What is Pink Tax and How it is Affecting You? An Expert Explains

Why do some products for women cost more? And what can you do about it? All your questions answered

Have you ever wondered why something as simple as a razor meant for women costs more than the men versions? Well, the invisible extra that you pay for products designed and marketed especially for women is known as the pink tax. Hena Mehta, Co-founder and CEO of Basis, an app-based platform that powers financial independence for women through knowledge boosters, supportive communities and curated advisory tools, says, “We often pay a higher price to consume the exact same product as men and that’s the pink tax.” 

She refers to a study which compared 800 products across 90 brands specifically targeting a particular gender. The findings showed the following: Toys and accessories targeted at women/girls were 7 percent more expensive than those targeted at men/boys. The same stood for children’s clothing at 4 percent more for girls, and 8 percent more for adult clothing. A whopping 13 percent more for personal care products and 8 percent more for senior/home health care products.

“Closer to home as well, if you pick up a Gillette razor marketed to a man, you would notice that the cheapest razor (for a pack of 5) is priced at ₹ 88. On the other hand, if you pick up the cheapest razor marketed for a woman, you’ll notice the price at ₹ 80 (for a pack of 1),” says Hena. You can try this experiment across multiple products, shampoos, deodorants, soaps and many more. You will be surprised to find that the results are in fact, the same.

What does this mean for you?

There are a few things under your control. While you cannot control the cost of things, you can most certainly plan for them. Hena lists out few things that you can do.

1. Stay informed: The first step towards understanding the price differentiation is to be aware that it exists. Keep yourself updated with the latest news around you.

2. Switch it up: If it doesn't make much of a difference in your consumption, probably switch up to the cheaper option available. Consider the not-so-pretty packaging as an alternative! Always compare products before buying. This not just gives you a perspective on the ongoing prices, but a fair idea of the price you should be paying.

3. Grow your money: Investing your money to get inflation-beating returns can be a great way to offset some of these crazy prices!