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For Immediate Release:
December 2, 2020
Contact: 518-486-9846
press@dos.ny.gov
Follow us on Twitter @NYSDOS

CONSUMER ALERT: NYS DIVISION OF CONSUMER PROTECTION REMINDS CONSUMERS THAT GENDER-BASED PRICING IS PROHIBITED

When Buying Gifts or Receiving Services in New York State This Holiday Season, Pay Attention to Price

New York’s Gender Price Equity Law Means “Pink or Blue” Should Not Matter

As part of its seven-part consumer alert holiday series, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection reminds consumers that New York’s gender price equity law protects shoppers this holiday season. 

This new law eliminates the “Pink Tax,” otherwise known as the practice of charging different prices for "substantially similar" consumer goods or services that are marketed to different genders. If products and services are “substantially similar,” they must have the same price. 

“New York leads the nation in closing the gender gap,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “This holiday season, I encourage all consumers to be aware of the prices they are charged and report those in violation of the gender equity law. Let’s hold companies accountable and break down the economic walls separating all of us.”

The following examples illustrate various shopping scenarios:


Scenario

Guidance

Same Service, Same Price: Bob and Johanna bring a suit jacket made of the same material and similar construction to a dry cleaner.  They are charged the same price.

Compliant.

Same Product, Same Price: Jeffrey shops online for a scooter for his niece whose favorite color is pink.  He notices the scooters are offered in seven different colors, and all at the same price.

Compliant.

Same Service, Different Price: Jess takes her bedazzled denim jacket to a seamstress for repair.  Jack takes his denim jacket to the same seamstress for repair, but Jack’s repair costs less.

Compliant, provided the business can show the repair work requires more skill or effort because of the bedazzling or underlying material.

Same Product, Different Price: Frank goes out to buy razor blades from his local drug store.  He notices his 3-blade razor blades marketed “for men” with the same ingredients, size and manufacture as his partner’s “for women” razor blades.  His razor blades are less expensive.

Report the incident. These two products are virtually identical and so the price should be the same.

Under the new law, consumers are also entitled to receive a complete written price list, upon request, from any person or business providing consumer services that are used, bought or rendered primarily for personal, family or household purposes.

For additional scenarios found in salons and barbershops, see the New York State Division of Licensing guidance here.   

If consumers see any inequity with product or services pricing, or have questions about the new law, they are urged to contact the Division of Consumer Protection.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the State’s consumers. For more information, call the Consumer Helpline at 800-697-1220, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm. Consumer complaints can be filed anytime online at the Division website, www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection. You can also request a presentation at, www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/informing/request_presentation.htm. To view consumer alerts, consumers can visit https://www.dos.ny.gov/about/newsroom.html. The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.

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