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Just curious. I live in NJ. Here, anyone, including non-members, can buy gas from Costco, although only VISA or ATM payment is accepted. This is mandate by NJ. I buy Costco's 94 octane gas, exclusively, which is typically at least 50 cents a gallon less than Sunoco's premium gas of the same octane.

For people from others states, can non-members buy gas at Costco?
Not in California. There used to be full-service pumps where an attendant would do the old usual stuff and pump gas. I haven't seen those in a long while. I love it-when we go to Oregon -it's great to have somebody else pump gas AND clean my windshield.
 

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Any idea why they have rules like that?


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Here in Oregon, they passed a law back in 1951 with reasons such as "pumping gas can expose customers, including pregnant women and children, to unsafe fumes" and "customer pumping can be dangerous for novices, can cause spills and can cause discomfort to the elderly". They've modified it a few years ago to allow those in the rural areas of eastern OR to pump their own gas, but for the most part, we're still not allowed to touch the gas nozzle or pump our own gas.
 

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Well I mean out of towners not knowing local customs rend to get fleeced. Par for course.

Was shocked when people claimed it never happens / happened.
I think this part of what I call "tip creep"...there are "tipped" industries, like wait staff, it's been years but when I was in the industry waitstaff got paid like $1.75/hr, tipping is part of their compensation, we know how this works. Bartenders got paid real money but they got tips too, and everybody threw something to the busboys who were making minimum wage, but whatever. I got nothing back in the kitchen those bastards ha. When the pizza driver was out though I cleaned up making cook money plus delivery tips.

Then the people at Starbucks put out a little cup for tips and people throw their change in (when that was a thing) then the Dunkin' people did too. Maybe not making a lot of money in wages but still a real full wage, and getting tips now. It wasn't egregious and hey I tip my barber/stylist too.

The next thing I know I got people telling me you have to tip your housecleaner, garbage man, plumber and don't forget the mail carrier. Cash has gone away so every payment machine and app has added a "suggested tip" screen. It's like companies are telling me "sorry we couldn't be bothered to prices our products appropriately and take care of our employees, do you think you could pitch in?" WTF I just bought a Bagel, if you needed me to pay more for it just raise the price. I'm not surprised some people get the idea the people pumping their gas need to be tipped too.

Welcome to America.
 

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I was today years old when I found out you couldn't pump your own gas in New Jersey. Here in Tennessee, I've never seen a station with an attendant that pumps your gas for you. You do it yourself, but you can honk the horn if you're disabled and someone will come out and do it for you, though I've never seen anyone disabled enough to do that. Pumping gas really is a simple task. What do you do if need gas at 2am and the station is closed? Here, you can still pay at the pump with card and get as much gas as you need even if the store is closed and all the lights are off.

Side note: I recently took a trip to Medellin, Colombia. Not one to travel in a bus or train crowded with people who don't speak my language, I rented a car so I could have control over my actions, based upon perception of my surroundings. It's an anxiety thing. Anyway, they have attendants there. I never knew it was a "thing", but I asked the people at the rental car counter which type of fuel to use, and none of them knew. That should have been a clue, but didn't take. (Turns out they're color coordinated just like the US, just with different colors - the red pump is what you use in ordinary gasoline passenger vehicles) I needed gas, so I just stopped at a Texaco, (haven't seen one of those since I was a kid) got out, and was looking for the slot for my card when like 3 guys come running up yelling at me in Spanish. My guide calmed them down, instructed me to get back in the car, and they commenced refueling, getting us drinks, cleaning the windows, etc. It was a very alien experience for me.
 

