5 Things You Shouldn't Buy From a Dollar Store

June 3, 2010 | Posted By: Andrew Salmon
Everyone loves a bargain and there are bargains to be had at your local dollar store. Nothing beats the feeling you get when you find that deal of the century: exactly what you needed for only a buck! But donít let that euphoria blind you to the dollar store duds cramming every shelf.

Here are 5 things you should never buy from a dollar store.

1. Light Bulbs

These can be had cheap and thatís a good thing because youíll be going through a lot of them once you start down this road. Youíll be lucky if bulbs that are supposed to last for years last hours or minutesÖ if they work at all! Real fluorescent bulbs are costly, but they also last the 5 years or so they claim and are a better buy in the long run. Safer, too.

2. Electronics

This covers everything from radios to battery chargers to TV cables. Donít forget that they are cheap because they are made cheaply and wonít last. This is fine if youíre looking for some plastic doodad to store nails or tacks but intricate or delicate devices will be cheaply made from the cheapest components and will ultimately break down. When dealing with electrical currents, slipshod construction can be a jolting experience and a fire hazard. Bottom line: these are not worth the risk.

3. Food

Unless you are starving stay out of the food aisle at the dollar store and forget anything perishable. You donít know where this stuff is made or under what kind (if any) sanitary conditions. Or even how old it is. If itís a brand name you recognize and trust, make sure you check the expiration date while double-checking that this is not a knockoff of some kind. You donít want to kid around with food.

4. Miracle Products

It dices, it slices, and it does your laundry and washes your car. It will also eat dollars right out of your wallet. Remember if this special kitchen/bathroom/workshop gadget actually did all the things it says it claims to do on the package, they wouldnít be selling it for a dollar. And even if it does function to some degree, count on shoddy construction and a short lifespan. Letís face it, some of the annoying chores in life weíll just have to do ourselves. There is no miracle fix and especially not at the dollar store.

5. Pharmaceuticals

Diet pills, pregnancy tests, vitamins... these can all be purchased at most dollar stores. Donít. If you think youíre showing the big pharmaceutical companies that youíre not going to pay their inflated prices, think again. Who knows what you are getting in these so-called Ďmedicines.í As with food, you also have no idea what levels of cleanliness are enforced where this stuff is made. Medicine is not something to play Russian roulette with.

And there you have it. Keep a keen eye on those dollar store shelves and search out the products that are actually worth your hard earned money.

Cash Back Resources

DollarDays Coupons
Dollar General Coupons
DollarTree Coupons
Walmart Coupons
Kamart Coupons

This guest blog was written by Andrew Salmon. He writes for a number of websites including IVA.net - a website about the informal creditors agreement.
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June 3, 2010 | Posted By: FrugalFreaky
WRONG! local dollar stores and national Franchises are two different levels of reputation. I buy meatballs at my local dollar tree cheaper than elsewhere. at Dollar Tree the have single slice portions of Ms Edwards Pie, at Wal-mart the same item is 29 cents more.
June 3, 2010 | Posted By: mudley
There are exceptions to every rule, and in this case Dollar Tree is probably going to cause the most exceptions. Good call FrugalFreak. I still won't trust batteries or lightbulbs from Dollar Tree though.
June 3, 2010 | Posted By: FrugalFreaky
P.S. didn't that contaminated leggos and skippy PB come from mega brand manufacturers. cheapness does not indicate lesser quality, it could mean they are competing more to gain industry share.
June 4, 2010 | Posted By: oldangel1941
In this time in our history and all that has come before us oldtimers, i would trust dollar tree more than our government in its present state.

June 7, 2010 | Posted By: Tanner
I'd appreciate it if the writers, be it for guest blog or otherwise, could post some kind of empirical evidence showing that products from the dollar store are in any way held to a lesser standard. It's completely laughable that this author thinks the dollar store can sell drugs OR food that is NOT FDA approved? Seriously? Allow me to incorporate the writer's style to tell you how poorly this is written:

This article is bad for 5 reasons:
It's bad b/c you never know what this author is going to write. This author could write something that was supposed to be guaranteed to bring hits, but then, it brings hits AND flames! *GASP*

Second, this author He could write something that will catch on fire! After all everyone knows that in the same way that those TV cables which carry super high voltage through them and could cause flames to shoot out of your TV or DVR this article could be printed and LIT ON FIRE! *GASP AGAIN!*

3. Expiration dates & FDA approval are neat! Check it out! FDA.gov! Also grab a hooked on phonics kit from fleabay if you're struggling in that area! But be careful! You don't know WHERE that thing might have been packaged! It could have nuclear waste in it!

4. Miracle articles save your life. They save you b/c they help you avoid products @ dollar store. B/c buying them @ a mega big box chain will make them better constructed and safer from fear mongering!

5. LOL, ROTFLOL, LMAO. You published this for real. You actually put your name on it! FDA.gov read up! Like most of us learned in middle school; prepositions are not something you should end a sentence with.

And there you have it...really? We have something? We have 5 unsubstantiated claims by mr. I write for the internets b/c I have a keyboard and a modem.

FW, please institute an editorial process.
June 8, 2010 | Posted By: drodge
I completely agree. This is the same quality as the random drivel that Yahoo posts on it's main page. Opinions are one thing, but writing that something is going to kill you without one once of evidence is quite another.
June 8, 2010 | Posted By: cbpiratezen
Yeah I agree!!
June 9, 2010 | Posted By: musix4me
Your advice about electronic cables is just stupid! While I wouldn't buy a CHARGER or anything that involves electricity, cables, audio splitters or cables that connect the audio and video from components are fine...I buy them all the time and have never had a problem. Those same cables are 700% - 1500% more expensive at other stores...
June 9, 2010 | Posted By: briiansd
I've bought all these items at dozens of various dollar stores and never had a problem. If I see an item past its' expiration date I move on.
June 15, 2010 | Posted By: mudley
Points taken. Thank you for speaking out!

