The so-called 'pink tax' and why women pay more for products

Whether it be deodorant, razors or haircuts, if you really take a look at the prices it seems women are always paying more. Seven percent more, on average, as a matter of fact. So what's the big difference? You may be surprised to find out it's the packaging.

Experts say the way we perceive "women's" products could explain why there are gender-based markups. Many men's products are often seen as generic and not necessarily just for men, but the women's version - with its pink packaging - seems more of a specialty product. We're willing to pay more because we think we're getting more.

"Men's products are kind of seen as gender neutral whereas women's products are seen as more of a specialty item," Scott Carty says. He's a financial professional with DC Capital Management in Livonia, Mich. He joined us on The Nine to tell us more about the so-called "pink tax."


Not too surprising that the largest price discrepancy between men and women can be found in the haircare category. When it comes to haircuts, women spend an average of 25 percent more - even on haircuts that require the exact same amount of labor as a men's style.

On the average, women pay a whopping 48 percent more than men for things like shampoo and conditioner. Women should opt for more gender neutral or even men's hair products.


Women pay more to smell good, too. On the surface, prices for a stick of deodorant for men and women seem to be about the same - but, look closely and you'll notice that men's deodorant sticks tend to be about half an ounce larger than women's sticks.

Women can save by buying unscented men's deodorant. If you check the label, men's deodorant includes the same active ingredients. It's the same product for less money.


A recent report by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs compared 800 products and found that women were consistently charged more than men for products that were identical - except for the packaging.

For example, a major retail chain was selling a red scooter for boys and a pink version of the same scooter for girls. The scooter marketed to boys was priced at $24.99. The pink scooter for girls? $49.99.

It's important not only to shop around at different stores, but to check out different sections in each store.

There is one thing, though, that men do pay more for -- car insurance. Men pay an estimated $15,000 more over their lifetime for car insurance than women do. That's because insurance companies see men as a bigger risk for accidents due to their riskier driving habits.