Paying for Pink: Women Pay More for Common Goods
Women already know that, on average, they earn less pay for doing the same job. What makes that struggle worse is that, too often, their money doesn’t go as far as that earned by a man. When they pay for goods and services, they often face higher prices for the same products, a phenomenon known as the pink tax.
New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs released results Friday of a price study of 800 products that have male and female versions—think pink razors compared with blue ones—and found that 42 percent of the time, women’s products were priced higher.
“This study confirms a sad reality that women are confronted with every day—we pay a high price for our gender,” said Chirlane McCray, the city’s first lady and honorary chair of the Commission on Gender Equality.
The pricing disparity starts young—a blue boy’s bike helmet with a shark on it may run $14.99, but the same brand’s pink version adorned with a unicorn runs $27.99, nearly double.
As Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin tweeted, a simple coat of pink paint on a scooter can make prices double too.
The pricing disparities were most acute with personal care products. Women pay an average of 13 percent more for things like razors, lotions, and body wash. The biggest gender-based markup? Shampoo and conditioner typically cost 48 percent more for women.
Women have been taking note of such markups:
@MissFreyaJ The price of women’s razors is ridiculous, no difference besides marketing.— Daithi (@tvcritics) December 18, 2015
Some price discrepancies seem to prey on fashion, charging women a premium for clothes or cleaning services.
started using the dry cleaners for shirts. I don't understand why 4 of hubby's shirts cost $10 and 3 of mine cost $13!!! #genderpricing— Elvira Palermo (@elvira_pal) October 28, 2015
Never buying anything in the women's section of UNIQLO again. I swear the men's stuff is the same, but $5 cheaper. #genderpricing— Stefanie C (@hobbitown) November 17, 2015
Then there are the women who are trying to work the pink tax to their advantage.
Know of price differences on gendered items? New York City officials invite you to post them to social media with the hashtag #genderpricing.