Money Matters

30 Items You Should Never Buy At The Dollar Store

Shopping at a dollar tree is like discovering hidden treasures for less than a dollar. However, not all dollar store items are safe. Here's a list of things you shouldn't buy at the Dollar Store.

From time to time, we need to buy something quickly. However, we don’t always have the cash to make that purchase. In such cases, the first thing that comes to mind is a dollar store.

Actually, a dollar store is an ideal place to buy amazing things at really low prices. In fact, I buy quite a few things at the nearest dollar store. They offer certain good products at a fraction of the price they would cost elsewhere.

However, I can’t say that all dollar store stuff is high quality. In fact, some things I bought at different dollar stores were clearly inferior. In this article, I will write about the 30 things you should not buy at Dollar Tree. I’ll start by first explaining a little bit about how a dollar store works. That would give you a clear idea of what to buy and what not to buy at Dollar Tree.

Understanding dollar stores

Dollar stores, discount retailers that sell inexpensive home goods, may seem like an ideal place to find bargains. But while many items are as low as a dollar, not all products are bargains.

That’s not to say you can’t find worthwhile purchases at discount stores, but it’s always important to do your research before you buy so you don’t get tricked into buying items that lack quality or just aren’t the best deal.

The concept of a dollar store has been prevalent in the United States since the 1950s and 1960s. They began operating at a time when China and other Asian countries began mass-producing goods at an economical rate. These things eventually found their way into the US market through small, unorganized Chinese dealers.

Since the price of buying and importing them from Asia was much lower than that of American-made products, these products found some acceptance in the United States. And as acceptance of such things grew in the US, demand also increased, leading to the opening of the first dollar stores in the country.

The main attraction was the lower prices and quality products. Actually, the term “dollar store” today is a bit misleading. Initially, a dollar store would sell everything for $1 or less.

However, in our times, we can find many reasonably priced products in such stores that cost more than $1. Of course, there are still quite a few $1 priced items that are available at these stores, but due to high customer turnover, they also stock more expensive products.

While shopping at a dollar tree can be a pleasurable experience, it’s worth remembering that every dollar store item you purchase may not meet the quality you expect.

30 Things to avoid at dollar stores

In this article, I will briefly write about the 30 dollar store items that you should never buy at any dollar store. This list could help you make better decisions the next time you visit a dollar tree to buy something you need. In fact, avoiding these dollar store items can save you some money and also ensure that you and your loved ones don’t suffer from any health-related problems.

Here are 30 items our team say you should never buy at a dollar store.

1. Food products

It’s best to avoid food products at dollar stores. That’s because it could be imported from some country and manufactured by companies with dubious standards.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) checks these things for germs and other problems. However, they only test samples and not the entire shipment of such goods.

2. Computer Accessories

High-quality computer accessories cost more for a reason. They are durable and can withstand use. The same cannot be said for the cheap products available at dollar stores.

My personal experience was that my mouse roller got stuck while working. The mouse pad started ripping and loosening just a week after purchase.

3. Vitamins

It’s still a mystery to me how cheap vitamin supplements make it onto dollar store shelves. Check the price of a bottle of Centrum and compare it to those available at dollar stores.

Centrum comes from one of America’s most respected and trusted pharmaceutical companies. This company will not cheat you. The cheapest vitamins you buy will not provide you with the same nutrition as Centrum or any big name brand.

4. Mobile accessories

Your mobile phone is your companion in everything: study, work, business and even banking, shopping or entertainment. Surely such a vital piece of equipment deserves much better. Cheaply priced mobile phone accessories like chargers can explode. The outer shells aren’t sweat-proof or provide protection from the weather, as you might expect. They are cheap and only serve flashy purposes.

5. Medicines

I have a firm policy when it comes to purchasing medication. I buy them only from a properly licensed pharmacy and make sure they come from the best medical companies in America.

I apply this policy to over-the-counter medications as well. Drugs in dollar stores often make big claims and don’t deliver what they say. Read the fine print and you’ll see that even the manufacturers of these drugs take no responsibility for giving you the desired effects.

6. Sunglasses

When it comes to sunglasses, I agree that I am biased. My favorite brands are Ray-Ban and Polaroid. There are also more expensive ones, but I keep my two favorite brands for the comfort that it gives me to know that they will not harm my eyes or my sight.

