Shopping Discussion

Does anyone else not shop at Dollarama anymore?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 6th, 2021 10:39 pm
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Aug 30, 2020
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YEG/YYZ

Does anyone else not shop at Dollarama anymore?

Been noticing that prices in Dollarama have started creeping up slowly over time, especially after they introduced items up to $4. The thing is, those $4/$3.50/$3 items are hardly worth that price. They took existing items that are $1 or $1.50 and jacked the price up. Dollarama has always been an out of the way trip for me from my typical Superstore / Walmart / Costco trips, and after I got ripped off last time thinking dollarama had the best price, I won't ever go back. I needed rubbing alcohol to clean off CPU paste and went to Dollarama thinking I would get the best deal. but instead it was $3/174mL for Dollarama brand Medicare 70% Rubbing Alcohol. While at Superstore they had Life Brand 70% Alcohol for $2.28/500mL.

Prices are just not competitive. It's not worth going out of the way to Dollarama anymore, and any little knick knacks that are not sold at WM/Costco/RCSS I'm going to check Dollar Tree instead. Anything that I can't find and I can wait for, I'll order off ebay or aliexpress for spare change.

There is never any promotions at Dollarama. There's no BTS sale, while Staples offers a pack of 10 pencils for 25 cents or 150 page books for 10 cents. Will never see that at Dollarama.

No rewards programs while every other store does (PC points, etc). Have got 2 Dysons, 2 massagers, and PS5 games and a controller and just had to pay the tax. Probably going to get a Canon camera this black friday bonus redemption.

Thoughts? Just going to jump the Dollarama ship now before the inevitable $5 items.
54 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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As retirees / grandparents we seem to only ever shop at any Cdn Dollar Store 2x a year

Before Christmas for Stocking Stuffers
And before Easter for Easter Basket goodies (mostly stickers, small toys, etc )

While doing our Easter Shopping … we usually also pick up any inexpensive odds & ends for our Spring Gardening needs …

Dollar Stores are a real good place to get such items like gardening gloves, jiffy plant pellets, peat pots, etc
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.
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Now you want to talk US DOLLAR STORES … that’s a whole other ball of wax
We go into one of those everytime we are stateside … they are like Cdn Dollar Stores on steroids
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
19285 posts
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Yes prices have increased at Dollarama but given everything comes from China the cost of shipping has increased drastically so it's understandable. I do shop at it as you can find good items and some $4 items are over $20 on Amazon.
Deal Guru
Nov 15, 2008
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My argument with the place is it is an environmental disaster. It is loaded with plastic & throwaway-quality goods. Is there anything in the store you would keep even 5 years? I welcome the higher prices because then maybe people will think before buying goods that end up in the trash in short order.
Jr. Member
Nov 26, 2013
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CanadianConsumerYEG wrote: Been noticing that prices in Dollarama have started creeping up slowly over time, especially after they introduced items up to $4. The thing is, those $4/$3.50/$3 items are hardly worth that price. They took existing items that are $1 or $1.50 and jacked the price up. Dollarama has always been an out of the way trip for me from my typical Superstore / Walmart / Costco trips, and after I got ripped off last time thinking dollarama had the best price, I won't ever go back. I needed rubbing alcohol to clean off CPU paste and went to Dollarama thinking I would get the best deal. but instead it was $3/174mL for Dollarama brand Medicare 70% Rubbing Alcohol. While at Superstore they had Life Brand 70% Alcohol for $2.28/500mL.

Prices are just not competitive. It's not worth going out of the way to Dollarama anymore, and any little knick knacks that are not sold at WM/Costco/RCSS I'm going to check Dollar Tree instead. Anything that I can't find and I can wait for, I'll order off ebay or aliexpress for spare change.

There is never any promotions at Dollarama. There's no BTS sale, while Staples offers a pack of 10 pencils for 25 cents or 150 page books for 10 cents. Will never see that at Dollarama.

No rewards programs while every other store does (PC points, etc). Have got 2 Dysons, 2 massagers, and PS5 games and a controller and just had to pay the tax. Probably going to get a Canon camera this black friday bonus redemption.

Thoughts? Just going to jump the Dollarama ship now before the inevitable $5 items.
Check out Dollar Tree if there is one in your area. All items $1.25. They started having some items at $1.50 and I haven't seen anything over $1.50.

Dollar Tree let you exchange if you change your mind about the purchase. No returns though.

https://www.dollartreecanada.com/
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
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lecale wrote: My argument with the place is it is an environmental disaster. It is loaded with plastic & throwaway-quality goods. Is there anything in the store you would keep even 5 years? I welcome the higher prices because then maybe people will think before buying goods that end up in the trash in short order.
Yes. Lots of stuff. Usually it's stuff that sells for $3 to $4. Often it's name brand items, perhaps end-of-lines or excess inventory. One has to be selective of course. For instance I wouldn't buy a tool from them. But there's lots of housewares that we've been using for years.

And then there's "disposable" stuff as @PointsHubby points out. Greeting cards, wrapping paper, etc. Why pay $5 for a greeting card when you can get one for $1 at a dollar store?
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Deal Addict
May 2, 2013
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wnicole wrote: Check out Dollar Tree if there is one in your area. All items $1.25. They started having some items at $1.50 and I haven't seen anything over $1.50.
yes, that's true, but dollarama has a wider selection of food items. snacks like trail mix, chocolate bars, chips and drinks, cookies that are made in india. kit kat copycat wafers imported from turkey that cost 3 for $1 at dollarama. can't find those at dollar tree
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Jan 7, 2002
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oicthat2013 wrote: dollarama has a wider selection of food items. snacks like trail mix, chocolate bars, chips and drinks, cookies that are made in india. kit kat copycat wafers imported from turkey that cost 3 for $1 at dollarama.
Be careful with that stuff.

