Product NOT to Buy at Dollar Tree

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This is a Mr. Savvy rant 🙂

Dollar Tree is a great resource to find somethings cheap.  Lot’s of savings can be made in fact if you need something and don’t have those MM coupons handy.  Sometimes the savings just don’t add up, though.  One example is garbage liners.  You usually get less in a package than at a regular grocery store and the product is cheap and unreliable.  You don’t want to spill garbage all over your floor leave a leak trail across your house, so you probably should avoid these.

Recently, BSD and I made another interesting discovery.  We wanted to save a few bucks on batteries and picked up some Sunbeams at the Dollar Tree.  We needed 6 C’s and they came in packages of three.  I thought this must be how they make money and it was alright with me, since buying two was still way cheaper than buying eight of a bigger brand like Duracell or Rayovac.  I had always experienced roughly the same power and duration from every battery I used so I didn’t think there could be much difference in these cheaper batteries.  I was so wrong.  We installed these into a queen size air mattress that was supposed to take three minutes to inflate.  Ten minutes later it was nowhere near done and deflated dramatically overnight.  I was in disbelief and wasn’t ready to through in the towell on the mattress so I picked up some alkalines and sure enough within seconds the bed was pumped full of air.  We’ve been sleeping well now, thanks to proper batteries.

I cannot believe how ineffective Sunbeam brand batteries are.  I’m using them on the Wii remotes and am almost through the package already.  No more Dollar Store Batteries for me.  You save nothing and get only frustration.

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  • Angela Kinder

    That’s why I don’t even buy Dollar General store brand batteries. My camera goes through them within 20 minutes when I’m in serious photography mode. DT might be good for some things (like snacks, gift wrapping, etc.) but not good when it comes to other things.

  • KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

    I’ve found the same to be true of CVS generic brand too. Some things are just worth more in the long run.

    I will say that my Dollar Tree has fridge/freezer foods. I can buy the same brand of feta cheese at the Dollar Tree for $1 that my grocery store sells for $5. When I find it in stock in the store, I buy 10 and keep them in the freezer!

  • rachel

    I buy the brand at Save-a-lot (store brand) and they are great for the kids toys. Same life as Duracell or Energizer.

  • denise

    I highly recommend Dollar Trees version of Drano. I’ve used it 2x and it works just as well if not better then the $4 name brand products.

  • jessica

    We use DT batteries all the time. They work fine in my son’s toys and our remotes.I did not like them when my old camera took AA.I guess for each is own.

    • Todd-E

      They are designed for low current devices. An airpump for a mattress is a high current drawing device which the batteries are not designed for.

  • Dianna

    The only time dollar tree batteries are worth it is if your handing out battery powered party toys. I handed out dollar tree fans at the 4th and they were great. The batteries lasted in them all night, if the parents want them to work longer then they will have to buy good ones. On the other hand I put some in my camera once and was able to take 2 pics lol

  • Steven Fitzgerald

    From reading the reviews on for Sunbeam batteries you are not alone in your analysis. Good call!

    I got about 50 AA and AAA 4-Packs of Rayovac that go for $0.97 at Walmart for FREE plus made money with the $1/1 Rayovac coupons. I love the look on the cashiers faces when they have to pay me money to take the merchandise!

    It would have taken me years to use that many batteries so I donated a good share of them to my local elementary school. They were very appreciative and excited that they had replacement batteries for all the clocks in their classrooms.

    I would hope that you would write to the store’s corporate office and tell them about your experience. Maybe they are not aware of how inferior the batteries are and will stop carrying them.

  • Christina

    I got some rayovac cheap ones on clearance right after xmas for $0.25 for 2 pack of C’s I put 6 in my son’s toy and they low battery light was on instantly!! toy wasn’t even fully functional!!!!! never again!

    i think I would only use them for something that draw little power like remotes.

  • Michael Smith

    I use Dollar Tree very frequently but I have also noticed somethings that I don’t buy any more due to lots of frustration. I do buy the batteries but I do recommend that if you are going to use these batteries, only use them in low power items such as remotes.
    I also buy some of the shaving creams, barbesol has one there that last me about 3 weeks and it works very well. I still buy razors from Wal-Mart because every time I use a very cheap razor I end up needed a blood transfusion when i am done.
    But overall, there is money to be saved there if you know what to buy and are not to picky about name brands.

