Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
It seems that women are paying a gender tax when it comes to their bag prices. PurseBlog crunched some numbers and discovered that yes, it appears as though some brands mark up their women's bags while their similarly-designed men's bags almost always clocked in at a lower price point.
PurseBlog compared ten pairs of men's and women's bags (for example, the Valentino Rockstud women's backpack and men's backpack) made of the same materials, and of the same shape and finish. To calculate the most accurate price, PurseBlog broke the list price into price per cubic inch of each bag. In the case of the Rockstud backpacks, the women's bag was priced at $1.97 per cubic inch while the men's bag was $1.75 per cubic inch.
On average, the men's bags cost $2.17 per cubic inch and the women's bags cost $2.58 per cubic inch, which comes out to a price cut of over $190 for two bags of similar shape and size. PurseBlog reasoned that the price discrepancy was due to the fact that one bag was being sold to female customers while the other, cheaper bag was priced for male customers since nearly every other element of the bag was the same.
Out of the 10 brands that PurseBlog tested, Givenchy was the worst pricing offender. The Givenchy Lucrezia satchel cost $2.67 per cubic inch while its male cousin, the Givenchy bicolor leather weekender, cost just $0.98 per cubic inch. At the other end of the scale, Bottega Veneta and Alexander McQueen's prices revealed that those brands actually charged men more per cubic inch for their bags.
· We Did the Math: Designers Charge Women More for Bags Than Men [PurseBlog]
· The Emotional Drive Behind Buying Insanely Expensive Exotic Bags [Racked]
· How Much Editorial Love Do Fashion Magazines Give Their Advertisers? [Racked]