The Pink Tax: Why do women pay more than men?

Pink Tax

"I'm sick of paying higher prices for stuff that is exactly made just the same as it is for men," said McKinzie Anderson, a Boise resident.

McKinzie isn't alone. Multiple national studies show women are paying thousands of dollars more each year for the same products and services as men, generating the name "pink tax."

KBOI 2News scoured the aisles of local grocery stores and found that the "pink tax" is very much alive in the Gem state.

We bought some everyday essentials; deodorant, razors and face moisturizer.

Each product appears to be twins, except for one thing. One is packaged specifically for women, and the other for men.

Here's another big difference between them: the price.

Women's razors we found cost $3 more than the men's version. For deodorant, which was on sale, women are still paying a dollar more.

For face moisturizer, women are paying more than a dollar more per ounce.

When shoppers saw the difference in price, men and women alike were shocked.

"That's just straight wrong,"

"Oh my gosh, that was a crazy difference," said Amy Parrish, Boise resident.

Other said it seemed fair because women use a lot more products.

"It's just like a dollar, you know. It's not that much," said Ahmad Alharbyah.

It's not just cosmetic products. KBOI 2News' editor David and reporter Kelsey McFarland took their 100 percent cotton shirts to the local dry cleaners.

The men's shirt is a tuxedo shirt with some extra ruffles. The women's shirt is a typical blouse.

We asked the public's opinion; which should cost more to dry clean? The men's shirt was the unanimous winner, but they were all wrong.

The men's tuxedo shirt is nearly $2 cheaper to dry clean. The owner of Baird's says it's not gender pricing, it's a labor cost.

"A men's dress shirt is button down, very simple, it's big enough to fit on the press. That's how the press is made. Women's blouses are smaller, they're more fitted, they cannot fit on the press so we have to hand press those," said Shannon Elledge, owner of Baird's Dry Cleaning.

But for products that don't have "labor costs," why are businesses able to get away with this?

"I think they're just willing to pay a little bit more and obviously companies have figured that out, but it's not fair," Parrish said.

Dale Dizon, president and CEO at Better Business Bureau, says she's right.

"We live in a free country, and businesses are able to set prices for their products and it's up to the customer to decide, am I going to pay that amount for that product," Dixon said.

But there is a way to fight back.

"That consumer has an opportunity to do some price comparisons and do some research and make an informed buying decision and they can reject a product if it's not priced competitively," Dixon said.

Some ladies are already doing just that.

"I buy the men's razors and they work! What do you know? They work on my legs," Parrish said.

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