Financial Wellness 2020: How Women Shoppers Can Beat the Pink Tax

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Products marketed to women are often more expensive than similar products and services for males. From haircuts to medication, gender-based pricing is problematic for female and male consumers alike, and it's costing tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.

A report by the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress found that women pay:

92% more than men for dry cleaning dress shirts

54% more than men for a haircut

13% more for personal care products

The report contains many instances where the same product, in pink, costs several dollars more than its male-targeted counterpart.  This discrepancy is what is commonly known as the pink tax.

The Pink Tax is Everywhere

The pink tax affects more than ladies who are purchasing products and services for themselves. It affects anyone who is buying a female-targeted item for someone in their life.


Beltway Insider: Trump/Clinton, Mueller, Boeing, Homelessness, 2020 Election Top 2019 News Stories

"My wife and I have two boys and a girl," says Roi Tavor, CEO of Nummo, a personal financial management platform and budgeting app. "Since their very first haircuts, my wife and I were having conversations about hairdressers and the massive price difference when it comes to haircuts. Why does it cost so much more for our daughter to get a haircut?"

The pink tax is also sometimes referred to as the "tampon tax," as sanitary pads and tampons, which are considered a necessity for most American women, are subject to sales tax in 35 states due to being considered "luxury items." Necessary products, like medicine and food, are not subject to sales tax.

The New York Times reported that in 2019, 22 states introduced bills to repeal the "tampon tax," but none were signed into law. 

"The tampon tax amounts to sex-based discrimination," Period Equity founder Jennifer Weiss-Wolf told The New York Times. Tennis star Serena Williams added, "A tax on periods is wrong. Telling half the population that their needs aren't important is wrong."

Possible Explanations for The Pink Tax

In some cases, businesses may have a non-discriminatory reason for increasing the price of goods that are marketed to and sold primarily for females. These include:


Money News: Twenty Best Tech Funds That Hold FANG

Tariffs: There may be higher tariffs for imported goods made for women, which the seller tacks onto the price.

Marketing: The creation of a separate line of products specifically geared toward women can add a hefty price tag to production. These increased production and marketing costs are absorbed into a higher price tag.

Competition: To hold their place in a market where gender-based pricing is prevalent, businesses may not have the option of lowering prices for women's products and still effectively compete.

In some cases, it's simply a matter of price discrimination. Businesses know women (and men) will pay certain prices for certain female-targeted items, so they'll sell them for higher prices.

Why Does the Pink Tax Matter?

The pink tax is a problem that goes beyond the price of the product. Women still only tend to make $0.82 for every $1 earned by men, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research. For women who are single parents or caregivers for their own parents, they're responsible for paying for products and services for people besides themselves. 


Business/Finance: CNBC’S Becky Quick Interviews Walmart CEO Doug McMillon

The pink tax correlates with the widening gender gap regarding poverty. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, 13.4% of women ages 18 to 64 were below the poverty line in 2018, an increase from 10.8% in 1968. In 2018, 9.7% of adult men were below the poverty line. For more than the past 50 years, women have disproportionately been poorer than men, and the numbers are getting worse.

"When there is less money available at the end of the month, it affects the entire family," Tavor says. "The pink tax is a family matter."

What Categories are The Products More Expensive In?

A study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found consumer goods marketed toward women and girls cost about 7% more on average than those marketed toward men and boys. Products for women cost more in 30 out of 35 categories and span every industry. 

The categories where products geared towards girls and females tend to cost more are:

Personal care products: Personal products like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, shaving cream, razors and lotions tend to cost 13% more. 

Adult clothing: These tend to cost 8% more.

Senior home/healthcare products: These tend to cost 8% more.

Children's toys: These tend to cost 7% more.

Children's clothing: These tend to cost 4% more.


Business/Finance: CNBC Exclusive: CNBC’s David Faber Speaks with Quibi CEO Meg Whitman (Transcripts)

Even major expenses, like a home loan, tend to cost more for single females. NBC News reports women have lower credit scores, on average, compared to men. This is likely due to the gender pay gap, which causes women to utilize a bigger portion of the total available credit.

How to Overcome The Pink Tax and be a Savvy Female Shopper 

The pink tax is one form of gender inequality that has been deeply ingrained in American culture and other parts of the world for centuries. Gender inequality issues are continually being addressed by researchers and activists.

