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According to study women pay higher prices for auto repairs


It’s still a sad state of affairs that women are, on average, paid less for similar positions and when considering similar experience, when compared to men but a recent study done by the Kellogg School of Management in Illinois has found that in some circumstances women will be often times be quoted a higher price than men.

This survey involved both men and women calling several independent car-repair shops and asking for quotes on a 2003 Toyota Camry that needs a radiator replacement.

The callers were instructed to appear either well informed of the market price for such a repair – about US$356, or to expect a higher-than-average price – US$510, or convey zero knowledge or price expectation at all.

The study showed that of the men and women that appeared to be uninformed, women were consistently quoted higher prices, some up to six percent higher. When it came to uninformed men, the prices they were quoted were actually lower than the average market price.

When it comes to the callers expecting higher than average prices, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they were quoted just that, a higher than average price.

According to Meghan Busse – associate professor of management and strategy at the Kellogg School – the entire thing comes down to stereotypes and assumptions, the study’s findings suggesting that auto shops may not expect women to be knowledgeable in the area of auto repair, so the perception is that they can charge them more.

But it’s not all a loss for women who need car repairs. The study also showed that women tend to be more successful when it comes to negotiating a lower price; 35 percent of women managed to get the price they wanted, compared to just a quarter of the men.

If anything the study highlights the importance of research and knowledge, especially for female customers. As it is with many other situations, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the market first either by researching online or by calling various repair shops.

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