The price of being female - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The price of being female

May 5, 2004

Albany-- We expect retailers to treat all customers equally. But that's not always the case. On average, women can pay almost 10 to 50 percent more than men for similar products, from dry cleaning to grocery shopping.

It's can be seen in everything from cereal aisles to clothing racks and it's not the glaring beauty of the garments it's the stinking price tags.

Women paying  alittle bit extra for roducts almost identical to those used by men. On average women will pay higher prices for everything from health services to comestics.

"Sure they'll pay a premium if it's something they like or they need," says retailer Jacquelyn Harrold.

And from cereals to diet bars and everything in-between retailers are banking on the idea that women will pay more something that is specially made for them even if it  isn't.

For example we found dry cleaners charge almost twice as much to clean a woman's blouse then a man's shirt. And when we asked why?

"The only time there is a difference is when the women cloths that are not cut right are put to machine," says Tammy Cotton. 

A press machine that's the perfect size for a man's shirt  when the the majority of customers who use dry cleaning are women. 

But the unfairness in prices might just be a result of traditional idea that women things are special creative marketing that puts a high price tag on beauty some are willing to pay. 

"I guess we want to feel or look beautiful," says one female shopper.

But pretty or not is it fair? 

"If the same product is offered to a man then I think it should be the same price. If the results are  suppose to be the same," says another female shopper.

Experts say cutting coupons can help level an uneven field as can shopping online.

posted at 6:40PM by scott.hunter@walb.com