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Dollar General Iffy Store Policy

Last week while I was reading a friend’s blog, I encountered the following story. It seems she was at the Dollar General Store and found a sweet Raggedy Ann and Andy book which wasn’t priced. She took it the register to find out the cost and was shocked when they threw the book in the trash. The cashier told my friend that it is a Dollar General Store policy to throw away anything that rings up at 1 cent. My friend later asked another cashier at another Dollar General if this was indeed a store policy. The cashier confirmed that it was indeed. This cashier even said that clothes had to be cut before being thrown away. After reading this story, I visited the Dollar General Store website. They claim on the website to support families, communities, and environmentally friendly practices. This policy does not seem to fit this description. Books, clothes, etc. could be donated to libraries, schools, thrift stores, charities, and so forth. Families and communities could be benefiting from these items. By donating these items Dollar General would be preventing items from finding their way into landfills thus benefiting the environment. On the menu bar of their website you will find a heading called “Our Stores.” Under this heading you will find “customer service.” Here you can leave a comment or concern of your own. I sent a comment via their website and have received no reply. Perhaps if enough of us send letters, comments, etc. we will get a response and can effect change. Thanks Robyn for making us aware of this policy and how we can make a difference. Click here to visit Dollar General’s website and leave a comment!  You can also write to the Dollar General CEO at the following address:

Richard Dreiling
Dollar General Corporation
100 Mission Ridge
Goodlettsville, TN 37072


About lovelylissie

I love reading, kewpies, butterflies, thrifting, and all things vintage. I am happily married and live in NE Texas.

27 responses »

  1. After reading this article, I just feel that I really need more info. Could you share some more resources ?

  2. i am a store manager for dollar general, this policy is true but was handled the wrong way by the cashier. in-fact our headquarters does tell us to first try to donate the .01 items first. (mostly around XMAS) lets get that out of the way first. next since you found the .01 items on the sales floor it is our policy is to give the items to you, as long as you DO NOT GO BACK FOR MORE. agaim dollar general is changing its policys to better fit surrounding comunities. if there is no place close to donate the items. (since we dont get paid for dropping it off) we do not donate them. usally comapanies can come in to pick up the donations. thanXS ….. come to dollar general for all your basics

    • Thank you so much for posting. I am so glad to hear that you do donate items! I do still visit Dollar General and will continue to do so.

  3. The same thing happened to me, and I am royally ticked off at Dollar General.

    I found four Richard Simmons videos still on the shelf listed at $1 apiece. I was thrilled! When I took them to the cashier, they rang up at a penny and I was told that I could only buy one. I asked to speak to the manager, and she explained the insane policy. I said it was their fault that it was still on the shelf — and that they should sell them to me. I offered to pay full price ($1).

    That didn’t do.

    I left, steamed, and called Dollar General Corporate offices. Initially they expressed concern, and said a regional manager would get back with me. It has been ten days and I have called twice — and nobody has tried to return my call.

    SO — instead of getting $4, they got ONE PENNY (I bought one of them), and I leave with a terrible taste in my mouth!

    If this isn’t resolved, I will make it one of my life’s goals to get everyone I know to never shop at Dollar General again.

  4. a week ago I went to the Dollar General Store to buy another “oven Guard”. I had bought one and it worked great, so I decided to buy more. At the store they told me that they had been discontinued and no longer available. I thought I’d visit the other stores in my area and see if they had any of this product left. At the 5th and last store I located three of them. When I tried to purchase them I was told that they did not ring up correctly and that she could not sell them to me. I pointed out that the price was clearly marked on each one. She said she had to place them in the back room and they would be picked up that she could lose her job if she sold them to me. Frustrated? Oh, yes I was. I cannot understand a policy like this. You have a product for sale, it is clearly marked with the price and yet they are not allowed to sell me the product. Where is the logic in that?
    I went to the website and sent a message complaining about this, and asked for a reply. I have not heard one thing from this Company. It does not encourge me to shop there again.

