To Walmart or not to Walmart? This is the question.
It would be ideal to have a one-stop-shop where you could find everything you want, to buy all of your day-to-day basic needs. But no store can be that great, whether because of the prices, quality, or simply what it offers or don’t offer, leaving you to buy some things for one store and others from another.
This is certainly part of the reason why online retailers like Amazon are so successful because most people would like to buy every single thing they need from the same place. It’s time effective and easier. However, one store where you can find practically everything is Walmart. And while there are plenty of things you haven’t been buying at Walmart but you should have, there are other items for which you may want to look elsewhere.
When it comes to certain items, the low price is just not worth it. Here are 10 things you should never buy from Walmart!
Walmart is a great place for finding inexpensive name-brand food, and its grocery delivery service is an easy and convenient option. However, when you’re on the hunt for some quality organic food, you might want to shop elsewhere, smart shopping and personal finance expert Trae Bodge said.
“Walmart is not known for its pricing on organic foods, so you might do better at a Trader Joe’s or Aldi,” Bodge added. Additionally, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can also get discounts on some organic fare at Whole Foods.
Great Value brand food
Great Value is Walmart’s store brand, and there’s no other place to buy these products (except online). Bodge recommends to just skip them altogether.
She claims that for what you get, it might be better to stick to name brands. “I’ve found that if you compare the quantities and unit sizes with the name brand, the prices are pretty comparable,” she explained.
With the small price difference, you might as well opt for the name brand, if only “so you don’t get the side-eye from your kids!” she said jokingly.
Walmart is popular for its low prices, but it still hasn’t cornered the market on affordability, especially when we’re talking about fragrances. While an $18 “Bonjour Beautiful” perfume sampler kit makes the list of awesome products you can only get at Walmart, Walmart is actually not the proper place to buy high-end fragrances.
Take it from Adrian Lauruc, a fragrance collector who runs FragranceSpotter.com. “Creed Aventus, a very popular niche fragrance, costs $635.19 at Walmart,” he told RD.com. “You can find the same product at online retailer FragranceX for $342.”
For an overall cheaper alternative, Lauruc found a fragrance with a $204 price tag at Walmart for just under $109 on Amazon.
Buying furniture from Walmart is like taking a gamble, according to Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com.
“Most of Walmart’s affordable options for wood furniture are made of things like particleboard,” Ramhold explained.
“Unfortunately, this often means these pieces won’t survive one move, let alone others, and they won’t be able to handle minor scuffs and scratches.”
While Walmart furniture is definitely budget-friendly, you risk having to spend more money in the long run to replace it. You can find much better deals on furniture at IKEA or Amazon. “For what you spend on some cheaply made pieces at Walmart, you can find decent alternatives,” Ramhold said.
Vitamins and supplements
“Vitamins are one of those products that can sap your wallet over time, so you’re better off buying your favorite brands in bulk when you can,” says Ramhold.
“If you’re taking them regularly, you’ll save way more by stocking up at a warehouse store.” And the same thing goes for supplements.
In 2015, Walmart and other retailers like Target and Walgreens were accused of selling supplements that didn’t contain what they said they did. Many of the so-called “herbal” supplements contained additives such as powdered rice and asparagus rather than real herbs.
“The problem has likely been remedied since ,” Ramhold said, “but it’s still disconcerting.”
Great Value toilet paper
You can keep Walmart as an option for toilet paper altogether, but Bodge advises not to buy the generic Walmart Great Value brand just because it’s affordable.
“Walmart’s Great Value brand of toilet paper is well priced but fared poorly in Consumer Reports testing,” she warned.
A Consumer Reports test of all of Walmart’s toilet paper options showed that the Great Value brand scored a total of nine out of 100. The reviewers said it “was neither soft nor strong, and it didn’t disintegrate well.”
However, it looks like the most recent test of this nature was made in 2015, so maybe Walmart has changed things a little since then.
When it comes to place settings like plates, glasses, and cutlery, Ramhold puts it pretty simply: “If you’re not worried about quality, odds are you can find cheap place settings at a Dollar Store, and if you are worried about quality, you definitely don’t need to buy the cheap pieces of dinnerware and flatware at Walmart.”
Additionally, if you’re looking for some quality table settings, Walmart isn’t the place where you can find it.
Here’s another common kitchen item that you shouldn’t buy from Walmart. If you like to cook and you use kitchen appliances, like mixers and blenders, consistently, you should definitely choose higher-quality ones, says Ramhold.
You could probably manage using a Walmart mixer or blender if you don’t use very often, but if you’re a big-time cook using a Walmart product, you’ll end up having to replace it sooner rather than later.
So, for instance, “if you frequently mix batters, it’s best to skip the cheap hand mixers and stand mixers at Walmart and just go ahead and invest in something like a KitchenAid,” Ramhold said.
Walmart offers pretty good deals on tires, but you can find even better deals elsewhere. Ramhold’s pick? Costco!
“Costco’s tires tend to be excellent quality, and you can find great deals throughout the year,” she said. In addition, Costco will rotate and balance your tires for free, for the entire life of the tires.
“That same service at Walmart is $12 per tire,” Ramhold said.
Ramhold warned that sometimes wrapping paper from the Dollar Store can rip while you’re cutting it, and if you’d like to avoid that, maybe you should buy it from elsewhere. But there are still some places that make better choices for gift wrap than Walmart, especially if you don’t go through it quickly.
“I say opt for wrapping paper from places like Costco or Sam’s Club, where you’ll get more bang for your buck,” Ramhold said.
“I’ve had the same roll of reversible wrapping paper from Costco for the past several years… it was $10 for a huge roll and so worth it!”