Dollar Tree price scanner has the internet in mourning

@simplynatalie31/TikTok Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘Just cross off Dollar and call it Tree’: Dollar Tree customer in shock after finding a price scanner in the store

'Capitalism won.'

 

Eric Webb

Trending

Posted on Feb 16, 2024   Updated on Feb 16, 2024, 3:27 pm CST

Here’s another sign of our increasingly expensive times: A price scanner at a Dollar Tree store.

TikTok creator Natalie (@simplynatalie31), who regularly posts content about beauty product bargains she finds at the value retailer, recently documented her encounter with such a machine. The video has 2 million views and almost 173,000 likes.

“POV: When you see this in dollar tree and realize whats happening,” the text overlay on the video reads. The camera shows a digital display mounted to a support beam in the store. The screen on the display reads: “Dollar Tree … Scan for Price.” The video is set to a nostalgia-inducing sound clip from “Dirty Dancing” that features the song “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes.

Why is a simple price scanner so remarkable? Dollar Tree built its reputation on selling almost everything on the shelves for the same price—just a dollar. To many viewers on TikTok, the price scanner is just another reminder that even this institution isn’t immune from rising prices. In August, GoBankingRates reported that after experimenting with raising its price points, the retailer would roll back prices on some—but not all—items to $1.

Still, the company’s website now reads, “In the midst of unprecedented inflation, Dollar Tree recently changed its primary price point to $1.25 in order to continue to offer our customers all the products they’ve come to know and love, plus hundreds of new ones, and to bring back customer favorites at an incredible value,” 

On the same section of the website, the company also stated: “We’ve added Dollar Tree Plus sections to over 1,000 of our stores which provide customers with even greater deals at the $3 and $5 price points. We will continue to expand the Plus assortment to even more stores in the coming years.”

To be fair, the store’s name never specified how many dollars were on the titular tree.

One commenter on Natalie’s video wrote, “dollar tree is gonna be the new 5 below since 5 below also has a area for more expensive items.”

Another commented, “just cross off dollar and call it ‘tree.’” The creator replied, “yeah..wondering if a name change is coming.”

“Our local dollar tree has everything priced at $1.25 so everyone has taken to calling it the ‘five quarter store,’” a viewer chimed in.

“I worked at dollar tree when everything was a [dollar] … I was asked several times a day how much things [cost] so I would have loved this lol,” a comment read.

One person commented, “i shouldn’t have to check the price at the DOLLAR store.”

Another viewer wrote, “bro it’s gonna be any amount tree now.”

A viewer added, “bought a $3 vase today,” while another wrote, “I saw oreos for 3.75 at Dollar Tree. capitalism won.”

“Technically everything still costs a dollar…plus a little more,” one commenter pointed out.

@simplynatalie31

Yep.It's here!

♬ be my baby by the ronettes – jules ౨ৎ

Natalie isn’t the only TikTok creator to notice these price scanners. Creator @niecy_deals asked a manager at her location about the new equipment, and she said they told her prices at that location would soon increase to “$1.50, $1.75, and possibly $2.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Natalie and Dollar Tree via email. 

Update 3:27pm CT, Feb. 16: In an email interview with the Daily Dot, Natalie said she was surprised her video resonated so much with viewers. She doesn’t think rising prices at Dollar Tree would stop her from making beauty deal content, though, “because the price will still be cheaper than anywhere else.”

“Dollar Tree is a great place to supplement your lifestyle, so don’t let the prices scare you. Change is good!” Natalie told the Dot.

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*First Published: Feb 16, 2024, 5:00 am CST