  5. Dollar general cares about none other than the almight $. Employees are disposable and customers are not of concern as long as they continue to swipe that card. The work load on the employees is unrealistic, which causes them to be rude….due to frustration. If your work load was that to which four emloyees should carry and you lost your job because you couldnt complete the mission…..then yes you would be snappy if anyone interrupted. And YES, a new policy went into effect where dollar general destroys clothing, food, and any other valuable items that may come of discontinuation. These items are hitting the trash cans because they are afraid that if these items are donated that someone might bring the item in for a return w/o receipt. VERY ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY. Greed…greed….greed. Its pathetic and unacceptable. —-Asst. Store Manager

  6. disposable employee

    I am a cashier at Dollar General and have had to turn down a customer wanting to purchase an item because of the price ringing up wrong. The only thing that is “recycled” at the store in which I work is the cardboard boxes. If an item rings up at .01, it is then destroyed and thrown away. All of which has to be done in front of store cameras in order to have proof it was destroyed and not……. STOLEN by the employee. I personally have had to stomp on items to break them in order to toss them in the dumpster out back. Can’t have a dumpster diver come in and STEAL something, can we? I wondered why they didn’t donate the stuff that rang up wrong also, but was told it wasn’t Dollar General policy. I GET THAT A LOT!!! I thought that it was just at my store, but it seems, from reading on here, that all Dollar General stores make their employees feel unimportant. I had never felt like I was so untrusted until I started working there. A manager has the check you out when you come in to shop in your time off. Your receipt has to be signed and taped to whatever you bought if bought while you are on break, plus have to have a 2nd employee watch while you check out. At the store that I work, we have been told that everyone who enters the door is a thief and if you want to move up in the chain, you have to think that way too.

  7. I visited our Dollar General for some Mop & Glo Wax, they use to carry it and so I got the DG I mopped a small bathroom floor area 3′ x 4′ no shine at all.
    So next day go back by another store and pick up their other off brand that was suppose to really shine. traveled 60 miles to use on a rental house I was cleaning.
    I mopped the dining room area 10 x 11, no shine.
    I took them back for a refund because there was no wax in either bottle to make them shine. And the manager would not give me a refund. said I used too much! And I would have to write the company who made the wax for a refund. I’ve never heard of such?
    If it had worked do you think I would have went back or would have said aww nice job?
    He was a young manager 20’s and had 2 checkers 18 – 20 and he really showed his self told me put it back in my walmart sack and leave his store.
    Made me mad so I told he he could keep the damn stuff it wasn’t worth taking back.
    I started out the door and he said something I did not understand ask to repeat (65 yr old woman) he would not, but said By -G__ and used Gods name twice to me and said I cursed him,
    I told him no I cursed his product!. Then he pointed to the young checkers and said I got proof you don’t. I just walked out and said to him Whatever!!
    I do not know his name it is not on the tickets they give you. But it was at 119 Reasor Street Tahlequah, Ok.
    I went on line their return policy is if you are not satisfied they will return your money up to 30 days but they got my money and their products back too.
    That smart acting young manager was just trying to humiliate me in front of those young checkers to show his managing abilities which were very poor to me.

  8. I’m a cashier for Dollar General. Instead of complaining about rude employees, it would help tremendously if all of you would start a campaign to change Dollar General store policies.

    Cashiers and store managers are punished for returns, even when it’s for defective products.

    Cashiers are written up, that is a written notation in your file which is cause for dismissal, if our average customer doesn’t purchase more than 5 products. Cashiers are expected to clean the store, stock the store, watch other employees and customers to prevent theft, and greet customers with a smile on our face when they walk in. I love my job, but it’s very hard.
    Managers are only allowed to spend a very small amount of money to pay employees, and when they run out, they, the managers, must do ALL THE WORK THEMSELVES.

    In short, the store and company policies are to blame. I keep my job because it’s 3 minutes esno home. I have a decent manager, but she is rude as hell to customers, and now I know why. She’s a wonderful lady, but the system is set up to pit employees against customers so that the company is never held responsible. This must change.

    Or you all can just decide to take your money elsewhere. That will not fix the problem though. Those awful employees are your friends and neighbors trying to collect a pay check, and as many of you know, that’s increasingly hard to do in this economy. The employees are punished for treating customers well and with respect. The managers are expected to work 80 to 100 hours per week, and when figured hourly, their salary is no higher than the cashier/stocker that they employ.

    I will not accept a supervisory position with this company for this reason. I now have the best of what this company has to offer: minimum wage, but with only the responsibility to pressure customers to buy more products to keep my average items-per-basket high enough that I don’t get written up.

    Thanks for listening. =)

    • Concerned Daughter

      I agree that the employees are treated horribly, but the store my mother works at has a new manager who does pretty much nothing other than talk about how awesome he is and knock the local community. He actually said that the community is full of inbred people and hoodlums. He has an incredible disdain for the community and an unbelievably high opinion of himself. No one can do anything to please him.