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Hi everyone, this post is for people in NJ......
p.rico and several other SSers make many good points and challenges to the legislative (il)logic. Too add a fine point to the "level playing field" issue, imagine an older 4-pump station down the street from a newer 16-pump station. If one attendant can handle the 4 pump station, the newer 16-pump station may need from four down to possibly two attendants to handle its legal obligation and business objectives. Too few attendants at rush hour, waits are long, local drivers will go elsewhere. Too many attendants at midnight on Sunday, too few drivers, too high a cost for the large station owner. This employee supply-to-driver demand complexity add a variable cost to the larger station that the smaller station does not have to face. So, the larger station competes visibly on price, but competes invisibly on employee cost.
Oregon flips this logic by allowing rural stations to offer Self-Serve (2018). Thus, existing large stations can compete against small stations in rural areas on price and gain local volume(=market share). Part of the claimed issue in both states was human safety. One can argue that this issue was ignored in 2020 in Oregon when Self-serve was permitted state-wide for a short period of time. So, dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people are bare-handling the same gas nozzle handle during a pandemic. When was the last time you saw a driver pump their own gas with gloves on? If you did, it could have been me since I have been doing so for almost two decades.
NJ raised their gas tax BY 36.2 cents PER GALLON in about 2016 moving from one of the lower gas tax states (benefiting resident and neighboring state drivers for years) to one of the highest in US. Higher prices overall in NJ (by all stations on average), make the incentive less attractive for neighboring state drivers to "dip" into NJ to fill-up. lower volume for all, while keeping the same full-serve legal mandate and expense. Brilliant capitalistic thinking by the NJ legislature. I, too, was surprised that Costco does not require membership at the Stations - confirmed by an employee. On the positive side, the Millennials may be attracted to the State since they can text while receiving Full-Service;)
 

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I think this part of what I call "tip creep"........

Welcome to America.
If you've ever visited Europe, locals don't tip. And if they do it's a few coins. Wait staff and service industry people make a living wage and don't rely upon tips. I couldn't agree more about tip creep. Everywhere you go, people are "soliciting tips". Especially with the automated check out screens.

I agree, pay people a living wage. Don't have your staff rely upon tips to make a living. If that requires setting your prices at a specific price point, so be it. But we all know the American Way is to pay workers as little as possible.

Right now, the tides are turned. The labor shortages have caused companies to beg for help, even offering incentives. Places around here can't find help and are actually closing early on many days.

I wonder if this will have a lasting and profound affect on wages in the future, or if this reaction is a short lived movement that peters out once Covid tampers down and staff is easier to come by.
 

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p.rico and several other SSers make many good points and challenges to the legislative (il)logic. Too add a fine point to the "level playing field" issue, imagine an older 4-pump station down the street from a newer 16-pump station. If one attendant can handle the 4 pump station, the newer 16-pump station may need from four down to possibly two attendants to handle its legal obligation and business objectives. Too few attendants at rush hour, waits are long, local drivers will go elsewhere. Too many attendants at midnight on Sunday, too few drivers, too high a cost for the large station owner. This employee supply-to-driver demand complexity add a variable cost to the larger station that the smaller station does not have to face. So, the larger station competes visibly on price, but competes invisibly on employee cost.
Or states can enter 2021 and realize pumping your gas isn't rocket science. Plenty of people in the United States live in Self Service States. There aren't regularly and daily new stories of gas stations blowing up from a bit of gasoline drip or people driving off with the pump and nozzle. Gas stations actually have safety mechanism when this rare event happens.

Sure, having attendants creates jobs, but it also can lead to long delays if there are a lack of attendants, higher fuel costs, etc. And too many attendants, means you're paying stuff to "look busy". Seems to me the negatives of HAVING a Fuel Attendant, far outweigh the positives of just allowing people to pump their own gas!

NJ raised their gas tax BY 36.2 cents PER GALLON in about 2016 moving from one of the lower gas tax states (benefiting resident and neighboring state drivers for years) to one of the highest in US. Higher prices overall in NJ (by all stations on average), make the incentive less attractive for neighboring state drivers to "dip" into NJ to fill-up. lower volume for all, while keeping the same full-serve legal mandate and expense. Brilliant capitalistic thinking by the NJ legislature. I, too, was surprised that Costco does not require membership at the Stations - confirmed by an employee. On the positive side, the Millennials may be attracted to the State since they can text while receiving Full-Service;)
I think Millennials are much heavier into Uber, Lyft, and car sharing programs. Easier to text if you aren't behind the wheel!
 
