Why You’re Better Off Buying Guys’ Products Over The Women’s Version

Photo: Ozgurkeser/ Getty Images and Ammza12/ Getty Images.
Women not only earn less in the U.S., we also end up paying more for the same products than men. A recent investigation from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs looked at the prices of more than 800 items offered in both male- and female-targeted versions and found that items ranging from toys to shampoo to razors cost significantly more when marketed toward women. In 2014, The New York Times' editorial board dubbed this phenomenon "the pink tax," describing a petition against France's Monoprix supermarket chain. Petitioners had accused the chain of charging more for women's products. Unfortunately, gender inequality in retail pricing isn't unique to Monoprix, or even to France. And this study from the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs reveals just how common gender-based pricing is at U.S. retailers, too. One particularly egregious example the study found is the Radio Flyer My First Scooter, sold online at Target. The seemingly unisex red version of the scooter was listed for $24.99, while a pink version of the scooter — same size and weight — was available for twice as much at a staggering $49.99. It's not just toys, though. The study found that women's clothing costs an average of 8% more than men's, while personal care products cost women an average of 13% more. Razor cartridges were another shocking example of gendered pricing discrepancies, according to the report. Women pay an average of 11% more than men for razor cartridges. Overall, women's products cost more than men's products 42% of the time.

As for the scooters, Target updated the pricing so the red and pink styles now cost the same amount. The retailer claimed the price difference was a "system error," according to The Washington Post. But that doesn't account for the dozens of other female-marketed products that are still way overpriced. You might think twice before you shell out for that pink Bic — it likely cost more than its plain black counterpart with no added benefits.

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