      An employee was there a few minutes early the other morning and sees a customer waiting at the register. As she had just been yelled at about clocking in too early she told the customer that she wasn’t on the clock yet, but someone would be with him in just a minute. The new manager then yells at her (in front of the customer) for not clocking in when she was on the schedule for hour:15. She informed him that she was scheduled for hour:30 and when he checked the schedule he yelled at her for being there too early.

      You can’t win with this guy. He tells you to do this, and then tells you you can’t. He tells you that you absolutely cannot do this, and then the next day tells you to do it. It’s insane.

      They have a money counter now, because apparently it takes the employees too long to count the drawers down at the end of the night. But the stupid money counter doesn’t count correctly, and then the cashier and MOD have to count by hand to find what was wrong in the first place. Where does that save time?

      This new manager claims to be a freight guy, yet the store shelves are empty and the back room is full He tells the cashiers and keyholders that they should watch the customers with full carts to grab them so that their basket totals aren’t too low, nevermind what that may do to the cashier that’s been on the register all day.

      The rules are that there must always be a MOD present, but they force them to clock out for their breaks, which results in the MOD working off the clock, which is specifically forbidden. The new manager will go in and dock your pay if you don’t get to take your break (because they are insanely short-staffed) even though you worked the entire shift, but then he’ll say that he can’t adjust someone’s pay when he is supposed to open and shows up an hour late. He generously offers you to stay over an hour to make up for it though. How kind of him.

      Regarding the $.01 items, I was always told that they are allowed to sell whatever the customer comes up with, then they have to clear the shelf of those items. Our local store just tossed two huge bags full of clocks that pennied out. There is a thrift shop literally right next door. Seriously, there are two stores in one building, and the new manager isn’t taking things next door. He says he “wants to get a pile of stuff together” then he’ll take it. Probably to his hometown, since we’re such inbred folks, I’m sure.

      I know I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but my original point was that the manager here does not work all those extra hours off the clock. He truly expects the employees to get it all done while he sits in the office watching all the tapes (because he’s already pretty much accused all the employees of being thieves, even though nothing is missing except the shoplifted items, which is another problem entirely) from the day before. When they can’t get miracles accomplished they get yelled at. Frequently in front of customers.

      When my mom first took the job with DG the manager she had kinda sucked. He was lazy and didn’t care much for following the rules and when they finally got rid of him they placed a lady in the role of acting manager. While she was in charge the store flourished. Like seriously, sales were up, the store was cleaner, there was always product on the shelves, etc. The store is absolutely gloomy now, and I can’t wait for my mom to find another job that isn’t nearly so toxic.


  9. Actually in the policy guide it says if a customer finds a item we r to sell it to them.

  10. My mother was fired from Dollar General for taking the baby and childrens clothes that rang up a 0.01 and dropped them off at the local Helping Hands. She was tired of seeing people dumpster dive for the thrown out items. To me it was ridiculous, and after reading some of the other comments on here I’m glad she is not working with the company anymore

  11. Hi there.

    I just left a Dollar General and had the same exact in counter. There was a couple in front of me that did not speak English and were simply trying to purchase 2 children’s headbands. There were 2 sales clerks behind the register. When the one female clerk scanned it she said “I’m sorry Sr. but we can not sell these to you because they are ringing up as 1 cent, we have to throw them away”. The couple did not understand but didn’t seemed bothered. I was shocked and confused. I asked “so, you are going to throw them away and not recycle them or donate them?” The girl replied “well, they will probably recycle them” as the other clerk said “I’m going to throw them away”. I said “that’s not recycling” and they both just looked at me. I immediately googled the policy and came across this. I am now going to send a letter to the above address. This is really the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard and something NEEDS to be done about it. If they refuse to be so kind and donate these items then they need to figure out a better discount system that does not allow items to be discounted so low.



  12. I work for dollar general and my store doesn’t throw the stuff away we donate to a church. We are told if we sale any penny item we get fired,they keep track of all the penny item’s.

  13. Read your article and not only is that correct but they do not allow any type of fundraiser a posting in their stores or done on their property!! Penny items are destroyed and throw away! I work there and it upsets me sooo much to see so many items being trashed from kids hair bows to soap!! It’s the discontinued items and the seasonal items so honestly anything is subject to be trhrow out even food!! Heartbreaking as it is I do not believe dollar general will ever change their policy! Though management has the option to sale an item that’s per say damaged but not really damaged (say a customer returns an open item not used just didn’t like didn’t fit and or so on) to do a damage sale on it for what ever price he or she chooses!! Unfortunately the majority of managers will not do this because quote unquote I will get full price store credit if I just damage it. Too sad really! It pisses me off! Serveal dollar general policies and or practices just aren’t right especially when they claim to be as you stated for the community!! Have a good day.

