ONLY ON KOLD: Dollar store dangers

Published: Oct. 2, 2012 at 1:48 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 at 5:30 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - In these tough economic times, consumers are looking for every way to save money. So it may not surprise you that dollar stores have reported a boom in business.  But retail experts warn that not all deals are great deals.

There are dollar stores all over Tucson luring shoppers in by name alone.

"It's a lot cheaper than a regular store," Millie McCarley said.

"I get a lot of great stuff here. Save a lot of money that way," William Henson said.

Are the deals really worth it? Vicky Campbell says, "Yes for some things. You have to be careful because some things are not good."

Here is a list of the 10 things to never buy at a dollar store, from

  1. Laundry detergent and cleaning supplies: The site says the ones sold at dollar stores aren't of the same quality and tend to be watered down.
  2. Batteries: some off-brand batteries, while cheaper, won't last as long as the brand name ones. Researchers say the life expectancy of a no-name battery is about 1/16th of that of a name brand one.
  3. Extension cords, power strips, oven mitts, work gloves: Saving Advice says you should never buy at a dollar store.

From quality to quantity sandwich bags, boxed mixes, substitute or off-brand products and candy, Saving Advice says there is just not as much of these products when you buy them from some dollar-type stores.

"Most the candy bars they serve here is like snickers and butterfingers. Stuff like that," William Henson said.

Paige Hansen asked, "So you think that shouldn't be on the list?" William said, "No it shouldn't be because it's like the stuff you buy in regular stores."

Consumer reports found dollar store multivitamins don't always have the same nutrients as claimed on the label.

"I think you need to have some common sense. When you look at this 'never buy this, never buy that.' look at the brand name," said Melody Harrell.

There are definitely deals to be had inside any dollar store and shoppers say it is about shopping smart and reading the labels to really get the best savings.

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