You Know The Economy Is Bad When There’s A Black Market For Laundry Detergent
Apparently, Tide is a hot commodity on the black market, where shoplifters and other thieves barter it for drugs:
Tide laundry detergent is meant to be used for household cleaning purposes, but thieves are turning it into something dirty. Authorities are reporting a spike in thefts of Tide, and in some cities they are setting up task forces where the detergent is sold to track the number of bottles in stores. Police believe thieves are using the soap on the black market, which retails for $10-$20, to buy drugs. On the black market, Tide is often referred to as “liquid gold” and can go for $5-$10 per bottle.
Last year, in St. Paul, Minnesota, a man is alleged to have stolen $25,000 worth of Tide over 15 months before authorities captured him. Stores such as CVS have amped up security measures to prevent theft; at some locations the detergent is kept in a locked container and an employee must retrieve it for customers.
So why is Tide the only detergent being targeted? Authorities list several reasons: Tide is instantly recognizable because of its Day-Glo orange bottle; it is one of the most expensive brands of laundry detergent; and it does not have serial numbers, so it cannot be tracked.
This seems strange. I didn’t think laundry detergent of all things would have enough of a margin in it to make it worth stealing and re-selling. Especially when there are so many cheaper alternatives on the market. Tide is a pretty high-end product. You can buy discount detergent that works pretty well for a lot less.
But desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.Tags: black markets, tide, war on drugs