Ah, behold the dollar store: land of deep discounts and so many questions. Ever wonder how the products in a dollar store are so cheap? Or where they all come from? Is the food safe to eat? What should I really buy there?
Well, wonder no more. Recently, Brandon, an in-the-know Dollar General store manager, did an “ask me anything” Q&A on Reddit and answered some of our most pressing questions.
While, not everything is a surprise—we were pretty sure China was responsible for some of those $1 price points—our buddy Brandon did divulge some other interesting tidbits.
The greeting cards are a steal.
One of the best deals to be found is on greeting cards. Most are 50 cents to $1, according to Brandon. Compare that to a store like Hallmark, where you might pay $5 for similar cards.
Cigs are the No. 1 seller.
When they added cigarettes to their product lineup in 2012 and 2013, Dollar General quickly learned that smokers are some of their best customers. Brandon agrees, telling readers “the biggest steady seller for a single item would have to be cigarettes, around 600 packs a week sold at my store.”
You really can eat the food.
We’re not necessarily saying you should rush out and buy the $1 steaks, but the food (in general) should be good to go. In fact, some dollar store chains are expanding their offerings to include fresh produce. But, as Brandon reminds us, “It’s always a good habit to check expiration dates in any store, but you should be A-OK if the store team rotates the food.”
Bulk buys = low prices.
Brandon points out the advantage of buying in mass quantities. “I assume like any retailer the product is so cheap because it’s bought in massive bulk quantities (DG has around 20,000 stores to supply).”
He goes on to explain that most non-food products are made in China, where manufacturing tends to be less expensive. So, that’s why the prices are so low.