It's encouraging when positive action is being taken to address issues like the pink tax. But when change is slow, there are things female shoppers (and shoppers who purchase female-geared items and services) can do in the meantime to offset the pink tax.

1. Research the brands you purchase

If you care where your money is going, research the brands you're purchasing. You can set up Google Alerts for "pink tax," "pink tax company" and "pink tax brand." Whenever news about a company being associated with the pink tax breaks, you'll get an email notification so you can stay up-to-date.

The pink tax hit consumer news in 2019 when Gillette released an ad campaign targeting toxic masculinity. The company was criticized because it charges several dollars more for the same pack of women's razors compared to men's. Staying privvy to news like this can help you make smarter buying decisions.

Also, if you're buying services like haircuts or dry cleaning, talk to providers you're considering about their gender-based pricing practices. Ask for the reasoning in the difference before you decide on a provider.


Business/Finance: Live From Davos Procter & Gamble CEO David Taylor Speaks with CNBC’s Sara Eisen

"While companies have no incentives to eliminate the pink tax, female consumers have the power of choosing where and at what price they shop, whether it relates to buying a car, getting a mortgage or that next haircut," Tavor says. "Only when vendors feel the 'pinch' will meaningful price reductions occur."

2. Consider unisex products

Going back to razors, if the same job can be done with a male-targeted product or unisex product, purchase that one. It's likely going to be less expensive than the female-targeted product.

"Look at the products you purchase in a different light," says Dawn-Marie Joseph, founder of Estate Planning & Preservation. "Unisex products will do the job and most of the time at a cheaper price."

3. Support companies that are taking a stand

Keep up-to-date with pink tax news so you can learn about new companies that are slashing the pink tax. Soapwalla, for example, is a body product company that creates unisex products, so there's no price discrepancy.

European Wax Center launched a campaign called #AxThePinkTax, where it displays news about the pink tax, companies fighting against it and companies to avoid. Viist the site regularly to see companies taking a stand that you can support. 

4. Be a part of eliminating the pink tax

Awareness is constantly growing about the pink tax, but there is still plenty of work to be done. Start with being more vocal about how you're spending your dollars.

"Bringing the pink tax to light and refusing to let your hard-earned dollars support such companies is the only way this will change," Joseph says. "Get them in the profit center, and sure enough, they will change."

Joseph adds, "Be a smart consumer. You can come right out and ask if the price for you is the same as it is for a man. Tell them you'll pay the same as 'a man' would pay. Try oil change shops, auto dealers, any retail establishments that are mostly staffed by men. It can be a fun game. Remember, it's your money, so be aware."

5. Support legislation to stop the pink tax

You can also get politically active. The website Tax Free. Period. displays a map of the United States, which users can click on to see if their state has a tax on tampons, but not on a non-essential item. For example, Colorado has a tampon tax, but private jet parts are untaxed.

Contact your local government representatives to voice your concerns about women's issues like the tampon tax and the pink tax. Before voting in elections, research the positions of candidates regarding these issues.

In April 2019, California Representative Jackie Speier sponsored the Pink Tax Repeal Act to stop gender-based discrimination when pricing products, the third proposed version of this act since 2016. 

"I think the pink wave that overtook congress in the 2018 elections speaks volumes about how women are stepping up and speaking out," Speier told NBC Los Angeles. "This is a retail issue, this is a pocketbook issue — this is an important issue."

The bill is currently in the first stage of the legislative process and has 51 bipartisan cosponsors. It awaits a potential vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. You can contact your local representative to tell them you support the bill.

6. Use credit card rewards to offset the pink tax

Until the pink tax is eliminated, one way to offset the lost money is to use a credit card that rewards you with extra cash back on certain items, including unique bonus categories that might change over time.

You can find a rewards credit card with categories you shop in most, so you're earning more points or cash for what you purchase most often. 

 

*Article reprinted with permission. Original posting can be viewed here: Here's the link: https://www.thesimpledollar.com/financial-wellness/how-women-shoppers-can-beat-the-pink-tax/

Haute Tease

  • HOFA Gallery Launches New Gallery in Los Angeles With Bold, Crypto Art Exhibition

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The House of Fine Art (HOFA) announces the inaugural presentation at its newest West Hollywood Gallery, Qvantum, the ground-breaking cryptocurrency exhibition of work by internationally acclaimed artists including Joseph Klibansky, Zhuang Hong Yi, Ilhwa Kim and Marco Grassi. 

