BULLSEYE? NOT EVEN CLOSE
In the eyes of its most ardent fans, Target can do no wrong, especially compared with its bigger, bluer rival, Walmart. But there are still some products here that are iffy buys, no matter the discount. Here are things you're better off without — or perhaps better off getting somewhere else — this March.
Prices and availability are subject to change. Prices are rounded.
Related: Best Deals at Target This Month
UP&UP GALLON STORAGE BAGS
Est. Price: $3.50 | Buy it
Store-brand gallon storage bags seem like an innocuous way to save a buck, but you may want to pass on Target's Up&Up version. A significant number of reviewers say they simply don't seal as they should, and that's a pretty significant flaw in a plastic storage bag.
PILLOWFORT OSA KIDS PLATFORM BED
Sale Price: $190 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $200 ($10 savings)
Even if you go for the cream version of this bed (it's on clearance for 50 percent off) we're not sure it's worth the modest spend. Reviewers say it's a pain to put together and feel the finish is low-quality, and they're skeptical it can stand up to too many kid hijinks.
HP 14-INCH LAPTOP 14-CM0012NR
Sale Price: $200 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $220 ($20 savings)
Though the price should be a tipoff that this HP isn't meant for tasks that need a speedy, state-of-the-art piece of technology, too many owners say this laptop is excruciatingly slow. "Now I have a very expensive paperweight," one owner bemoans.
ROOM ESSENTIALS MATTRESS PROTECTOR
Sale Price: $7.60 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $8 ($0.40 savings)
Ignore the laughable discount for a moment — this already-inexpensive mattress protector probably isn't worth even $7. One reviewer calls it "dollar store quality" and several say it rips if you even look at it the wrong way.
KITCHENAID ULTRA POWER PLUS STAND MIXER
Sale Price: $280 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $350 ($70 savings)
Splurging on a KitchenAid mixer is one of the rare big-ticket purchases we can really get behind, but think twice before you snap up this deal. That's because Target also has the similar KitchenAid Classic Plus on sale for $176 — it just has a slightly less powerful motor. Unless you'll be working on truly thick doughs, it should do just fine, and still has KitchenAid's trademark durability.
FUGGLER FUNNY UGLY MONSTER
Sale Price: $10 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $25 ($15 savings)
Just one look at this thing is probably all the explanation you need for why it's on clearance. Fugglers are "misunderstood plush creatures with mouths full of human-like teeth." Errr ... no thank you.
THRESHOLD MIXED MATERIAL BOOKCASE
Sale Price: $66 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $120 ($54 savings)
We love the look of this rustic-industrial Threshold bookcase, but too many reviewers report quality control and shipping issues such as missing bolts, damage to the shelves, and bent metal accents.
C9 CHAMPION PULLUP BAR
Sale Price: $20 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $25 ($5 savings)
A pullup bar seems like a great way to build strength at home, but only if it's easy to put together and use. This one is neither, owners say, with bad instructions and cheap components that make it downright dangerous. "Couldn't recommend this to my worst enemy," warns one.
SONY STEP-UP EX SERIES EARBUD HEADSET
Sale Price: $24 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $30 ($6 savings)
Though $24 isn't much for earbuds, there are plenty of cheaper pairs. Several reviewers say these aren't worth the extra cash, with many panning the overly delicate wires and questionable durability. Also, take note: The product description says there's Bluetooth, but owners caution that that's not the case.
ROOM ESSENTIALS MUFFIN AND CUPCAKE PAN
Est. Price: $2.50 | Buy it
Thinking of grabbing this ultra-cheap Target brand muffin pan? In this case, you really do get what you pay for, owners say, because it rusts quickly if it's not dried completely after washing. "Worst-quality product I've ever bought at Target or any other major store," one reviewer grouses.
CALPHALON PRECISION CONTROL SLOW COOKER
Sale Price: $70 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $160 ($90 savings)
At first glance, $90 off this Calphalon seems like a great deal. But it's still $70 for a slow cooker that should cost only $40 tops. Though it says you can sear and sauté, you actually have to take out the removable cooking pot and put it on the stove to do that. We'd suggest spending just a bit more on a fully featured InstantPot instead.
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP EPIC INK LIP DYE
Sale Price: $2.45 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $3.50 ($1.05 savings)
Unless you're a makeup pro, reviewers caution that you might want to stay away from this lip dye. Their main beef: It doesn't go on smoothly, and some even report problems with staining. "This product is so liquidy that it's practically impossible to apply without it looking streaky and patchy on the lips," one owner moans.
Sale Price: $300 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $350 ($50 savings)
This is a decent price on the Apple HomePod, but it's still not a deal. Why? Experts caution that the smart speaker still lags much cheaper rivals such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, which go for roughly $100 and $129, respectively. Pounce only if you're an ardent Apple fan.
CLOUD ISLAND PEEL AND STICK WALLPAPER
Sale Price: $21 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $30 ($9 savings)
Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a great substitute for the real thing if you're a commitment-phobe, but too many reviewers say this stuff is so hard to put up that you may as well get the real thing. Several say it's too thin, while others say repositioning it and matching up the patterns can be a nightmare.
UP&UP PLASTIC WRAP
Est. Price: $2 | Buy it
Plastic wrap should be a hard product to screw up, but frustrated reviewers say Target has managed. "I defy anyone to tear off a piece of this wrap with only two hands," one grouses, citing a poorly designed box. Others say even if you can get it out of the box cleanly, it doesn't cling to dishes very well.
THRESHOLD OUTDOOR LED PLASTIC MASON JAR SOLAR STRING LIGHTS
Sale Price: $23.75 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $25 ($1.25 savings)
They're adorable, but before you stock up on these jar-inspired string lights for your nights on the patio, read up on what owners say. Some warn that they won't hold a charge very well, and others say rain gets caught in the jars. Oops.
HEYDAY APPLE WATCH BAND
Est. Price: $15 | Buy it
Apple wants an eye-popping $49 for Apple Watch bands, so we understand the impulse to save. But these Target-brand bands aren't the way to do it, despite their fun patterns. Only a few days of wear is all it takes for the color to start rubbing off, owners report.
SMARTLY LEMON SCENT DISHWASHER GEL
Est. Price: $3.50 | Buy it
This replacement for Target's Up&Up dishwasher gel might be one of the store's most-loathed products. Reviewers say it's thin and runny, and cleans next to nothing. "It seems to aid in making sure the filth is being spread around to all other dishes," one warns. We'll spend a couple more bucks on Cascade.
C9 CHAMPION EXERCISE ROUND RESISTANCE BANDS
Sale Price: $10 | Buy it
Reg. Price: $12.50 ($2.50 savings)
Would-be exercisers report frustration with these inexpensive resistance bands, saying they don't provide enough resistance, roll up during use, and even break under normal use.