Pink tax - Is this the reason why women have to spend more?

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By: Good Nelly
on 3rd Oct,2016

Women usually have to pay more on certain products than the male version. Know about “Pink tax” and how you can avoid it.
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Do you find the women’s products are usually more expensive? The gender differentiation is present almost everywhere and “Pink Tax” is one of them.

A study, published by The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs(DCA) in 2015, has pointed out that the feminine products usually cost about 7% more than the male versions. The survey was carried out on 794 products across 24 NYC stores.

Total Number of Times Incidence
Women pay more 168 42%
Equal 157 40%
Men pay more 72 18%
Total 397 100%

*Source: New York City Department of Consumer Affairs

Is there any reason behind the increasing cost of women’s products?

There are valid reasons in certain cases. For example, across the nation, the cost of dry cleaning is more for women’s garments than that of men.

A woman’s shirt can cost up to 100% more for dry cleaning.

In addition to this, some dry cleaners even refuse to launder women’s shirts; they need to be dry cleaned only, which is itself an expensive option.

But, this price differentiation is not due to misogynists dominated society.

The price difference is due to the labor cost; usually, the men’s shirts are of similar shape, and the fabrics are either polyester, cotton or blend. Moreover, the shape and the fabrics haven’t changed much for decades.

So, the dry cleaning industry usually use commercial pressing machines and automate the "finishing" process of men’s shirts. So, naturally, it requires less human labor.

In the case of women’s shirts, they are of various materials, shapes, and sizes.

So, it becomes difficult to complete the “finishing process” with the machines designed for performing standardized tasks. A skilled person has to iron the garments manually.

But, this is not the reason for the increase in price in every segment.

A boy’s toy scooter can cost about US$25 less than that of a girl’s version.

The retailers can argue by saying that the cost of manufacturing feminine products are relatively more than that of male products. For example, the shape, materials, and packaging of a women's razor are different from that of men’s razor.

In reality, the retailers and the marketers are of the view that women belong to a profitable consumer segment.

It is a common belief that women value aesthetic features, and they’re ready to pay since comparatively they have more disposable income to spend.

But, the question is,

Is it possible to avoid Pink Tax, or most appropriately, Gender tax?

Yes, this thing can be stopped or reduced by raising awareness among shoppers. Women have to think outside the box.

There are 4 ways you can avoid being a victim of paying more, at least for certain products.

  • 1 Go for the male version of the products:

    Give it a thought - Is it worth purchasing a female version of sunscreen or razor cartridges when the male version is relatively cheaper? It isn’t. So, buy the male version and erase the gender price gap.

  • 2 Analyze the prices of products:

    Be a smart customer and compare the prices before buying the products. Compare the different versions of a product to check out whether or not you’re paying more for the female version. If yes, then consider buying the male version as discussed in the previous point.

  • 3 Compare prices from several brands and stores:

    You will find one product may cost a bit less in some other store. Likewise, a sunscreen brand may cost more than another brand.

    So, analyze whether buying the sunscreen from another brand makes sense.

    If yes, then go for it and save money.

  • 4 Negotiate to lower the price:

    Do you think prices in the stores are fixed? No, it’s not. You can bargain on certain items. If you feel that there’s a gender surcharge, simply ask the store employee whether or not there’s any way to find a better deal.

The store employee can match the price to your expectation or show you ways to lower the price.

Following the above strategies will lower the prices of products, and also the message will be conveyed to the marketers that charging unfair price will not work out.

So, this might be helpful in the long run.


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