7 Secrets Dollar Tree Doesn't Want You to Know
Keep these tips and tricks in mind on your next trip to the dollar store.
We all love to score a great deal, which is why so many of us make regular stops at our local Dollar Tree. Household items, party decorations, snacks, glassware, and more must-haves line the shelves, making these stores reliable one-stop-shops for a number of necessities. Having historically stayed true to its name and charged only $1 for items, the discount chain sparked outrage in Nov. 2021 when it announced that it would be raising the price of most products to $1.25—still a good deal, if not a little less appealing.
Dollar Tree has found itself in hot water as of late due to additional concerns—including an investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—but many bargain hunters have not been deterred. But while Dollar Tree has been transparent about its price hike, there are certain things the company doesn't want even its most loyal customers to know about getting even better deals. Read on for tricks of the trade to keep in mind while shopping at your favorite dollar store.
Items are certainly cheaper at Dollar Tree, but there's a reason for that.
It's a great feeling when you buy something at a seemingly lower price. But when it comes to Dollar Tree, you may get what you pay for. According to Reader's Digest, items are priced lower because they are smaller than standard sizes. Rolls of toilet paper, for example, are often leaner and run out faster. And when buying something like shampoo, you might find proportional pricing when comparing ounces per dollar on a smaller bottle bought at Dollar Tree versus a normal bottle bought at a Walmart location.
Thankfully, popular YouTuber The Deal Guy has a solution to this issue. Online at dollartree.com and in some stores, you can visit the Bonus Buys section, where you can purchase the "normal" size of the product, but at the Dollar Tree price. A hint that you're getting a Bonus Buy is if you see "20 percent more" on the label.
When Dollar Tree is trying to get rid of stock, you can find items in one particular section.
The Deal Guy also points shoppers in the right direction when it comes to the items Dollar Tree is trying to get rid of. When you head into your local Dollar Tree, chances are the items in the clearance section—or even on the general shelves—will not be identical to those at the Dollar Tree a town over. But if you walk to the Closeouts section of the Dollar Tree website, you can see all the "clearance" stock (items are still priced at $1.25 a pop) listed in one place. The website notes that quantities are limited, so you'll want to take advantage of these deals when you see them.
There are specific times to find the best prices.
You may think all prices are created equal when it comes to Dollar Tree, but you would actually be mistaken. After the holiday season, decorations are marked down, according to Reader's Digest, and The Krazy Coupon Lady says you can count on holiday candy to be 50 percent off once festivities are over. If you celebrated the Easter holiday and didn't get any Peeps or chocolate bunnies in your basket, head to Dollar Tree now and fill your shopping basket.
You can use special coupons when you check out.
Dollar Tree already has some of the most competitive pricing, but you could actually be saving more by using manufacturer coupons, The Deal Guy advises. Be advised that they won't accept a retail-specific coupon (like those for Walmart or Costco), and The Krazy Coupon Lady recommends reading the coupon's fine print. You may learn savings only applies to certain sizes or quantities that won't match the different (often smaller) sizes sold at Dollar Tree.
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You are not limited to quantities that you see on the shelves.
Many of us know we can shop online rather than venture out to the store, but Dollar Tree shoppers may not be aware that you can also buy items in bulk online. When you head to Dollar Tree's website, you will see the option to buy cases of items you need, including paper towels and party supplies. According to The Krazy Coupon Lady, you can also have these items shipped to your local Dollar Tree store so that you don't have to pay for shipping. This is a great idea for items like sports drink bottles that could otherwise rack up shipping fees.
If you don't want to buy in bulk, there are ways around it.
With the pros of buying in bulk, there are also cons. You might see a note about the minimum quantity you can buy accompanying several Dollar Tree items online. But what if you just need one or two candles, not 24? The Deal Guy has another workaround for this. Under the "All Departments" dropdown, click on "Small Quantities." This will take you to a page where you can purchase a different amount of items if you are not interested in a case or a larger bulk amount.
There are certain products that aren't worth buying from Dollar Tree.
You also might be wondering if there are products that aren't worth the $1.25 price tag. The Deal Guy points to school supplies, specifically notebooks (if you're buying in bulk online) and vitamins, which don't always align with nutritional standards and could be expired. Toys are another one to skip, according to Insider, as they may not be properly tested or safe for small children.
Among other products, The Krazy Coupon Lady recommends leaving the toothpaste behind, since you can purchase that at drugstores and save more with coupons. "The key is considering the unit price, quantity, and quality before making purchases and always comparing prices before you shop," she says.