The Real Reason You Shouldn't Buy Electronics At Dollar General

You want or need a new electronic item, but even if it's a small accessory, you don't have the cash to go high-end. However, you do have enough to head to your local Dollar General and get a cheaper version of your desired items. But should you? Will you be getting your money's worth or getting a dud?

The prevalence of dollar stores has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. As of 2020, there were a whopping 34,000 dollar stores throughout the United States. The same year, Dollar General took in $33.75 billion, a 22% increase over 2019, according to People go to Dollar General looking for discounts and/or convenience items, for anything from a container of milk to kiddie pools for the summer. But you might want to stay away from the generic electronics you'd find at Dollar General and other dollar retailers for very good reasons.

Dollar General electronics are often poor quality

If you're purchasing name brand electronics at a big box store like Target or stores that specialize in electronics like Best Buy, then you know you can trust the quality of the items, including the materials used to make them. When you buy electronics at Dollar General, you don't.

"[Generic] brands are usually pulling in parts from a whole bunch of places — not always the same place," Brent Shelton, the online shopping expert for the website Fat Wallet, told Reader's Digest. "So the reliability of quality and safety can't be as sure as from a name brand that has high standards for all parts of the materials used."

Per Insider, it's not just quality of the electronics. It can also be a safety issue as well, as the outlet notes that, "At best, they will perform poorly and fail eventually; at worst, they will short out and create a potentially serious hazard."

Reader's Digest also points out that if a friend told you about a fantastic new phone charger they picked up at Dollar General that's lasted them much longer than expected, you might not get exactly the same as they got even if you buy the same thing. The name on the package might match, but the parts could be much different indeed. As Kiplinger points out, "Given that you'd be plugging them into your beloved smartphone or tablet, why chance it?"