Lori Sgaraglio does a lot of laundry in her Butler County home.
She loves Liquid Tide, but says prices for the top rated detergent are insane. A 100-ounce jug or box can cost you $12 - $17 in most stores.
So she was thrilled to stumble upon discounted Tide on Facebook Marketplace.
"It's an incredible deal," she said.
Many Facebook sellers are advertising five-gallon buckets of Tide for less than half the supermarket price.
"Since I've been looking," she said, "I've seen it advertised between $25 and $35 for five gallons."
So she ordered some from a local seller, met him at a nearby strip mall, handed over $25, and ended up with five-gallon bucket filled with ... some sort of blue laundry detergent.
What did she buy?
Unfortunately, the jug doesn't inspire that much confidence. While it does have an orange lid like real Liquid Tide, that is only connection.
Nowhere does it say Tide detergent. And it just has some coded numbers on the sticker.
That left Sgaraglio wondering "if it's really legitimate Tide."
We contacted Procter and Gamble, which is now looking into her purchase.
However, in the past the company has responded to questions about these gray market products by saying:"P&G does not sell or authorize anyone else to sell products in 5 gallon buckets to the general public."
Some even come in orange containers printed with the Tide logo.
Sgaraglio is now not sure what to do with the giant jug of detergent, having no way of knowing if it is really Tide.
"That's my concern, if it has some type of ingredient or additive that could be harmful to my skin," she said.
So is it counterfeit? Could it be real Tide, but intended for industrial use or possibly a third world country? Or is it just cheap blue soap?
No one knows, but there sure is a lot of it for sale.
Bottom line: If laundry detergent does not come in a sealed container, or in a jug that specifically says Tide (more than just a slapped-on sticker), you are probably not getting Tide, and receiving a counterfeit copy, with who-knows-what in the ingredients.
Use at your own risk, so you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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