Over on Consumerist, there's a discussion where people are incredulous as to why a guy on eBay purchased a $50 Target gift card for $55.71. While on the surface it seems ridiculous, there may actually be a legit reason for it (and a whole host of illegitimate reasons). Consider:
Ipinok needs a gift card from Target but he is 25 miles away from the closest Target store. Ipinok drives a Suburban and it will cost him 4 gallons of gas for the round trip + time to go to Target to get that $50 gift card. 4 gallons of gas will cost him at least $16 dollars this day. So,
$50 gift card + $16 gas = ($66 + time involved) > $55.71 bid price
Therefore, paying $55.71 with free shipping is well worth it, plus no need to spend the time going to Target and wait in line.
It used to be, you really didn't have to factor in gas prices when driving around purchasing an item (unless you drove around ALL DAY). Now, it can be CHEAPER to over-pay, and not spend the gas money. It also completely destroys the age-old adage of driving all over town to save $.04 on a gallon of gas. The cost savings is no longer cheaper then the gas being used.
A little practicale eco-thought for the day. I'd be interested in hearing your stories on how gas prices have changed (or will change) your behavior.