This hidden tax is costing you more, every time you shop 40



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Despite previous media coverage about Australia’s secret “pink tax”, major retailers don’t seem to get the message. Women are still being charged more than men for everyday products, and when you consider the current pressures put on pensioners, a pink tax seems plain wrong.

Advocacy group Get Up describes the pink tax as a “phenomenon that sees similar or identical products costing more when they’re marketed to women”. There are no characteristic differences between each product, except one will often be blue whilst the other is pink.

This week, Starts at 60 conducted independent research to examine whether the pink tax is still rampant throughout Australia. We found that despite public pressure, there are still many products wherein women will pay a pink tax. Here’s where we spotted those sneaky extra charges:

  • Big W boasts an in-house fashion line called ‘Emerson.’ For the fellas, Emerson denim jeans cost just $7. However for ladies, the price more than doubles to $20 per pair!
  • Woolworths stocks a broad array of moisturisers from cosmetic giant L’Oreal. Men can pick up a 50ml L’Oreal moisturiser for $16.68, whilst women will pay a whopping $24.99 for the same amount! That’s almost double, even though both L’Oreal products claim to offer 24 hour moisture.
  • At Coles men can buy themselves a Quattro Razor Kit for $12.10.  The same razor kit, manufactured by the same brand, will cost women $13.45. This small difference adds up when you consider that women shave larger portions of their body.
  • Incontinence becomes a fact of life as we age, but it costs women more. Men can buy an 8 pack of Tena pads from Woolworths for $12.29. Yet an 8 pack of Tena for women costs an inexplicable $13.60.
  • When you consider unit pricing (cost per gram) of individual items, the pink tax is even more garish. Vanilla protein powder in a pink tub will cost $5.45 for 100 grams. Whereas vanilla protein powder in a blue tub will cost just $3.91 for 100 grams! Both tubs are manufactured by Natures Way, and stocked at Woolworths.

As Get Up states, a few cents or dollars “might not sound like much, but it adds up. Women in Australia already earn 18.8% less than men, and when you factor in the gender price gap, we see that women are being paid less at work, and then paying more at the shops.”

Do you experience the pink tax? Is it fair that women pay more for everyday items? Will you use your purchasing power to protest these hidden costs?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. The stores have influence with their manufacturers and supplier, why aren! t they addressing this? Could it be profit margins?

  2. I know a man who paid $20 for his haircur last week. It cost his wife $47 and took less time-from the same hairdresser.

  3. could always boycott the womens product and purchase the mens the $$..and let the loss be theirs 🙂

    1 REPLY
    • That’s what i do .what difference does the colour make still does the same job .

  4. Wow, wasn’t pointed out before, but now it has, yes this article is correct. This needs correcting, glad it is highlighted now.

  5. And do the relevant authorities give these companies a slap upside the head for doing that? No!

  6. As has been pointed out any times on ABC’s The Checkout this often happens when:
    – normal adult products are repackaged as “baby” products
    – general products are repackaged as for “men” or for “women”
    Often with new packaging targeting the desired audience, eg pretty floral patterns for women, austere dark for men or cute baby stuff – and the price heads skywards.

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