Four Dollar Store
First published on Moneyville
June 20, 2011
I started shopping at and writing
about dollar stores more than five years ago. Once I stepped
inside one of these shops and realized all of the money I could
save, I was hooked and, being a writer, I wanted to share what I had discovered.
Over time, thereís been a
recurring theme in reader complaints about dollar store
merchandise. Itís true that some things sold at dollar stores
are cheap and fall apart quickly. But, you can also get great
deals on items you would pay double or triple for elsewhere ó
like kitchen utensils, stationery supplies and craft needs. So why
Here are the five of the most
common complaints Iíve heard and why they arenít true.
1. All dollar store merchandise
comes from China and is junk or unsafe.
A lot of dollar store stock also
comes from Turkey, Germany or even the United States and Canada
and is exceptional value for a buck or two. From time to time,
youíll find Libbey stemware on dollar-store shelves. I recently
purchased a glass measuring cup manufactured by Anchor Hocking.
And it isnít uncommon to find full-sized deodorants like Speed
Stick and Arm & Hammer in the health and beauty aisle.
Even so, China exports billions
worth of merchandise to the U.S. and Canada. Even excluding all of
the machinery, electronics and other expensive items, dollar
stores arenít the only ones selling Chinese merchandise. The
princess figurine I brought back from Disney World a few years ago
was made in China, as are most of this American iconís
Bottom line: If you are concerned
about food or plastic products from China at the dollar store or
anywhere else, donít buy them.
2. Cookies, crackers and are stale
and chocolate bars have passed their best before date.
There is no proof of this.
Dollar-store buyers develop relationships with manufacturers and
are on the spot to snap up overstock. If youíve be stung before,
do what you would do in any other store ó check the best-before
date.How long would customers keep
buying the candy if everything they bought turned out to be
3. You canít get good batteries
at the dollar store.
While this may have been true in
the past, the dollar stores with which Iím familiar now sell
brand-name batteries like Panasonic and Sunbeam. Since adding
products priced up to $2, Iíve even seen Duracell batteries at
Dollarama. Again, if youíre leery, check the best-before date,
which is printed in bold on the lower right-hand side of the
4. There must be something wrong
with brand-name beauty products if they end up in a dollar store.
A Unilever Canada rep
confirmed a Dove Energy Glow product bought at my local
dollar store was their product, made in Canada. How did it get
there? Dollar-store buyers sometimes nab some amazing products
from big manufacturers.
See Also: Five
Things You Should Always Buy at the Dollar Store
To Avoid Dollar Store Duds