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|TrustDale Tip of the Day: * Why Women Pay More for Cars than Men|
Q: Why Does this Shirt Cost More to Clean than that One?
A: Because it belongs to a woman. Over the course of your lifetime, women will pay more than a man for everything from health insurance to haircuts, dry cleaning to deodorant. Here's how businesses get away with sex discrimination, and what you can do to stop it
This tidbit opens an article in the recent issue of Marie Claire magazine entitled, "Why Women Pay More," written by Lea Goldman. It raises the question of why women shell out over $1,000 per year more than men do on the very same things.
The portion of the article that caught my eye pertains to dealerships, of course. Apparently, dealerships are also guilty of charging women more for cars than they do men. And if you are a woman of color, you can plan on paying even more than that white woman who's sitting at the next desk with a salesperson. This evidence of gender pricing is based on research done by Yale Law School professor, Ian Ayres. His original research began 20 years ago, but he has updated it two times and found the same results--women routinely pay more for men for the same things. Goldman states,
But even if you're prepared to bargain, the odds are still stacked against you. Twenty years ago, Ayres published a landmark study proving that women got hosed at car dealerships. (The study has since been twice updated, with similar results.) On average, women were offered list prices $200 higher than prices quoted to white men. (Black women fared even worse - they were quoted prices $400 higher.) Ayres argued that women who pay inflated prices are so lucrative to dealerships, and account for such a huge chunk of commissions, that dealers are willing to let savvier customers go just to court these customers. Let's say you're the rare female buyer who actually does her homework. You walk onto the car lot confident and informed, asking all the right questions. The salesman will probably still offer you a lousy deal. "That's the perversity of it: He may be willing to sacrifice your sale in order to charge higher prices to all women, just to make sure he doesn't miss any home runs," explains Ayres. "It's a search for suckers."