would buying a gas station be crazy? **updated with pics i took this morning

Page 3 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.


Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2002
...as a wise person once told me, find something that pays the bills without making you want to slit your wrists everyday.


Mar 1, 2000
There's lots of small towns between Denver and Greeley :p

Sounds interesting. I did service work on some computer systems for a guy who oned 3 gas stations. He did pretty well it seemed, but one of them had a McDonald's in it as well - I don't think he had anything to do with that though.

Both had good selections of convenience items and were on busy corners. They had stuff like oil, antifreeze, basic stuff for cars like that.

You've got to have someone you can trust work on inventory, etc. Make sure you've got a time-lock safe that can't be opened at night. You definitely want a security camera system if there isn't one.


Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2006
Originally posted by: vi_edit
Originally posted by: Beev
That town looks pretty podunk. I think it'd be a much better investment if it were in big city. Granted it'd be way more expensive, but the profits would be insane.

There's a simple concept called market share. In podunkville you have very limited options where people can go to get gas, wash the car, hit the DQ.

They don't have the option of going to a different gas station on any number of corners.

I understand that, but you will still see far less traffic. I'm not a complete idiot :p


Diamond Member
Sep 9, 2003
I don't know anything about this business, but everyone else's advice sounds good.

I'm only posting here to say that if you do get it...please reserve at least a couple pumps for self-serve. I (and many others I know) frickin hate full service only gas stations :frown:


Feb 14, 2002
Originally posted by: Citrix

he is independent so no royalties are paid to conoco/phillips.

the only royalties he pays are to Tastee Freez and that is .05% of sales.

the price is low because he leases the land from the previous owner, he owns everything above ground.

the land lease thing is a road block. i just called my credit union and they say its rare for them to grant a loan when the business is land that is not part of the loan, they have no security if they have to repo. Grrrrrr

So basically you're paying $350k for goodwill as I doubt the inventory is included. You probably need to figure another $50-100k for inventory. You can try to get a SBA loan. You need to put about 20% down and prove the business is viable. I believe 10 yrs is max they'll do the loan for without the land and building. Several of my friends have bought small shopping strips for around million dollars and they only put down 20%. I believe they were allowed to finance for 15yrs since they purchased the land and the building. Get with a SBA broker and they can help you apply.

You can also ask your friend to do owner financing.

Just take your time and do your DD. Hire professional to go over books and inventory. It's a big decision and something you shouldn't rush.


Nov 23, 2002
Originally posted by: Citrix
Im sick of IT work, the long hours, pager duty, midnight installs, dealing with users, help tickets... anyway a good friend of mine would sell me his phillips 66 for 350K. its on a corner of a busy street, has a tastee freeze and a 4 bay car wash (1 auto, 3 manual) he does charge a nickel more for gass but he provides full service (employees pump and clean windshields) his station is very busy but with gas is volume that counts because the profits are so small.

he is going to come over this weekend and we can go over his financial and assets.

my wife is all for it she is believes anything is better than my current job.

the reason he is selling is because he came from IBM and knows what i am going through, plus he has a pack & ship store and a RV storage lot that he wants to concentrate on plus have more time to go fishing...

what do you guys thing am i crazy in this economic time to even be considering this?


Selling chips and sodas is better than selling bl... uhhhh just about anything else.:D

Do it !!


Diamond Member
Aug 12, 2001
Are you nuts? You want to work 100 hour weeks and no vacation? You do know that you are tethered to the store. I know someone that owns a gas station and the fool is there 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. Basically running a party store and having to deal with a bunch of crap. There is a reason a lot of gas stations have been closing down lately...


No Lifer
Feb 13, 2001
Originally posted by: Citrix
Originally posted by: Skeeedunt
I thought running a gas station was a huge PITA that made almost no money?

thats where the tastee freeze comes and the car wash. he says the car wash does on anywhere 5-7K a month. told him he will have to prove that to me and he will bring over the credit card statements on sunday to prove that portion to me.

if you hated cleaning up diarhea in the massage business wait till you see your bathrooms.


Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Aug 23, 2003
Your friend is right; most gas stations make their profits off of food/beverage/car wash/oil change sales. The gas business itself just draws customers to your business; it's your job to sell them the 'accessories'.