Women’s Products That Cost More Than Men’s? It’s Called The ‘Pink Tax’, And Not Everyone’s Mad
by Teri Sforza, Orange County Register
That adorable bike helmet for little boys, with the stuffed shark protruding from the top? It cost $14.99 at Target.
That adorable bike helmet for little girls, with the stuffed unicorn protruding from the top? It cost $27.99 at Target.
And so it goes for toys, clothing, shampoo and even adult diapers, according to a recent government investigation that is adding momentum to a push to outlaw so-called gender pricing on a wide array of consumer products in California.
Across several industries, items targeted for female consumers cost 7 percent more on average than nearly identical products marketed for male consumers, according to the examination of online and in-store prices by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs.
“(P)rice conscious female shoppers may not know that, for discounts, they need look no further than the men’s department,” the report said.
Consumer advocates call it the “pink tax,” a pricing disparity that follows women from cradle to grave and costs them thousands of dollars over the course of their lifetimes. The mounting data on the pink tax have become Exhibit A in a Sacramento drive to prohibit such differential pricing.
Senate Bill 899, sponsored by Consumer Federation of California, would extend the state’s ban on gender-based pricing for services (haircuts, laundry, dry cleaning) to products (toys, clothing, personal care items).