    • Also if your store donates merchandise rather pennied out items or truly gently damaged items to any one or any charity that’s a big no no and corporate has done and isn’t afraid to come in and clean house…fire everyone from cashier to any one holding a store key!!

      • Pretty sure also the main manager in the store gets a bonus yearly I know one of the ways involves not using all weekly hours given to be shared with the employees. I would not doubt sales adds to the bonus!!

  14. Dollar General managers get a quarterly sales bonus of $850 or less, no matter how high you’ve increased your sales. We also get a quarterly bonus for hitting a specific customer survey score of $350 or less and if we are lucky enough to reduce our inventory shrink we can get a bonus of $4000 or less. We bust our butts as managers for these meager bonuses—the majority of managers don’t get the inventory bonus because we don’t have the resources to combat theft-internal or external. Yes, we are constantly being told we could lose our jobs if we don’t hit our numbers. We DO NOT get a bonus for not using all our hours! Each week corporate sends down the allotted hours. So when you only see 1 employee in the store, it is not because WE are cutting hours, it is because we are only given so many hours to work with and we are trying to staff our stores the best possible way we can. Do you really think we want you waiting in line any longer than necessary?. Our hands are tied.

    As far as .01 items, we are to sell them to the customer at the time of checkout, but the customer cannot go back for more. Any manager/cashier that refuses the sale is in violation of company policy. Many years ago we donated these items, but because of some store employees’ dishonest actions, DG wouldn’t allow us to donate the items anymore. However, we can donate items with the DM’s consent and a signed form from the group the donation is given. Also, we are not misleading you by having the product on the floor after it has been pennied out. A lot of the time, we don’t know it was marked out of stock because corporate failed to notify us;, or when they do, the item is so vague we don’t know what it is–they don’t give us the UPC, they give us the worthless SKU number; or we’re human and we missed the item that should have been removed.

    Bottom line is this: we can only do what we can do. We don’t want to piss you off, but sometimes you want things that we simply can’t give you. Most of you get it, but it is the ones that are unreasonable that make it difficult for the rest. Believe me, the more you yell, the less you will get.

  15. I have had alot of trouble with. them also. It has been an on going fight for about three months now. At first corp. said I could buy it then I had to fight with.them and call corp. every time I went to buy something. Then I heard something different everytime I tried to get penny items. I have donated to my church and to an organization that will help children. Now it is one of my lifes goals to change this period…

  16. I am an assistant store manager at DG and this policy is correct. The items will “penny out” to indicate to us that they are no longer a part of our inventory. We are instructed to donate the items to a nonprofit organization or destroy them if such organizations do not conveniently exist in our area. HOWEVER, if a customer brought an (or even 10) of the aforementioned items to the register, then we are instructed to sell them the contents of their cart. The customer is not allowed to make another trip or even send someone else back to get one or more of the same item. If anymore of the item exist in the store they are to be promptly removed from the shelf and discarded in the manner stated above. So, yes, your friend should have been sold the item at the cost of a penny. This is a common misinterpretation by store managers therfore it is commonly trained to the other associates of the store by mistake. I hope this cleared up the air a bit.

    • Jared,

      Thank you for confirming the policy’s validity. Do you think it would be possible for you to send me a picture of the page in the SOP where it references this policy or is there an electronic copy (.pdf .doc. .txt) of the SOP that I can obtain?

  17. Although this is standard Dollar General policy it also states that we can donate these items if they are not on recall. Sorry if you were misinformed.

  18. I work for them , we do donate the items . If you find it in our store I use the ( its been recalled ) to keep people off my back .

    • So you lie to people. Nice

    • i use the same policy but not because i wish to lie to people but because we donate the items to a group the helps clothe and feed the homeless…. we also donate the childrens items to a shelter for woman leaving abusive situations … the penny items are few and far between at my store so i feel it should be passed on for good instead of to someone who found pictures of the penny out item on a page and are trying to be greedy…. but i do know that our DM told us the policy is we can sell one of each penny item to the person that brings it to the register then the remaining items are to be donated.

  19. That is not true a bout the penny. If its on the floor and it rings up for a penny they half to sell it to you. That’s the policy. I would call district.


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