The Pink Tax: Do women pay more for products than men?

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's well-documented that women often earn less than men for the same job. But did you know women often PAY more than men when shopping for similar items? Women spend, on average, $1,300 a year more than men on those products.

It is known as the "Pink Tax." I talked to several women shoppers and even if they had never heard the term, they knew the reality.

"We as women pay more for dry cleaning and other things. That I know for a fact," one woman told me.

Another woman shopper listed what she paid more for: "Feminine products, clothing, dry cleaning and things like that."

A study by the City of New York found women pay more from "cradle to cane." The report figures women pay approximately 7 percent more than men for similar products.

This does not surprise Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D - California).

"Objects that are pink in color are priced higher than objects that are blue in color," she tells me, "and it starts at a very young age. You can go online at big block stores as I have done, as my staff has done, and we have a whole binder full of product that is surcharged because it is pink."

I looked for examples here in the Bay Area, going from store to store and searching online as well.

Generally I found pink and blue items had matching prices, but I did find some examples of what seemed like a gender difference in pricing.

On Overstock.com I found kids battery-powered motorcycles. The pink version costs six dollars more than the red one. I reached out to Overstock and haven't heard back. The seller is listed as Costway. We have exchanged emails but I do not yet have a comment on the pricing.

Congresswoman Speier has just reintroduced the Pink Tax Repeal Act, a bipartisan bill with 50 cosponsors.

"This bill would provide that the FTC would have the authority to fine companies that do that sort of discriminatory pricing," Speier says. "It would be deemed an unfair business practice".

The bill would also give State Attorneys General the authority to take civil action.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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