10 Things You Should Never Buy at Target

10 Items You Should Never Buy at Target AI-Generated Image

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10 Items You Should Never Buy at Target AI-Generated Image
Cheapism / DALL-E 3

Waste of Dough

Loved for its convenience, accessibility, and wide array of products, Target is a one-stop shop for many consumers. The clean, well-organized aisles and competitive pricing attract a diverse customer base (it's like a fancier version of Walmart, if you will). From stylish home decor and delicious snacks to the latest electronics, Target often hits the mark. 

But despite the retail giant's many strengths, there are certain items you might be wise to pass over, experts and shoppers advise. Here are 10 items to avoid buying at Target and why.

Woman shopping in local supermarket.

1. Party and Craft Supplies

While Target offers a wide range of products — including party supplies and arts and crafts — it likely won't be the most cost-effective choice for such items. Supplies like balloons, decorations, serveware, art goods, and even greeting cards tend to be more expensive at Target compared to a dollar store. Plus, the variety of options at Target might be limited compared to shops that specialize in party and craft goods. 

"If you're looking for specific supplies like paint brushes, acrylic paints, stitching supplies, and other craft goods, you're better off heading to a devoted store," says consumer analyst Julie Ramhold.

Favorite Day Trail Mix

2. Trail Mix

According to a Target employee, trail mix is another snack item that can be found for cheaper elsewhere. "As a worker, I can’t believe people regularly shop at Target," they write, adding, "I mean people pay $8 for a bag of trail mix that’s $1.99 at Walmart." 

The user then goes on full blast and reveals that many items that Target sells are actually overpriced. "The Target deals literally are terrible," they write. "We just mark things up and then market it as buy one get one 25% off or something stupid." Guess some things never change. And by that I mean, corporate greed. 


3. Electronics

While most Target stores boast an impressive lineup of electronics (you can find everything from TVs and gaming consoles to toasters and microwaves), it won't offer the most bang for your buck, says Jeanel Alvarado, founder and CEO of retail news and analysis site Retail Boss.

"You can often find better deals and a wider selection at specialized electronics retailers or online stores like Amazon and Best Buy," notes Alvarado, adding, "Additionally, these specialized retailers may offer better customer service and more knowledgeable staff when it comes to electronics."

Flat lay with accessories for dog and cat on white wooden background. pet care
Hazal Ak/istockphoto

4. Pet Supplies

When it comes to pet supplies like bowls, leashes, dry and wet food, and treats, Target isn't where you want to be. This is because the range of pet goods that department stores carry will typically be much more limited compared to specialized pet stores or larger retailers focused on pet care. 

This can mean fewer options in terms of brands, sizes, and specific needs, like food for animals with dietary restrictions or toys for different types of pets. Plus, prices for pet supplies at Target might not be as competitive as those found in pet-specific stores or online retailers, where you can commonly find sales or special deals.

Related: Petco vs. PetSmart: Which is Cheaper?

flat shot female disposable razors isolated on white background

5. Target's Brand of Razors

While Target offers a variety of its own brands, not everything on the lineup is worth buying, one shopper points out. "I wouldn't recommend buying the giant bag of single blade disposable razors," the user writes, adding, "Yes, they're cheap... but it's like shaving with an angry cat wrapped in barbed wire." Well, that sounds terrible. 

Still, most users agree that Target-branded products do offer good quality and pricing. "Most Target brand items are the bomb and you should definitely buy them," says the user who bought the razor blades. "Up&Up is actually really great quality stuff," writes another user, adding, "If I do buy Up&Up, I know it's just as good in terms of quality."

Related: Target vs. Walmart: Here's Why Shoppers Prefer Target

Up and Up Diapers

6. Target's Brand of Diapers

While Target's own brand of Up & Up diapers are cheaper compared to leading brands such as Huggies and Pampers, a study by GearLab Baby found that lower costs might not always equate to better value. "This product did not perform well in our tests for absorption or leaks, two critical performance metrics for diapering," the evaluation found. 

The study also noted that Up&Up diapers are "not eco-friendly nor free of common skin irritants. So even if these features aren't high on your importance list, we feel its inability to trap liquids and hold them away from the baby's skin is a significant flaw." 

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Make-up table
Ivan Bajic/istockphoto

7. Beauty Products

Beauty products like makeup, skincare, and name-brand items can typically be found at more attractive price points elsewhere, advises Alvarado. "Target carries a limited selection of high-end cosmetics, but you can often find better deals and a wider variety of products at stores like Sephora, Ulta, or department stores that specialize in beauty products." 

"These stores typically have a wider range of brands to choose from, and their staff are often knowledgeable and can assist you with finding the right products for your skin type and tone," adds Alvarado. 

Related: The Best Beauty & Makeup Subscription Boxes

Two cheerful girls shopping for clothes

8. Clothing

According to one shopper, buyers should be wary of buying clothes at Target and other department stores because they could have been tampered with. "People often return clothes and it will get marked as 'repackaged' or 'as is' on the clearance stickers," the user writes, adding, "This is different from normal clearance where the markdowns are applied to things in the store. It can get gross because there was once a bra marked as such. Just make sure to wash all clothes before you wear them." 

Another user advises to double check when buying items like socks and undergarments. "Keep a look out for repackaged items like packaged socks and underwear," they write. "If someone opens them to see the size or steal a pair, they will repackage them and they get marked down."

Hand holding medicine capsule pack

9. Branded Medications

Another item that isn't worth spending more for is name-brand drugs and over-the-counter supplements and vitamins. Generic medications, which are typically available at a significantly lower price, contain the same active ingredients and are held to the same FDA standards as their name-brand counterparts, says the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

"FDA-approved generic medicines work in the same way and provide the same clinical benefit and risks as their brand-name counterparts," asserts the FDA, adding, "A generic medicine is required to be the same as a brand-name medicine in dosage, safety, effectiveness, strength, stability, and quality, as well as in the way it is taken."

Scented candles and aroma incense sticks on table in living room. Aromatherapy, home fragrance. Concept of home relaxation and anti stress.
Irina Belova/istockphoto

10. Home Decor and Furniture

When it comes to home decor and furniture, Target likely won't have the best deals, shoppers advise. "[Target's] Hearth and Hand products [charge] $85 for a white boring painting," they write, while another adds, "Literally any of their furniture is so insanely overpriced. There’s a little table? It’s literally 3 boards and $300. No drawers no nothing. Just 3 boards." 

We have to agree. Case in point: This candle from Hearth and Hand With Magnolia (Target's partnership with home renovation and design experts Chip and Joanna Gaines) costs $35. That much for a candle?! No thanks.