining this to me... I'm Canadian and we don't use the fraction here it's by the Litre, i've always wondered why the Gallon was priced that way in the US. On a side note price of petrol or gasoline is $4.50 a Gallon here in Ontario, Canada .

    Enceladus FoxEnceladus Fox6 aylar önce
  • Consider that the gasoline pumps are capable of dispensing fuel at a precision of 0.001 gallon.

    Allen LoserAllen Loser6 aylar önce
  • Is there a way to cheat this by only buying 6 gallons at a time therefore saving a penny by rounding down?

    Mr.Wrestlemania28Mr.Wrestlemania286 aylar önce
  • Prohibition, the NFA, gas tax. It was a really terrible era for laws.

    Jacob StatenJacob Staten6 aylar önce
  • Please choose either American or British English and go with it, you confused twat.

    TimTim6 aylar önce
  • I don't know about you...but the Chevy Corvette C8 is fucking amazing.

    Charles WagnerCharles Wagner6 aylar önce
  • I wish I could have the remaining fractional penny on all gas sales... i.e. $2.099 x 12ga = $25.188 giving me the other 2/10ths of a penny.

    LilacDoeLilacDoe6 aylar önce
  • $2.21 a gallon here in Mississippi

    Beaux DuncanBeaux Duncan6 aylar önce
  • Yeah here in Dallas, Texas. I pay like $2.25 per gallon for 89 octane. And 93 octane cost’s about $3.15

    Tokyo In TexasTokyo In Texas6 aylar önce
    • And octane really doesn't mean a thing, now, not since about 1973 or 1974, since often enough it all comes from a single source company for a certain region. And it certainly hasn't got any real octane since about early 1970's when they at most had hexane in it. Then there was so - called "Gasohol" in 1976 when the octane rating supposedly went up and supposedly burned cleaner. Now we have some kind of muck called RFG-reformulated gas - that is neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring. As for octane rating? I ignore it altogether and have when I found out about the octane game. You might be paying more for the same octane rating as low - octane when you buy high - octane.

      Ginny JollyGinny Jolly6 aylar önce
  • Always thought it was a scam to make it look 1¢ cheaper than it really is

    Rigging DoctorRigging Doctor6 aylar önce
  • Hahaha a tax as a temporary measure

    jason Geerjason Geer6 aylar önce
  • $2.29 a gal? buddy we're paying almost $5/gal here in the US

    llXchonllllXchonll6 aylar önce
  • I must just be extremely weird then. Cause I have always paid just as much attention to the change part of a price as the Whole dollar ammount, if not sometimes a little more. I've always known that the whole " .99 cent" thing was a trick, since anything that SAYS .99 cents REALLY costs $1.06, so I've never fell for it. If one item costs $5.16 compared to another that costs $5.19 or $5.99 Ive always SEEN THE DIFFERENCE. I don't know if that's because I'm OCD as hell, or if other people just don't pay any attention to the things around them. But of course you left out the BIGGEST trick in the salesman book, the old "STARTS at .99 cents" gag. That one has NEVER made any sense to me what so ever. Or better yet how the "Dollar stores" or the ".99 cent stores" don't actually sell anything but cheap plastic junk for .99 cents anymore and everything is actually AT LEAST $2 or more, I've seen items in a " .99 cent store" priced as high as $35 before. So yeah, I think they should just change the name of the store at that point. Lol.

    Chris LChris L6 aylar önce
  • Always rounded things up. I see .99 and say $1

    Cameron WhyteCameron Whyte6 aylar önce
  • Australian prices end in decimal points.

    Cameron WhyteCameron Whyte6 aylar önce
  • I just round up and get on with my day.

    oldenmcgroenoldenmcgroen6 aylar önce
  • I paid $3.45 a gallon for gas on Sunday

  • I live in Canada and I drive to the US to gas up because it’s cheaper.

    Liz and Dave’s adventuresLiz and Dave’s adventures6 aylar önce
  • It started out with a gas tax, to offset deficits during the great depression Oh yeah? What about today? Gotta invent new reasons to have it, great depression is over *crickets*

    skOsHskOsH6 aylar önce

    Corey FellowsCorey Fellows6 aylar önce
  • Nice video, but there was some weird background music.

    Bravo NinetySevenBravo NinetySeven6 aylar önce
  • Prices ending with .99 or .95 were also initiated by store owners to minimize loss. When the price was an even dollar, customers would give the money to the cashier and turn away and walk out. Dishonest cashiers would take the money for the sale and it did not always end up in the till. When the price ended with .99 or .95, the customer would watch the cashier open the till put the money in and get the penny or nickel for change. Hence, more of the money ended up in the till.

    Terry MartinTerry Martin6 aylar önce
  • In 1985 Iowa passed a law requiring whole penny pricing of gasoline. The law was repealed in 1989. It looked strange to see whole penny gasoline prices in Iowa when the rest of the country had 9/10 pricing. I recall that border counties argued they were losing business to gasoline sellers across state lines, leading to the repeal.

    Soren LundsgaardSoren Lundsgaard6 aylar önce
  • In Toronto most gas is also X.9c/L, but every now and then I'll see X.4 or X.7. (.4 is interesting, because it's exactly 1/2 cent less than .9. .7 is used I guess because 7 is a "lucky" number.)

    KittyPouncerKittyPouncer6 aylar önce
  • I always round up those .99 in my mind anyway. If something is, say, $6.99 on sale but it's unclear if the item i want is included, I'll ask the staff "Is this the item on sale for $7?" And no one has ever corrected me with "No, actually it's $6.99".

    KittyPouncerKittyPouncer6 aylar önce
  • $2.86 USD today at my local BJs Gas for Premium, 93 Octane.

    bsheehanbsheehan6 aylar önce
  • Your human moment reacting to the over pricing of gas is actually kind of refreshing. Takes away from your machine style narration and humanizes you. Good job.

    Steven AngelSteven Angel6 aylar önce
    • @Steven Angel It wasn't immediately obvious from your comment since you said over-pricing considering that his reaction wasn't to over-pricing but how cheap the gas is. I dislike misinformation so I wanted to correct the discrepancy in your comment with a reply that made it more obvious what Simon (host) was reacting to in the video. Its not that their gas is expensive, its that our gas is cheap.

      KillakidxyzKillakidxyz6 aylar önce
    • @Killakidxyz Yeah I kinda caught that....

      Steven AngelSteven Angel6 aylar önce
    • He was saying how cheap it is in the US compared to UK/Europe. just in case you didn't know.

      KillakidxyzKillakidxyz6 aylar önce
  • Considering Canada has no pennies I guess we just dumb

    Darren WallaceDarren Wallace6 aylar önce
  • Because people are IDIOTS. I would rather just pay $2.35 in instead of $2.359. Or $2.36.

    QuantumRiftQuantumRift6 aylar önce
How Did the Practice of Pricing Fuel with 9/10th of a Penny Get Started?