In a viral TikTok video, a woman proved the age-old saying that it’s more expensive to be poor.
Aside from the emotional and mental hardship that comes with not making a livable wage, people with less money often end up paying a premium on goods and services. And it isn’t always as blatant as you might expect. Instead, it often shows up in the quality and upfront cost that a person with money can afford versus a person without.
For example, person A can afford a pair of $250 high-quality winter boots that’ll last them for the next ten years. Person B, however, can’t afford to drop that much on shoes at once, so they end up getting a less warm and durable pair for $75 that they have to replace every two years.
That ends up being $375 over the same ten years. Person B ultimately spends $125 more on a worse product because they couldn’t afford the lump sum cost.
In Chef T’s (@theinvisiblecheft) situation, it was much more direct. She says stores were offering a much better bang for your buck outside of her neighborhood in a wealthier zip code.
In the viral TikTok, Chef T shares that she was excited to get a really good deal on liquid hand soap, which she uses for her business and her home, at a “rich store” in the wealthy area of her city. She got an entire gallon of Dial hand soap for just $3.50 on clearance when it normally costs $20-$25.
After picking up the last two gallons the store had, she called around to other stores to buy a few more soap containers so she could be set on soap for the year.
One place in her old neighborhood let her know that they have five soaps left and they’re also $3.50. The worker tells Chef T that they’ll set the soaps aside for her until she arrives to pick them up.
“I go to the store that’s in the struggling neighborhood ’cause nobody else has them, right? I grew up in the struggling neighborhood. So I go back to my neighborhood and try to get the soaps. Y’all, why they playing with me?” Chef T says.
As she says this, she sets the soap from the struggling neighborhood on the counter next to the big gallon jugs she got earlier. It’s a regular-size 7.5 fl oz hand soap that was also retailing for $3.50.
So those in the rich area get to buy a gallon of soap for $3.50, but in the poorer area, they get a fraction of the product for the same price.
“We gotta ask this store some questions. Now I don’t wanna put them on blast cause I’m a business owner and I don’t wanna do that, but I’m definitely gonna be asking some questions y’all. What y’all think? I’m confused,” Chef T says.
@theinvisiblecheft I went to the store in a rich neighborhood, good sales and good deals. Then I went to the store in a struggling neighborhood, no sales and no deals. I am confused, does anyone care to explain 🤷♀️🤷♀️🤷♀️ #dial #dialsoap #handsoaprefill #handsoapsale #handsoap #handsoaps ♬ Salsa Party 1 – Intermede Music
The video has garnered more than 86,000 views and over 140 comments as of Monday morning.
“The poorer the area, the more expensive and lower quality everything is. Even as a kid in the 80s, the store by the projects was like that,” the top comment read.
“Pizza Hut does the same thing. In urban areas they will NOT offer or honor any specials that the nice areas get,” a viewer pointed out.
“Reminds me of when I worked at a bank years ago..they would call the rich clients to make deposits before certain time to prevent overdrafts,” a person shared.
“Retail discrimination,” a commenter wrote, summing up the situation.
The Daily Dot reached out to Chef T for comment via Instagram direct message.