9/17/2012 5:31 PM ET|
Are dollar stores really worth it?
Consumer Reports warns against purchasing medications and vitamins at dollar stores, noting that these items might not contain the same ingredients as the name brands. Sometimes they are out of date, and often they don't list the country where the product was manufactured. This can be a concern, as some countries do not adhere to the food and pharmaceutical regulations in the United States.
Consumer Reports also recommends that you don't purchase electrical cords at dollar stores, as many of them are not UL-approved (such cords were the subject of a recent recall). Do not purchase toys, particularly those for infants, as many toys on dollar store shelves contain lead and other ingredients that could be harmful.
Toothpaste is another item that you should purchase at a large retailer carrying name-brand products. The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about toothpaste from China (which is sold mostly at dollar stores), saying it was "found to be contaminated with diethylene glycol."
You should also carefully consider food purchases at a dollar store. Many food items found on dollar store shelves are from "unregulated" countries, meaning they may not have the same quality as name-brand products.
The bottom line
Dollar stores are a great place to save serious money, but you must be an astute shopper. As the old adage says, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Comparison-shop for not only price but quality as well. Paying a few more dollars for a premium product that will give you years of use will save you more money than buying a cheaper item that won't be around very long. If you have any doubts about a product, don't purchase it. That advice should be followed in every store where you shop.
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One thing that the article didn't mention was to watch out for size differences in the products at dollar stores. The product may be cheaper than at Wal-mart but it may also be a smaller size. In other words, you need to be aware of the cost per unit.
I can vouch for those dollar store pregnancy tests. They really do work. Ive used them with all 3 of my children. I think its ridiculous that pregnancy tests are anywhere from 12 to 20 bucks when all your going to do is pee on it!
You need to bargain shop everywhere you go unless your made of money.
Dollar stores have a lot to offer. Have you ever noticed that the people who shop in the Dollar store appear to be unstressed, happy, and courteous? People from all income levels love to shop in the Dollar store. Who really likes to pay $4-5 for a greeting card and then add gift wrap for another $4-5 when you can get a card and gift wrapping for $2. Who wants to spend $3-5 on a disposalbe tin when you can buy a tin for $1. Let's be honest. The Dollar store has good value. Yes, a person could shop in greater quanties and bulk and pay less, but who wants to lug and store cases of any product for six months, etc. If you can shop, store, and lug in bulk, good for you, but for those who physically can't or who are on a budget or just don't like to or want to spend money unless they must, the Dollar store is the place for them. Before I go into the A&P, I stop at the dollar store first - fill up my cart (tin foil, disposable pans, plastic baggies, plastic wrap, dish detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, air freshners, hand soap, napkins, paper plats, shampoo, body wash, batteries, lip gloss, nail polish, cotten balls, nail polish remover etc. and go to the register. I usually don't buy food items--just my personal preference, but I know many who do and they are fine. I have tried their frozen ice and pizza and they were perfectly fine - same brand as the store just less. I give Dollar store, especially mine, a rating of ten. Ten being the highest and best.
I love the dollar stores for party and office supplies, cleaning products, hair accesories, spices, and anything name brand, but I will not buy toilet paper, paper towels or detergent. First of all the toilet paper is of poor quality and most of the paper towels are not as absorbent and do not last long unless it is bounty of course. I rather buy a 12 pack name brand toilet paper and eight pack bounty paper towel at Walmart and Walgreens because they are quality and last for a very long time. I have bought many kitchen gadgets at the dollar store which I have been using for years and they all seem to be good quality. So, like many said you just have to know what to purchase at the dollar stores. I save a lot of money at dollar stores. Thank God for them especially in such a depressing economy.
What a load of crap! How much did Wal Mart pay you to right this BS? Dollar stores are amazing, and the quality of what they sell if every bit as good, or better, than similar goods sold elsewhere for much more money. I despise WalMart, and our local discount chain (similar to WM) sells very low quality items.
Your comments "don't expect them to last more than a year or two--NONSENSE. And "unregulated", "from countries with poor oversight--THAT IS JUST AN OUTRIGHT LIE!! Virtually everything is made in China, regardless of which store you buy it from, and China is famous for selling defective, dangerous stuff: poison pet food, watered down milk beefed up with formica, toys with cadmium, lead, date-rape drug (really--on toys!). This is about the point of origin--NOT THE STORE IT IS SOLD IN.
Pharmaceuticals are made almost exclusively in China, with little or no regulation or oversight, and legendary corruption in what oversight there is. Don't blame the dollar stores, and don't think that by paying more you are any better off. The Chinese are polluting the world, and flooding the world market with cheap, dangerous goods--but it is happening because of the greed of US companies--the Almighty Dollar! If you buy defective crap in China, the grossly overpaid CEOs can make $200 million per year, instead of a mere $100 million.
You should be sued for such blatantly biased and inaccurate information. Cheap, defective, dangerous goods are not the fault of dollar stores--they are sold at virtually all stores, regardless of what you pay.
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