4 Ways Women Can Avoid Paying the "Pink Tax"

Regardless of age, pink has remained the color most identified with the female gender. And it turns out, women pay a "pink tax" on items that are marketed for them. Also, products made and marketed to women are higher priced and sometimes not as well made. All of this makes women begin to see red.

In football, they say the best defense is a good offense, and the same can be said when shopping for the best prices. With a calculator as your playbook, here's how you avoid paying the pink tax and save money in the process.

On Toiletries

What is the difference between a three-blade pink razor and a three-blade blue razor? It's not a trick question, but when you see the difference in price, you will feel like you've been pranked. Price is the only difference in gender-based razors. Some razors may offer moisture strips and an extra blade, but you might save more by spending your money on the blue razors and a moisturizing lotion. If you use a women's shaving cream, compare that price with the price of an unscented men's shaving cream.

Don't put your calculator away just yet. Wander over to the shampoo and conditioner aisle and compare prices and sizes of shampoos marketed for women and shampoo for men. Often the biggest difference between the two, apart from the cost and size of bottle, is the fragrance. You're going to wash shampoo out and possibly use a conditioner, so is a fragrance really worth the higher cost?

Apart from items specifically marketed to menstruating women, many toiletries made for men are less expensive, come in larger quantities, and are available in unscented versions that could be used by women — including deodorant. Simply compare prices and quantity. Your time spent investigating will be well worth it.

On Hair Care

Women are quickly discovering the benefits and savings in visiting the neighborhood barbershop for a haircut instead of a higher priced, fancier hair salon. Most barbershops can easily cut short hair. Check with your selected shop if you have long hair. The barbershop may or may not do styling and colors, but for a quick trim or new bob, you might be surprised.

On Clothing

Women's clothing may require less fabric than men's clothing — jeans, for example — but they cost a great deal more. If you're handy with a sewing machine or know a good seamstress, you can have most men's clothing tailored to fit and still save money.

On Car Maintenance

It's financially wise for women to learn how to perform basic car maintenance and emergency repairs like changing a flat tire, but it also gives women the knowledge to know when they are being overcharged at a repair shop. Many technical schools offer classes in basic car maintenance and repair.

Knowledge is power, not only when it comes to car repairs, but also in real estate, mortgages, and buying or leasing vehicles. The more you know, the smarter your choices and decisions will be, especially when it comes to avoiding a pink tax.

Where else can women avoid the unfair "pink tax?" Share with us!

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Guest's picture

Another pink tax that has irked me for years is the difference at the dry cleaners between men's shirts and women's blouses and not all women's blouses are fancy I can assure you.

Guest's picture

I avoid the pink tax by using my husband's razor. It's black, but replaceable blades are sharp and do the job just fine. He does the car maintenance of tire pressure, oil change, etc. every couple months I have him get out his shears and trim my locks. Uses the proper tools and he is very meticulous ensuring my hair is neatly trimmed. Saves me hundreds a year and my hubby loves my long locks, so he won't get scissor happy like they do at the salon and hack off eight inches when I tell him just get the splits and keep the ends even. Usually 1/2" or less and there is no pile of hair the size of a small animal on the floor to leave me in tears like the salon.

Guest's picture
Hoodwinked By Pink

It's interesting that so many young women don't know this. We should be working on educating our teenagers on the hidden prices they are paying when companies decide that a product should be for a woman. We need to work on making it socially acceptable for all women, and especially teenagers, to buy products made for men and save them a bit of money.

Hoodwinked By Pink is a campaign to inform teen girls about the way they are being exploited.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Wordpress to stay on top of Pink Tax news and help raise awareness in young women.

Guest's picture
Kym W

OMW Why did this never occur to me? I am so mad at myself right now. You better believe I will be unpinking my 15 yr old daughter when I get home from work tonight. I am a happy tightwad but this just flew right by me. Now I have to wonder what else am I missing.