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p.rico and several other SSers make many good points and challenges to the legislative (il)logic. Too add a fine point to the "level playing field" issue, imagine an older 4-pump station down the street from a newer 16-pump station. If one attendant can handle the 4 pump station, the newer 16-pump station may need from four down to possibly two attendants to handle its legal obligation and business objectives. Too few attendants at rush hour, waits are long, local drivers will go elsewhere. Too many attendants at midnight on Sunday, too few drivers, too high a cost for the large station owner. This employee supply-to-driver demand complexity add a variable cost to the larger station that the smaller station does not have to face. So, the larger station competes visibly on price, but competes invisibly on employee cost.
Oregon flips this logic by allowing rural stations to offer Self-Serve (2018). Thus, existing large stations can compete against small stations in rural areas on price and gain local volume(=market share). Part of the claimed issue in both states was human safety. One can argue that this issue was ignored in 2020 in Oregon when Self-serve was permitted state-wide for a short period of time. So, dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people are bare-handling the same gas nozzle handle during a pandemic. When was the last time you saw a driver pump their own gas with gloves on? If you did, it could have been me since I have been doing so for almost two decades.
NJ raised their gas tax BY 36.2 cents PER GALLON in about 2016 moving from one of the lower gas tax states (benefiting resident and neighboring state drivers for years) to one of the highest in US. Higher prices overall in NJ (by all stations on average), make the incentive less attractive for neighboring state drivers to "dip" into NJ to fill-up. lower volume for all, while keeping the same full-serve legal mandate and expense. Brilliant capitalistic thinking by the NJ legislature. I, too, was surprised that Costco does not require membership at the Stations - confirmed by an employee. On the positive side, the Millennials may be attracted to the State since they can text while receiving Full-Service;)
That's not free market enterprise. You use the word capitalism, at its essence, that is not. Crony capitalism maybe, which is still not free market.
And screw this living wage bs.
 

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If you've ever visited Europe, locals don't tip. And if they do it's a few coins.
I have! I particularly remember staying with a friend of my sister in Germany, to him it would be downright offensive to need to leave a tip, the thinking that a business would not simply pay it's workers properly. Different culture for sure.
 

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I have! I particularly remember staying with a friend of my sister in Germany, to him it would be downright offensive to need to leave a tip, the thinking that a business would not simply pay it's workers properly. Different culture for sure.
Precisely.
 

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You can usually put the pump in just can't start it. The attendant has to. Most of them don't care mostly kids working there.
 

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So, dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people are bare-handling the same gas nozzle handle during a pandemic. When was the last time you saw a driver pump their own gas with gloves on? If you did, it could have been me since I have been doing so for almost two decades.
I think it's been shown that, if you wash your hands regularly and don't put hour hands on your face, handling door knobs and other public things aren't that bad, Covid-wise. But I've been using gloves for a long time at the gas pump because I don't want gasoline on my hands (it's hard to get out, and smells/mucks up your steering wheel and anything else you touch in your car after you get it on your hands). As for NJ, yeah, I filled up on gas in NJ on a long road trip last month, and I'd forgotten that they mandate pump attendants there; the attendant was not right there, so I just got out, swiped my credit card, and starting pumping when the guy came over.... I just said "I've got this", and he smiled and went over to somebody who had just pulled into fill them up. The people in the other car looked at me like I was strange for filling up my own car. :)
 

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Even before the pandemic, I'd been using disposable gloves when pumping my own gas in PA. I understand how it feels when people gawk -- but in my case when I put my gloves on...
I don't recall the precise moment I made that decision, also decades ago. I may have once found that winter gloves were too bulky to operate the pump, and I didn't want to touch cold stainless steel with bare hands during a snowstorm. So a vinyl glove was a practical solution for the quick task. I even happened on some gas stations that had disposable glove dispensers. The habit just became permanent, especially when I started driving nicer cars.

But then, I have also been opening public restroom doorhandles with a clean paper towel in my hands afterwards.
 

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It is indeed, a job-saving measure. There is plenty of literature on it, but the laws regarding gas pumping all came from unions pushing their own lobbyists to save jobs. They are always coached in safety arguments, but that's preposterous.

Now, if you think it pisses you off with a car - how about a motorcycle? I used to have an old Triumph with an awesome custom paint job - and an awkward-angled tank. I would ALWAYS end up with fuel on the tank, on the seat, etc. - in those states where I could not fill myself. I would always offer a tip in exchange for the "privilege" of filling my own gas.
 

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I am sure while there's "no requirement to tip", they expect a tip. Out of towners and people alike feel the social pressure of our ad naseum tip culture. These days, everyone expects a tip, even for sh*t service.
No. I lived in NJ for several years, and when we moved there, I asked my co-workers and my neighbor about it, no one tips the folks who pump gas.
 
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