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Facts You Need to Know Before Shopping at the 99¢ Only Stores

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99¢ only Store Review

The 99¢ Only Stores would lead customers to believe that all products are only 99¢, but you’d be wrong! The name of the store and their motto are misleading. There are 5 reasons why the 99¢ Only stores are no longer a “bargain store”. 


Names can be deceiving. They always say, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. In this case don’t judge the store by its name or otherwise, you’ll not only be disappointed but you may leave the store feeling duped.

99¢ Only Stores, Don’t Let the Name Deceive You

The store that once was known for selling products for only 99¢ has in recent years moved away from their name and motto. Yet they remain named 99¢ Only store.

A few years back, they began pricing items at higher prices. I wasn’t quite happy with them moving away from their motto and name but I accepted it.

In recent weeks I have discovered that even more items are being priced higher than 99¢. Most items are still around a dollar. But items that were a dollar just last week are now being priced at $1.99. WHAT?!?!

As an example, a Dole Caesar Salad Kit was 99¢ just last week and this week they raised the price to $1.99. Fresh strawberries were only a dollar last week and now are priced at $1.99.

It’s fine that they want to raise their prices, BUT they shouldn’t be named “99¢ ONLY” store.

What’s in a Name?

When consumers walk into the 99¢ Only store they expect the franchise to deliver on its name. They expect that all items to be only 99¢. At one point that rang true and their advertising was honest. Unfortunately, you can’t run into the store expecting that all items are 99¢. Now you have to be cautious of the signs. You don’t want to accidentally pick up an item that is priced higher.

It’s not just food that is priced higher, there are toys and stationery products and other household items.

The name of the store has become more of a come-on to lure customers into the store but not deliver on their promise.


The 99¢ Only Stores were created for “price-sensitive consumers, and….other value-conscious consumers”. It was to help provide affordable prices for all.

But when they expanded their chain of stores in California, Nevada, Texas, and Arizona, have they lost the whole purpose of the store in the first place?

When they expanded their stores in 2012 they decided to go private by partnering with Ares Management and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. The once true to name store chain became more of a box market chain. It appears that making money became more important to the brand than staying true to their original brand of being a 99¢ Only Store.

Price vs Value

So the prices are rising above 99¢, that may not be a deterrent for you. However, knowing that the higher priced items at the 99¢ Only stores are the equivalent and perhaps more expensive than the grocery stores might deter you.


Eggs at the 99¢ Only stores sell for $1.99 for an 18ct of large eggs. That may not sound like a bad deal but lately, I have seen a dozen large eggs sell for 99¢ at Ralphs and an 18ct of large eggs at Vons sold for 79¢. Super King Markets have been selling a 20ct of extra large eggs for a $1.99.

The 99¢ Only stores are not only selling products above 99¢ but their price for eggs doesn’t even compare to the sale prices elsewhere.

Higher Prices Doesn’t Equal Better Service Nor Cleaner Stores

As they continue to raise their prices you would think that the stores would reflect the increase in profit but they don’t. If the 99¢ Only stores are going to continue to raise their prices then the stores need to begin to reflect that.

The stores need to be cleaner, more organized, better maintained, have more checkers available and need to be better stocked.

If they want to charge big box store prices they need to begin to run their stores like a big box store.

 99¢ Only Store vs Dollar Tree

Now that you have the low down on the 99¢ Only Stores, let’s compare it to its competitor. Which dollar store lives up to their name and motto? The 99¢ Only Store or Dollar Tree? When comparing the two, the Dollar Tree is true to their name. Unlike the 99¢ Only stores, the Dollar Tree sells all items at a dollar. You know that when you walk into the Dollar Tree you won’t be disappointed at finding higher priced items since everything sells at a dollar. Plus Dollar Tree accepts coupons and the 99¢ Only stores do NOT.

Rebranding the 99¢ Only Stores

The 99¢ Only stores need to be rebranded and labeled true to their prices. They are NOT a 99¢ Only store not with prices as high as $7.99. They need to be rebranded with a store name such as “99¢ and Up Store”, or “Dollar and Up”, or “A Dollar and Rising”.

The name needs to reflect their true prices not a gimmicky name to draw customers into their stores. It’s misleading and dishonest. If they’re misleading with their name and prices, what else are they being misleading and dishonest about?

I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts are about your local 99¢ Only stores. Which dollar store do you prefer? Leave a comment below.

A newly updated review for Hollar is coming soon as well as why you should be shopping at Nordstroms. In the meantime enjoy my recent review on why you need to sign-up for Maven today.

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  • Jenn

    I’ve actually never been in a 99 cent store before! Maybe they don’t have any in Milwaukee? I’m a sucker for good deals, so Dollar Stores are fun for me to check out, but I feel like I rarely find anything truly worth buying there. It’s great for party favors or little trinkets that you don’t necessarily need to last for ever and don’t want to spend a lot of money on!


    September 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm Reply
    • Grab & Go Reviews

      Oh, I love to find great deals too! There’s nothing better than find a good bargain! 🙂

      September 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm Reply

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