Nothing — Not Even Toys — Can Avoid the ‘Pink Tax’

Photo (cc) by donnierayjones

You’re probably familiar with the “pink tax,” also known as the “woman tax” or “tampon tax.” It’s used to describe how women — who already earn less than their male counterparts for doing the same work — also are forced to pony up more money than men for comparable products and services.

It turns out nothing — not even children’s toys and clothes — can escape the ludicrous pink tax, Fortune reports. If you are a parent or someone who buys things for children, it’s likely that this comes as no surprise to you. I am constantly fuming at the gender pricing disparity I see when I’m out shopping for my two young children (a boy and girl).

Boomerang Commerce recently analyzed the price points of 50 popular kids products, including toys, clothing and electronics, at six major web retailers — including Target, Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, JCPenney and Bloomingdales.

Each item Boomerang analyzed was offered in a variety of colors — including pink — and in every single instance, the pink-colored item was the most expensive.

“It seems there’s definitely some sort of a premium that is being put on the pink products,” Boomerang CEO Guru Hariharan told Fortune. “It could be a pretty big difference.”

Depending on the retailer, Boomerang said the average differential for pink items compared with non-pink items was 2 percent to a whopping 15 percent.

Some of the biggest pricing disparities occurred among children’s toys. For example, a pink Fisher-Price tricycle was listed on Amazon for $58 while an identical non-pink trike had a price tag of $43. On Target.com, a pink kids beginner bike was priced at $80, next to a non-pink version of the same bike, which was listed at $64.

Fortune said it appears that the retailers are to blame for hiking up the prices on pink items:

So, what’s going on here? Hariharan’s theory is that the price differential comes down to demand. It’s possible that pink items are priced higher because there are few options for people who really want pink products, allowing retailers to charge a premium. However, if demand were actually that strong, economics 101 suggests that supply would increase and prices would drop.

The more likely explanation is that there’s relatively little demand for pink products, says Hariharan. If a retailer sells pink bikes and red bikes, and the red ones fly off the shelves five times faster, each pink bike has to bear a higher amount of overhead cost—an expense that’s passed on to the consumer.

We told you about the high cost of being female here and cited a recent study from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, which found that the prices of girls toys ring in at 11 percent more, on average, than toys for boys.

It’s a trend that continues as girls get older. The study found that women typically pay 7 percent more on average than men to purchase similar products, such as disposable razors or shampoo.

“Over the course of a woman’s life, the financial impact of these gender-based pricing disparities is significant,” the study said.

Check out “More Stores Moving Toward ‘Genderless’ Shopping.”

What do you think of the pink tax? Do you notice it when you’re shopping? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
What Is Umbrella Insurance, and Do I Need It?
What Is Umbrella Insurance, and Do I Need It?

Umbrella insurance picks up where car and homeowners insurance leaves off. Do you need it? Here’s how to know.

9 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home
9 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home

These creative products on Amazon will hide unsightly clutter while saving space.

3 Good Things About Recessions
3 Good Things About Recessions

We don’t wish difficulty on anyone, but there can be an upside to a down cycle.

9 Purchases That Will Make You More Productive
9 Purchases That Will Make You More Productive

These Amazon products can give you an extra edge at work and other parts of your life.

5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’
5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’

Here is why some seniors’ brains work as well as those of people who are decades younger.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon

Are you losing money due to any of these missteps?

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

7 Changes Coming to Social Security and Medicare in 2021
7 Changes Coming to Social Security and Medicare in 2021

Recently, both Social Security and Medicare made some major announcements about benefits for 2021.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

13 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

Longer Trips to This Type of Store May Raise Coronavirus Risk
Longer Trips to This Type of Store May Raise Coronavirus Risk

An airborne-disease expert recommends exiting these stores within 30 minutes.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021
4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021

If you are eligible for these tax breaks, they will slash your federal income tax bill — dollar for dollar.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.