The phrase PINK TAX is maybe something you’ve heard about but not fully understand. In fact half of women (55%) in the UK don’t understand what it is, and more importantly, the impact it could have on their bank balance.

Let’s give you a simple example which Marie Claire highlighted recently….

Up until January of this year, you could buy a snack from a vending machine tax-free, but when women needed to purchase a tampon or pad – for a routine bodily function that often causes pain, discomfort, and prohibits many from attending work or school, these items are not considered “necessities of life,” and were therefore taxed.

The result is, tens of million of pounds in tax revenue was raised per year, from these products alone.

Fortunately, the tampon tax was abolished from 1st January this year, part of wider government action to End Period Poverty which includes the roll out of free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals

The tampon tax was abolished from 1st January this year

But according to the  Overpriced Index report, published by leading savings site VoucherCodes.co.uk they examine the impact of ‘the pink tax’ – the increased cost of products marketed to women when compared to the identical, or near identical equivalent marketed to men.  

Whilst ‘the pink tax’ is a well-documented phenomenon, the report discovered that it’s women over the age of 55 who are least likely to understand what ‘the pink tax’ is – with two thirds (66%) saying they are not familiar with the term. In comparison, less than half of millennial women (48%) are unaware of these extra charges.  

Although there is a lack of knowledge around ‘the pink tax’, almost three quarters (74%) of women do notice that the versions of products aimed at women specifically, such as razors, shampoo, and shaving foam, have higher prices in comparison to the male counterparts of the same products. This price disparity leaves 70% of women feeling angry at the difference in cost for essentially the same products – what’s more, over half of men (54%) have also noticed this inflation.  

When women were asked which products they think are the most overpriced in comparison to those advertised to men, the top 10 items were nearly all cosmetics and toiletries, however car repairs, shoes, and clothing also made the list.  

The top 10 items women deem to be overpriced when compared to the male equivalent 

Rank Product Percentage of consumers who think
that the product is overpriced  
1. Haircuts 61% 
2. Razors and razor blades 45% 
3. Skincare 43% 
4. Underwear 38% 
5. Clothes 32% 
6. Shampoo and conditioner 30% 
7. Car repairs 28% 
8. Hair dye 27% 
9. Shoes 24% 
10. Shaving gel 22% 

Due to the price disparity, two in five (41%) women buy products aimed at men because they are cheaper. However, over half (54%) still buy products marketed towards women, knowing they cost more, because they prefer the scent or think they work better.  

Residents in York are the most clued up across the UK when it comes to knowing about ‘the pink tax’ with half of the population understanding what it is. Scots follow closely behind, with 49% of Glaswegians and 48% of those in Aberdeen stating they are familiar with the concept.  

At the other end of the scale, over two thirds of people (67%) in Oxford and Brighton and Hove, and 65% of residents in Norwich have never heard of ‘the pink tax’ and don’t understand what it means.  

Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk, she told us…..

“There are many everyday factors that impact our spending however, for those who buy products marketed to women, ‘the pink tax’ is likely to have the biggest impact on our wallets. For the most part, products such as razors, shampoo, and skincare are unisex – with their main difference simply being scent or even something as superficial as packaging colour. If you usually buy the ‘pink’ version of something, one of the easiest ways to save money is to simply check how much the equivalent item marketed to men costs – it will almost always be less.”

Anita Naik

“Certain items will cost more depending on where you buy them, therefore it’s always worth shopping around and comparing retailers. There is also an easy online solution that means you’ll always discover if there’s a discount or deal available on a product. DealFinder by VoucherCodes automatically alerts you to the best promo codes available as you shop online, saving you lots of time and money. So, if you are loathe to lose your favourite product scent or colour aesthetic, there are some easy ways to stretch your money that little bit further and make buying items afflicted with ‘the pink tax’ cost a little less.” 

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