Sunglasses at dollar stores are not made of glass or lenses. Instead, they are made of a plastic material that does not protect the eyes from the sun’s rays or pollution. They can damage your eyes and vision.

7. Skin care products

Have you ever wondered why skin care products from Sephora or other leading companies like Avon are expensive? This is because these companies take great care to test their products before they hit the market.

They make sure that the product does what it promises and therefore only use expensive ingredients. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for dollar store skin care products.

8. Electrical items

Electrical items are another prohibited item at dollar stores. Those budget priced cables have the weakest cores I have seen on the market. As a result, they can easily burn, even without a strong electrical current. Plugs and sockets have also been known to burn out, as the materials they are made from cannot withstand heat and use.

9. Reading glasses

ask yourself. Why do you need reading glasses? That’s because you have some vision problems. Therefore, the right type of lens for your reading glasses can only be found by an expert optometrist or ophthalmologist. They can prescribe the correct reading glasses for you.

In stark contrast, dollar store reading glasses are not made specifically for your eyes. They are made to fit a wide category of people. The wrong lenses will definitely damage your vision.

10. Plumbing fixtures

No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night because some connection in their home plumbing has broken and caused leaks. This is something that can definitely happen with the cheap accessories that are available at dollar stores. While the prices are tempting enough, these fixtures often break during installation or later when in use, causing leaks and giving you a sleepless night or unwanted expense at a plumber.

11. Charcoal BBQ

I am very fond of a barbecue in my garden. I usually buy charcoal from a reputable store. That’s because these stores know how to store charcoal. However, the barbecue charcoal in most dollar stores is not stored properly. Charcoal attracts moisture and makes it useless for barbecuing. The charcoal I found at dollar stores was often damp and therefore couldn’t be easily lit for that night of barbecuing.

12. School Stationery

Students are always in need of stationery, and sometimes parents can find it difficult to meet their almost non-stop demands for new pens, notebooks, and other things. Dollar stores know this and have very cheap stationery.

Such stationery items cause various problems. The pens you buy will dry out. Pencils break frequently. The notebooks are made of low quality paper. Colors and paints for your children’s art classes can be dangerous and cause poisoning.

13. Polishes

We polish many things, from shoes to cutlery, from furniture to vehicles. We polish them because we like to make these things look as new as possible and keep them from getting moldy or rusty.

Therefore, buying an expensive polish is the only best option. Cheap dollar store polishes barely provide these qualities, being nothing more than cheap wax and dye.

14. Footwear

Avoid all types of footwear at dollar stores unless you want an accident or embarrassment. Shoes and slippers at dollar stores are made from absolutely third-grade material. Your bathroom slippers will lose their soles, causing you to slip and hurt yourself. Those flashy shoes can tear at their soles, causing you embarrassment in public places or offices.

15. Batteries

Over the years I have come across several fake dollar tree batteries. In fact, some of the battery cells were smart copies of famous brands like Duracell, with the outer casing resembling this world-famous product.

Remember, cheap battery cells are made from inferior quality material. Therefore, they can leak and damage your expensive devices such as remote controls and toys or watches.

16. Electronic items

That cheap hair dryer or even a hand mixer or charger can seem very attractive for the price. But look at the reverse. Parts of these electronics are often made of cheap material and can stop working at any time.

Worse yet, they could explode or short-circuit, plunging your home into darkness or even giving you a deadly electrical shock. So avoid electronics at dollar stores.

17. Cups

Cups and saucers at dollar stores are very cheap, like other ceramic products. But surely, these aren’t worth a dime, if you ask me. These cheap cups and saucers, as well as ceramic products, are quite fragile.

Worse yet, the dyes used in them are prone to leach into that hot cup of tea, coffee, or milk. And within a few weeks, that beautiful design starts to fade.

18. Makeup

Makeup means that a product will come into close contact with your skin and stay there for a few hours. In fact, the product will stay on your face, which is one of the most sensitive parts of our human body.

Therefore, cheap makeup items such as lipstick or mascara should never be bought from a dollar tree. They are made from cheap ingredients and can permanently damage the skin on your face or even cause severe allergies.

19. Cutlery

As with cheap tools, cheap cutlery can also cause injuries while eating. The forks, knives, and spoons at dollar stores are not really the quality we would like to use. Not only do they look cheap, but they are also made from low-quality materials.

