Are you really getting a bargain at your favorite dollar store?

Comparing 17 daily articles, the CBC image shows the store The investigation found that prices at Dollar Tree were the same or higher in a unit price analysis than at Dollarama or even Walmart, meaning Canadians don’t always get the deal they think they get when shopping at popular chain stores. of dollar

“Like the name says, everything here seems to cost a dollar or so. Truth? Although it is not,” said Marcus Geisler, a professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business.

SEE: Complete market consultation:

Battle of the Dollar Store Giants

Do dollar store purchases always save you money? CBC Market put two of Canada’s most popular dollar stores to the test: Dollarama and Dollar Tree. 8:15

Marketing and store design can help visualize the best deal, when this is not always the case.

“The way merchandise is presented to us is designed to make us buy more than we need,” Geisler said. “This is also, frankly, the trap that many consumers fall into. Me included”.

Dollarama has more than 1,400 locations across Canada with products ranging from less than $1 to around $4. The company announced this week that it plans to start selling some items for up to $5. The dollar tree is about 230 locations Merchandise sells for $1.25 or $1.50.

what they spent

The test is intended to compare identical items, but stores often sell products of different sizes. In this case, the price was divided by unit.

Froot Loops at Dollar Tree is $1.25 compared to $4 at Walmart and $2 at Dollarama. However, the package at Dollar Tree only weighed 87 grams compared to 345 grams at Walmart and 230 grams at Dollarama; Conversion to unit price means that the cost of the Dollar Tree product ends up costing more per 100g.

Walmart’s Froot Loops, Dollar Tree, and Dollarama Featured in Unit Price Comparison (David Abrahams/CBC)

“There is a discrepancy between what these stores convey, what they ship and what they offer, and that is something that is not always well known to humble consumers,” Geisler said.

Two buyers taste and the store The team went to Dollarama, Dollar Tree and Walmart to get a list of the same products across toiletries, snacks, food, cleaning supplies, toys and pet food, though they often found varying sizes.

You have to compare prices

Geisler said shoppers need to know their size comparisons.

He noted that a common tactic at dollar stores is to sell only one type of product, say one brand of toothpaste, making it difficult to compare purchases at the store.

Dollar stores no longer sell anything for a dollar, and many of those stores are located in lower-income neighborhoods with more newcomers to Canada, he said.

“We often talk about vulnerable consumers, low-income families, families that really need every penny and need every dollar,” he said.

“They signal that we are making the Canadian dream a reality.”

Not all dollar stores are created equal

In the end, Dollarama got it right. market Tester, always beats Dollar Tree on price and Walmart cents in that 17-item comparison.

dolarama i sent the store a permit that said its goal is to provide competitively priced everyday products at low fixed price points throughout the year with no sales or promotions.

The seven products that were most expensive in Dollar Tree’s unit price comparison are: Froot Loops, Pringles, KitKat, Whiskas Perfect Portion cat food, Starburst candy, Colgate toothpaste and Crest 3D white toothpaste, all plus $6 per 100 milliliters.

Dollar Tree has achieved some victories in the store The test: Smarties (75g vs. 45g) and Lever 2000 Body Wash were better priced than their competitors.

in the current situation, the company wrote that Crest 3D White toothpaste is a travel-size item, and consumers continue to shop at Dollar Tree for the highest values ​​they can find.

Two popular kids’ items, Hot Wheels and Play-Doh, were slightly more expensive at both dollar stores than at Walmart.

These products were slightly more expensive at two-dollar stores than at Walmart. (Stephanie Mattis/CBC)

“When we walk into a dollar store, we don’t really think about doing the value equation or the math in our heads,” said Professor Mark Lee of Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management.

Instead, he said, people “think more in dollars,” connecting shoppers to the concept that they don’t spend as much, but that shoppers often spend more than they intended and rarely leave a dollar store. with a single item.

At a dollar store price win, both offered pregnancy tests for $1.25. Walmart had one for over $8.

Draw a Walmart pregnancy test; dollar tree motif; and Dollarama Medicare. (Stephanie Mattis/CBC)

All three brands are in Health Canada’s database of licensed products approved for efficacy and safety when used as directed.

Dr. Dara Meeker, MD, a family physician at Women’s College Hospital, says she recommends inexpensive pregnancy tests for her patients trying to get pregnant.

“If you get a positive dollar store pregnancy test, you’re pregnant,” Maker said. “It’s very rare to get a false-positive result.”

There were some items, like liter juice boxes from brands like Minute Maid and Five Alive, that were pennies apart at each store.

Experts said there are things consumers can do to ensure they get a good deal at the dollar store, such as comparing prices and sizes.

“Do your research whenever you can. Shop around and compare even when the comparison can’t happen on the same shelf within an aisle,” Geisler said, noting that price comparison apps can be helpful.

Leave a Comment