As of 9/30/09, this post has been read over 167,000 times and was featured on the front page of Msn.com via this MSN Smart Spending post (which has been read over 419,000 times.)
Why all the hoopla over this silly little post? Well, it turns out that Dollar Store Pregnancy Tests are quite popular and have a very loyal fan base. Check out all the comments below to see the spirited responses of Dollar Store Pregnancy Test advocates and for a smile or two.
I just returned from a nice vacation in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In case you are wondering, I had a great time and even won a little money If you have never been there, one of the other things, besides gambling, that Atlantic City offers is a 4 mile long boardwalk that has countless of number of stores spanning from luxury retailers to dimly lit dollar stores. Even though it was fun to window shop at things I will never be able to afford, I had more fun looking in these dollar stores for their interesting selection of products.
During these tough economic times, many of us have turned to dollar stores in an attempt to save money. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of great bargains in these stores that you SHOULD take advantage of and save a little money. However, there are some things that I would argue that you should not even think about buying at a dollar store. Here are some of them that I encountered during my Atlantic City trip. I even managed to take some pictures with my cellphone of some of these items before being questioned by some angry store owners.
1. Home Pregnancy Test
I almost bought this just to see what it looked like, but the girlfriend vetoed this idea in disgust If you really think this product would give you an accurate result, you must be nuts. I could design my own pregnancy test and satisfy about half of my customers.
I have learned this lesson the hard way. One Christmas I made all my associates a nice basket of goodies to enjoy. Since we always joke that there are never enough pens at work, I gave each of them a 10 pack of pens from the dollar store. Unfortunately, these pens either quickly fell apart, or never worked at all. Worse yet, one even broke and got ink all over my co-worker’s shirt. I was mortified!!
Another lesson taught to me with great pain. A couple of years ago, I was on a weekend vacation, and I forgot to pack any razors. Being my frugal self, I didn’t feel like spending the $2.50 for the mini-razor from the vending machine next to the ice machine. Furthermore, I thought $8 was a little to much a markup for the razors in the gift shop. As a result, I made the small walk to the dollar store I saw a couple of block away and bought some razors. What a painful decision that turned out to be. These razors shredded my face. The hotel sink ended up looking like whipped cream topped with cherry sauce and my face looked like i got in a fight with a cactus.
Is there really anything stopping me from buying a whole bunch of sugar pills and putting it in a bottle labeled vitamins? The better question probably is, is there anyone stopping anyone from China from doing the same thing (or worse) and selling it in mass bulk to dollar stores? Google “Dollar Store Vitamins” for more disturbing info. And one more piece of free advice, if they spell the name of the product incorrectly, I would not put it in your mouth–Just some words to live by.
5. Sunless Tanning Product
Have you ever seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Do you really want to look like this?
This one really makes no sense to me. If you care enough about how you look to use sunless tanning, why would you risk your skin to this cheap product?
6. Sleeping Pills
Dollar Store sleeping pills are great at actually helping you go to sleep. Waking up in the morning though—Not so much.
I had taken a picture of a priceless cologne that actually had the phrase, “Droves the Chicks Crazy” on it, but apparently there was not enough light in the store. Think if it this way, even if you managed to find a scent that worked for you, how would you be able to answer the question, “That smells great honey, where did you get it so I can buy you more for your birthday?”
Considering the nature of this product, I immediately felt this was not a great idea. When I consulted the girlfriend, she confirmed my suspicion.
9. Any Kind of Paste
Anyone who subjects their child’s ass to the above product is either named Britney or should be prosecuted for child abuse (or both). I suspect the rash that you are trying to treat would be replaced with a bigger one that becomes infected. In addition, one of the more documented things that you should never buy in a dollar store. Google “Dollar Store Toothpaste” for more disturbing information.
10. Perishable Food
See the above box of Fruit Rings Bar–the date on the box said 2002. Now this was not an expiration or used buy date. However, all signs pointed to this product being on various store’s shelves for 7 years. Even brand name food in dollar stores could be years old.
Honorable Mentions: Condoms–unless you want to end up buying #1, Underwear, 1988 Calendars, Batteries, and Toilet Paper.
Did I miss anything that needs to be on this list? Let me know!
This post was featured in the 224th Carnival of Personal Finance