  • AJ

    Batteries: problem is not the brand- sunbeam ALKALINE BATTS are good. The problem is “heavy duty” batteries of any brand don’t last. Costco also sells 48packs of their brand AA for about $11 or so….Anything costco brand is QUALITY!!

    Razor Blades – WALMART is the best. What’s Schick in the US is WILKENSON SWORD (WS) overseas…. Walmart sells WS at less than half price of Schick. Other than the color, its the same exact razor& blade. OR…., best value for really good razors is on line: Dorco Razors triple blades are better than Mach3 (and as low as 50c/blade!!!)

    • Josh

      You got it: the Dollar Tree heavy duty batteries aren’t what you want; however, the alkaline batteries I’ve purchased there have worked well for me (they’re Sunbeam brand AA and AAA). Now, it may be the case that name-brand batteries would work better but with consideration to the fact that Dollar Tree sells 4-packs for $1 such that each battery costs $0.25 and name-brand batteries easily cost many times that amount elsewhere, it is my belief that the Sunbeam alkaline AA and AAA 4-packs from Dollar Tree are still a better value.

  • Tina Soto

    I agree with both sides about the batteries, they work very well for our remotes and small devices. However, for the bigger things we always get the name brand.

  • Cris

    The only thing I buy at Dollar Tree is Christmas Wrapping paper. Id rather pay a few cents more at a Walmart or Kmart ..I think of all the “dollar/99 cent stores Dollar Tree is the worst.

  • Shari

    I have always bought my AA and AAA batteries at Dollar Tree. The trick is to get the ALKALINE batteries, NOT the Super Heavy Duty ones. Dateline did a show years ago and they said the SHD ones do not hold up as long as the alkaline ones. You can get the 9V, C and D sized batteries at Big Lots if you have one and save money and they will be alkaline.

  • Posby

    I wish people would learn and pay attention to battery chemistries before ranting about them. Any battery labeled “general purpose” or “[super] heavy duty” are of the older Zinc-Carbon chemistry. While it was heavy duty back in the day, they’re no longer efficient for current-generation electronics except for very low-drain devices. Try using them in a digital camera and you’ll be lucky if the number of shots you can take exceeds single-digit.

    For higher drain devices, you’re better off making use of Nickel-MetalHydride batteries. They cost more than alkaline batteries, but are rechargeable and will save you money in the long run if you treat them well (no over-discharging or overcharging). Each recharge may cost not even a cent’s worth of electricity.

  • Suman

    Right on Posby. People, these non alkaline batteries are meant for low drain devices like wall clocks and household smoke detectors. Not cameras and game controllers.

  • lori

    Buy batteries from Dollar tree all the time and never had a problem with them. In fact they have lasted longer than other more expensive ones

  • Josh

    I use Dollar Tree Sunbeam alkaline batteries. They are just as good as the name brand. As mentioned previously, they are so cheap that even if they don’t last as long there still a better value, but they do last if you get the alkaline ones.

  • Flowbee

    The trick is, buy electronic devices that charge… Even an universal remote that recharges… You’ll save in the long run….

  • Ian

    Of course you are not going to get the same service life from the Dollar Tree Sunbeam batteries that you bought, when you compare them to Duracell batteries. This is because you bought the “Super Heavy Duty” ones (as pictured by you). These are not “Alkaline” batteries. You need to compare apples to apples. If you had purchased the Sunbeam “Alkaline” batteries that Dollar Tree also sell, you would have found that they last just as long as Duracell or Energizer batteries. Why? because Duracell and Energizer batteries, in their basic no frills form, are indeed “Alkaline” batteries. Eveready make a non alkaline battery that is comparable to the Sunbeam non alkaline batteries you bought, and these non Alkaline batteries are ok to use in your TV remote, as they are a low drain device.