     
  • The Post Review – Perfection, Rekindles the Fire of Investigative Reporting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Post, from DreamWorks, Amblin Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox, presents a defining moment in journalism as the Fourth Estate clashed violently with government over the publishing of Top Secret and classified documents known as The Pentagon Papers.

     
  • Battle Los Angeles: A Gritty, Sci-Fi, War Drama

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BATTLE LOS ANGELES, the Sci-fi war drama, from Sony Pictures Entertainment/Columbia Pictures and in association with Relativity Media, brings to the screen a gritty portrayal of combat shy Marines facing hostile invasion and sure annihilation.

     
  • Rising from The Ashes of War to the Murky Top – Ukraine’s Politics of Plunder

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mykola Yankovsky and his son Igor have been conspicuously spreading Ukraine's wealth in Europe and the United States in recent years. The retired king and prince of independent Ukraine's chemical industry have plenty to spend. But maybe not for long.

     
  • Noticias Telemundo Exclusive: Trump Breaks His Silence and Speaks For The First Time On Hispanic Television

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Noticias Telemundo announced today that Telemundo Anchor José Díaz-Balart will interview President Donald Trump in his first exclusive sit-down interview with a Spanish-language television network during his presidency on Thursday, June 20 at 11 PM ET/10 CT/7 PT.

     
  • Health, Wellness:Shocking Salads That Have More Calories Than a Big Mac

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    America is seeing a health revolution. Grocery stores are selling green juices instead of soda and many restaurant menus now flag "gluten free" or "healthier" options. And people looking to stay healthy typically opt for salads.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Set Backs; Flynn Paid; Columbia; Israel; Assad; Mexico’s Penis Seat; Texting Killer

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump continues to face scrutiny over the legitimacy of his presidency, a shadow one doubts will ever depart as each week new information on business relationships, connections, or appointed aides failures to disclose ties to the Kremlin is exposed.

     
  • World News: EU Elections Quickly Approach with the Brits Doing the Hokey Pokey

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the vote to renew the eponymous parliament approaches, it appears that the European Union is struggling to establish a common thinking and ideology. A prejudicial deficiency that prevents her from advancing as she would like. Explanations.

     
  • Sir Ken Adam: The Man Who Designed James Bond

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As a production designer, Sir Ken Adam consistently pushed his imagination to the limits, creating movie sets, each different, as thrilling to look at as the action unfolding up on the screen. His work on seven James Bond films—including the first of the series, DR. NO—set the tone for what became the Bond franchise.

     
  • Ex-Machina Review – Edgy Sci-Fi Tech Thriller Engages At Enter

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ex-Machina, from DNA Films and Universal Pictures International, brings to the screen, a sci-fi thriller woven together with a contemporary tech drama introducing the next phase of the extremely secretive and highly sensitive Artificial Intelligent program to the world.

     
  • Gruesome Murder of Teen Shocks Prosecutors

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The gruesome murder of fourteen-year-old Grace Packer is shocking even the most seasoned prosecutors as the details emerge behind the year-long plan her adopted mother and the woman's boyfriend hatched to torture the teen to death.

     
  • Stranded Review – Moon Based Madness and Horror

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Stranded,” an escape from the usual, from RLJ Entertainment and Minds Eye Entertainment, brings to the screen a sci-fi haunted house drama that provides moon base horror filled with fear, dread and heightened suspense.

     
  • ThermaSol Transforms the Techie Bath

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Turning the bath “haven” into “heaven” is easy with ThermaSol®. Their latest digital technologies ensure your every wish is their command. A touch of your fingertip brings warm, relaxing steam to life.  

  • Casa Velas Hotel Puerto Vallarta Review - Epicurean Exploits Abound

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Nestled within an upscale residential neighborhood just a 5-minute drive from the Puerto Vallarta airport sits Casa Velas, a serene adults-only luxury boutique resort that's helping set new and noteworthy standards in the all-inclusive realm.

     
  • Breathtaking Malibu Beachfront Property Hits Market

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A stunning Malibu beachfront four bedroom triplex situated in the coveted Malibu Colony Cove Community, with brilliant, dramatic Pacific Ocean views as well as direct beach access, has recently hit the market.