Women Pay More, Drug Store Discrepancies

December 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
When you go to the drugstore, do you ever wonder what the difference is between his and her products such as shaving creams?Americans spend more than $35-billion dollars a year in drugstores-- and that doesn't even include prescriptions. But could women be spending more than men on certain products? Consumer Reports' Tod Marks decided to visit several drugstores to find out.

Marks said, "We found price differences of as much as 50 percent on certain everyday items, and women came out the loser most of the time."

Shaving cream, for example. Barbasol Original for men costs about 15 cents per ounce. But Barbasol's Pure Silk for women costs almost twice as much! What gives?

"They told me that women, in fact, like to shave in the shower and that poses an interesting problem. They wanted a can that didn't rust. They wanted a can that was tall and thin. They wanted a can that wouldn't get doused with water. So they had to make a special cap. All those things adding to the cost," said Marks.

Tod found women's eye creams cost more, too. Neutrogena's Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration Eye Cream for women costs 14.99. The men's Hydrating Eye Reviver costs $9.99 - a five-dollar difference!

"We were told, for example, that the women's formulation is a 'water-in-oil' product and the men's is an 'oil-in-water.' Now that may not seem like a big deal to us, but it was a big deal to the company," said Marks.

And then there are pain relievers from Excedrin. Both contain exactly the same active ingredients - but at one drugstore the Excedrin Menstrual Complete costs 50 cents more.

Marks said, "According to the maker, these two Excedrin products should be priced the same. They don't set the prices. They suggest the prices, but it's up to the retailer to decide what the actual selling price is."

A way around paying more for women's toiletries is for women to consider getting a men's product. Now we realize you don't want to smell like old spice, but if you can find a not-so-masculine scented product, it just might save you.

And when shopping, it can pay to check prices closely and compare prices at different stores, too.


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