Know the old saying “You get what you pay for.” Well, many consumers have felt that way when it comes to laundry detergent for years. Tide detergent is quite a bit more costly than some of the other brands, but it has long been recognized as an industry leader and where to turn to get really clean, vibrant clothes. However, the price tag on Tide is causing it to be used for a very unexpected purpose. Nationwide, retailers are reporting major losses from thefts of Tide. We’re not talking about a bottle here or a bottle there. A man in St. Paul, Minnesota was convicted of stealing over $6,000 worth of Tide from a single Walmart store. Even if he stole all large bottles, which retail near $20, he would still have had to have taken over 300 bottles.
One reason Tide is a popular items for thieves is that it has a high price. In some cases, Tide can be two to three times higher than other brands of detergent. This enhances the profit margin for thieves who will turn around and sell the product on the black market at a major discount. The higher the original price, the more money the thieves make. Also, it doesn’t expire, meaning it can be stockpiled for years if necessary. And it’s an everyday item that everyone needs.
All this makes sense so far, but now police are reporting that drug dealers are actually accepting bottles to Tide detergent as payment for drugs. Apparently, Tide is such a good commodity on the black market that dealers are willing to make a trade. The theft situation is so out of control that retailers are actually affixing security devices to Tide to try to discourage thieves. Some CVS stores have even gone as far as to keep Tide locked behind glass cases.
In the drug trade, it’s a slam dunk. By accepting something like Tide as currency, drug dealers help their customers out. It’s harder for the average junkie to get his hands on cash, but he can always go hijack some Tide from the local stores. Then, the drug dealer can ask for more than the drugs’ “street worth.” He can then sell the Tide at discount prices that are more than he would have gotten for the drugs to begin with. And, he can sell bottles of Tide to anyone, because he no longer has to be careful in his dealings. After all, there’s nothing criminally wrong with selling a bottle of Tide to a friend.
It is interesting how much Tide detergent has been in the news lately. A staple household item like this doesn’t typically make the news often, but Tide was featured prominently when NASCAR used it to clean up a nasty wreck
during the Daytona 500. Now, this story breaks. If you really think about it, the story has a lot of negative qualities, but it makes Tide just look better than ever. It only vindicates their high prices by showing that everyone is out to get Tide. Score another round of free advertising for the detergent juggernaut.