Gender Pricing in business

Issues in Entrepreneurship – Part 1 – Gender Pricing

Businesses commonly offer special pricing. Examples include ladies’ night at clubs and ballparks, discounts for single moms at children’s clothing stores, discounts for men on Father’s Day, and higher prices for women’s clothing at dry cleaners. These pricing differences are accepted and expected by most customers and businesspeople.

Now these practices are being challenged as discriminatory pricing. Businesses using such discounts defend them as being an important tool in attracting customers. Businesses also say they do a lot of social good and cause no harm. Businesses charging higher prices based on gender say the difference is in the amount of extra service required.

What are your thoughts on this issue? What changes could be made in the above examples to eliminate possible gender discrimination? Would you consider gender pricing in your business?

I think that gender pricing is very fair and is just another tactic that entrepreneurs can use in their business. Anyone that is offended by this is obviously way too sensitive and just mad that they aren’t of the right gender to receive a discount (for example, you’ll never see someone complain that they did get a discount on account of being a woman or man). I think that if an owner of a business can get this tactic to work, then more power to him. Gender pricing can either be very successful or ruinous, and if it pulls in more business, then there is no harm. People who don’t like it can simply not come to your establishment… and who wants those oversensitive people in your store anyway?
Perceiving this as gender “discrimination” is purely in the mind of the consumer, and there isn’t very much that the entrepreneur can do to change that. One tactic that can be used is to have special pricing for both genders on separate occasions. For example, make both men and women feel unique by having a sale for ladies one week and a sale for men on another week. If the consumer knows that their own rebate will come and is in sight, then he or she has no reason to complain and will be more excited to come to your store. There will always be the “war of the sexes”, and that cannot be changed. A smart entrepreneur can capitalize on this.
I would definitely consider gender pricing in my business if I can think of a creative enough idea for the sale. It will certainly lure that specific group in and most likely these people will tell their friends that also qualify. Gender pricing is a great way to drum up more business, possibly getting in those who wouldn’t come into my store otherwise. If the consumer feels that a deal is specially catered to them, they will come and see what it’s all about, expecting the same special service that is implied by the campaign.