Unfortunately, it happened.
We went into a Dollar Tree in Gulf Shores for something. While I was shopping, I noticed a really nice assortment of watercolor paints. Then I noticed a large canvas (16″ x 20″), and I thought, hey, that’s what I need to paint my picture of white birch bark trees. Wow! That extra quarter really makes a difference!
But then, like a hostile witness in a courtroom, I remembered something I didn’t want to remember.
I vaguely recalled hearing something about Dollar Tree test marketing a “Plus concept” where items would be offered at prices beyond $1.25. I was hoping this was fake news. But when I saw an actual $3 and $5 price sticker in a DOLLAR TREE, I couldn’t deny it any longer.
First , they abandon the $1.00 price. Now this!
I can understand the move to the $1.25. After all, items had been only $1 for 35 years. A store can only do so much for so long. Plus, I noticed whenever I bought new “man socks“, they got holes really quickly – especially since I often walk around in my socks. I’ll pay an extra quarter if the socks can get back to the medium quality I am used to.
But honestly, I didn’t go to the “Five Quarters” store (as one of my neighbors now calls Dollar Tree) as often. And I sure didn’t buy as much. Don’t tell Dan, but I once counted well over one hundred Dollar Tree items in our basement. These items were mostly bought for future craft projects. Also, anything with a camper on it jumped into my cart. That’s just how I rolled back then.
But no more. At $1.25 per item, I’ve stopped that. After all, I’ve got a lot of inventory to craft. Down the road, if you get a little metal camper with cookies in it from me, you know what’s going on.
But, like I said, I still go to the Dollar Tree. I’ve even adjusted to the $1.25 price. My head just allows me to get 4 items rather than 5. In the end, it’s all about round numbers. Anybody know what I’m talkin’ about? How it’s easier to spend $5 than $3.75? Either you get it or you don’t.
Now, I liked Dollar Tree so much, one of my readers said, “Betty, you ought to buy stock in Dollar Tree.” (You know who you are.) And I thought, you know, I should. So, I did. I bought it as part of my HSA (Health Savings Account.) I bought 10 shares which cost me $1383.77, and as of this writing, it is worth $1594. That’s an unrealized gain of $210.23 which is a 15.19% increase since December of 2021. I guess I’m not the only one with little metal campers in my basement.
So, then I thought, why don’t I buy some Dollar Tree stock outside of my HSA. Then Dan and I can go camping with some of the money I make. So, on 4/19, I bought 3 shares for a cost of $517.02. It is now worth $478.20; that’s a loss of $38.82. Given the volatility of the market, I’m not worried. At least in the short term.
However, I am concerned about this new “Dollar Tree Plus” bone-headed idea over the long term. Sorry, but that’s my opinion. I mean, the whole point of Dollar Tree was that everything was one dollar!
If things in the store can cost whatever, then what makes Dollar Tree different from every other retail store in America?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
And there’s not one of us in the Dollar Tree cult following that is wired in such a way so as to have the ability to say out loud, “and it only cost three dollars.” We just can’t do it.
Yes, there are lots of items in the store which are still $1.25. Just like Target. Target has a section of dollar items, but who goes there for that? I don’t shop a lot, but I’m betting lots of other stores have dollar sections, too.
So, I’m not sure what to do. Do I take my $200 plus profit in my HSA and get my teeth cleaned? Do I bail on the Vanguard and cut my losses? Or do I wait until it breaks even and then sell? Or do I wait even longer and hope to camp at one of those fancy, “Resort Campgrounds” which offers things I don’t know about because we’ve never been to one?
What’s your take on Dollar Tree? How do you feel about the extra quarter? Do you like the Plus section? Maybe together we can start a movement, so that the test market gets an F grade. Are you with me on this? Let me know your thoughts. And one more question.
Would you like a little camper with some cookies in it?