If you’ve never entered a Dollar Tree, you might want to check it out. Especially if you are a bit of a tightwad, as I am. (By the way, I don’t own stock in Dollar Tree–but [full disclosure] I hope to buy some in the near future.)
Dollar Tree, like many companies, grew up gradually over time. Its origin seems to have been in the 1950s, under other names. Now, in 2018, it has over 14,600 stores in the contiguous 48 states, and another 200 plus in Canada. It continues to add more stores.
You will not be shocked to learn that Dollar Tree sells everything for a dollar. Actually, some items are less than a dollar. I buy my poster board (used at my place of employment) at Dollar Tree for $.69. But most items are a dollar–and nothing is more than a dollar.
Wikipedia says that Dollar Tree’s business strategy goes something like this: “Its prices are primarily designed to attract those with financial difficulties, but it has also become popular with more affluent customers.” I don’t really have financial difficulties, but I am certainly not wealthy. I doubt if anyone would call me affluent. But it is difficult for me to understand how anybody of any financial rank could resist Dollar Tree.
Dollar Tree offers a pretty large variety of items. A few are toiletries, gloves, socks, detergent, office supplies. Some incredible bargains are available. There were some light thermal boot socks which were so good that I bought a lifetime supply. In fact I bought so many that I’m pretty sure the boot socks will outlast my life by a wide margin. But sometimes a great item might appear at Dollar Tree for a while, then disappear–so I bought the socks while I knew they were available. I have no regrets.
The laundry detergent I buy for a $1.00 says it is good for 32 loads. I have kept track and it really is good for that many loads–plus maybe a few more. It gets my clothes clean, even though I always do my laundry in cold water only. Good quality stuff.
I comparison shop. Aldi is a fantastic grocery store. Dollar Tree beats Aldi on some items. However, Aldi is better on some things. I bought hard taco shells for a dollar at Dollar Tree–but can get the same number of taco shells for $.89 at Aldi. I grieve, then I learn and move on. Salted crackers, olives, and fruit juice, to name a few things, are cheaper at Dollar Tree. As is true of anything, “attention must be paid,” as a friend of mine has noted about his business doings.
Some of the best items available at Dollar Tree are their selection of pens. I like pens. I just like pens, in general. Dollar Tree offers a wide variety of pens, and some of them are superb. Recently I bought some packages of gel pens, eight for . . . you guessed it, a dollar. They have a dark, medium thick line. Perfect for some things. Mostly blue and black were available, but I also found pens offering a mixture of unusual colors, of the same type as the black and blue. I was able to purchase the last packet; other customers had scarfed up the rest. I haven’t seen the colored pens since, and may never see them again. If I do I will pounce.
The best pen item in Dollar Tree is SKU:110015. These are Jot gel pens, three for a dollar. One type of package offers three black pens, another type of package offers 1 black, 1 blue, and 1 red. The ink line is thinner, very useful for situations where you want to preserve space. These are fantastic pens. I am not usually a fan of blue pens, but the color of blue is bright and attractive. The Dollar Tree website had fifteen reviews of these pens–all fifteen gave them five out of five stars. I didn’t vote, but I agree completely. That mankind can buy three pens of this quality for $1.00 plus tax is a hint that civilization is not dead yet. Thank God for the free market.
The plot thickens, however. This is an item that doesn’t always show up in our local Dollar Tree. So I did some research. At the worst, I can order, from the Dollar Tree website, a full box of SKU:110015–48 packages, and pick them up at my local Dollar Tree for $48.00 plus tax. I really may have to make that purchase. I am running out of the pens, and I really don’t want to face life without them. If that means there are a large number of pens still unused when I die, well, my heirs and assigns finally got something good out of me. Meanwhile, the lady at the local Dollar Tree is trying to help me get the pens without having to purchase 48 packages.
As far as I can remember, I have only been in two Dollar Trees in my life. The Internet businessinsider website reported that the store the author entered somewhere on the east coast was “appalling” in its chaos. Pictures accompanying the article showed that she was not fibbing. Our local store here in Brownstown, in southern Indiana, is incredibly neat and inviting. But even if I had to go to a Dollar Tree which was appalling in its organization, I am sure I would gladly do so. There are too many superb items at an excellent price, for me to be chased away by a little chaos.