Do you know, as a woman, you pay more for equivalent products than men do? Yes, you read it right. Let me repeat it again… As a woman, you pay more than men do for similar products. Shocking, isn’t it?
Let’s dwell deeper into it.
Let’s say you and your husband or a boyfriend or a male friend go shopping for similar products. Let’s say, both of you want to buy some razors, pens, designer fragrance and a few jeans. You go and pick up products marked specifically for women and your partner picks up common products or products marked for men. There is very little difference when it comes to quality of the products that you both picked up. But, the products you picked up are costlier than what your partner picked up. To be more precise, according to a study by New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, you pay 7% more than your partner does.
The study took 800 products from the stores of New York that had two separate versions for men and women, and compared it against each other. Even though the study was conducted in New York, similar trends are visible pretty much all over the world.
You may ask, “Why this price discrimination?” and “Why haven’t you noticed this earlier?”
The answer to the second question is simple. You have been conditioned to paying more from a very young age. For example, a kid’s scooter coming in black with skull art for boys is cheaper than a scooter coming in pink with flower art for girls.
The answer to the first question is hidden in the example above. For some reason, it is perceived that women’s tastes are fancier than men. In order to cater to this need of women, women specific products are overly designed. For example, t-shirts for women have complicated necklines, unnecessary tucks and embellished packaging. It’s a common conception that products for women need extra presentational baubles. These design discrepancies, even though cost only a fraction of the overall cost to manufacture, is used to justify the additional pricing. In reality, there isn’t much difference in the manufacturing costs of similar products for men and women.
To put it blatantly, women are being ripped off for a slight difference in appearance, texture, fragrance or any other specific quality of a product. Why should a pen or a razor that is pink in color cost more than a pen or a razor that is black in color.
The clothing industry has encashed on this trend big time. For example, roll-sleeve orange t-shirt for women is costlier than a roll-sleeve orange t-shirt for men from the same manufacturer.
It is time that you get smart. Wherever possible, buy unisex products. In most cases, gendered products are ostensibly same for both genders. Even fashion stylists, when shopping for women’s basics prefer to shop in the men’s department.
T-shirts, watches, sweaters, sweatshirts and plain-cut vests are some products to get you started on your smart buying. You will be surprised at how much money you can save with buying smart. Don’t be fooled by marketing gimmicks. Choose quality and content over branding and marketing.
H/T: The Guardian