The Real Reason You Shouldn't Buy Extension Cords At Dollar General

Depending on where you live, there's a good chance you regularly pass a Dollar General store. According to Supermarket News, the brand of small footprint stores experienced tremendous growth in 2020. The company operates at least 17,177 stores across 46 states, making it a well-recognized brand for most people. 

These neighborhood stores offer a wide variety of low-cost options on things your household likely uses every day. Many of the items for sale are great deals. From toilet paper to snacks to essential household items, it is tempting to grab everything you need in one quick and easy stop.

However, Reader's Digest warned that there are some items like over-the-counter drugs and beauty products that you shouldn't buy at these discount retailers. Another one of the items the publication warned against — extension cords and power strips — might be something you've purchased or considered purchasing at your local Dollar General. There's a big reason why you shouldn't, though.

Here's the problem with dollar-store extension cords

Most likely, if you need an extension cord or a power strip, you're plugging in something fairly valuable into it. Many homes use them for electronics like televisions, game consoles, computers, and even charging mobile phones (via IGN). It makes sense that you want to protect these items from faulty wired power sources. However, you might not realize that the cheaper dollar-store version might not be everything it claims to be.  

Brent Shelton, an online shopping expert for, explained why extension cords and power strips are not as good a buy as they seem (via Reader's Digest). "Dollar store versions of extension cords, power strips, and the like can be poorly made and therefore unsafe," she says. "Skip the savings in pursuit of safety and get these items from your hardware store."

Family Handyman reported that frequently counterfeit products or those that don't have the proper certification end up at the dollar stores like Dollar General, which means they could damage your valuable electronics. That bargain extension cord could cost you big bucks if you end up having to replace something you plugged into it. When in doubt, spend a bit more to choose a trusted brand from a trusted retailer, especially for your household's expensive devices.