1. It could be fake. I once bought a name brand toothbrush at Dollarama that was the same as I had been using but made in IIRC Turkey. The packaging and contents looked identical to the real thing except for the multilingual text. When I used it the bristles were like on a scrub brush. Yet the labelling said "soft" just like the real ones I'd been using. Then there was the fake Colgate toothpaste that actually had some harmful ingredients.

2. It could be "real" but made from inferior ingredients. For instance Milka brand chocolate is made by Swiss food giant Mondelez. They have factories all over the world including many in Europe. Turns out the factory in Poland uses more sugar and less cocoa that the Swiss plant. The former is substantially cheaper and is sold primarily in ex-Eastern European countries compared to the Swiss version that's sold in Western Europe. Make sure the bars of chocolate you buy at Dollarama have the same formulation as the ones you buy at regular stores. There may be a difference that explains the lower price. Or at least do a taste test to see if you can tell the difference.
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Feb 7, 2017
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oicthat2013 wrote:
yes, that's true, but dollarama has a wider selection of food items. snacks like trail mix, chocolate bars, chips and drinks, cookies that are made in india. kit kat copycat wafers imported from turkey that cost 3 for $1 at dollarama. can't find those at dollar tree
bylo wrote: Be careful with that stuff.

1. It could be fake. I once bought a name brand toothbrush at Dollarama that was the same as I had been using but made in IIRC Turkey. The packaging and contents looked identical to the real thing except for the multilingual text. When I used it the bristles were like on a scrub brush. Yet the labelling said "soft" just like the real ones I'd been using.

Then there was the fake Colgate toothpaste that actually had some harmful ingredients.

2. It could be "real" but made from inferior ingredients. For instance Milka brand chocolate is made by Swiss food giant Mondelez. They have factories all over the world including many in Europe. Turns out the factory in Poland uses more sugar and less cocoa that the Swiss plant. The former is substantially cheaper and is sold primarily in ex-Eastern European countries compared to the Swiss version that's sold in Western Europe. Make sure the bars of chocolate you buy at Dollarama have the same formulation as the ones you buy at regular stores. There may be a difference that explains the lower price. Or at least do a taste test to see if you can tell the difference.
Agree

I don’t mess around with the dollar store stuff if it’s something I am going to eat / ingest … like foods or toothpaste

I remember awhile back there was a whole RFD discussion about the FAKE brand name toothpaste that was discovered at a Cdn Dollar Store

https://www.cbc.ca/news/fake-colgate-ch ... a-1.664913

That really made me aware, cautious about we buy there ever since
Last edited by PointsHubby on Sep 3rd, 2021 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
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When it comes to food items I only buy chocolate at Dollarama, the name brand products.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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carmaster wrote: When it comes to food items I only buy chocolate at Dollarama, the name brand products.
Ya but as witnessed by the FAKE Colgate knock offs

Name brand alone, doesn’t guarantee anything
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
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PointsHubby wrote: Ya but as witnessed by the FAKE Colgate knock offs

Name brand alone, doesn’t guarantee anything
I highly doubt that the Twix is counterfeit. If that is the case what is real and counterfeit?
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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carmaster wrote: I highly doubt that the Twix is counterfeit. If that is the case what is real and counterfeit?
And therein lies the problem …

The FAKES look as good often as the REAL STUFF … so they can pass

It’s only when people get sick … that a RED FLAG is raised

Such as with the FAKE COLGATE

The RCMP … Canada’s Food Inspection Agency & Health Canada … yanked the FAKES off the shelves

And worked with the CBSA to ensure it doesn’t happen again

And the kicker … 99% of those fakes were at just one type of Retailer … Dollar Stores

That should tell you something right there

Personally, that was enough for me … I am not gonna play Russian Roulette with ANY FOOD, HEALTH OR DRUG product found at a Dollar Store.
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
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Birthday party stuff and one time decoration are ok.

There are a lot things like this ( not just dollarama, could also be canadian Tire), you pay 2 dollars in dollarama and use it for one season or pay 10 dollar in Costco and use it for 10 years. Costco actually saves you money
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The last thing I bought at Dollarama was gum....two packs, IIRC 72 cents each. Where are you going to find gum for that? Added to that, it's a lot easier around where I live to get to Dollarama vs a Walmart.

Like everything everywhere, you have to know your prices and what is good or not good quality for the $.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
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I won't buy anything from any dollar store that would go into my mouth. No gum, chocolate bars, mouthwash, toothpaste etc. No toothbrush or toothpicks either!
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2018
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I get candy and other snacks regularly from Dollarama. I've compared prices with grocery stores like No Frills and Dollarama's pricing is equal or better per weight. Sometimes the grocery stores can match or come close with a sale, but that's just every day price at Dollarama.
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Jan 9, 2011
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bylo wrote: It could be fake.
Agree. I've picked up boxes of name-brand stuff in dollar stores including toothpaste, and put it right back down again. Something about the packaging seemed off. It was close enough to look real at a distance but fake upon close inspection. Like a counterfeit $10 bill I received one time.
bylo wrote: sold primarily in ex-Eastern European countries
ex-Eastern European countries? That continental drift must be happening faster than I thought!
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Kiraly wrote: ex-Eastern European countries? That continental drift must be happening faster than I thought!
OK then, ex-Soviet European countries. It happened so quickly in 1991 that apparently you missed the drift ;)
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