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 don’t 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 that’s a good thing because you’ll be going through a lot of them once you start down this road. You’ll be lucky if bulbs that are supposed to last for years last hours or minutes… 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. Don’t forget that they are cheap because they are made cheaply and won’t last. This is fine if you’re 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 don’t know where this stuff is made or under what kind (if any) sanitary conditions. Or even how old it is. If it’s 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 don’t 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 wouldn’t be selling it for a dollar. And even if it does function to some degree, count on shoddy construction and a short lifespan. Let’s face it, some of the annoying chores in life we’ll 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. Don’t. If you think you’re showing the big pharmaceutical companies that you’re not going to pay their inflated prices, think again. Who knows what you are getting in these so-called ‘medicines.’ 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.
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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.