Women are more likely to be quoted an inflated price for automotive repairs according to a new study.
Conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the findings suggest that women who seem not to know about cars are likely to be quoted a higher price. The same study shows that women who haggle are likely to get a bigger price break as well.
Test subjects were asked to inquire about a radiator using a script to create several scenarios. In the first, they knew the market price, in the second they overestimated the price, and in the third scenario they claimed to have no knowledge about what the repair should cost.
“Our findings suggest that auto shops may assume men know the market price for a given repair, so they automatically grant it,” said Meghan Busse, associate professor of management and strategy at the Kellogg School. “However, they may not expect women to be knowledgeable in this area, so the perception is they can charge them more.”
It isn’t a difficult barrier to knock down. The study also found that as soon as a caller starts referring to a price, the differenced between prices based on gender disappeared.