You probably won’t see any news about it in the papers, as it’s nothing Congress has passed or proposed. If you’re a woman, though, chances are you’ve experienced it or maybe even noticed it creeping up on your receipts.
It turns out that some products for women simply cost more than products for men. There’s no official tax on them, but the higher price tag has earned its own name: the Pink Tax. It’s a well-known fact that women statistically make less money than their male peers, so the Pink Tax can be another blow to your budget.
Unfortunately, there’s not much women can do to avoid the Pink Tax, but they can be more aware of the products they’re buying that fall into the Pink Tax category.
Here are four shopping areas that tend to be the biggest offenders:
Obviously, guys don’t have to buy tampons and pads — lucky them — and those things are expensive. Female lawmakers are doing what they can to make that expense cheaper for women, but it’ll always be an expense men simply don’t incur.
That’s where the cost differences should end, but it’s not.
It turns out that many men’s hygiene products are simply cheaper than women’s, even though they do the same job. One study compared the prices of hygiene products in Atlanta stores and found a wide gap between men’s and women’s products.
Take, for example, razors: a five-pack of women’s razors came in a pink hue with a soft-grip handle and five blades — the cost was $10.99. The same pack for men only had three blades per razor and a simple stick handle, differences that shouldn’t make the price $6 less — but they did.
Researchers found similar price differences between men’s and women’s deodorant, shaving cream and face wash.
Women’s clothing is more expensive than men’s clothing. In fact, many fashion insiders have noticed the trend and have lent a hand to the regular consumer as to which products they should buy from the men’s side of the store. In short, the same sweaters, button downs and bags will cost you less if they’re meant for men.
Some shops have even been busted for selling the same women’s products for more money. For example,Old Navy’s plus-sized gear for women carried a higher price tag than plus-sized clothing for men in 2014. They blamed the higher price on the fact that designers worked hard to make the pieces more flattering, though the Pink Tax is present regardless of their explanation.
As if it wasn’t enough to pay more to buy the clothes, women will have to pay more to have them laundered and dry-cleaned, too.
Get ready to feel infuriated, ladies, with kids. Your boys’ toys are typically of better quality and more intellectually stimulating than ones made for girls. The price tag may not necessarily be higher at the time of purchase, but a flimsy feminine toy probably won’t last as long a sturdy one.
If you’re a woman, there’s probably a reason why you hate getting your car fixed — the odds are good that it costs more for you than it would for a man to have the same service. Mechanics are universally known for their persuasive tactics in upselling services to women for their vehicle, even when it’s a simple oil change.
There’s actual evidence of this happening, thanks to a Northwestern study that showed women who sought service for their vehicle were quoted a higher price than men. The kicker: Both the men and women acted uninformed while on the phone, but the women suffered from their lack of knowledge by receiving a quote that was $41 higher than market value. The men’s quotes were only $18 over the line.
Calling Attention to the Pink Tax
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the ways women experience the Pink Tax, but knowing these general categories will certainly help protect your wallet.
Now, it’s time for industry to realize the problem it has created.
Photo Credit: Len Penzo dot Com