Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal:

Question: I’ve heard from at least three readers of late, always with an inquiry along the longs of a gentleman I talked with Friday, who said via voicemail: “I’ve got some interesting information on gas prices in Asheville. I went by three Ingles stations, and they had three different prices. The first one was $ 3.45 a gallon (on Hendersonville Road in South Asheville), the second was $ 3.55 on Long Shoals, and the third was $ 3.99. That was the Ingles in Enka on Sand Hill Road Why are they charging such different prices? ” About a week before, another reader messaged me this: “Have you noticed the prices of auto gas on the south side of Asheville to be $ 3.67- $ 3.69 at many gas stations, with Ingles leading the pack? How is it possible for Ingles to sell at this low price on south side and not anywhere else? Can’t be cost of shipping they certainly are buying in bulk at one price and selling at prices $ 3.679 to $ 4.099 on west and north side of town. ” Yet another reader noticed the same disparity, this time between Swannanoa and Fletcher, and asked for an explanation, noting, “They certainly don’t charge that different a price for bananas between stores.”

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