Some items, like gasoline and lottery tickets, generate lots of sales but very little profit, while other items are the opposite.
Furthermore, it can be hard to analyze a station's performance since the large quantity of cash transactions can lead to inaccuracies in the financial records. Since most stations are dependent on vehicular traffic to drive their business, any change in traffic patterns can have a disastrous effect on their performance.
In addition, you may get special depreciation from the Internal Revenue Service and could get growth through increasing rents.
Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology.
Doing this makes the investment much more passive for you since you're just the landlord.
At the same time, you still have the benefit of owning what should be a good piece of land located on a busy corner.Banks and financial institutions can be very skittish about funding gas station deals - environmental concerns, the swings in gas prices over the last few years, etc.I've found that local and regional banks/financial institutions are more likely to offer the best financing for local gas stations purchases, rather than the bigger intitutional type banks (also these lenders if they do provide financing can take way too long - I've had clients come to me that have lost deals because of delays, etc).However, the business is also labor intensive, and your ability to operate profitably depends largely on factors -- like road construction or the price of fuel -- that are out of your control.From a financial perspective, gas doesn't matter much at most gas stations.While having double-walled tanks can go a long way to mitigating these issues, it's still important to understand what you're buying.Finally, gas stations are complicated businesses that require hands-on investment.Unless you enjoy a location that lets you charge an above market price for your fuel -- like being right across the street from airport car returns -- gasoline sales are only marginally profitable after credit card fees.As such, most stations make their money on the sales in their convenience stores or through add-ons of additional services, such as car washes.As such, it's important to gauge what road construction could be coming.In addition, gas stations are exposed to environmental risks.