In some cases, these cutlery can also cause food poisoning, especially if they are plated. Knives used to cut and chop fruits, vegetables, and meat also fall into this category.

20. Plastic items

Personally, I think it’s best to avoid plastic items at dollar stores. Here, I am talking about things like plastic bottles, ice trays, plastic trays, hangars, and other items that we use on a daily basis at home. These low priced bottles are not suitable for storing water or juice.

Same with ice trays and other plastic things. These will release toxins into your food and water and eventually cause serious illness, including cancer. Hangers can lose color and ruin your expensive clothes.

21. Tools

We use tools for repairs and other emergencies. We also use them to create something. Tools can be very dangerous if they break while working with them, causing serious injury or even death. Therefore, never buy cheap tools at any dollar store. Such tools are made of inferior material and are prone to breaking while in use. The price may seem attractive, but it is not worth the risk.

22. Hair care products

They say that hair is the crown of every woman and man. In fact, it is. Therefore, never buy hair care products at dollar stores. Here, I specifically mention hair dyes. Dollar store hair dyes can often do a lot of damage to your hair. In most cases, this damage will be permanent and irreversible, caused by strong bleach and other materials. Also, avoid shampoos.

23. Sunscreen lotions

You may know that sunscreen and sunscreen lotions work on something known as sun protection factor, or SPF. The SPF of sunscreen and sunscreen indicates how well your skin is protected from harmful UVA and UVB rays, as well as other factors like pollution. You may not get adequate sun protection with a cheaper product.

24. Baby products

Your baby is definitely very precious to you. Therefore, you would like to protect it from any, even the slightest, damage. If that’s the case for you, never buy baby care products at dollar stores.

Baby lotions and oils can cause serious allergies in your baby. Baby bottles, bowls, and other things are often made of non-food grade colors and items that can lead to food poisoning, at worst.

25. Soaps

This refers to both bath and laundry soaps. In fact, almost every soap on this planet contains some level of causticity. This is why soaps foam when applied. If this causticity is too high, you could end up with sore palms and soles because the high alkaline content is harmful to human skin.

26. Herbal Remedies

Dollar stores are generally the best places to get herbal remedies, especially exotic ones, from Asia and other parts of the world. Unfortunately, these enter the US as food supplements and dietary supplements.

There is no known medical evidence to show that they work. While some of these herbal remedies may be harmless, others can cause serious long-term health problems.

27. Pet food

Just like babies and children, our pets are also loved by all of us. The dollar store pet food I have seen tends to be imitations of expensive products. It is obvious that cheaper products will contain substandard substances. If your pet eats those kinds of foods, you’d end up spending a small fortune on wet.

28. Clothes

Perhaps my worst experience with dollar store stuff is with clothing. I bought a t-shirt and a pair of shorts there. To be honest, they didn’t survive their first date with the washing machine. The shorts ripped while the jersey lost its shape after the first wash. They also bled and stained other clothes.

29. Feminine Products

As a woman, you probably wouldn’t want to use tampons that fall out or pads that leak or stink. If that’s the case for you, never buy women’s products at a dollar store.

Many women falsely believe that these products offer good value for money. they don’t. The material isn’t exactly what you should be using and can lead to rashes, infections, and other complications.

30. Toys

All children love toys, and parents are struggling to meet their demands for ever newer toys. You may have seen that children get tired of their toys pretty quickly.

However, that is no reason to put your child’s health and life at risk with cheap toys. Parts of these toys can fall apart and suffocate your child if they suck on them. In addition, the colors used in said toys are not suitable for food use.

Final words on things you should never buy at dollar store

Before I conclude, I will emphasize that all the things available at dollar stores are not bad or substandard. In fact, dollar stores offer great stuff too. This list is only made to alert you to what things may be harmful or dangerous because they are made from inferior products and therefore are cheaply priced.

Ah, the dollar store: a convenient staple for last-minute party decorations, birthday cards, wrapping paper, and just about everything else one could need under the sun (for a dollar, obviously). But sometimes their cheap products can actually be bad for you, and skimping on quality in certain areas can take a toll on you.

If you’re a concerned thrifty shopper, some items to avoid buying at the dollar store.

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