September 20, 2010 | Posted By: Llilith
Know what's a great deal at Dollar Tree? Those little floss sticks that look like a bow for flossing your teeth. I always buy them there. 50 of them for a buck, can't beat it.
September 22, 2010 | Posted By: Melikedadeals
There is nothing wrong with the pregnancy tests at the dollar tree! I went through a ton of those things when we were making babies. I had a FALSE positive on a pregnancy test and I paid $8 for one test at a non-dollar tree store.
Crappy article, you have nothing to back up your statements.
September 22, 2010 | Posted By: Melikedadeals
@ Llilith
"Those little floss sticks that look like a bow for flossing your teeth"
Using those causes cancer. Know how I know? I ...ugh...read it in an article.
October 20, 2010 | Posted By: Misty1232010
One does not need anything to back up their claim that the dollar tree sells subquality items one has to merely look at the item in question and see they are subquality.
October 21, 2010 | Posted By: turtlebug
The only items I won't consider purchasing at the dollar store are kids' jewelry. The dollar store might have old products on the shelves containing high lead content, even though they were recalled. I haven't experienced any problems with any of the items Salmon highlighted on his "do not buy" list.
October 26, 2010 | Posted By: NoelaniKai
Pregnancy tests from the dollar store are basic THC tests. You don't need to pay $20 for a urine strip. Every test I've purchase has been at the Dollar Tree. They all worked properly.
November 1, 2010 | Posted By: waldenhome
Lets see I have bought several cfl's at the dollar tree, still working a year later. I've bought LOTS of meds w/o probs, they have been as effective as any other brand. In fact my local dollar store sells "band aids" made in the USA. Johnson and Johnson BAND-AID brand is made in China. Go figure. Food, often get brand name so why would that be different? Batteries no problems, usually brand name like panasonic anyways. The only thing I ever had a problem with were $1 paint rollers. Wow they sucked. But with 95%+ of the stuff, why pay more elsewhere, especially on brand name items!
November 19, 2010 | Posted By: BigBoyMichigan
I would buy electonics thru Dollar Tree vs, ABC Warehouse. As ABC Warehouse their products are shoty and breakdown alot within 1-3 months.
December 8, 2010 | Posted By: Licia2210
This article drives me crazy!!! The dollar store is held to the same standards as any other store. If there is a recall they are required to take the item off the shelves, if there is an item out of expiration it is also to be taken off the shelves. I have never heard of such ridiculous banter in my life. Do some research. The items sold are able to be sold at such a cheap price for a variety of reasons. Some dollar chains are able to purchase items from the brand name companies for a much cheaper price simply because they had an excess or they changed the design of the packaging. I watched an hour long special on this, shop there frequently, and know plenty of people who work there. Save yourself the money. Shop at the Dollar Store!
January 11, 2011 | Posted By: adroits
the author makes some really valid and true statements..Buying electronics and med's at Dollar store should be thought twice before u buy those. I have been a very great fan of dollar stores and one's tested the same kind of products from chain stores and from Dollar stores. As a physician, I have suggested their Aspirin, Tylenol and what not. It comes with a heavy price to pay later.
January 13, 2011 | Posted By: bobbybore
I have bought cfl lightbulbs at Dollar Tree and have first hand experience of getting about 12 weeks of service from them. Junk.
January 13, 2011 | Posted By: bobbybore
I have bought cfl lightbulbs at Dollar Tree and have first hand experience of getting about 12 weeks of service from them. Junk.
January 28, 2011 | Posted By: Rachael1969
I so don't agree with this ignorant post. If you notice most brand name foods are of smaller quantity that's why the lower price. All cleaning supplies that are name brand should be compared because you can find some cheaper at wal mart or other stores. I am an everday shopper of dollar stores and I will be to the day I die. In fact I am teaching my children how easy it is to get in and out of a store quickly and get what you need for a great price. Thank you Dollar Stores for you existance. To Andrew Salmon, you need to do your research before you open your mouth. Your article got alot of hits I just wish you could feel them. SLAP!!
June 30, 2011 | Posted By: sgt
Gee...WOW...amazing! You can (and do) get the very same poor quality at any and all of your overpriced stores. As for food...read ingredient labels, etc.,just as (I hope) you do at your overpriced market!

Is there a sign anywhere in these stores that says: "Leave your good judgement at home" ???
July 2, 2011 | Posted By: raringvt
Agree with EVERYONE else, bogus article. When we were trying to conceive, we bought loads of $1 pregnancy tests from Dollar Tree. They have consistently received excellent user reviews on various websites about pregnancy. Worked like a charm for us, negative when it should have been and positive at last! Sure beats paying 4x as much at the drug store!
July 11, 2011 | Posted By: irishangel160
The dollar tree supplier is based out of Chesapeake,Va. I wrote an off topic forum on the best finds at Dollar Tree,here on Fat Wallet under Off Topic.
September 12, 2011 | Posted By: drosendeals
Wrong here in eastern NC too. I've bought more than one pregnancy test and they have always been right. Also, the bread items have always come from our local bread bakery. As for ibuprofen, acetaminophen and these sorts of things..generics can be found anywhere. The bigger thing to watch for is "Are they really cheaper?" As for cleaning products? The ones I have used stink from any dollar store. Shampoos especially for kid use-great. Especially since they tend to use waay too much anyway. As with ANY purchase, you can try the cheap brand, if you don't like it, don't buy it again.
September 14, 2011 | Posted By: cu8605
when pregnant with twins, I bought like 6 pregnancy test kits and the response was the same for all six....yuppers! you did it! you're a mom!
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