Tide Detergent: Liquid Gold on the Black Market

by LaurynDoll on March 23, 2012

tide detergent stolen for black market sales You know, sometimes you come across something that blows your mind to the point of no return.

The black market has found a lucrative interest in Tide, one that has retail chains taking extra security measures to prevent and deter theft. Yes! Laundry detergent is the new luxury goods!

Manufacturing, a trade publication, says that organized crime rings have gravitated towards the popular detergent for several reasons, the largest among them being the economical principles of supply and demand, as well as the brand recognition.

In the midst of a lagging economy, everyone still has basic needs, like food, shelter, water and, of course, clean clothes. As Tide is America’s sweetheart when it comes to detergent, why would a thief steal anything but Tide? Opting to steal any other brand would be as foolish as choosing to steal a no-name tablet over an iPad if both are in reach.

It also helps that Tide is one of the most expensive popular brands there is, and can cost up to $20 per bottle. A 150 oz. bottle of Xtra laundry detergent costs $7.99 at K-mart whereas the same size bottle of Tide costs $21.99.

Organized theft rings therefore see Tide as a goldmine because not only are sales steady due to the product being in high-demand, but they’re not as risky to get involved in as, say, selling drugs on the street, which has been “debunked” as a profitable black market venture.

Interestingly enough, while drug dealers have been known to use interesting ingredients in their addictive concoctions, there’s nothing remotely attractive and useful in Tide’s ingredients that can be used for drug manufacture. Nevertheless, the detergent is still highly useful as currency in a drug deal, because it’s street value can still fatten dealers’ pockets.

“Drug dealers often resell the detergent to unscrupulous retailers such as corner stores, barbershops, even a nail salon,” writes Ben Nuckols, Associated Press. “Everybody gets something out of the arrangement: the addict, who doesn’t have to scrounge up cash; the dealer, who can double or triple his profit on the drugs; and the retailer, who can acquire Tide for less than wholesale.”

Stores across certain parts of the country have gone as far as to add electronic anti-theft tags and even place the popular brand under lock and key to deter theft.

You know, desperate times call for desperate measures – but who imagined that times would call for you to steal a household staple to get a fix?

What do you think? Are you surprised that Tide is like the equivalent of liquid gold on the black market?

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