Sad but true: often products marketed to women cost more than the same or similar product marketed to men, e.g., the pink razor costs more than the black one. (Get Up!’s Gender Price Gap Tumblr has a whole lot more examples.)
Marketers call it market segmentation. Outraged women call it the pink tax. And we’re paying it ladies, whether we realise it or not.
A splash of pink there, the addition of some girly-patterned packaging there, and suddenly we’re paying more – CHOICE says up to 50 per cent more, on almost identical products.
In the UK, where women had been paying on average 37 per cent more than men paid for almost identical products, they went out and mounted an online campaign, forcing Tesco to stop charging double for its pink twin-blade razors as its black ones.
We’ve only got ourselves to blame if we don’t open our eyes and tackle this tax head on: manufacturers and retailers can only charge what we’re prepared to pay.
4 ways to avoid the pink tax (buy like a man)
1. Ignore the styling. It’s only sitting in your bathroom cabinet, who cares if it’s pink, black or polka dotted if it does the same job?
2. Don’t get duped by fragrance on products like deodorants. Something you spray on your armpits that smells like flowers doesn’t necessarily work better than the more subtly-scented male version.
3. Compare unit pricing. Sometimes the product pricing seem similar – maybe even the men’s one seems cheaper, until you look at the unit price.
4. Identify brands that don’t charge the pink tax and support them.
3 examples of products that cost more for women
1. Luxury perfumes, like these two designer examples.
Viktor & Rolf’s Flower Bloom Eau de Toilette, the lady scent, retails at David Jones for $125 (50mL). That same 50mL in the man scent – Spicebomb, is $95. PINK TAX $30
Prada’s La Femme Leau Eau de Toilette 100mL is $198 versus $149 for the men’s equivalent, L’Homme Leau EDT. PINK TAX $49.
The Eau de Parfum 100mL versions of those Prada perfumes have even more of a gap – the femme version is $212 versus the men’s at $149. PINK TAX $63
(Men’s parfum is not made differently to women’s mind you – each perfume is just a scent profile that is either marketed towards men or women through its name and packaging.)
2. Jeans. Ironically, Mavi “boyfriend” jeans for women are more expensive online than the Mavi men’s jeans that her boyfriend might actually wear. ($139.95 to $159.95 for the men’s jeans. Women’s range from $149.95 to $179.95…) PINK TAX $20 at least.
3. Haircuts. In 2015, a survey showed that in Sydney, men pay $21.64 for a haircut on average and women pay $38.64, i.e., almost double. Sure, a woman’s cut might sometimes take longer, but does it always take twice as long? Not in my experience. PINK TAX $17 (or more – there’s a lot of us who pay way more than $38, let’s face it)