[November 14, 2019 Update: According to CNN, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to Dollar Tree for receiving adulterated over-the-counter drugs produced in China, including acne treatment pads and Assured brand drugs. The items were produced by Shanghai Weierya Daily Chemicals Factory and Hangzhou Zhongbo Industrial Company Ltd., “which the letter details have shown a pattern of serious violations of the law, such as not testing raw materials or drugs for pathogens and quality.” Dollar Tree is cooperating with the FDA, but few are suprised about Chinese violations of U.S law. Our review of Dollar Tree (below) was first published on July 1, 2018. We hope the company can quickly restore consumer faith in their over-the-counter products. Obvious solution: STOP purchasing from China.]
Where Less is More.
A mainstream newspaper recently criticized Dollar Stores for selling items that could be purchased more cheaply in bulk at grocery stores and discount clubs – assuming that you have a discount club nearby, enjoy traipsing the isles of mega stores and desire bulk purchases.
What joy: A palette of toilet paper that emits chemicals and decomposes over time.
But what if less IS more, including less driving time, less gas, less hassle and exactly what I need – at my local Dollar Tree store.
1) I purchase lovely paper gift bags for a dollar, as compared to $2.95 per bag at local stationary stores, grocery stores, etc. Just the right size for holiday gifts, bringing wine to a dinner or gifting a book to a friend.
2) Walking the book isle, I chanced upon a mesmerizing non-fiction work entitled, Just Send Me Word by Orlando Figes: A Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag (2012), and a wondrous novel by Bridget Foley: Hugo & Rose (2015). A dollar each.
3) I appreciate the 20-pack Dollar Tree brand of Swifter dry cloths for the grand sum of $1.00, versus $8.47 for a Swifter 37-pack at Home Depot and $8.99 at the grocery store! Do the math.
4) Flying? The Dollar Tree offers three TSA-size bottles for $1.00. Hard to beat that price.
5) Lunchtime? Buy a cold drink for a dollar, as compared to $1.89 per refrigerated bottle at the grocery.
6) Dial soap offers a hypoallergenic version that only seems to be sold at Dollar Tree. Three for a dollar.
7) After installers chipped the paint around a fixture, I found paste-on flowers that gracefully covered the white blotch. Yes I can find paste-ons at Michaels if I want to drive 25 minutes and spend double or triple the price.
8) The store welcomes visitors with clean/spacious isles and bright colors (a warm Kelly green versus the ugly yellow green you often see in hospitals). Left in the parking lot by patrons, Dollar Tree shopping carts generally remain rust-free. We can’t say the same for The Fresh Market or Whole Foods, can we?! Obviously, the Dollar Tree cares enough to regularly clean and/or replace hygienically challenged carts.
9) The cashiers and workers are friendly, efficient and polite, with sufficient staff on hand to assist. While some fear that it might diminish their privileged status to shop there, customers represent the rainbow of American ages, races and bank accounts. Most seem happy in the checkout line. After all, if they shop smart, they can save money. I average a savings of double or more per trip. It adds up.
10) And when the last hurricane hit, the Dollar Tree was one of the last to close and the first to open – offering 24 packs of water for a for a dollar when other stores were dry.
So don’t dish the Dollar Tree! Count yourself lucky if one is located in your neighborhood. (We are NOT an affiliate and do not sell Dollar Tree items.) FYI: the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar Store are not one and the same.