  • Charles K

    5 years ago I’m not sure if the Sunbeam Alkalines were available, but if so you would have seen a huge difference. “Super Heavy Duty” batteries are for low drain devices like TV remote controls. They cannot handle higher drain devices like flashlights, music players and game controllers such as the Wii remotes for very long.
    Sunbeam brand alkaline batteries that you can buy at Dollar Tree and elsewhere last as long or longer than Duracell and Energizer but usually cost about 25 cents each compared to the name brands at around a dollar each. Even if they don’t last as long, the difference is only a few minutes. Not really worth spending 4 times as much for a name brand, IMO.

    • Lopar

      I use 6 D size heavy duty batteries in one of my vintage 80’s keyboards, and as you may or may not be aware , older musical instruments drain batteries a lot faster than newer ones, but needless to say, I play on this particular keyboard for 2-4 hours straight 3 times a week, I’ve been doing this for the past year and I’ve had to replace the batteries 4 times, so that’s $4 a year I spend on heavy duty batteries and they perfectly meet my needs as a musician, with everything being so energy friendly nowadays, I can’t imagine anything draining any type of battery really fast

  • Marty

    Double down on the horrible Sunbeam batteries. They don’t last nearly as long as other brands and I had a very high percentage of them leak, this will destroy your battery compartment but even worse if it leaks onto circuitry you can kiss your equipment good -bye.

  • Jerry H

    Sunbeam alkaline batteries provide as much power as other alkaline batteries and are a bargain. Many of the negative experiences and comments here are because people are buying the cheaper sunbeam carbon-zinc batteries and they are not understanding or are ignoring the Low Drain labor on the package. The label means that the batterties are appropriate for low drain devices is. devices that do not require much power to operate.

  • Ron

    too bad site denigrates Sunbeam based on the one C type heavy duty. I have been using Sunbeam alkaline for years . Work great and at only 25 cents per. Poor research.

  • Bradley Smith

    I agree.. But you purchased the zinc-carbon type (heavy duty).. They are terrible.. Instead, buy the Sunbeam alkaline type. My experience is that this type is much, much better and comparable to other brands.. That said, I wouldn’t use any Sunbeam type for a critical use, such as a smoke detector.. Hope that helps.

  • Steve K.

    You bought HEAVY DUTY. Try Dollar Tree’s ALKALINE, four “AA” or “AAA” for $1.00, lasts as long as any brand>>IMO. But true, their “C” cells are just heavy duty, but nearly all I need are “AA” or “AAA.” For my smoke detector a package of two 9V Batteries is just fine, replacing it ONCE per year, New Years weekend.

  • Bob Kirsch

    You bought zinc carbon batteries, not alkaline. The Sunbeam batteries are fine. You are using them in the wrong application. Zinc carbon batteries are the design from the early 1930s and are only now used for small devices that use minimal current. If you read the label on the mattress inflator it most likely stated: Alkaline Batteries Only”.

  • Dude

    It’s a dollar store what do you expect? Everything they sell is cheap junk made in China. you get what you pay for. I haven’t bought batteries in retail stores in years. there are too many great deals for name brand batteries online

  • Yoleberry

    Sunbeam lithium batteries at the dollar store work just fine. Have been using them for years. 99 percent of batteries are made in China anyway. The only thing I will not buy at the tree is garbage bags.

  • paul

    I’ve used these batteries and I think they are great, you must be an idiot and work for the other companies, I have been using these batteries for years and there is no difference and if you google research it you will fine there is very little difference from name brand batteries and these

  • Ryan

    Don’t make judgements on things you don’t understand. The batteries your bought are carbon/zinc batteries, and are not made for high discharge electronics like motors, fans, etc. Had you bought alkaline Sunbeam batteries I’m sure they would have worked exactly as the alkaline batteries you used that worked.

    Also, you’re blaming the mattress deflated over night on the batteries?!?

    Please stop slandering things just because you can.

  • Penny Snyder

    Purchased Sunbeam batteries size C and they ruined a very expensive flash light. Called Sunbeam company and was treated very unprofessional. Will not purchase another Sunbeam product. Duracel only brand to buy. Shame on me.

  • Martin

    I have been various no name brand CR2032 lithium batteries from dollar stores for years with good success. Now they have Sunbeam but they only last 24 hours in the alarm door sensors. Are they just a bad batch or has Sunbeam always made junk?