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Pink Tax Repeal Act: What Does This Mean For Women?

by Ava Roman

The pink tax is a gender-based marketing tactic to entice women to pay more for products than men. Feminine products like pads and tampons fall under the pink tax category because of the markup attached to their products. The pink tax is a term that generalizes goods and services that cost more for women than they do for men.

 

What Is the Pink Tax?

The pink tax refers to the markup of goods and services offered to women. Personal care items like deodorant, shampoo and razors cost more when targeted at women consumers. The pink tax starts as soon as females are born, with baby girl clothes and toys averaging more than the same products for boys.


The pink tax stems from the idea that most marked-up items are pink, targeting female consumers. A deodorant that comes in blue or black packaging aimed towards the male gender cost significantly less than a women’s deodorant with a pink label. Similarly, razors in feminine colors cost 11% more than men’s. The pink tax isn’t just for personal hygiene products—it applies to clothing, toys, home décor and many other items.


How Does It Affect Women?

The pink tax causes women to spend significantly more than men throughout their lives, leaving them at an economic disadvantage. Women spend more money than men for various reasons, including that their products cost more. Women are less likely to purchase items to impress others, so why are their products generally more expensive than men’s?


Why Women Spend More

Women tend to care more about the packaging of their products for many reasons, but primarily because packaging typically reflects the quality of the product. Women spend more on mortgages and home décor and are forced to pay higher prices on essential items. Women often like to decorate their homes by mixing and matching colors and designs to personalize their space.


Men tend to focus more on materials and surfaces that make up the home's foundation. However, this isn’t always the case and boils down to gender discrimination, making the pink tax unethical and unfair. Personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, lotion and razors are frequently purchased by men and women. So, why do women pay more for these items that are equivalent to their male counterparts?



Why It Still Exists

Pricing experts argue that gender-based versioning and effective pricing strategy allow them to mark up products aimed at women due to their willingness to pay higher prices for personal care products. By making products more attractive to women, they can raise their costs, which is an effective pricing strategy.


For example, women are more likely to purchase travel-size items to keep in their makeup bags or purses when they’re on the go. So, it makes sense from a marketing perspective to upcharge for these items, but that doesn’t make it fair. Although the price differences seem insignificant by comparison—those small increments cost women considerably more for similar products. Due to increased product demand, markets get away with charging women more than men.


Avoiding Pink Tax Prices

Women spend about thirteen-hundred dollars annually in pink taxes. California passed a bill in September 2022 eliminating the pink tax for its residents and consumers, joining New York state, which banned it in 2020. While other governments aren’t doing much to stop the pink tax, industries are taking the initiative to curb the pink tax and make feminine personal hygiene affordable again.


Shop Supportive Brands

Brands like Billie, which specialize in women’s razors, stand for pricing equality by offering subscriptions to help you save money. Signing up for subscription services is an excellent way to minimize overspending on products. Boxed is a company that tries to offset pink taxes by offering feminine care products at reduced prices. Similarly, CVS dropped menstrual product pricing on its branded products by 25%.


Shop In the Men’s Section

The pink tax gives women an economic incentive to shop elsewhere for their personal care items. While the pink razor may look prettier, it likely does the same job as the men’s equivalent in a different color. Men’s soaps and lotions often give you the same effect—if you don’t like the smell, opt for unscented and add your own scent with essential oils.


While men’s clothing often fits differently, staples for your closet, like basic tees, are cheaper in the men’s section. Consider price shopping before you decide to make a purchase. Products that target a specific gender are likely to cost more in any scenario, so consider searching for unisex options for lower prices. Gender-neutral clothing options can save you significantly, especially on children’s clothing.


The Pink Tax Effect

There are a few ways to mitigate the pink tax’s unfair pricing and help save your bank account. Utilize these tips to avoid draining your bank account on personal care items, products, and services. The pink tax will remain while it's still effective, so take actionable steps to mitigate its effect on your spending.

 

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